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ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens (PIX11) — An authentic Italian restaurant that opened at the height of the pandemic in Rockaway Beach was named Queens Best Pizza on Thursday.

Rocco’s of Roc Beach, which prepares its pies in a cole oven, took the title in the borough’s inaugural competition on National Pizza Day, owner Louis Cotrone told PIX11 News.

“I think it’s fabulous. We’re honored and humbled our loyal customers nominated us and voted for us,” Cotrone said. “We invested in the area because we believed in the area.”

The Rockaway Boulevard spot has been around for less than two years but quickly grew into a neighborhood favorite for its margherita and sicilian pizzas. The eatery makes fresh pasta, mozzarella, and gelato daily, Cotrone said. Many of the ingredients are imported from Italy.

Then there’s a sweet and special red sauce prepared by a five-star chef, he said.

“It’s been packed from day one,” Cotrone said. “Our customers are amazing.”

Pizza D’Amore, also in Rockaway Beach, finished second and Gaby’s Pizza on Hillside Avenue in Hollis took third place, according to the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

Dee’s Wood Fired Pizza + Kitchen in Forest Hills, Phil & Sons on Main in Flushing, Pizza Sam in Jackson Heights, Andrew Bellucci’s Pizzeria in Astoria, Joe & John’s Pizzeria in Ridgewood, Pizza on the Point in Breezy Point, and Austin Street Pizza in Forest Hills rounded out the top 10, the organization said.

“Everyone knows that Queens, specifically Southeast Queens and Rockaway, has some of the best pizza in the world. And now, everyone knows that Rocco’s of Roc Beach has an unbeatable slice,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. said.