New York may think that it has the best pizza, but the city’s got nothing on New Jersey. The catch is that New Jersey has a few too many choices. Trying to find the best pizzeria is like trying to find a needle in a mile-wide haystack.
In my town, there is quite literally a pizzeria on every block and new ones seem to open every month. I’ve tried so many slices, often only to be let down by a burnt crust, excessive saltiness or a way off ratio of cheese to sauce.
But every now and again, you find a place that does it all just right. It doesn’t matter what New Jersey county you’re in, there’s a pizzeria that’s calling your name right now.
Atlantic County: Ricca Brothers Brick Oven
Ricca Brothers is a cozy and spacious pizzeria that screams comfort the second you step in the door. If you want to go for a classic pie, their margherita is unbeatable. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for a super spicy slice of The Jersey Devil.
And they have so much more than just pizza. When they say their wings are famous, they really mean it (and for good reason). They also get bonus points for having a delicious bakery. Be sure to finish every meal at Ricca Brothers with a cannoli.
Bergen County: Ferazzoli’s Italian Kitchen
Ferazzoli’s menu is made up of family recipes, which is why everything tastes like something your Nonna would have made. A lot of old favorites are made here, like grandma, Sicilian, and white pies. And I’m not sure if buffalo chicken pizza is considered a classic yet, but (with the way they make it here) it definitely should be.
If for some strange reason none of those pies suit your fancy, you can ask for just about any topping you can think of. Go ahead and get a pizza with sun-dried tomatoes and pineapple if that’s your thing.
Burlington County: Villa Pizza
Pizza from Villa Pizza always have just the right amount of crunch and just the right amount of cheese on every slice. This place also specializes in gourmet pizza, so don’t be afraid to try something new every time you go—their philly steak pizza is definitely a good place to start.
Camden County: Holy Tomato Pies
The interior of Holy Tomato is not your average Italian restaurant set-up. It’s brightly colored and the walls are painted with murals and quotes along with a giant, dripping heart. It makes sense that the pies here are also far from typical. Ever had baby clams and parsley on a pizza? Well you really ought to, and you can find that at Holy Tomato.
Cape May County: Seven Mile Pies
This surf shop themed pizza parlor makes trying new pies easy (even for people who don’t want to). But Seven Mile Pies was also once voted best plain slice in the Savor September Festival in Stone Harbor, so there’s no shame in picking one of those up if you don’t crave adventure. If you are, the buffet always has exciting new slices like Jalapeño Popper alongside broccoli, cheddar and bacon.
Cumberland County: Alex’s Pizzeria and Steak House
Come for the pizza but stay for the stromboli—which is easily the best in the state. Alex’s Pizzeria a little place that looks run down inside and out, but it boasts an exceptional pizza crust and, of course, stromboli with tender steak.
Essex County: Arturo’s Osteria and Pizzeria
Known for their authentic Italian pies, Arturo’s Osteria and Pizzeria has become one of the most popular pizza places in Essex County. The wait can be pretty brutal, but it’s all worth it when you finally bite into a perfectly crispy crust. And the cheese to sauce ratio is just right—at least for me—because the amount of cheese is usually around double the amount of sauce. All the ingredients are locally sourced, and you can taste it.
Gloucester County: SliCE
Think all mall pizza tastes the same? Think again. SliCE is located in the Tower Square Shopping Center in Sewell, which doesn’t sound too fancy but it doesn’t change the quality of their pies. The pizza itself actually has pretty fancy ingredients—goat cheese and truffle rib eye, for example. They also serve gluten-free pizza and they have a pretty awesome kids menu that features a Nutella and peanut butter pizza. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping they serve it to adults, too.
Hudson County: Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven
Simplistic and delicious, Grimaldi’s Coal Brick Oven doesn’t try to hide it’s pizza under fancy names and ingredients. Instead, all their ingredients are familiar. Their speciality is white pizza so if you’re a fan of cheesy pizza and could care less about sauce, this place should be your new go-to.
Hunterdon County: Liberty Hall Pizza
When you’re looking for something fancy with unique flavors, Liberty Hall Pizza is the place to go. Their marinara and margherita pizzas are traditional and decadent, but don’t be afraid to try something a little different like anchovies and long hots or Italian fennel sausage pizza. If white pies are more your thing go for the lemon basil, which tastes like a day at the beach.
And the pizza doesn’t stop with dinner. Give their Nutella pizza a shot for dessert.
Mercer County: De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies
De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies has been an important New Jersey establishment since 1947. Each restaurant has a sort of old time charm to it and every slice of their famous pies guarantees a thin and crispy crust, melting cheese and tomatoes in every bite. Their menu is only one page because they are not fooling around. The pies are simple, and their flavor reflects that.
Middlesex County: Cranbury Pizza
Serving more than just za, Cranbury Pizza is a little Italian restaurant that delivers classic dishes (and with only the freshest ingredients). And their pies intentionally feature as few ingredients possible so that customers can taste that. They do more than one kind of crust, and they do them right. The Sicilian is thick and smooth and the Grandma pie is just the right amount of crunchy.
Monmouth County: Denino’s Pizza Place
Another amazing pizzeria that’s hidden away in a shopping center. Denino’s is the king of thin crust. If you like your crust on the crispier side, this place will be your new favorite. They’ll even make your pie’s crust thicker if you ask them to, but give the thinner crust a shot first. Their specialty pizzas are unique, don’t be surprised that you’re going to want to try them all from the shrimp scampi to the Romano ranch.
Morris County: M & S Pizza
The original M & S is located in Dover, and their sister restaurant, M & S II, is over in Rockaway. The original is right off of Route 46 and is easy to pass if you don’t know where it is. It’s a very old school pizzeria and their pizza follow suit. If you go, you have to order one slice of plain and one slice of buffalo chicken—the plain is a perfect balance of cheese and sauce and grease, and their buffalo chicken pizza is pretty much the best you can find in New Jersey.
Ocean County: Joey Tomato’s Pizza
Joey Tomato’s is the place that you go when regular pizza just won’t cut it. Their specialty pizzas are covered in anything you could ever dream of, and then some: eggplant rollantini, baked ziti, penne alla vodka, Italian hot dog…Imagine all of your favorite Italian dishes, in pizza form.
Passaic County: Brother Bruno’s Pizza, Deli, & Bagels
Brother Bruno’s pizza is delicious, no doubt. So delicious that you might just want to skip dinner and go straight for one of their dessert pies. Quite a few places make sweet pizza, but no one does it quite like Brother Bruno’s. You can get pretty much any sweet treat you want on top, like s’mores, cannolis, Girl Scout cookies and even Boston cream donuts. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you need to try their dessert pies.
Salem County: Amato’s Mama Mia’s Pizza and Restaurant
The thin crust pizza at Amato’s Mama Mia’s has just the right amount of crisp to it. It’s a small place and always pretty packed, but the servers are quick and always friendly. It’s the perfect place to sit down with your family and split a pie.
Somerset County: Dominick’s Pizza Shop
The regular pizza at Dominick’s Pizza Shop is great on its own, but the real treats in this small pizzeria are the stuffed and Trenton style pies. If you’re not familiar with Trenton style, Dominick’s is the right place to introduce yourself. It’s a pizza for eaters who lust more for a pie’s tomatoes than its cheese.
Sussex County: Anthony Francos Pizza
Anthony Francos is a cozy, Italian restaurant that looks like a place where the food should be more expensive than it is. There’s a huge selection of specialty slices—30 different kinds to be exact—including chicken marsala and taco. The pizza is always hot and never greasy. It’s the right place to go if you’re feeling adventurous.
Union County: Village Trattoria
When they say that they’re famous, they aren’t kidding. Some even consider the pizza from Village Trattoria the best in all of New Jersey. Their variety of specialty slices ensure that there’s something for everyone—especially if you have a soft spot for Grandma pies. Check out the Drunken Grandma, oozing with vodka sauce and mozzarella, if you don’t believe me.
Warren County: Dicola’s Pizza
As a huge fan of both white and Sicilian pies, I can definitely say that Dicola’s Pizza makes both of them as they were meant to be. This family-owned restaurant is as friendly as you’d hope. It’s relatively small, but pretty cozy.