Village Top Pizza Places Ratings


PIZZAIOLO NELSON LOPEZ PREPS A PIE before it is put into one of the handful of remaining coal-fire ovens in NYC at John’s of Bleecker Street. The historic pizzeria was established in 1929. Photo by Bob Cooley.

Joe’s Pizza
7 Carmine Street

Since 1975, Joe’s Pizza has stood at 7 Carmine Street, between Bleecker Street and the Avenue of the Americas. I spotted the sign for Joe’s Pizza from a mile away, walked inside and ordered a plain slice. It cost me $4 which was a bit much for a plain slice, but when in New York City, you have to do as the New Yorkers do and try pizza that’s been highly recommended.

As soon as I held the slice in my hand, I noticed the crust was a bit too thick. I don’t like really thick crust, so that was a little disappointing to me. On the other hand, the cheese and sauce blended together nicely but, on each bite, I chewed too much crust, which took away from how solid those other two components were.

At the end of the day, even though the slice that I got on that September afternoon wasn’t great, I enjoyed the experience. This included walking up to Joe’s on that stretch of Carmine Street between Bleecker Street and the Avenue of the Americas, which are Village “institutions” just like Joe’s. I give the plain slice at Joe’s Pizza a 3/5.

John’s of Bleecker
278 Bleecker Street

Ninety-four years ago, Giovanni ‘John’ Sasso founded this restaurant on Bleecker Street. It’s amazing that nearly 100 years later, they are still making the same coal-fired pizza that has made them one of the most recognizable pizza places in the Village. I wanted to find out if this place really was as good as the lines outside the door suggest. So, I ordered the smallest pie they offer, a medium 14-inch John’s Original. The medium pie has aged mozzarella and tomato sauce on it, which means it’s as simple a pie as you can order at John’s.

The medium pizza came with six slices and it made my mouth water to see the cheese fall off the first slice. That coupled with some great, thin crust made for a great first taste. Each slice from John’s of Bleecker seemed to contain the right amount of cheese and sauce. Overall, I can’t knock anything about the experience, except the fact that I had to buy a pie instead of a slice. In terms of taste and presentation, I give their medium plain slice a PERFECT 5/5.

“Two Boots” West Village
101 Seventh Avenue south

The original Two Boots opened in NYC’s East Village in 1987 and the location on Seventh Avenue near Sheridan Square is a place that I would recommend checking out. Two Boots has six locations in New York City and New Jersey and four in Manhattan. Today, I will be reviewing the one in the West Village, which opened in 2019. It is known for its “thin crust, Cajun-inspired pizza.” When I heard that, I just had to try Two Boots.

Honestly, I was blown away. The Cajun seasoning was spicy but not REALLY spicy, which was good. The cornmeal crust was an interesting touch. I’d never had a slice of pizza made out of cornmeal crust and I thought it added a little flavor and a lot of texture to each slice.

As for the crust, it was even better than the crust that John’s of Bleecker had because it struck the right balance between thick and thin as well as texture. The experience I had with my first Two Boots slice didn’t stop at the crust. It continued on into the cheese and sauce which combined for a really pleasant taste. 

The only thing that I didn’t like about the Two Boots slice was that it didn’t look quite as neat and well put-together as the slices from John’s of Bleecker. For me taste is the most important thing when eating pizza, but presentation also matters. So, since I gave John’s of Bleecker a perfect score, Two Boots is a close runner-up with a 4.5/5.