Posts Tagged With: Best Pizza in NYC

The Pizza Map

Below is what I consider a map of some of the best pizza in NYC.  I will update the map from time to time without notice, and at the moment I dont have time to edit the individual listings with the proper explanations.  So its a good idea to read about the place before you go, or at the very least to make sure its still open.  While you can bet that something like Joe’s will be open a year from now, a place like Bruno pizza may not.  But I will try to update the map as I often as I can

Many of these like the Hell’s Kitchen plays will look familiar (Maybe other than Corner Slice which I had 3 hours ago perhaps for the 10th time).  But some of these like Brunetti and Tramonti are fairly recent discoveries.  Brunetti makes a gorgeous Neapolitan and one of the best clam pies I’ve had in NYC.  I already discussed Martina, and older faves like Pasquale Jones and Roberta’s.  In Chelsea I’m only including Gotham Pizza, a surprisingly delicious slice for a chain (they add bread crumbs to the crust for extra crunch), while places like Co. essentially priced themselves out

Needless to say to produce this map, I had a lot of pizza in the past few months.  But I also included two powerhouses (Lucali and Keste) that I’ve never actually tried as of this writing.  Since I’ve been frequenting Keste’s half sister Don Antonio, Keste is the just about the last thing I want to eat when I find myself stranded in West Village.  And Lucali’s legendary waits dont bode well with my legendary waits allergies, but you may get better luck.  Many consider Lucali the best pizza in NYC

Also in Brooklyn, you got the pie with the best view in Fiornino, and arguably one of the best slices in NYC in Best PizzaRoberta’s is tough to get to, which is why I added the “mini Roberta” in Urbanspace Vanderbuilt.   I didnt add any of the Brooklyn legends like Totonnos and Di Fara for various reasons.  The only long timer pie on the list is John’s on Bleeker which dishes out a truly excellent NY style.  There are also some Manhattan newcomers just about to open that I’m keeping my eyes on like Sorbillo and Joe and Pats of the famous Joe and Pats on Staten Island.  I will update the map as soon as they open and pass the Ziggy inspection

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Categories: New York City | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Pizza and the City

Quick, what is the pizza capital of the world?  Hint:  Its NYC

So lets spend a few moments breaking it down.  Chicago does a good Deep Dish and then some.  Boston, San Diego, LA has are making all sorts of great pizzas, and so is New Haven which spoiled clam pies for me forever.  And then there’s Naples and Rome that are really the two powerhouses outside of the country that can compete with NYC pound for pound.  These are all fantastic pizza cities.  But none of them comes close to the size and depth of the NYC pizza scene.

Yelp lists 11,000 establishments selling pizza in NYC which granted is a little high.  And it only allows checking 999 results at a time, so I cant really see how many of these are actually pizza places.  And according to the Health Dep’t there are around 1600 establishments with the word pizza or pizzeria in the name.  So there you have it. We have exactly 1600 to 11,000 pizza places in NYC!  Ok, so we dont really know.  But the number is very high.  In many neighborhoods you can’t walk a block without a pizza, bagel, Chinese takeout, and therefore a Pharmacy.

And with the numbers comes the competition.  I’ve witnessed it increase dramatically during the last few years with the advance of Roman, Neapolitan, Detroit, and even NY style all over town.  Experienced Italian Pizzaioli continue to flock the city, while local talents like Nick Anderer and Emily Hyland increase the assault.  Our healthy pizza culture hasnt changed much, but we do have a lot more interesting options nowadays.

And these days those options go far beyond the institutions like Di Fara, which many consider the best pizza in city.  So as I wrote elsewhere…

Think of Difara as the High Sparrow.  The High Septon of The Faith of the 7 pizzas (Grimaldi’s, Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, Di Fara, L&B, Patsy’s, John’s of Bleecker).  But since it was crowned as the high Septon of The Faith, the 7 pizzas became 700, and many of them are now more powerful and better looking than the High Sparrow.  If you are a believer and part of The Faith, you already know who some of them are.  But if you are an outsider, you only know the High Sparrow and your mission in life is to meet him.  But to meet him you need to take what they call “The Subway” for a long ride and wait your turn among other non believers, which may take 1-3 hours sometimes.  And when you finally meet him, the entire experience may depend on one thing.  Whether the High Sparrow is having a good hair day.  Its essentially like a job interview.

So for those readers or GOT fans that are still with us, yes, we are grateful for all those institutions that deliver quality pizza for all those decades.  But today we have a lot of other options, some of which a little bit more interesting.  Other than John’s, these guys are somewhat painful to get to, and there’s a very good chance there’s a better option near your hotel.  So for the next week or so, I’ll be working on a map of some of the best pizza in NYC, along with other articles, starting with an updates list of the best of Hell’s Kitchen.  A pizza week on EWZ if you will.  And if you are not into pizza, you are an enemy of America!

 

Categories: New York City | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

NYC Slice Myths

best-pizza

Best Pizza

’twas the day before National Taco Day.  I was craving pizza, and decided to stop by at my trusted friends at Sacco in Hell’s Kitchen for a slice.  And while sitting there all lonesome, various thoughts came to mind.  “This is still a pretty darn good slice”, “What if I would start riding scooters”, “how come no one is here”, “Where would I park my scooter here”.  Only in my head I say things like “pretty darn”.  The slice is a typical NYC slice done right.  Thin, cooked just enough, with the proper cheese/tomato sauce mix and oregano.  And the crust has just the right amount of char and crunch.  I then expressed my feelings to the owner yet again, and we had a nice chat about other notable slices in NYC and what I call the Peter Luger affect.

sacco

Sacco

sacco-fold

Sacco

The Peter Luger Affect – The notion that once you make it, you make it forever.  Once you are crowned by all media as “The Best”, no matter how many steakhouses, burgers or pizza joints open since the crowning, you are never to be questioned, challenged, or replaced at the top.  Only if the king dies (closes) and doesnt produce a heir, a potential royal shift might occur.  With pizza, unlike steak, its not exactly clear who wears the crown.  But there are a few celebratory “Bests” that come up in just about every conversation, qualified for Peter Luger like glory.

One such place is Joe’s which has three locations including one on Carmine street where I grab a slice from time to time.  During my little talk with Mr Sacco (I dont know the gentleman’s real name so lets just call him that.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I call him that), I decided to pay a visit to Joe’s for a more proper comparison between the two.  Sacco, busy enough to remain open for a while, just outside of the tourist route, but totally empty at times.  Joe’s, consistently mentioned as the top or one of the top slices in NYC, and always packed with tourists and locals.  While the flavor was still there, the Joe’s slice was smaller and quite droopy this time to fully enjoy.  To be fair, I’ve had better slices at Joe’s, and worst slices at Sacco, but on this day at least, the two made the thesis too easy.  Sacco wins this round.

joes

joes

joes-fold

joes

Just like with Peter Luger, people from all over the world flock to Di Fara in Midwood, deep inside Brooklyn.  Once inside, it actually feels more like a pilgrimage than flocking.  You see tourists embracing their bible guidebook before embracing.  The first sight of 81 year old Dom DeMarco making the pies the same was he’s done for the past 50 years, brings people to tears.  The pizza has won numerous accolades from all over the world, including a”Best of the Best” tag from Anthony Bourdain.  However there’s only one tiny, little issue with this most famous pizza.  Coming from Manhattan for this may take half a day.  You may spend from 30 to 45 minutes waiting for a $5 slice (most expensive in NYC as far as I know), and much longer for a pie.  Dom the legend, doesnt let anyone else make them which is part of the appeal.  But that also means your slice may occasionally be overdone, underdone, or a little misshapen like the one on the right below.  “Sophie’s Choice” in the pizza world is when the food enthusiast husband must choose between the bigger and better slice, or smaller misshapen 30% bread slice, while there with his wife.  Obviously I chose the slice on the right, and still get to sleep in my bed.

Di fara

Di fara

A few days after the latest Di Fara episode, I paid a visit to another favorite, Best Pizza in Williamsburg, by Roberta veteran Frank Pinello.  Like Sacco, BP is not particularly well known, and is just a solid neighborhood pizza joint.  I would replace most of mine for this one.  Baked in a wood fired oven, the pies are the perfect marriage of Napoli and NY styles.  The fresh basil on each slice is like their zoro mark-like trademark.  I bike here from time to time, where the reward to pain ratio is much higher than Di Fara.  A few years ago, it beat both Di Fara and another legend, L&B Spumoni Gardens, on one of those Girls gone shopping so I’m free to roam around Brooklyn taste test

New York is a pizza town.  Its in our blood, and everyone has their favorites.  In the outer boroughs you will find a bagel shop, pizzeria, Chinese takeout, and therefore a pharmacy on every block.  And many of the 100’s of pizza out there do it well.  So while by no means, visit our “Bests” if you are in the area, you dont need to venture out too far for a proper slice.

dom-demarco

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Capizzi – Fughetaboutit!

CapizziI figured the best way to express myself this time around would be by sharing the latest clinical results from my team of doctors.  The monthly report is normally 38-50 pages long but here I will just share the “thoughts” pie chart on page 17.  The chart varies from month to month but the big players are more or less constant.  And since my Islanders were ousted last night, I expect Hockey to be replaced by sex, pasta or a combination of sorts very soon.  But as you can see, I do think about pizza often.  I recently had to impose a limit on my pizza intakes and now I’m down to just twice a month.  So when I have a bad one on occasion, I do get cranky a little.  I need to make it count.

meta-chartAnd so to make it count I either go to Don Antonio or Capizzi these days.  Sure a slice or three from Sacco, or Merilu, or a combination of the two (my current preferred method) does the trick.  While Don Antonio is one of the best in the Neapolitan business.  But there’s something magical going on at Capizzi, which is just about my favorite pizza in NYC at the moment.

The pizza at Capizzi is as solid as it gets.  It’s the Pat of the NY Pizza scene.  Sometimes it looks more Neapolitan, sometimes more NYC like.  Its somewhere in between really, and always delicious.  I would even say it gets better with age.  The ingredients are fresh, some ingredients like the sausages are made in house.  The dough is first rate, and the pie comes out of that wood burning oven (built by Joe the owner) with a thin crisp bottom, and the perfect char.  The ingredients on top speak for themselves.  In Italian!

Taste/Pain Ratio  is something I talk about sometimes.  The formula that measures the level of taste to the level of enjoyment or suffering one must endure for it.  Like women’s shoes.  Your sexy new heels will not look very sexy if you are in pain and cant walk straight.  You may think you are sexy, but you are not.  Grimaldi’s may dish out a decent pie, but it demands quite an effort to get there and stand on line, resulting in a low Taste/Pain ratio.  Tourists do the pilgrimage to the legendary Di Fara in Brooklyn, spending half a day door-to-bite, convincing themselves that its worth it, while not realizing that there’s around 20 places that would suit them just fine in Manhattan.

Capizzi may very well have the highest Taste/Pain Ratio in NYC.  There’s never any sort of wait.  Yo get a comfortable table and personal service each and every time (both aspects may be lacking sometimes in Don Antonio and the busier Tavola across the street.  Busier than Capizzi that is).  Capizzi is old school Brooklyn without the rich history of a Lombardi’s, and the sexiness of a Don antonio, hence not very touristy.  Joe Calcagno’s has been making those pies since he was a child in Brooklyn, helping papa.  Capizzi (a small town in Sicily where grandma came from) is one of several current Joe holdings including a popular restaurant/pizzeria in Staten Island.  Its where I go for my pizza fix

Capizzi
547 9th Ave

Capizzi Out Capizzi in

 

Categories: Midtown West, New York City | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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