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Ribalta (Union Square)
Ribalta has the largest dining area of any of the pizzerias in this list and is also the most conveniently located. Just a couple blocks south of Union Square (the place KRS-One raps about in “The Bridge Is Over”), Ribalta is a very short walk from seven different subway lines. If you show up during a soccer game, the staff may be a bit preoccupied, but the pizza is worth the wait.
They also have a location in Atlanta (you know, the place where people from the northeast go for more space/affordable housing/no snow). If you’re one of those people who have trouble deciding between nutella pizza and tiramisu for dessert, try the babamisu!
Luzzo’s (1 Av)
Luzzo’s has the most “Italian” vibe in this list. Your server will rarely speak perfect English and non-Italian speakers will not understand the music. In addition to being the priciest on this list, Luzzo’s is also the only place where you can look up at the ceiling and see an upside down wooden chair. Hey, it’s one of the most competitive markets in the world, so anything to stand out! They also have a location on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights.
Motorino (1 Av)
Motorino started out near the Williamsburg Bridge in Brooklyn and has since branched out to Manila, Hong Kong and the East Village. While most of the other places in this list have a more European feel, Motorino and Roberta’s are pure urban America. Anyone who grew up on punk rock and/or watching MTV will enjoy their visit here. Although there’s no jukebox, the music you hear at Motorino will remind you of the neighborhood pizza parlor you frequented in the 1980s.
Fornino (Bedford Av)
They say you can get anything in New York, but only Fornino has the Al Roker pizza. Just one stop from Manhattan on the L train and easily accessible by East River Ferry, there’s no excuse for not coming to this part of Williamsburg. It also doesn’t hurt that Artists and Fleas is just a few blocks away. If you’re looking to splurge, try the tartufo pizza at $35 for an individual, but be sure to save room for the lemon olive oil cake (topped with strawberry sorbet).
Forcella (Lorimer St)
Although Forcella has other locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, only the Lorimer Street location offers fried pizza (montanara). It’s pretty famous in Williamsburg. They also have truffle fries and panna cotta on the menu.
Roberta’s (Morgan Av)
Your walk from the Morgan Av station to Roberta’s will be like no other in this list. Be prepared for graffiti comparable to The Get Down (which you should start watching on Netflix if you haven’t already). Part old warehouse district, part artist community, this section between East Williamsburg and Bushwick is in a transition phase but still has a pre-Giuliani New York vibe. With creative pie names like “Beastmaster” and “Speckenwolf,” tables are hard to come by at Roberta’s. If you’re not prepared to wait, you can buy their frozen pizzas at Whole Foods.