New Jerseyans will argue about anything. Taylor Ham or Pork Roll? How about the age-old “Does Central Jersey even exist?” In the early days of the US, there was even a feud amongst East and West New Jerseyans. Arguing is in our blood—plain and simple. However, there is one topic that always brings NJ together and it happens to be one of objective truth: New Jersey has the best pizza in the world. Full stop.
To celebrate what is an absolute fact, we put together a list of some of New Jersey’s most sought-after pizzas—traditional slice shops, thin-crust bar pies, upside-down Sicilian pizzas, Trenton tomato pies, Detroit-style pizza and much, much more. These are 40 of the best pizzas in New Jersey.
The Best Pizza in New Jersey
It’s worth noting that NJ is loaded with exceptional pizza. Your average slice of plain pizza from a New Jersey pizzeria will beat out most pizzas in the rest of the US (we must admit that Connecticut and New York will win the battle sometimes). There are dozens of styles covered within our 8,722 square miles of land and sub-styles within those styles and sub-sub-styles within those. Pizza is a blank canvas and New Jersey has seemingly figured it out.
This list is not the end-all-be-all for NJ pizza and narrowing it down to these 40 was no easy feat. But, still, it serves as a decent outline for how great of a pizza state New Jersey is. We might miss your favorites, you might want to write an angry comment for leaving out your local spot (please do!), but at the end of the day, it all comes back to one thing: No one can beat the combined variety, quality and quantity of New Jersey pizza.
So, without further ado: If you’re looking for the best pizza in New Jersey, look no further.
Coniglio’s Old Fashioned
11 South St, Morristown, NJ 07960
Coniglio’s is still the new kid on the pizza block, being that they opened their doors just last year. However, in that short time, owner and pizzaiolo Nino Coniglio has proven that his pizza can hang with the big dogs. What sets Coniglio’s apart from the rest is a truly remarkable dough structure, achieved only by obsessive levels of expertise.
Patsy’s Tavern & Restaurant
72 7th Ave, Paterson, NJ 07524
Patsy’s Tavern has long been considered one of the great pizzas in New Jersey. Since 1931, regulars have flocked to the Paterson tavern for ice-cold beer, Italian-American classics and, of course, their famous bar pizza with its signature crimped edge.
620 Bay Ave, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742
Rosie’s is one of those pizzerias that combines contemporary and old-school techniques. What this gets you is a pizza that is somewhere between NY-style and Neapolitan. The dough is what most rave about, but the general ingredients used deserve praise, too. Don’t look past the square pie, either.
304 Union Blvd, Totowa, NJ 07512
It’s all about the square pie at this Union Boulevard pizzeria. Dominick’s pizza style is a true look at the pizza of yesterday, best described as old-school with its square stature, rich tomato sauce and dusting of Pecorino Romano cheese. There must be something in the Pecorino because Dominick’s has garnered a true cult following in recent years.
Aquila Pizza Al Forno
7A Paterson Ave, Little Falls, NJ 07424
Aquila serves what I like to call Neapolitan-ish pizza. That’s because while the wood-fired oven and style of pizza would indicate that it is Neapolitan, pizzaiolo Jerry Arcieri’s use of handmade mozzarella and New Jersey tomatoes disqualifies it from being referred to as DOP Neapolitan. The intimate restaurant, with its small menu, offers one of the best pizza-eating experiences in the entire state.
400 High St, City of Orange, NJ 07050
A Star pizza, scampi wings and a creamy red birch beer is my death-row meal—not that I plan on that anytime soon. Star Tavern is a part of Orange and surrounding Essex County’s dining fabric. It’s one of the first places I send visitors to get a taste of what New Jersey truly is. The cheese spreads to the edges and caramelizes, giving you a lacy, salty crust.
TIP: Order it well-done.
Nancy’s Towne House
1453 Main St, Rahway, NJ 07065
Walking into Nancy’s is like walking back in time 40 years. The Rahway tavern features Italian-American staples, cold beer and some truly delicious thin-crust pizza. It’s one of those pizzas that makes you feel like you’re in GoodFellas when you sit down to eat it at their red-checkered tables.
Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza
639 S Broad St, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
If you’re into pizza beyond a surface level, you’ve probably heard of Santillo’s in Elizabeth. Owner Al Santillo bakes old-school pizzas in his century-old bread oven. The menu is dotted with eras rather than names. “1940,” “1964,” and so on, meaning the pie will emulate a pizza from that timeframe. Not sure what to get? Describe to Al how you like your pizza and he’ll handle the rest.
DeLucia’s Brick Oven Pizza
3 1st Ave, Raritan, NJ 08869
Another 100-year-old bread oven, another legendary pizza. DeLucia’s pizzas are well-done and feature what might be the best pizza sauce in the entire state. DeLucia’s features a unique style of pizza baking where they start a fire with coals in the morning, put it out, and allow the oven to remain hot by residual heat throughout the rest of the day. Plan out your visit and call ahead. They sell out daily.
Pizza Town, USA
111 95 route 46 west, Elmwood Park, NJ 07407
Petition to rename Elmwood Park to Pizza Town, because the legendary slice shop has come to define the Bergen County town. The long-running pizza shop is known for their cheese pizza, which is slightly well-done, and light on the cheese. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better plain slice.
De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies
2350 NJ-33, Robbinsville Twp, NJ 08691
“It’s not pizza; it’s tomato pie!” That is what a Trentonian might tell you. Trenton-style tomato pie differs heavily from Philly-style tomato pie, which is square, served cold and leaves out mozzarella. De Lorenzo’s features a thin, crunchy crust with low-moisture mozzarella and splatters of crushed plum tomatoes. Whatever you want to call it, this style has made a resurgence in the last couple of years.
Papa’s Tomato Pies
19 Main St, Robbinsville Twp, NJ 08691
Papa’s is down the street from DeLos, but it actually opened decades prior. Papa’s tomato pie features splatters of sauce on the top and cheese on the bottom, but many diehard fans go there for one thing: The mustard pie. Yes, mustard. This features a thin smear of Gulden’s spicy brown on the dough. Trust me, don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
9 S Black Horse Pike, Blackwood, NJ 08012
The only thing better than the design of this colorfully-decorated pizzeria is, well, the pizza. Another Trenton-style spot, Holy Tomato, serves a thin and crisp pie, laden with plenty of flavorful tomato and cheese. They cut the pie in strips rather than traditional slices. If you like dough with some crunch, here’s your spot.
8 Main St, Little Falls, NJ 07424
Mainline Pizzeria is your classic NJ slice shop. The store, which is set in a retired cable-car diner, is best known for the cheese pizza. Cooked on a screen in a deck oven, with a light bake and a healthy dose of shredded mozzarella, Mainline serves what is essentially your classic New Jersey slice. And it’s deeply nostalgic as such.
550 Cookman Ave #108, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
Talula’s is the first place I send anyone that is heading to Asbury Park. The brick-oven pizzeria features a list of whimsical pies and enticing cocktails. In a world that is filled with some combination of pizza, cured meat and spicy honey, Talula’s contribution to the trend, the Beekeeper’s Lament, might just be my favorite. The pizza comes topped with their signature four-hour tomato sauce, hot Calabrian soppressata, fresh mozzarella and local honey.
230 Westwood Ave, Long Branch, NJ 07740
This shore-side pizzeria is located on the first floor of a residential building, and the pizza tastes just as homey as the atmosphere. Nunzio’s dishes out old-school round pies that are liberally sauced and baked crisp. If you’re looking for a throwback experience from start to finish, Nunzio’s is your spot.
15 Newark Way, Maplewood, NJ 07040
Artie’s is still, somehow, a hidden gem. The Maplewood pizzeria recently moved to a bigger space, employing a liquor license and bakery in the process. The Neapolitan-style pizzas are delicious and feature plenty of playful toppings and combinations. Don’t skip the bread or pasta, either.
The Original Mr. Bruno’s Pizzeria & Restaurant
439 Valley Brook Ave, Lyndhurst, NJ 07071
Bruno’s is a part of my blood. My father went there the day it opened when Mr. Bruno himself handed out free slices of pizza. The one thing to know about this Lyndhurst staple is that it’s all about the Sicilian pizza. Bruno’s square comes upside down, with slices of low-moisture mozzarella on the bottom and a robust sauce on top.
Prima Pizza Kitchen
131 N Gaston Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876
Prima Pizza Kitchen is another one of those places where you can instantly tell that it is run by a pizza obsessive. The plain pie is one of the greats, but many live and die by the Champlain Pizza—an upside-down round pie featuring Grande Mozzarella, robust marinara sauce, basil and a dusting of Parmigiano.
177 NJ-37, Toms River, NJ 08755
Slice House is the youngest entry on the list, but in just a few months of business, the Toms River pizzeria has firmly cemented itself among the best. They feature several different styles of pizza on their well-rounded menu, from thick squares to thin-crust edge pies. Grab a slice there or a full pie to go—either option is bound to please.
586 Franklin Turnpike, Ramsey, NJ 07446
Another tavern—get used to it. Kinchley’s is one of my favorite places to eat in the world. Their thin-crust pizzas are legendary for good reason, with a flavorful sauce and cracker-like crust. What’s even better than their classic pizza is the fra-diavolo, which I like to get with pepperoni and enjoy alongside an ice-cold beer or birch beer.
339 Witherspoon St, Princeton, NJ 08542
Princeton isn’t just known for having the top-rated college in the nation, the Mercer County city has some famous pizza, too. Conte’s thin-crust bar pies are cooked crispy and come with a cracker-like crust that is truly unique. Keep in mind the pepperoni cups and chars, if that’s something that matters to you…
Maruca’s Tomato Pies
601 Ocean Terrace, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751
We had to include a boardwalk slice. This whimsically sauced pizza is somewhat of a Jersey Shore staple. Maruca’s dishes out a standard boardwalk-style slice with a touch of tomato pie magic. Rather than thinly spread or dolloped, tomato sauce is swirled from the center of the pizza to the perimeter, creating a hypnotizing pizza pie.
Bricco Coal Fired Pizza
128 Haddon Ave, Haddon Township, NJ 08108
These coal-fired pies are a must-try when driving through Camden County. The crust has plenty of chew and flavorful char to complement the many pies that Bricco has to offer. My advice? When you have a combo of crust, sauce and cheese that is as good as Bricco, it’s hard to go wrong with a Margherita. But I won’t blame you for getting the corn pie when it’s in season.
275/277 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ 07302
We’d be remiss to leave out what the New York Times once named “the best pizza in New York.” Owner Dan Richer’s legendary pizzeria specializes in quick-fired, Neapolitan-ish pizza. We love their Jersey Margherita in the summertime, which utilizes Jersey-grown tomatoes and Jersey-made cheese.
Brick + Dough
110 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042
What do you get when you combine the suppleness of Neapolitan dough with a list of toppings that break all the rules? Well, you get New Jersey’s hippest pizzeria. Brick + Dough has a large selection of unique and classic quick-fired pizzas. The B+D dough is the real star, though, which is soft with a defined chew, zero flop and a generous amount of leoparding. The gluten-free Detroit pie is also the best gluten-free pizza in the state and it’s not particularly close.
Kate & Al’s Pizza
2919 US-206 #104, Columbus, NJ 08022
The Columbus Farmers Market has one of the best produce selections you’ll find in the state, but the real reason to head to the market is for Kate & Al’s. These old-school, upside-down square pies are the perfect lunch companion to a day at the market. The crust is thicker with an open crumb and great chew. Kate & Al’s goes heavy on the sauce—just the way the regulars like it.
Blue Steel Pizza Company
285U, 285 Glenwood Ave, Bloomfield, NJ 07003
Detroit-style pizza in New Jersey? Why not? Blue Steel Pizza Co. stays dishing out creative pizzas, featuring a square shape and crispy cheese edge. Try the ricotta and sausage pie, which comes loaded with vodka sauce, brick cheese, sausage, whipped ricotta and a tangy cherry pepper relish.
Back Door Pizza
1438 Marlton Pike East, Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
Behind the Farm and Fisherman Tavern in Cherry Hill is an unassuming door plastered with “1438 FARM” and a small sign reading “Back Door Pizza” next to it. The hard-to-find spot sells artisanal pizzas with plenty of fun toppings. I suggest a plain pie or the Broccoli Woccoli, which is topped with broccoli, mozzarella, garlic crema, tomato sauce dollops, pepper jam and Pecorino.
276 E Main St, Denville, NJ 07834
My favorite pizzaiolo’s favorite pizza is Casa D’Pizza (that’s a mouthful), so it was a lock for this list from the get-go. If you are set on only getting one pizza, then it has to be the Brooklyn, but I wouldn’t look past their other styles either. Casa puts out a thin-crust pizza that can comfortably hang with the best bar pies.
Ava’s Kitchen & Bar
1 N 21st St, Kenilworth, NJ 07033
In addition to one of the best cocktail bars in New Jersey, Ava’s Kitchen is slinging some truly artisan pizzas out of their burning-hot brick oven. The toppings are great, but it’s the dough that is something of a miracle, which chars heavy but retains a light and airy structure. Ava’s dough is naturally fermented and uses fresh, stoneground flour from NY state—something that fits well with their pizza motto: “Say no to shit flour.”
564 Franklin Ave, Nutley, NJ 07110
Nutley has a lot of pizza, but Ralph’s is the oldest. The long-standing spot is famous for two distinct styles: Thin or Thick. The way it usually goes is that fans of one are beholden to that style and refuse the other. I prefer the thin, personally, which is structured somewhere between a bar pie and a NY-style slice. The sauce is nice and sweet, setting this pie apart from the rest of Nutley in my eyes.
Tony’s Baltimore Grill
2800 Atlantic Ave, Atlantic City, NJ 08401
Atlantic City has changed a lot in the last 100 years, but not Tony’s. The AC red sauce joint has an iconic facade with its old-school signage and plenty of neon. That timeless design spreads to the interior, too. Try a plain pizza or a clams casino pizza. Long night playing blackjack? Tony’s serves food until 3:00 a.m. on the weekends. Stay a while after your pie, Tony’s bar stays open 24/7.
Pete & Elda’s Bar
96 Woodland Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753
For Neptune City locals, it’s all about Pete & Elda’s when it comes to thin-crust pizza. The bar was made famous in part due to their “Whole Pie Eater’s Club,” which challenges participants to finish an entire XXL bar pie in 30 minutes or less. If completed, you will receive an exclusive Pete & Elda’s shirt. Designs change often, so each t-shirt is a limited item.
Vinnie’s Pan Pizza
61 Main St, Millburn, NJ 07041
Take a little piece of each legendary thin-crust pizza joint in New Jersey, combine them, and you are left with Vinnie’s—the best thin-crust pizza in the state. It’s well-done, and the lacy cheese edge is irresistible. I like to get pepperoni at Vinnie’s, which is cut in strips rather than rounds. They crisp up nicely and flavor the entirety of the bar pie.
Lodi Pizza Restaurant
19 US-46, Lodi, NJ 07644
I’m not sure what’s better at Lodi Pizza, the food or the vibe. Signed Sopranos posters, orange booths and a no-frills staff are just the preface to what is one of my favorite pizzas. The pie is saucy and cheesy. What sets Lodi Pizza apart is that they bake in a pan, but I wouldn’t define this as “pan pizza.” Think normal thickness and dressed like a traditional NY-style pizza, but the pan-cook leads to a distinguishable, perforated undercarriage.
Gervasio Italian Family Restaurant
95 Saddle Way, Crosswicks, NJ 08515
It’s all about saucy Trenton tomato pies at Gervasios, which has been serving the niche style of pizza since 1969. The cozy pizzeria also serves a pretty killer grandma pie, if that’s more your style. My choice? Get both.
1503 Long Beach Blvd, Surf City, NJ 08008
LBI is one of the most beautiful places in New Jersey. For years, the same praise couldn’t be made for the food scene, but that is luckily changing. BLVD Pizza brings a breath of fresh air to the Island with their contemporary, cleverly-topped pizzas. Try a classic plain or venture into one of their captivating square pies.
The Galley Pizza & Eatery
1313 Memorial Dr, Asbury Park, NJ 07712
The Galley is in no way your typical pizza spot. The Asbury Park restaurant features several different styles of pizza including standard style, double-proofed square and thin-crust bar pies. These pizza canvases come with dozens of different toppings and combinations. Feeling bold? Try the lobster pizza, which comes with fra-diavolo sauce and butter-poached lobster.
Angeloni’s Restaurant and Pizzeria
6 Brookside Ave, Caldwell, NJ 07006
This Caldwell red sauce joint became known for their thin-crust, to-the-edge pizzas. The sought-after pie has everything you are looking for in a bar pie—cheese and sauce to the edge, great toppings and zero flop whatsoever.
This list took a lot of time and research to narrow down. I’m not afraid to say that I know my pizza, but still, putting this list together would not have been possible without my favorite encyclopedia for NJ pizza: Jersey Pizza Joints, a Facebook group dedicated to all things New Jersey pizza.
I joined JPJ in 2020 when it had around 10,000 members, and today that number has grown to a staggering 81,000. It is, without a doubt, my most-used source for researching pizza and I have enjoyed being a regular contributor in the group over the years.
Before joining, my knowledge of pizza was really limited to that of Essex and Bergen counties, but JPJ has allowed me to learn about hundreds of different pizzas across the entire state (and some out-of-state pies, though the legality of that is debatable). JPJ has an incredible cast of regular posters as well as frequent newcomers. There are plenty of pizza arguments to be had in the group, but every member unites around the same idea: New Jersey pizza fucking rules.
If you love pizza, I cannot recommend joining Jersey Pizza Joints enough. Not only will you find new spots to check out, but you will learn an incredible amount about pizza and food in general.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.