Italy may be the original birthplace of pizza, but New York City is the best domestic destination for an authentic piece of pizza. New York pizza-makers are famous for putting their own unique twist on the signature Italian staple, so there’s really no better place for pizza-lovers to live. If you’re looking for the best pizza on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, look no further than this list, which lays out just a handful of the most popular options.
Freddie and Pepper’s
When all you really want is a big, gooey slice of pizza, a quick and convenient option is Freddie and Pepper’s. It’s one of the few casual pizzerias on the Upper West Side that doles out pizza by the slice in a laid-back, quick-serve setting. But don’t be fooled by the simple decor and fast food vibe; the chefs aren’t afraid to get a little gourmet. That means Freddie and Pepper’s staff dishes out some creative, exceptional slices. Try the barbecue chicken pizza for something a little different, or opt for a slice smothered with fresh pesto and feta cheese. Thai chicken, zucchini and ricotta, and chicken and vodka sauce are a few of the other unexpected ingredients that top the pies. If you’re craving something more familiar, grab a slice or two of classic margherita pizza or a simple pepperoni pie.
When you’re in the mood for a romantic date night instead of a quick stop for a slice, Osteria Cotta can oblige. This Italian restaurant and pizzeria is a bit more upscale than Freddie and Pepper’s, and instead of offering New York-style slices, its chefs craft classic wood-fired pies. In fact, the kitchen’s wood-burning oven was imported directly from Italy, so you know that the pizzas are authentic. If you’re going to indulge, you should try the popular meatball pizza. In addition to handcrafted meatballs, the pie comes topped with mozzarella cheese, parmesan, a dusting of thyme, and San Marzano tomatoes. If you want something lighter, opt for the Verdure pizza with a blend of mozzarella and parmesan cheese, spinach, mushrooms, olives, and red pepper. Other non-pizza options include fresh pasta, steak and seafood, and the popular Nutella-and-ricotta “calzone.”
Another solid date-night spot on the Upper West Side is Cafe Fiorello, a self-proclaimed shining example of Italian hospitality. Open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late-night bites after nearby NYC shows, Cafe Fiorello offers all types of authentic Italian cuisine, but the menu has a special emphasis on pizza. Again, this eatery adheres to Italian tradition, so don’t expect greasy slices of Brooklyn-inspired pizza at Cafe Fiorello. Instead, you can order personal-sized pies that range from classic to inventive. The margherita pizza showcases a simple mix of burrata cheese, Pomodoro sauce, and basil, whereas the braised short rib and meatball pie features a hearty helping of meats. You can even order a pie topped with house-made fennel sausage and caramelized onions or an entire lobster and chunks of zucchini.
With so many pizza options right at your fingertips on the Upper West Side, you’ll really never have to leave the neighborhood to grab a gourmet slice.
Moving to The Upper West Side
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