RAZZA

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore! We’ve rounded up the top pizza joints we love throughout NJ. Grab a slice or a pie and bite into a crispy crust with hot, melted cheese and the toppings of your choosing. Buon appetito!

Anthony’s Family Restaurant & Pizzeria (Rockaway)

From Margherita and Sicilian pies to calzones and sandwiches, Anthony’s has all the Italian classics, and then some. While their enormous menu covers every possible craving, don’t miss the Cracker Pizza, which is Anthony’s spin on thin crust.

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza (Hoboken, Jersey City, New Brunswick)

First on your list should be to try the artichoke pizza, obviously, but other popular choices are Margherita, vodka and pepperoni. Something really unique is the Crab Pie, topped with crab sauce, fresh mozzarella and a surimi stuffing. If you’re up for some competition over the bridge, order the Staten Island Pizza, which is meatballs, tomato sauce, red onions and ricotta cheese.

Arturo’s Osteria & Pizzeria (Maplewood)

The focus here is on local ingredients and achieving the perfect brick oven crust—crispy on the outside, light and delicate on the inside (If your kids are likely to object to the darkened crust this produces, just ask to have your pizza cooked light). Order a side of meatballs, which come in a saucy bowl perfect for dipping your crust in, or one of the star pastas like wild mushroom ravioli. Due to Arturo’s popularity and no reservation policy, there are often long waits—try to get there early for dinner or go for lunch.

Brooklyn’s Coal Brick Oven Pizza (Hackensack, Ridgewood)

Brooklyn’s traditional style is one that made Frank Sinatra and other stars dub the original location “their place.” Now, owner John Grimaldi and family continue that legacy with fresh ingredients and homemade mozzarella.

Brooklyn Square (Englishtown, Jackson, Toms River)

If you know of L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Square’s Upside Down Pie is the closest thing in our home state! The sauce is topped with parmesan cheese and layered on top of the mozzarella cheese, making this Sicilian slice enviable. You can get it vodka-style or try the Johnny Pepe that’s heavy on the burrata and black pepper. The Honeymoon is another favorite, layered with imported pepperoni and honey. Anything else on the menu is a hit, too, from their salads to their entrees to their Nutella pizza for dessert.

Brother’s Pizza and Restaurant (East Brunswick, Old Bridge)

Brother’s is a family-run restaurant boasting local appeal and a history dating back to 1979. The pizza is made with fresh, in-house ingredients and has earned decades-long loyalty from customers who claim there’s no comparable joint in the area.

Che Pizza (Metuchen)

You’ll think you’re in Italy once you walk through the doors and speak with the owners. The must-have here is a version of salad pizza, though this is no ordinary lettuce: tomato brushetta, fresh mozzarella, arugula and shaved parmigiano are piled high on a pizza crust without any sauce on the Arugula special. Or, give the calamari (squid), tortellini pesto or chicken chipotle a try.

Coniglio’s Old Fashioned (Morristown)

The O.G. Pizzas here are called Josephina’s Grandma (mozzarella, sauce, basil and parmigiano Reggiano), the Upside Down Sicilian (cheese goes first, then sauce) and the Brooklyn Round. Other pizzas that can be made round or square include vodka stracciatella, meatball ricotta and white tomato garlic.

DeLorenzo’s Pizza (Hamilton)

After opening in 1938, Pasquale and Maria DeLorenzo, Italian immigrants living in Trenton, quickly discovered what would soon become their claim to fame—the Tomato Pie (think a saucier Sicilian slice). Decades later, the DeLorenzos are still churning out the same recipe from 50-year-old ovens.

Denino’s South Pizzeria (Brick Twp.)

Denino’s Pizzeria is a landmark in New York; they originally opened in 1937 as a full tavern on Richmond Avenue on Staten Island until Carlo Denino introduced pizza in 1951. Since then, Denino’s Pizzeria and Tavern has been renowned for its pizza pies and Italian dinner platters. They continue to use their family recipes for chicken parmigiana, meatballs and sausage and over the years added their own versions of wings, scungilli and hero sandwiches. When it comes to piping hot pizza out of the oven, the white pie with garlic (you can add ricotta or not) cannot be beat. Add some broccoli or olives to make it even more delicious. If you’re a traditionalist, the regular tomato sauce thin crust pizza is just as good, too.

Dimaios (Berkeley Heights)

Former Food Network Kitchen member and Emeril Live guest Sal Passalacqua brought his culinary expertise to the pizza-loving state years ago as the chef and owner of Dimaios. Split into two—the formal, sit-down Dimaio Cucina and the on-the-go UpperCrust Pizza—Dimaios offers both Italian cuisine and fresh pies. Made with its famous tomato sauce, classic pies like the Bianco and Margherita are must-orders, as are the signature Rigatoni and Homemade Sausage.

Famous Alfonso’s (Somerville)

Nestled in the heart of historic Downtown Somerville, this family restaurant has been a local staple since Aniello Ianniello brought his authentic Neapolitan recipes to Jersey in 1978. The family-sized portions, complimentary salad and focaccia bread and half-priced Mondays make this a fan fave.

Frank & Son Pizzeria (Parsippany)

At Frank & Son, making Jersey’s best pizza is a family affair. For more than 40 years, four generations have kept this neighborhood spot on the map because of their Sicilian pie.

Frank’s Pizza & More (Flanders)

From classic pies to more unique combinations (think Bruschetta and Chicken Francese), it’s no wonder everyone loves this place. With pizza crust that’s always thick and never doughy, you’re sure to be their newest biggest fan.

Gennaro’s Italian Restaurant & Pizzeria (Westfield)

Gennaro’s has been spinning pies for two delicious decades, giving New York pizza a run for its money. Try the specialty pies like baked ziti and BBQ chicken or any one of the non-pizza offerings, like hot subs, pasta, generously stuffed calzones and fresh seafood.

Jersey Pizza Boys (Avenel)

The Iselin Fair Pizza starts out with fried dough, so you’ll think you’re eating a version of a zeppole. If you love fried calamari, try it atop a pizza crust with a squeeze of lemon. Another hit is the cheese calzone which is stuffed with sausage, Juanita peppers, stracciatella cheese and fresh basil.

Kinchley’s Tavern (Ramsey)

Kinchley’s pies, drinks and atmosphere are the catch here. Its famous pizza hails from a recipe that’s almost 80 years old!

Klee’s Bar & Grill (Seaside Heights)

You may not necessarily think of a pub as the perfect spot for pizza, but patrons gravitate toward their thin crust style. Try The Dupont with olive oil, broccoli, spinach, mozzarella and ricotta; The Vegetarian Pie with mushrooms, red onions, garlic, spinach, roasted red peppers and mozzarella; or the Klee’s Special with fresh mushrooms, peppers, onions, sausage and anchovies.

Manco & Manco (Ocean City and Somers Point)

If you’re in search of pizza with a side of entertainment, head to the Ocean City Boardwalk. Chefs make each pizza in front of your eyes from a ’50s-style open kitchen, complete with twirling dough and showering cheese. And, speaking of cheese, the White Pizza is a Manco & Manco classic that’ll make you question why pizza ever had sauce in the first place.

Nicola Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant (Lambertville)

Nicola Pizzeria is Lambertville’s oldest family-owned restaurant, being established for more than 50 years. Give the chicken bacon ranch pie a try. The Nicola’s Special has pepperoni, sausage, mushroom, green peppers and onions. The BLT gourmet pizza has bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo. The Hawaiian Sunset is a white pizza with ham, pineapple and ricotta. The Mexican is topped with beef, hot peppers, bacon and raw onions.

Nonna’s Italian Restaurant (Florham Park)

This popular spot has a huge menu of pizza options, starting with the choice of a Sicilian (round) or a Neapolitan (square) pie, onto which more than 20 toppings can be added. There’s also a selection of specialty pies like the popular Nonna’s Pizza, which is from “Grandma’s own special recipe” starring an extra thin crust pan pizza layered with mozzarella and San Marzano tomato sauce. With a lunch rush and plenty of customers at dinner, this resto can get crowded, so don’t be surprised if you have to wait to be seated or if it takes more than a few minutes to find a space in the parking lot.

PaPa’s Tomato Pies (Robbinsville)

Since 1912 this is a local mainstay, drawing pizza lovers from all around the state. It’s home to the Mustard Pie, a local delicacy that layers spicy brown mustard between the crust and the cheese, topped with tomato and any other toppings you desire. Some people love it, some people don’t understand it: why don’t you be the judge?

Patsy’s Tavern (Paterson)

If you’re one of those people who believe all pizza is the same, you clearly haven’t been to Patsy’s. For almost 85 ears, it’s been its rustic, simple and unforgettable pies that put this little pizzeria on the map. Don’t miss the rice balls and broccoli rabe.

Pete and Elda’s Bar / Carmen’s Pizzeria (Neptune City)

Aside from loving the thin crust pizza that has been around for more than 50 years, the draw here is the Whole Pie Eater’s Club. The rules are simple: finish an entire XXL Pie in one sitting, by yourself, and win a T-shirt. The pies are 18 inches in diameter, making each slice almost a foot long!

Pizzaiolo (Midland Park)

Owner Nino Mazzola achieved near instant fame through his delicious Sicilian pies. Family owned and operated, the hearty slices and laid-back atmosphere are what keep customers coming back for more.

Pizza One (Haskell and Wayne)

Pizza One leaves its customers raving about how good its pizza is, specifically mentioning how the quality is enough to rival famous NY pizza style chains. Try some of their specialty pizzas like Wayne’s favorite, an eggplant salad pie, or the penne a la vodka.

Razza Pizza Artigianale (Jersey City)

Razza’s is a heavily Italian-inspired restaurant headed by Dan Richer, the owner, chef and Matawan native. Richer attended Rutgers University for his bachelor’s, then skipped his graduation ceremony to fly to Italy. This is where he found his pizza-making inspo and passion, which helped him open his restaurant in 2007. With fresh ingredients and a wood-burning stove, you’re guaranteed to grab a slice worthy of Italy.

Sally Boy’s (Red Bank)

Sally Boy’s just opened in Red Bank, bringing its pizza and Italian specialties to a very popular food scene. What’s special are there traditional pies cooked in a brick oven, or their Neighborhood Pie that is cooked in a Ferrari red electric oven imported from Italy. There are Sicilian and white pie options as well. Or, get a roll, monster calzone or sub.

Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza (Elizabeth)

Since 1950, three generations of fathers and sons at Santillo’s have been making pizza in a huge antique oven that’s more than a century old. Owner Al Santillo was born into the pizza business and has been working at the restaurant since he was 5 years old. “We still use the original recipe that my grandfather used and no one else can replicate it,” he says. The traditional, thin crust Sicilian pizza, as well as the fresh baked bread, are top notch. The restaurant is take-out only but is affiliated with several taverns in the area that allow you to bring in their pizza. The entrance is located on the side of building down a driveway—a little hidden, but worth it if you’re on a mission to find Jersey’s best pizza.

Sciortino’s Restaurant and Pizza (Perth Amboy)

They are a local spot for those who enjoy brick oven pizza. Get the traditional toppings or opt for anchovies, eggplant, just garlic, cheesesteak or a white pie with prosciutto.

Star Tavern World Famous Pizzeria (Orange)

For the past 65 years, Star Tavern has been a hub for two things: family dinner and great pizza. Its famous crispy, thin crust pizza is made in front of you from an open kitchen, giving kids a dough-flipping pre-dinner show. And if that doesn’t quite hold your attention, the arcade will!

Tino’s Artisan Pizza Co. (Jersey City, Kingston, Madison, Montclair, Ocean Grove)

Osteria Procaccini was originally founded in 1999 in Kingston. The quaint hotspot rebranded to Tino’s after the founder, Tino Procaccini, was convinced by his customers to honor the person who made it all happen. They pride themselves on cooking homestyle food with fresh, organic ingredients cooked in a terra cotta oven. The pizzette come in a 12-inch Roman flatbread, 11-inch gluten-free or 11-inch gluten-free cauliflower. Start with a base of red or white and then choose amongst eggplant, meatballs, truffles, cremini mushrooms or make-your-own.

Tony Boloney’s (Atlantic City, Hoboken, Jersey City, Long Branch, Margate)

There are dozens and dozens of unique and creative items on the pizza menu. The tagline is: Indecisive folks beware! Some of the crazier concoctions are Punkin’ Butta, with truffle pumpkin sauce, dry aged mozzarella, burrata, balsamic honey and toasted pumpkin seeds; Jewish Cowboy with 8-hour smoked brisket, Passover sauce, Babushka beet horseradish, smoked mozzarella and parsley; Mexi-Corn Husker with roasted corn, Mexican string cheese, pickled jalapeno crema, Oaxacan chilis, cilantro and queso cotija; and Tikka with a sesame crust, tikka masala, dry aged mozzarella, paneer, jalapeno, green and tamarind chutney and cilantro.

Uproot Restaurant (Warren)

This is an upscale restaurant, and their pizza matches the ambiance. There is a selection of three pies that are baked in a woodstone oven and made with housemade mozzarella, local New Jersey tomatoes and 100% U.S. organic non-GMO flour. The Margherita Classico has mozzarella, smoked tomato jam, basil puree and roasted garlic tomatoes. The Goat Cheese & Bacon pie has caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon, rosemary, parmesan, sour cream and olive oil. The Truffle Champignon is topped with a saute of mixed mushrooms, caramelized onions, truffle studded cheese, truffle salt, mozzarella, arugula, lemon honey truffle dressing, and thyme.

Villa Barone (Collingswood)

In a town where the competition is high, Villa Barone is a standout. Its wood-fired brick oven, imported ingredients, homemade pasta and authentic Napoletana slices are all big parts of the draw. The made-from-scratch bread tastes as good as it smells, and there’s a variety of pizza, flatbread and panini on the regular menu, plus a reasonably priced children’s menu.

Vinny’s Pizza & Pasta (Cranford)

Vinny’s Pizza & Pasta isn’t owner and chef Vinny Savinelli’s first rodeo. In fact, it’s his third. After growing up in his father’s restaurant and owning two pizzerias before this one, he’s got pizza-making down to an art, especially the Grandma pies, made with homemade sauce and crispy crust.

 

  • Murphy Moroney, Daniel Ortiz and Jennifer Amato contributed to this story.

 

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