Try before you deny these sensational East End pizza pies.
Though the East End is inseparably hitched to a certain quinte-shellfish-ssential sandwich, the twin forks have another fork-free culinary lure lately that’s a little less obvious: pizza.
Over the past decade, a boomerang of quality Neapolitan-style pizzerias have opened their doors — and heated their domed ovens — from Greenport to Montauk and everywhere in between. Here are the spots you won’t want to miss.
Ask any pizza critic worth their weight in San Marzano tomato cans where you’ll find New York’s best and there’s a considerable chance they’ll say L’industrie, the running South Williamsburg favorite known for its pie-or-slice format and Action Bronson-hosted block parties. Lesser known is that the duo behind it, Massimo Laveglia and Nicholas Baglivo, hatched another pizza concept on the East End, and it’s practically hiding in plain sight. Located right on Montauk‘s main drag in the former longtime home of Tacombi and La Brisa, Italian gourmet market Alimentari Beach (which shares common ownership with harborside taqueria TT’s) serves more than just life-changing pizza, but it might well have the best you’ll ever bring to the beach. These personal-sized pies are boxed piping hot, and they travel the three blocks to the boardwalk plenty well. We recommend ordering a few varieties to share with friends. The fig and guanciale, a menu staple, packs a piquant balance of savory and sweet. And with an 8am open time, you can even pair the breakfast pie with your drink of choice from the espresso bar.
103 Bambino’s Pizzeria
Strolling Westhampton’s handsomely-remodeled Main Street, there’s no shortage of things to catch your eye: beachy boutiques, welcoming pedestrian plazas, and maybe — if you time it right — a live music performance. But few sights feel more unexpected than the portly dome of a pizza oven poking up from the back of the village Häagen-Dazs, which also houses a small toy store. All randomness aside, this four-barstool pizza counter is the real deal. Owner Luiz Xiquin formerly slung pies at Brunetti, which occupied the space (the oven is new) before the latter upsized a few doors down. His style however is markedly different, employing long-fermented dough that’s double-rolled for a thinner crust than the thick-rimmed “cornicione” at his alma mater. There’s a clam pie, classics like margherita and meatball, a half-dozen salad pies — the balsamic-glazed artichoke and arugula and burrata caprese are standouts — plus some solid starters, like spicy shishito peppers. Take it all out to the dockside picnic tables out back, or snag a bench out front for people watching. Did we mention the house-made mozz?
Best Pizza & Dive Bar
Celebrity pizzaiolo Frank Pinello, host of Viceland’s The Pizza Show, opened this sceney Amagansett offshoot to his Brooklyn O.G. a few seasons back, and it’s open later in the season than many places out in these Hither Hills. While you might be inclined to write this one off as another city joint summering where the cool kids hang, think again. Pinello’s Napeague concept is every bit a product of its community, and it has the energy to prove it. The indoor-outdoor space channels the good, grungy old days of summers on the far east end, when the Rolling Stones rolled with John Lennon at Shagwong and penned the lyrics to “Memory Motel.” There’s a sizable backyard, too, and almost certainly a few surfboards hanging out the backs of pickups in the parking lot. You’ll be able to enjoy all your favorites from the Havemeyer Street original in pie and slice form, the legendary white pie included, along with the dive bar experience no one asked for (but this extended part of the Hamptons desperately needed).
One of the good things to come out of the pandemic was when Brunetti, which occupied the aforementioned aft-of-the-Häagen Dazs space until shuttering in 2019, reopened a few blocks down Main Street, sharing a prime corner location with North Fork Roasting Company and the ubiquitous Goldberg’s Bagels. It also metamorphosed into a full-fledged, sit-down restaurant with indoor and outdoor table seating and a sizable increase to its kitchen footprint. The latter brought a significant menu expansion, which notably added cocktails, vino, and brews. Above all, it brought back the Vongole, the blistery clam pie that put the place on the map of pizza enthusiasts near and far. Another standout is the Funghi E Cipolle, with roasted Shiitake mushrooms, goat cheese, caramelized onions, and thyme with honey truffle oil. For those dining in, the menu lists beer and wine pairings for every pie, along with the promise of sizzling-fresh arancini and polenta fries. Lest we also forget this was the rare restaurant that expanded from the Hamptons to Manhattan, not the other way around — and the city outpost, where the far West Village meets the Meatpacking District, is still kicking.
If it looks like Conca D’Oro, smells smokier than Conca D’Oro, tastes very different from Conca D’Oro, and has a giant portrait of Sophia Loren holding a freshly–peeled Margherita, you’re definitely at Sag Pizza. This refreshed concept from the owners of LT Burger succeeded Sag Harbor’s no-frills, 42-years-running hometown pizza parlor — so beloved that one local froze its last 10 pies — back in 2017, and while you might have defaulted to taking out from its predecessor, you’ll have the best experience here eating in. There’s a brussels sprout pie with pancetta, taleggio, stracchino, robiola and caramelized onions; a farmer’s pie with local eggs and cheese from Bridgehampton’s Mecox Bay Dairy; and a sausage and pepper pie named, in fitting homage, the Conca D’oro. Crust dippers, like hot honey and pesto and black truffle aiolis, encourage you finish every last bite. Simply put, the place has a vibe — and to box it all up, there’s rotating flavors of soft serve. Some caramel popcorn sounds like a perfect pregame for an after-dinner showing at the cinema (if you aren’t feeling the mochi they already serve).
Housed in the old Hampton Bays Friendly’s (which in truth was too recent and short-lived to be called such), Salvatore’s fills a unique void on the East End’s pizza scene that’s somewhere between the thin-crust Neopolitan and the slice shop variety you crave, stopping short in a place that makes it a true original. If you’re craving a smoky, 12-inch wild mushroom pie with truffle oil and mozzarella di bufala chased with a side of meatballs al forno, Sal’s delivers — figuratively and literally. If you’re looking to feed the large group crashing at your beach house this weekend, you’ll have your pick of perhaps the best-sounding list of 18-inchers you’ve ever seen out east, along with a full menu of everything from stuffed mushrooms and gnocchi to cheesesteaks and wings. The menu might be overwhelming, but this is quality wood-oven pizza all the way. The literal delivery system is so dialed in that, if you’ve ordered before from the same phone number, you needn’t even repeat your address. Rather eat in? Turns out, the inside of an old Friendly’s cleans up nice, with a sleek subway-tiled dining room and an outdoor patio sequestered off to the side from Montauk Highway.
1943 Pizza Bar
It might be at the pulsing center of a seaport, but this enchanting courtyard eatery, which shares Greenport‘s historic Stirling Square with high-fashion hotel American Beech, nevertheless fuels the North Fork’s farm-to-fork milieu (but don’t you dare pick one up to eat pizza). It all started with a single 1943 International Harvester truck, which has roved around for years — retrofitted as the region’s preeminent pizza-mobile and dubbed Rolling in Dough — crafting pies from the East End’s seasonal bounty. The stationary restaurant has kept true to tradition, delighting locals and tourists alike with its weekly specials since 2014. Fall might bring a white, goat cheese pie with sage, applewood bacon, and sliced apples from Wickham Farms in Cutchogue, which dates to the 1600s. The menu touts “repeat offenders,” like Nonna Lucille’s wood-fired meatballs, a list of off-the-shelf pies, and the option to build your own from six bases and more than two dozen toppings. You can even order pies from sister bar Brix & Rye next door.
Right as you enter the heart of Jamesport’s pint-sized village, you’ll find Grana, an unfussy trattoria and enoteca known for its handmade pasta and, you guessed it, Neapolitan-style pizza. This isn’t your ordinary Italian restaurant, despite its relatively traditional appearance and approachable curb appeal. The menu, written largely in Times New Roman, boasts in two places about its all-organic greens — the pizza section (called out in Cambria type), calls out the exclusive use of organic, double-fermented flour and mozzarella that’s made in-house daily. Those top-shelf ingredients yield a result that speaks for itself. Regular offerings include a wood-roasted eggplant pie with fresh tomato, onion, and garlic; a fig and caramelized onion pie with gorgonzola cream; and a wild mushroom pie with fontina and white truffle oil. Pro tip: Start with the baked clams or fried zucchini flowers, battered and stuffed with ricotta and that fresh-made-daily mozzarella.
Maybe you’ve passed it, full with every excuse why you wouldn’t stop. “We’ll never get to Greenport in time.” “It’s on the main drag.” “The name sounds basic.” Then one day, you notice a shingle dangling from the sign out front heralding a place called Little Oak Wood Fired Kitchen. A winery with food? Well, that just changes everything now, doesn’t it? Turns out, it’s pretty darn good — and the pizza situation, created entirely by their local chef, deserves every bit of praise. The “Buddy Boy,” with house-made mozz and larger-than-usual discs of sopressata under a drizzle of hot honey, blows its peers out of the sound. “The Neck,” with freshly-shucked local clams, fingerling potatoes, and herbed garlic butter, is an edible ode to Long Island. Think of the whole natural wine and Napoletana format, but with locally-sourced ingredients and on premises-sourced vino, all served in a bucolic garden courtyard. Make the most of your visit by walking it all off through the groomed grounds (and don’t miss the outstanding Saddleback Chardonnay).
Lombardi’s Love Lane Market
Longstanding Italian eatery Mamma Lombardi’s, which spun off four additional restaurants and a catering company, holds a special place in the hearts — and bellies — of South Shore foodies. And it’s the same Lombardi’s in Mamma Lombardi’s (not the one of Spring Street fame) that’s behind this cozy Mattituck market and food hall, which just so happens to make serious pizza. The regular rotation includes a classic Margherita, a marinara pie with garlic and anchovies, a speck and smoked mozzarella, and the Farmer’s Market pie, which spotlights seasonal locally-grown vegetables. Their namesake signature pie, the Lombardi’s Love Lane, has cherry peppers, broccoli rabe, and sweet Italian fennel sausage. As if the taste of it all wasn’t good enough, every pie on the menu is $15 or less, with additional toppings available for a nominal $2 each. Grab a basket and restock the pantry while you’re there.
(Matti)tucked discreetly into the strip mall where Sound Avenue and North Road split, you’d likely speed right past Pizza Rita unless you glanced the right way while stopped at the traffic light or knew it was there. If you didn’t, we’re glad to be of service. This small but mighty establishment began its rise in 2015, when owner Jeff Marrone built a roving pizza kitchen from a 1946 Chevy pickup. It goes without saying that Marrone kneads a good pie: The North Fork local, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, paid his dues in some of the East End’s better-known kitchens, including East Hampton’s storied 1770 House. After a few years on the road catering to private parties and hungry patrons at nearby breweries, he augmented his rig by going brick-and-mortar, claiming a space to work his wood-fired magic from a mosaicked oven. Take for example the Sammy — pistachio pesto, mortadella, mozz, and pecorino romano with fresh basil and olive oil — which tastes appropriately like a savory, pancaked sandwich. We’ll extend honorable mentions to the creative wood-fired pasta dishes and, of course, the deep-fried meatballs.