If you were to walk by Wizard Hat Pizza in the Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn during non-business hours, you wouldn’t even know it’s there. You’d just see an unassuming retail space with white windows and zero signage. Surely, that couldn’t be one of the hottest pizza shops in Brooklyn, could it?

“It has a speakeasy feel to it,” Wizard Hat Pizza owner Josiah Barlett recently told Eater for the publication’s Icons: Pizza series.


Eater published a video that takes a look inside the unique pizza shop, which offers takeout service only. The kitchen does not even feature a walk-in refrigerator—that’s how fresh Bartlett likes to keep everything.

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Bartlett has a stone mill on site—which, he notes in the video, was made by New American Stone Mills out of Morrisville, Vermont. It’s a quality machine that allows him to actually mill his own flour. His dough combines five different types of flour: white, einkorn, wheat, all-purpose and organic pizza flour.

Sometimes, Bartlett told Eater, he speaks to his dough but only telepathically. “Just in case somebody is walking by,” he explains. Otherwise, they might say, “weird guy, but he makes great pizza,” Bartlett joked.

And there’s no doubt that Bartlett’s pizza is great, due in large part to the great lengths he’s willing to go in order to make quality pizza dough. In a “One Bite” review published by pizza influencer and Barstool owner Dave Portnoy, the pizza received high marks. Portnoy dished out a 7.9 review of the Cheese Pizza despite, for some reason, being confused by the Pecorino cheese that comes atop the pie. Portnoy later scored Wizard Hat’s Tomato Pie an 8.2, especially complimenting the crust.

Portnoy isn’t Wizard Hat’s only well-known fan, either. In a 2023 story about pop-ups by New York Times’ food critic, Pete Wells, the famous foodie sang Wizard Hat’s praises.

“The crunchiest crust I’ve eaten on a pop-up pizza was achieved by Josiah Bartlett,” Wells wrote. “Mr. Bartlett bakes his pies in a 615-degree heat inside a double-decker electric countertop oven manufacturer in Turkey.”

As Wells details, Bartlett launched Wizard Hat Pizza as a pop-up a couple of years ago. He mostly cooked in the basement of a Brooklyn bar called Any Thing prior to moving into a former bakery, its current location in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

Like any popular pizzeria, most of Wizard Hat Pizza’s fans are not celebrities at all. In the Eater video, Bartlett tells the story of New York City Sanitation workers who picked up on the strong scent of Wizard Hat’s pizza wafting through the air and decided they had to come and try some.

“They have become regulars,” Bartlett said. “Two different crews of guys were like, we were two blocks away and we smelled you. Now they factor that into their shifts, which is great.”

The Eater video also shows how simple the pizzeria’s operation is. During service hours, Bartlett hangs a small sign on the door and brings out a sandwich board with the Wizard Hat Pizza logo. The shop takes orders online—with guests often having to reserve space ahead of time—or walk-ups can scan a QR code on the small sign that hangs on the door which will direct them toward ordering pizza.

Inside the shop, pizza boxes are stamped with the Wizard Hat Pizza logo by hand. When orders come in, the box is labeled on the side with the order and the time it will be picked up. The kitchen does not even have order tickets—the writing on the sides of the boxes is enough.

In other words, Wizard Hat Pizza is not some high-tech ghost kitchen, but a throwback to simpler times, when pizza spoke for itself. Even if Brooklynites used to walk by the shop each day without noticing, it seems an increasing number of those pedestrians are catching on. That’s the growing magic of Wizard Hat Pizza.

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