So Billyboy posted an amazing post, and it was deleted. Although I was sent an email with the contents before, so I am putting it here so it might help others:
Three things to remember:
1.) If walking, wear comfortable shoes.
2.) Bring cash. Many pizza shops are CASH ONLY.
3.) Be prepared to wait. Many places have become very popular in the age of social media and have long lines
I break this list down into two categories: whole pies only and slice joints
WHOLE PIE ONLY
1.) Lombardi’s – good, solid pies. Been there once and had delivery many times. Love their meatballs and roasted red peppers on their pies. Excellent calzones. Found the clam pie to be a disappointment. Too many clams made the slices droop and the clams were too chewy.
2.) Grimaldi’s – been to the original by the Brooklyn Bridge and the one on 6th Avenue in Chelsea. Both are really good. Usually go to Brooklyn with out-of-town guests but my wife and I go to Chelsea when we want to get in quick.
3.) Totonno’s – another solid spot though I haven’t been in almost 10 years so I can’t say if it has changed at all. It’s in Coney Island which is a hike for us.
4.) John’s of Bleecker Street – I’ve ben here three times and was never really impressed with the pizza. Nothing wrong with it, just found it to be average and have had much better. The atmosphere is pure NYC Roadfood. Wooden booths with names carved into them.
5.) Arturo’s – Only went once with my wife and did not like it. Tasted like a pizza I’d get from the grocery store freezer – a hybrid between Celeste and DiGiorno.
6.) Neopolitan Express – Started out as a pizza truck and now has about 4 brick-and-mortar locations in the city. The Wall Street shop is close by my apartment and I pick up rom there from time to time. They only make personal-sized pizzas. Their meatball pie and chicken pesto pie are my favorites.
1.) L&B Spumoni Gardens – Iconic spot in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. They have outstanding Sicilian slices that have the cheese on the bottom and sauce on top. Be sure to get a corner or edge slice to get some of that crispy edge crust. Spumoni for dessert caps off the meal. A big part of the experience is sitting at the red patio picnic tables and enjoying the people watching. NOTE: No seating inside if you’re only getting slices, it’s just for full meals only.
2.) Prince Street Pizza – My new favorite slice joint. The Spicy Spring Sicilian slice has me hooked. That spicy, thick-cut pepperoni curls up like little cups and gets all crispy, almost like bacon and holds a little pool of oil/grease that you’ll want to savor as it has a LOT of flavor! Been there with Wanderingjew. Ralph & Lori Melton, Tony Bad and The Travelin’ Man as well as numerous times by myself. No seating so you’ll be eating standing up or walking down the sidewalk unless you can find a nearby park with benches. NOTE: No longer a secret, the lines tend to be down the block but to me it’s worth the wait.
3.) Joe’s Pizza – The paradigm of a NY slice shop. Original spot is on Carmine Street in Greenwich Village but they also have locations on 14th Street near 3rd Avenue and on Fulton Street & Nassau Street. A few high chairs but mostly standing room only. Shake on some parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper flakes and you’re good to go. Their white slice and fresh mozzarella slice are my favorites.
4.) DiFara’s – Another classic spot. Went with Chris Ayers & Amy Briesch in 2011 and as part of a Brooklyn food crawl in 2016. Haven’t been in a few years but last I knew, Dom DeMarco was still making all of the pies himself and his family ran the register and took care of everything else. Prices have gone up since he advent of social media but I thought it was worth it. Part of the experience is watching Dom make the pies, rotating them in the oven with is bare hands, cutting the fresh basil over the pizza with his scissors and finishing each pie with a drizzling of extra virgin olive oil from a watering can with a long spout.
5.) Artichoke – Two cousins founded this chain about 10 years ago and they have HUGE following. Not sure if they have seating as the only locations I’ve been to were takeaway only. I love the namesake slice which is thick and somewhat doughy but it’s necessary as the sauce on top is very rich and thick, like a creamy spinach-artichoke dip. Slices are about $7 each but they are really big.
6.) Lions, Tigers and Squares – New kid on the block and started by the guys from Artichoke. It’s their take on Detroit-style pizza. The original location is on 23rd Street in Chelsea and is standing room only, no seats. The classic pie is either $5 or $6 and is a steal. It’s a rectangular pie that is equal to about 4 slices. Their East Village spot is new and has seating. I had a sausage and pepperoni slice that I loved and a mustard slice with corned beef and sauerkraut that was tasty.
7.) Justino’s – Small place with a few locations around the city, the closest for me being on Fulton Street across from my apartment. They make an L&B slice, a nod to the Sicilian slice at L&B Spumoni Gardens. Not quite as good but pretty darn close and I don’t have to schlep to Brooklyn. They have a location Times Square too.
8.) 99 Cent Fresh Pizza – Discount pizza mini chain in the city. Not the best pizza you’ll ever try but it scratches an itch and I’ve had more than a few of their slices when I worked the midnight shift and was hungry at 3am.
9.) Patsy’s – Many sit-down, whole pie only locations that I wasn’t terribly impressed with, they have one slice joint on 1st Avenue between 116th and 117th Streets in Harlem. Along with Joe’s, it’s one of the best representations of a NY slice. I took a group here on a tour in 2011 and rich before we entered a NYC police detective walked out, wiped his mouth with a napkin and said, “Da best!”. My wife and I were there just a few weeks ago and as good as ever. The only drinks they have are from a soda machine but their is a bodega two dogs down with a HUGE selection of beverages. There is a shelf by the front window where 2, maybe 3 people can stand and eat but NO SEATING and CASH ONLY.