Living in New York, it’s hard not to pass a pizza place on you way to…well, anywhere. We’ve narrowed down the five best pizzerias from Little Italy to Harlem. By Carly Petrone.

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(credi: artichokepizza.com)

(credi: artichokepizza.com)

With an enticing name like Artichoke Pizza it’s hard to walk into this place and not order just that. Made up of artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, Mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheeses, it’ll remind you of dipping into a hot bowl of artichoke dip. Yes, a slice is $5 but it’s massive and every bite will warm you up with goodness. Although this is their signature slice, make sure to check out their other varieties like the Crab Slice – crab sauce, fresh Mozzarella with a surimi stuffing – or the Meatball Parm Slice – homemade meatballs, cooked tomato sauce and Mozzarella cheese. Whole pies will cost you between $28-$30 and slices range from $4.50-$5. Stop in one of their three locations or get it delivered. You can even find their frozen pizzas in local grocery stores.

(credit: joespizzanyc.com/)

(credit: joespizzanyc.com/)

You can’t walk through Greenwich Village without stopping into Joe’s Pizza. If you want to have your New York pizza moment and fold up your slice, this is the place to do it. Each slice is as big as your face and oozes with cheese thanks to Joe Pozzuoli, the man from Napoli who started the joint more than 35 years ago. The crust is chewy and crispy in all the right places and it’ll cost you less than $4 for a generous slice or Sicilian square. Full pies run between $20-$24. There’s a reason everybody from Bill Murray to Leonardo DiCaprio has stopped by to experience Joe’s Pizza – it’s that classic slice of New York pizza that you can’t get anywhere else!

(credit: johnsbrickovenpizza.com)

(credit: johnsbrickovenpizza.com)

Nothing beats a plain slice from John’s Pizza on Bleecker St. Their brick-oven pizza has so much delicious cheese on it yet it’s never soggy. Founded by Italian immigrant John Sasso back in 1929, the pizzeria is known for its distinct flavor thanks to the original coal fired brick oven that churns out hundreds of pizza every day. The restaurant itself is a testament to the generations before us with old-school ambiance, original wooden booths (sentimentally etched by their loyal customers), faded murals hanging on the walls, and white art deco floors. It’s the kind of place where you can bring your family and stay for hours without feeling rushed. Grab a pizza with as many topping as you’d like ($3/each) including sliced meatballs, anchovies, and ricotta. A small is 14 inches and costs $15.50 while a large is 16 inches and costs $17.50. Don’t miss out on their calzones and fresh pastas, too. No slices available.

(credit: Facebook/PatsysPizza)

(credit: Facebook/PatsysPizza)

The first Patsy’s Pizzeria opened in East Harlem back in 1933 and it’s grown into a New York institution in the many years since. Started by immigrant newlyweds Pasquale ‘Patsy’ and Carmella Lancieri, this family style restaurant is known for its brick-oven pizza. Choose your own ingredients or order one of their specialty pizzas ($14-$23) like the Napoletana (anchovy, fresh garlic, black olive, tomato sauce, and grated mozzarella) the Polpette (meatball, onion, tomato sauce, and grated mozzarella), or their classic Margherita. The crust is chewy yet crunchy and the perfect base for all of their delicious toppings!

(credit: firstpizza.com)

(credit: firstpizza.com)

Step into New York City’s first-ever pizzeria: Lombardi’s Pizza! They’ve been making thin-sliced pizza since 1897, so they know a thing or two about running a successful restaurant. Definitely try their Original Pizza ($17.50-$21.50), made with fresh mozzarella cheese, A San Marzano tomato sauce and topped with Romano and fresh basil. And feel free to add anything from pancetta and sweet Italian sausage to coal oven sweet roasted red peppers and fresh wild mushrooms to our pie. For those who don’t love tomato sauce, may we suggest the white pizza ($19.50-$23.50) – mozzarella, ricotta, romano cheese, oregano, basil, black peppers, and garlic infused oil. Have a seat at this place and feel the history behind it (while noshing on a slice, of course).

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Carly Petrone is a freelance writer living in New York City.

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