For whatever reason, New Yorkers can't seem to get enough of the official pizza of Naples, Italy. I don't use the phrase lightly -- there is an actual trade organization that certifies pies as being true Naples-style pizza. Thin, light, and with a wood-fired crust that can barely support sauce, this item has taken the city by storm. Here are the very best of them.
For my money, this was always the best of the coal-oven pantheon pizzas, a thinner, lighter, more restrained pie than the big thick pies produced by John's, et. al. The Coney Island location makes it special too; as with Midwood's Di Fara, the trip makes you appreciate the experience even more.
Everyone (but me) seems to love this mom-friendly Park Slope pizza, whose owners have come to personify the enlightened, all-natural cooking of the "New Brooklyn Cooking." The pizza is nothing special, but many of the other dishes are. I guess.
Luzzo's (formerly Zito's East) is a unique hybrid pizza: it's cooked and composed in the Napoletana style, with thin crust and fresh mozzarella and wood fire, but in a 120 year old coal oven that provides far more heat than any wood oven could. The result is spectacular, and criminally underrated.
A sprawling, citadel-like space in the farthest reaches of Brooklyn, this bushwick pizzeria has grown into one of the most adventurous and exciting restaurants in New York City.
Widely regarded as the best of that large body of ultra-artisanal pizzerias dedicated to the Napoletana style of small, wood-fired pies, Motorino is great (if you like that style.)
Rogue restaurateur Donatella Arpaia turns her hand to vera pizza napoletana and succeeded with a really outstanding Chelsea pizzeria centered on a reconstructed oven worthy of the Italian masters.
Roberto Caporuscio, the acclaimed force behind Keste, brought his mentor to New York to demonstrate the power of his wood-fired and then fried pizza. It sounds crazy, but it is in fact amazing.
There's a large body of opinion that holds that Keste is the best and most accomplished of the city's Napoletana-style pies; certainly the place's flawlessly charred crusts and delicate toppings do nothing to disprove it, and patron Roberto Caporuscio is after all the president of the US pizza napoletana association.
Sottocasa was founded by a Keste alumni, and the commitment to the Naples style is there for all to see. Whether it lives up to its parent is up for you to decide, but you can definitely see the family resemblance.