Joe’s Pizza: What’s The Story Behind New York’s Most Famous Pizza Joint?

By Ellie Smith

5 months ago

From Spider-Man cameos to celebrity fans

New York is jam-packed with restaurants claiming to serve the best pizza in the city. But for many people, one spot rises high above the rest. We’re talking about Joe’s Pizza, the NYC favourite which has risen to cult status since being founded back in the ‘70s, beloved by both locals and tourists alike. The original is located in Greenwich Village, but now there are branches dotted all over the city – plus in other US cities. So what’s behind its success? 

Joe’s Pizza New York: The Hype, Explained

What’s The History of Joe’s Pizza?

The story of Joe’s Pizza dates back almost 50 years to 1975, when its eponymous Naples-born founder Joe Pozzuoli opened his first restaurant on the corner of Bleecker and Carmine Street. It served classic New York-style pizza, with a thin crust and large, wide slices sold either individually or as a whole – with a slice initially going for as little as 10 cents. 

The joint was a hit, and it soon expanded to a larger location just down the road on Carmine Street, where it remains today. Outposts followed in Union Square, Broadway and Williamsburg, going on to launch in Miami and Michigan. Now in his 80s, Pozzuoli remains a major part of Joe’s Pizza today. And the premise is still pretty much exactly the same as it was when it first launched. If it ain’t broke…


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What’s On The Menu?

You’ll find all the classics, including Pepperoni and Mozzarella, alongside signatures like the Meat Lover, which is topped with bacon, sausage and beef, and Joe’s Porky Pie, which has a spicy tomato basil base, topped with pulled pork and jalapenos. It’s not all about the meat though: the Native Mushroom is another favourite, and there’s a vegan pizza topped with sun-dried tomatoes and olives. You can also build your own, or opt for one of the gluten-free bases. Don’t fancy leaving the house? Joe’s Pizza is on Deliveroo and UberEats too – the perfect hangover cure.

Why Is Joe’s Pizza Famous?

Joe’s Pizza is famous not only for its top-class food, but also from a string of on-screen cameos. The original corner branch appears in the Spider-Man 2 movie: Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, is a delivery man for Joe’s Pizza. However, his superhero activities mean he’s regularly delayed for his pizza duties. In one scene, we see Parker rushing up to the shop late again, and his boss, Mr Aziz, gives him a final chance. He’s tasked with delivering an order of pizza to an address which is 42 blocks away in just seven and a half minutes, so naturally he decides to don his Spider-Man suit for the mission, but an interruption means he’s late again, and is therefore fired.

Elsewhere, Joe’s Pizza has popped up in a whole host of films and TV shows including Along Came Polly, Sex and the City and Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The Carmine Street branch is also covered in photos of celebrities enjoying the pizzas – from Hollywood stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Jessica Alba to footballer Jack Grealish.