In 2018, the dating app Tinder unrolled the “Year in Swipe” report providing statistics on the most popular songs, tv shows, and foods mentioned in its users’ profiles. In this report, Tinder revealed that pizza was the number one, most universally important food to its user base. With that in mind, we at the Slice put together the most comprehensive pizza-themed dating guide in New York City. We can’t guarantee your date will be great, but the pizza will be excellent!
Vezzo (178 Lexington Ave): Serving a wide array of thin crust pizzas, this Murray hill restaurant has a modern décor yet feels quite homey with booth lined, exposed brick walls. A great place for a first date that won’t have you feeling too bloated from too much bread.
San Matteo (1739 2nd Ave): This little upper east side gem might be a tight squeeze, but the wood fired Napolitana pies here are a master class in pizza. Your date will be so impressed you know about this place, especially when the wait staff start speaking to you in Italian. And especially because it might be the best pizza you have all year.
Emily (35 Downing St): This cozy west village restaurant serves up pizza Detroit style, which has a thicker crust similar to Sicilian. Emily’s is perfect for a date on a cold rainy day when you want to feel warm and snuggly. Check out a Jazz show at Smalls or one of the many other clubs in the village to really bring home the charm of your date.
Rubirosa (235 Mulberry St): This Lower east side pizzeria is known for their super instagrammable pies. This is that pizza place that your date has been talking about going to for months, but never makes it happen. Well now YOU are making it happen, and they are going to be super impressed. Accompany your pizza with a trip to the nearby New Museum for an extra special day of trippy contemporary art (open late on Thursdays with pay what you wish).
Ops (346 Himrod St): While Ops may be a little out of the way for some, this Bushwick restaurant is baking pizzas that are worth travelling for. The restaurant is wonderfully decorated, and serves up delicate pizzas made with a unique dough and homemade sauce. You might just end up ordering two dinners when you come here, it is that good. Come out here on a Friday night for a 3rd or 4th date, and afterwards check out the local bar scene for an unforgettable time.
Posto (310 2nd Ave): This Gramercy thin crust pizza shop is a very rustic and warm spot for a delicious pizza. The lovely atmosphere of this restaurant is brought to perfection only by its pizzas, with options to satisfy everyone from meat lovers to salad fanatics. Afterwards, you can try to sneak into Gramercy Park for a romantic stroll, but don’t get stuck!
B Side Pizza (370 W 51st St): As if having some of the best pizza in Midtown wasn’t enough, B Side also serves wine on tap and has a great selection of craft beers. The lovely, sleek wood and creative lighting in B Side are the perfect backdrop for your romantic evening. With its proximity to Broadway theaters this is also an excellent dinner to accompany a show! Is Mystic Pizza still on Broadway?
Milkflower Pizza (34-12 31st Ave, Astoria): Not only does Milkflower make exceptional wood fired, napolitana pizzas. They also employ the best pizza pun makers in the business. Take your date here for some excellent and inventive pizzas such as the Wu-Tang Clam or the Chardie Sheen (seriously does Bob Belcher work here?) that they’ll be dreaming about for the rest of the week. Hopefully they’ll dream about you too, but let’s be real pizza is the real star. If you really want to impress you can take your date down the street to the Museum of the Moving Image, a wonderful museum all about film.
Double Zero (65 2nd Ave): Is your date Vegan? Are you Vegan? If you’ve answered yes to one or both of these questions, then maybe you have thought that pizza is off the table. Well we’re here to tell you that Double Zero will completely change everything you think about Vegan Pizza. This east village restaurant has successfully made a straight up delicious pizza pie, and you will barely notice it isn’t the real thing. Everything they serve here is inventive, and looks and tastes delicious. Double Zero will change your mind about vegans forever.
Pizzeria Sirenetta (568 Amsterdam Ave): This Upper West Side eatery is serving up delicious pizzas in a sleek, modern space that will get your date started the right way (especially if you make happy hour, they have an excellent happy hour). The dough on these pizzas is the standout, chewy yet nice and smoky from the brick oven in the kitchen. They really do everything well here, with fantastic pastas and lots of delicious appetizers. Pizzeria Sirenetta is a slam dunk of a pizza date.
Sometimes a dinner date is not really going to cut it, and at some point, in a blossoming or an established relationship you want to fill a whole day. In that case, check out the following.
Pizza and brewery tour of Bushwick and Williamsburg should be your go-to. These two neighborhoods are are also home to some of New York’s best breweries, which happen to be conveniently located near some of Brooklyn’s best pizzerias. Take your date out to sample the beers at Interboro, KCBC, and Grimm, whose tap rooms are all located within walking distance of one another. In between brewery stops, pick up pies from the best dough slingers in the area including Best Pizza (33 Havemeyer St), L’industrie (254 S 2nd St), and Roberta’s (261 Moore St).
Take a day trip to New Haven to eat amazing coal fired pizza: New Haven, Connecticut is quite the hot bed for pizza, and just a 2-hour train ride from midtown Manhattan on Metro North Railroad. The small New England town is home to a handful of classic, multi-generational pizzerias that are renowned among the food industry. You may have caught one of these pizzerias, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napolitana, in David Chang’s Netflix documentary series, Ugly Delicious. Spend a day here exploring the historic town and trying incredible pizzas from Frank Pepe, Modern Apizza, Sally’s Apizza, or one of the many other awesome pizzerias that New Haven has to offer.
Take a pizza making class at Bruno’s Pizza (204 E 13th St): This east village pizzeria mills its own flour, and is known for their funky, delicious pizza creations (got to try the fermented tomato pizza). You can also take pizza making classes here offered in the evenings. Suggest a pizza making class to your date, because there is nothing more impressive than being able to make homemade pizza from scratch.
Hit the beach to Coney Island and enjoy some old school pizza: Brooklyn’s Coney Island is a world-famous beach, home to a classic theme park, the New York Aquarium, and two of New York’s oldest and best pizzerias. Tottono’s (1524 Neptune Ave) and L&B Spumoni Gardens (2725 86th St, Brooklyn) have been serving pizza for a combined 175 years! These pizzerias are essential to telling the history of pizza in New York City, and your date will be insanely impressed by your knowledge of history and your pizza savviness when you take them here.
Rosa’s Pizza picnic in Socrates sculpture park: Rosa’s pizza (31-02 21st St, Astoria) is the hidden gem of Queens. They make an incredible Sicilian pie and other specialty pizzas such as ravioli and tortellini pies. They make all their sauce in house and use fresh cheese, Rosa’s is a must for your date. While their original location in Maspeth, Rosa’s recently opened a store in Astoria that is a short walk from the Socrates Sculpture Park. A jewel of the wonderful Queens neighborhood, the park is full of wonderful works by internationally renowned artists. Grab some pizza to go on a nice afternoon and head here for a date that will impress.
A romantic day On the Waterfront: The classic Marlon Brando film (seriously this is one of the greatest movies ever made, it won eight Oscars, go watch it) set on the docks of Red Hook, Brooklyn is the inspiration of our last entry. Ok, technically On the Waterfront was filmed in Hoboken, but let’s be real you are not going to go there. Red Hook is the perfect destination for a romantic, pizza filled day. The historic neighborhood is home to Pizza Moto (338 Hamilton Ave) a lovely little restaurant dedicated to the art of pizza making. There is a pretty cool story behind this location, including the discovery of a forgotten bakery oven from the late 19th century that was restored by the owners. Come here for a lunch or early dinner and spend some time checking out everything Red Hook has to offer, including the Red Hook Winery, Widow Jane Distillery (they also make chocolate on site), and a beautiful old factory turned art gallery in Pioneer Works. I’m not even scratching the surface of everything Red Hook has to offer, check it out.
— Alexander Emmanuelli