Show me someone who doesn’t like pizza, and I’ll show you…
I don’t even know. An empty chair? A skeleton? Seriously, who doesn’t like pizza?
But since it’s so well-loved, it’s often overrepresented in the restaurant market. With so many cheesy, saucey options, it can be overwhelming, especially when you just need a quick slice to tide you over.
How do you know where to find the very best pizza by the slice… that won’t slice too deeply into your spare change?
Where to Get the Best Slice of Pizza Under $5 in Your City
To help you on this most noble of quests, we sourced Yelp to find the top-rated slice of pizza under $5 in the top 30 most populated American cities.
And since my city didn’t make the cut, this was one of the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write for The Penny Hoarder. Looks like I may have to embark on another epic road trip soon…
1. New York, New York
Prince Street Pizza; Nolita
Nailing down the best pizza by the slice in New York City is tricky business at best.
But reviewers describe Prince Street’s pizza as “life-changing,” citing “perfect ‘roni cups” and “buttery, crispy” dough.
Slices run from $2.95 to $3.75, depending on toppings. As a bonus, reviewers also recommend the homemade stuffed prosciutto balls, complete with mozzarella and ricotta, for $1.25.
2. Los Angeles, California
Gracie’s Pizza; East Hollywood
Slices start at $3, but you’ll want to spring for the $4.50 house flavor: three cheeses, sopressata, pinot grigio mushrooms, radicchio and arugula.
When’s the next flight out of Tampa to LAX?
3. Chicago, Illinois
Dimo’s Pizza; Wrigleyville and Six Corners
Listen, Chicagoans, I’m with you: Deep-dish pizza is way better than New York style.
That said, it doesn’t translate to by-the-slice very easily.
If you’re not in for a whole deliciously gooey pie, the ridiculous numbers of speciality pizzas at this joint are available by the slice for $3.50 to $4.50.
And one of them’s a mac and cheese pizza. Just sayin’.
4. Houston, Texas
Luigi’s Pizzeria; Midtown
Its homemade pizza ranges from $3.25 to $4.99 by the slice. Go for a classic meat-covered pie, or try the Mexicana fajita.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
By George!; Market East
This joint serves traditional Italian slices starting at $3.75 — but fresh mozz is totally worth the extra 50 cents. You can even get whole-wheat crust, if that’s what you’re into.
Can’t pass up a cheesesteak while you’re in Philly? If you forego a slice for the city’s favorite sub, you can feel good about your choice: By George! will donate a portion of the profits from each cheesesteak it sells to feed a child in need.
6. Phoenix, Arizona
My Slice of the Pie Pizzeria; Scottsdale
Want to be fully in control of your pizza?
This joint lets you customize each individual slice, and it’s crazy affordable: Spend $2 for the slice itself, 25 cents for your sauce of choice, and 50 or 75 cents for each topping (standard and premium, respectively).
7. San Antonio, Texas
Poppy’s Pizza; Castle Hills
Get your basic cheese slice for $2.75 and load up on toppings to your liking for 50 cents each. Word has it, this place has a generous hand, whether you prefer pepperoni or anchovies!
8. San Diego, California
Bronx Pizza; Hillcrest
Some things are just better on the East Coast.
This SoCal pizza place brings New York-style slices to a city better known for tacos and tequila. Plus, it’s only $2.50 to $2.75 a slice, with additional toppings available for 50 cents apiece.
9. Dallas, Texas
Italia Express; Cedar Springs
Pricier than some others on the list, slices here start at $4 — but they’re gigantic and good enough that some locals venture into this part of town specifically to hit up this joint.
10. San Jose, California
Bibo’s NY Pizza; Willow Glen
Build your own slice for $3.25 to $4.50 for specialty pizza. The sweet & spicy comes with chorizo, bacon, pineapple and jalepeno… So basically, I’m relocating to the (other) Bay Area ASAP.
If you’re looking to make your own pizza at home, you can purchase a fresh ball of dough for $4!
11. Austin, Texas
Little Deli and Pizzeria; Crestview
At this reviewer-described “neighborhood gem,” a slice won’t run you more than $3.60 — and it has a new special every day.
Also, I’m not usually one for white pies, but with fresh ricotta, roasted garlic, spinach and artichokes, I might just make an exception here.
12. Jacksonville, Florida
Moon River Pizza; Westside
This joint accommodates both vegan and gluten-free foodies, and slices range from $2.25 to $3.75. Plus, it’s so good that reviewers lament the fact they couldn’t stop themselves for long enough to take a photo before digging in.
Bonus: If you’re willing to venture a little further south to St. Augustine, Pizza Time makes it worth your gas money — and no, I’m not just saying so out of hometown loyalty.
TripAdvisor ranked it the second-best pizza in the country in 2015. If you make the trip, you’re having a slice of the Grandma’s. Trust me on this.
13. San Francisco, California
Golden Boy Pizza; North Beach
Described as the “champions of pizza,” this little shop builds its pizza on focaccia instead of traditional dough. Slices start at $2.75 and go no higher than four bucks.
14. Indianapolis, Indiana
Giorgio’s Pizza; Mile Square
This review from a native New Yorker says it all: “The only pizza I have had that tastes like NY pizza comes from Georgio’s. It was like going home for a visit.”
You can get a slice of thick, delicious Sicilian for just $3.20, or spring for stuffed — it’s still a nickel less than a fiver.
15. Columbus, Ohio
Mickey’s Late Night Slice; Downtown, Short North, Clintonville and Chase
This creative pizza vendor has regular store fronts as well as a food truck. And with options like “spicy-a** pepperoni” and “unicorn sauce,” we imagine it’s not for the faint of heart.
It’s a slightly pricier slice at $4 apiece… but with the cult following it’s acquired, it’s gotta be good.
16. Fort Worth, Texas
NY Joe’s Pizza and Pasta; Far West
Reviewers describe the pizza at this low-key joint as “beautiful,” and you can choose from a full range of traditional Italian entrees as well — just in case anyone isn’t down for pizza. (As if.)
A cheese slice is $2.50, and toppings run 50 cents each.
17. Charlotte, North Carolina
Tony’s Big Pizza; Derita
Tony’s got six locations throughout Charlotte and the surrounding area, so you can try a slice no matter where you are in town. The menu varies by location, however, so you might want to try ‘em all!
It won’t be expensive, either: This New York-style slice starts at $3, and toppings cost 50 cents apiece.
18. Seattle, Washington
Hot Mama’s Pizza; Capitol Hill
A slice of cheese rings in at $2.25, but locals swear by the pesto pizza. Good thing you’ll only have to shell out two more quarters to try a slice.
19. Denver, Colorado
Ian’s Pizza; Five Points
At the time this post was written, the most recent review started with the following sentence:
“I ended up going there three times within a four-day trip.”
I’m not surprised, since its crazy concoctions include a burrito pizza, a loaded baked potato pizza and a green chile cornbread version finished with honey. Best of all, none of these specialty slices will run you more than four bucks.
Got a few more dollars to spend? TPH junior writer Carson Kohler recommends Blue Pan, and for good reason. It was voted the city’s best pizza in 2016 by 5280, the city magazine she interned for — and whose food editor’s been in Denver for more than 20 years.
Plus, this Detroit-style pizza is something you may not have had before, with a thick, crunchy crust baked in a blue-steel pan. You can get a slice, salad and drink for just $6 — not too much of a splurge, and perhaps a more balanced meal!
20. El Paso, Texas
The Pizza Joint; Uptown and Downtown
Not only are the slices good and cheap (they range from $3.70 to $4.15), the beer selection is vast and the atmosphere is hip. You can also get gluten-free and vegan options.
21. Detroit, Michigan
Supino Pizzeria; Eastern Market
This tiny, New York-style joint is always packed, and it’s no surprise: Even a slice of the daily special is only $3.25.
If I were you, I’d go for store’s namesake pie, which is topped with roasted garlic, black olives, chili oil, ricotta and mozzarella. Creamy, spicy, and way too far from where I live in Florida.
22. Washington, D.C.
The Italian Store; Arlington
It doesn’t get much better than this: You can get a highly regarded slice of Sicilian pie for less than $4, or buy the fresh ingredients (and a bottle of wine!) to make your own at home.
And if you’re tired of pizza (what?), the traditional Italian sandwiches are crowd pleasers, too. An all-around win for our nation’s capital!
23. Boston, Massachusetts
Casa Razdora; Financial District
According to Yelp reviews, these authentic Italian slices are so big, they’re sometimes cut into two pieces to serve. Reviewers describe the cheese slice as “everything you can want in a slice,” but the Diavola, with its hot sopressata, is tempting, too.
Did I mention you won’t spend more than $4.29?
24. Memphis, Tennessee
Little Italy Pizza; Central Gardens
Slices start at just $2.49, and it’s only a buck more for deluxe.
One reviewer, Steve M., who describes himself as as “pizza connoisseur,” says it’s the best he’s ever tasted — and he’s tried New York, Los Angeles and Chi-town, too.
25. Nashville, Tennessee
Joey’s House of Pizza; South Nashville
This family-run joint’s been serving Brooklyn-style pies since 1999.
Slices start at $2.31, and although a couple do fall slightly over $5, man, do they sound worth it. One’s a “double-crust” slice, and the other’s called “The Dominus.” Fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil are involved. Yes, please!
26. Portland, Oregon
Straight From New York Pizza; Sunnyside and Goose Hollow
Slices run from $3.00 to $3.75 — and, of course, true to Portland style, microbrews are available.
27. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Empire Slice House; Plaza District
The site describes the company thusly: “It’s like Frank Sinatra and David Bowie had a pizza baby.” Um, I’m in.
Another choice quotation, this time from a reviewer: “This pizza has become the thing I look forward to most in this world.”
Add a rec like that to this joint’s serious-business beer offering, and suddenly, I find myself regretting the fact that I’ve never been to Oklahoma.
28. Las Vegas, Nevada
Cugino’s Italian Deli & Pizza; University
This New York-style joint is conveniently situated right across the street from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas — and since it’s a deli, you can get tons of other goodies, too. Fried gnocchi is on the menu. Just a thought.
Cheese slices start at $2.25 or $2.50 for Sicilian.
29. Baltimore, Maryland
Pizza di Joey; Various (Food Truck)
There is not a lot of pizza by the slice in Baltimore.
I get it: Ya’ll have more serious appetites than a single slice can manage.
But this food truck and caterer is renowned, and hopefully for good reason. Its “monster” slice is $5 on the dot, but that’s only for plain cheese. Other slices run as high as $8.49.
Baltimore’s honorable mention goes to &pizza, which creates custom-crafted personal pizzas to order (and man, do they look good). They’re big, but also closer to $10 a pop.
30. Louisville, Kentucky
Pizza Donisi; Old Louisville
Slices start at $3.50 and go up to $4 for the weekly special. The well-regarded “Chef’s Choice” program also includes a weekly cannoli and wonton alongside the specialty slice!
The joint is super tiny, though, so don’t plan on eating in.
Your Turn: Where’s the best sub-$5 slice in your town? Let us know in the comments — and don’t forget pictures!
This post would not exist without the A+ Yelping abilities of TPH editorial intern Jacquelyn Pica.
Jamie Cattanach is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Her writing has also been featured at The Write Life, Word Riot, Nashville Review and elsewhere. Find @JamieCattanach on Twitter to wave hello.