Reviewing the Best NYC Pizzerias Near Campus (Yes, Including Two Bros)

As every single red-blooded, patriotic, Toyota-driving, Jersey Shore-watching American does, I love pizza. But I’m a Jew from Westchester, so I really have no expertise in the art of the dough, sauce, and cheese. You could assemble a pita, old ketchup, and rancid cottage cheese from the farmer’s market, and I would compliment you on your excellent Sicilian.

Luckily for me, I know some experts. My friend Joe’s family owns multiple pizzerias outside of Philadelphia, and my friend Mike’s ancestors lived in Italy before the Pope did (and also owned some pizzerias in Philly). Could you find better aficionados? Fuhgettaboutit.

Here are pizza places to check out, and a few to avoid like Mussolini:

Two Bros Pizza (32 St. Mark’s Pl.)
This is probably the most generic slice of pizza you’ll find anywhere. It’s pizza, nothing more, nothing less. What is so popular is its dollar-a-slice price. Eating here is like living an Asher Roth song, and it can be digested for any meal. Breakfast, anyone?

Artichoke (328 E 14th St.)
This popular pizza place might always have a line down the block, but for good reason. There are only four things on the menu, but each creation is better than the last. The amazing Sicilian and famous artichoke slices can be purchased very late into the evening, 4 a.m. to be exact, so try to modify your drunken stumbling to pass by. At about $4 a slice, it’s not cheap, but can you really put a price on happiness?

Frank’s (127 E 23rd St.)
Okay, so it’s out of the way for anyone who doesn’t live in Gramercy (damn them), but the trek is worth it. Another grab-and-go place, the slices are big, delicious, and only $2. Frank’s is like Two Bros’ hot friend who lives uptown: the subway’s annoying, but you’re more than happy when you’re finally there.

Motorino (349 E 12th St.)
If you’re going to actually sit down for pizza, do it the right way. Those fifteen dollars might buy you half of a ironically tacky sweater at Urban Outfitters, but it’s just so delicious. Do you own a brick oven? Didn’t think so.

Two Boots (74 Bleecker St.)
Cajun. Louisiana. Pizza. I think yes. This franchise is all over New York City; the site on Avenue A is even half video store. What sets these pizza shoppes apart from others are the specials creations, aptly named after any character who deserves their name attached to a greasy slice of heaven. And they don’t skimp on the toppings. My favorite example is The Dude: tasso, ground beef, chedder, and mozzarella. The pizza really ties the room together.

Bravo Pizza (115 E. 14th St.) Ed. Addition
Just outside U-Hall, don’t be fooled by the big-pizza-franchise look — y’know, the ones that actually add tax to your slice — Bravo Pizza actually lives up to its name. Originally based in Chicago, its one of the only pizzerias in New York City that serves deep-dish pizzas (although this exact location doesn’t serve it as often as the others). I’m sorry, NYC slice, you’ve just gotten a bit thin lately. It’s not you, it’s me.

Anywhere in Little Italy
Just go. You’ll find something.

University Cafe (University Pl. & Waverly Pl.)
Only worth it if you live at Weinstein, it’s 3 a.m., and you’re starving. Get ready to run into your gay roommate who is not only coming home from the Ke$ha concert at Webster Hall, but five screwdrivers deep. Just avoid it.

Any Ray’s, La Famiglia, Domino’s
The holy trinity of terrible pizza chains. No, Ray’s is not the original pizza place. No, Regis Philbin did not go to every single Famiglia, it is just a stock photo. No, Domino’s pizza is not edible. You can do better.

Cafe Amore Pizza (outside U-Hall)
Okay, I’ve eaten here twice in the last two days. But it’s just because I’m lazy. The pizza is okay, it’s decently priced, and there might be some health code violations. Go at your own risk; I personally think rat droppings are tasty.

Sound off in the comments if you agree (or disagree) or I missed your favorite (or least) favorite NYC pizza establishment.

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    Share Your Thoughts


  1. Leo Arteche says

    I have to nominate Viva Herbal pizza, which is a Kosher/vegetarian pizza restaurant on 2nd Ave between 11th and 12th. I ate Viva Herbal every day of freshman year… and many days of junior and senior year, and never gained a pound. I don’t know what the hell they put in their pizza, but my assumption is cocaine because I am addicted and thin.

  2. says

    Any list of good pizza near NYU has to include John’s (on Bleeker near 7th) and Lombardi’s (Spring and Mott), though neither does slices. Joe’s (on Carmine at 6th) is really good and often mentioned as one of the better slices in they city. If you’re going to include mediocre slice joints, you might as well throw in Mercato, which is super-convenient and totally acceptable ($4 for 2 slices and a drink is the best lunch deal on campus).

  3. says

    Caruso’s Pizza is by far the best pizza I’ve had in NYC. They have huge, delicious slices for a good price. Catch is, it’s in the Long Island Rail Road concourse at Penn Station – which is perfect for me & other Long Islanders at NYU, but not so much for everyone else.

  4. Joe Colucci says

    Definitely have to include Otto, on the corner of 8th street and 5th ave. It’s run by the Mario Battali empire. The pizzas are great (I’m a fan of the simplicity of the margherita), but even better are the gelato concoctions for dessert. Get the olive oil. Trust me.

  5. Chris Wytenus says

    Just chiming in to mention John’s of Bleecker. They only sell by the pie and there’s usually a line out the door, but it’s absolutely delicious and well worth the wait. The crust is thin and they use quality fresh mozzarella cheese. My Dad’s really into pizza and John’s is his favorite pizza joint in Manhattan.

  6. Joe Gigante says

    I have to agree with Myles there. L&B is the best anywhere. I keep begging all my friends to take the subway ride down there with me.

  7. Tom DeGroot says

    The Ray’s on 6th Ave is delicious. Also, I gotta promote New Amicis. Their chicken parm pizza and mushroom and pepperoni is fantastic (especially after a late night).

  8. Kristina Lustig says

    Pomodoro on ….Spring and… Mulberry? Or something. Is my favorite pizza. Specifically, their vodka pizza, which is the only thing I’ve ever gotten there. Downside: the one waiter always jokingly asks you for your ID and is not happy when you say, “You asked me that last time.” But anyway, delicious.

  9. says

    Let’s all agree that Cafe Amore Pizza at Union Square is the worst pizza near campus.

    And I second Tom on New Amicis – the sicilian slice is exactly what you want to eat when you’ve spent a night on 3rd Ave. That or Blue 9.

  10. Joe Colucci says

    Kristina, you’re right, Pomodoro is on Spring and Mulberry. I’ve never had the vodka slice personally, but I’ve heard enough rave reviews to second your recommendation.

  11. says

    Wow, no mention of Arturo’s on Houston at Thompson? a mere 4 block walk from Washington Square Park… no slices, sit-down or take-out only, but I think it rivals John’s of Bleecker (yes, you heard me) and is equal to Lombardi’s. Arturo’s also is hands-down my favorite due to the atmosphere – live jazz most nights, or you can sit outside while the weather still cooperates.