A new story from the Wall Street Journal ranks the best slice of pizza in each borough. Rather ironically, the article begins with an anecdote regarding what Scott Wiener of Scott’s Pizza Tours always says when he’s asked who sells the best slice of pizza in New York City. 

“That is a useless question,” he said, with a smirk, to a busload full of those on one of his renowned tours, according to the Wall Street Journal. “Perfection is relative, and it’s subjective.”

Acknowledging this, the Wall Street Journal sought to draw up their own borough-by-borough favorites anyway. While there is no shortage of lists regarding the best pizzerias in New York City, few publications know the city quite like the Wall Street Journal, which has been published in Manhattan since 1889. 

Related: The Top 25 Most Critically Acclaimed Independent Pizzerias in the U.S.

The publication first drew up some ground rules for its list. Pivotally, the exercise was conducted to determine the best slice of pizza in New York. That means it only considered pizzerias that serve pizza by the slice, thus ruling out whole-pizza shops like Lucali, Lombardi’s and Totono’s. The Journal’s raters also did not confine themselves to one style of pizza—any delicious slice would do. 

With those things in mind, here is the breakdown of what the Journal came up with. 

Manhattan: Scarr’s Pizza

For the best slice in Manhattan, the Journal gives the nod to Scarr’s Pizza. 

Scarr’s Pizza was founded in 2016 by Scarr Pimental, who honed his pizza-making chops at Lombardi’s. Pimental keeps his operation delightfully simple: the pizzeria’s website looks like something out of the year 1998. The operation’s Instagram has just nine posts (and, we might add, over 80,000 followers). 

The Journal notes that Scarr’s attracts “pizza geeks, vegans, hypebeasts and kids grabbing an after-school snack.” 

“Most of them might not care that Pimentel’s doughs rely on a blend of organic flours made from New York-grown wheat, including some milled in the shop, and a carefully tended fermentation,” the Journal wrote. “But the resulting crust has a subtly nutty depth of flavor, and a crackle and chew most bread bakers would kill for. Despite these exacting considerations, the pizza is not fussy or stingy in the least: The $3.75 regular slice hangs well over the edges of its paper plate.”

The publication gave honorable mention to Patsy’s Pizzeria in East Harlem.  

Brooklyn: Luigi’s Pizza

Luigi’s Pizza checks in as the best slice in Brooklyn, per the Journal.

Luigi’s is a true throwback. Founded in 1973, the pizzeria looks mostly unchanged since then. The interior sports a 1970s look, and the prices do, too. Okay, fine, maybe $2.75 isn’t exactly a 1970’s price, but good luck beating that in 2024. 

“Don’t leave without also trying the crunchy, punchy grandma slice,” the Journal alerts readers. “Square and pan-cooked like a Sicilian, but with a thinner, oil-bronzed crust, it inverts the usual order of toppings. Tiles of mozzarella go on first, followed by fresh tomato sauce, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a drizzle of pungent garlic oil. Out of the oven, it’s showered with more Parmesan and lashed with bright-green homemade basil oil. Leave time for a post-slice walk in the bucolic Green-Wood Cemetery nearby.” 

The Journal gives honorable mention to Roberta’s and R Slice Pizza to round out the coverage of Brooklyn’s best slice shop. 

Staten Island: Joe & Pat’s

To hear the Journal tell it, Joe & Pat’s in Staten Island has all but created its own unique subcategory of New York-style pizza. The cracker-thin crust, possibly originating at Joe & Pat’s, has “become associated with Staten Island pizza,” the Journal wrote. 

“The $2.75 regular slice uses cubed low-moisture mozzarella rather than shredded, yielding islands of cheese on a deep-red palette of bright, fresh tomato sauce,” the Journal wrote. “On the $3.25 vodka slice, meanwhile, creamy vodka sauce and a sprinkling of Pecorino Romano cheese top a base of fresh mozzarella—making for a mellow, rich combination.”

The Journal gives a shoutout to Lee’s Tavern, too, complimenting the clam pie in particular. 

The Bronx: Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

When it comes to the Bronx, Louie & Ernie’s claims the top spot in the Journal’s rankings.  

The shop is close to I-95 and just a stone’s throw from Queens. Founded in 1959, the iconic pizzeria was bought by Cosimo Tiso and his brother John in 1987. 

“The standout slice is topped with fennel-flecked sausage, notable not only for its quality—the nearby pork store Dominick’s S&D Caterers makes it—but for its quantity and application,” the Journal wrote. “Roasted hunks are generously, loosely piled onto slices. But with a quick fold, the $5.25 piece lifts without a wilt or an avalanche, a testament to Cosimo’s skill and possibly a violation of the laws of physics.” 

Pugsley Pizza holds a special place in the hearts of many in the Bronx as well and earned a shoutout from the Journal for being “maximalist, including [its] generous amounts of sauce and cheese.” 

Queens: Cuts & Slices

As the Journal points out, Queens is one of the most cosmopolitan areas of New York. “residents speak as many as 350 languages and dialects,” the Journal wrote. 

Cuts & Slices, the Journal’s favorite slice shop in Queens, reflects some of the borough’s rife diversity. Owners Randy and Ashlee Mclaren make sure the menu reflects Randy’s Trinidadian heritage, offering toppings that include slow-braised brown stew oxtail, or curry shrimp. “Luxury ingredients don’t come cheap,” the Journal wrote. “Expect to pay $12.49 for the oxtail slice, $10.40 for the shrimp.” 

It’s worth noting that Cuts & Slices also has an original location in Brooklyn. 

“Another slice to try in Queens: On Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, El Mercadito offers pizza by the slice with taqueria toppings, proving al pastor is the pork-and-pineapple slice the Hawaiian pizza always aspired to be,” the Journal concludes. 

Hats off to the brave people involved with rating their favorite slices in New York City. Surely this list will be viewed as definitive and generate zero debate. 

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