NYC's Five Worst Pizza Slices

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The teriyaki (blech!) slice at Roll and Go


Here in Gotham, pizza is everywhere, and we've got new (and newfangled) places popping up every day in increasingly more obscure neighborhoods. And now it seems like the hipness of a neighborhood is measured by the assortment of pie places it harbors, explaining why the demise of Motorino was considered such a loss to Graham Avenue.

Yes, we're in the middle of an age that's a real pizza love fest. But what nobody talks about is how a lot of this pizza sucks. The pizzacone was perhaps too obvious an example, but there are lots of slices that taste even worse than a pizzacone. Here are my nominees for the five worst slices in town.

5. Teriyaki Slice at Roll and Go -- This place -- whose name sounds like an invitation to roll yourself a joint, and then get lost -- prominently displays a sign offering a teriyaki slice, and I took the bait on a Sunday afternoon when almost nothing else in the Garment Center was open. What a mistake! The crust was blah. The brown trickle of sauce sweet enough to make your teeth fall out, and the meat topping -- well, let's just say I couldn't even tell what type of meat it was. 570 Eighth Avenue, 212-398-4646


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This place is worse than it looks, and it's just the type of place I go when I want to eat sushi.

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23 comments
boomshanka
boomshanka

Rocket Joe's is "a normally great pizzeria"? Are you a lunatic?

The best thing to say about Rocket Joe's is that it's open late. 

DDB9000
DDB9000

"Pineapple should never be found on a pie for any reason."

Robert, oh, Robert. How can you say this? How many times have you reviewed new and different kinds of foods, with unique ingredients, and ignore the wonders of pineapple on pizza. Were you dropped on your head as a child on a Dole pineapple can or something like that? Did you see some film where hand grenades were called pineapples and haven't gotten over it? Perhaps it gave you PTSD (Pineapple-traumatic stress disorder)?

I often (as in almost always) have pineapple on my pizzas, often a 6 meats w/ pineapple one (and sometimes with green peppers too). But even if limited to 2 items, it's often pineapple w/ bacon, sausage, or ham.

Oddly enough, the first time I had pineapple on a pizza was about 35 years ago (with ham) in Nova Scotia, years before it showed up in my Central NY town, and maybe even before NYC (you'd know better than I). 

Not knowing the place mentioned above, I can't speak to how bad their slices are, but to demean the whole pineapple on pizza industry because of  some bad places is not fair.

And personally, I can't understand why anyone would want to ruin pizza with ANY kind of fish, let alone anchovies...

Matt
Matt

Head to New Haven!

Rgd2234
Rgd2234

Boston Pizza in Astoria should have been on this list

Steve Swiller
Steve Swiller

Famous Rays at 465 Sixth is quite good for a regular slice or a pepperoni.  I would steer clear of a vegetable slice anywhere.. ech

Googie Bergdorff
Googie Bergdorff

It has really reached the point where everything I read suggests some tool who grew up somewhere else and now thinks he's a New Yorker. The pizza here has mostly sucked forever, and anyone trying to reduce that to 5 notably bad places should move to Kansas.

puck30
puck30

Thanks Robert for taking one......er should I say five for the team.

youractualmom
youractualmom

If you already dislike Hawaiian how could you single out someone for having it? Pretty common  slice.

NYCfoodblows
NYCfoodblows

Most pizza in NYC sucks. Great pizza in NYC is almost as big as a fallacy as great tasting tap water in NYC.

Guest
Guest

You should try the vegetable sicilian at Ben's Famous in Soho.  Undigestibly dense, greasy dough bout 3 inches thick, covered in terrible mozzarella and piled high with the most vile, soggy, slimy chunks of fresh-from-the-can broccoli and mushrooms and lots of other things that suck.

pizzapie
pizzapie

First off, pineapple & ham/Canadian bacon on pizza is amazing. Second, Anna Maria's has some kick-ass pizza.  Maybe your palette is suffering from mediocrity. Also, why aren't Famiglia & Papa John's on the list?

Justin
Justin

I am dubious that any of these places would crack the top 20 of terrible pizza places on the Upper East Side. The Totonno's branch on 2nd avenue used to be an island of deliciousness in a sea of mediocrity; but now that it's gone, there isn't a good pie to be had south of Patsy's.

soundbitesnyc
soundbitesnyc

Everything at Fratelli Brick Oven pizza on Grand (off Bedford) is Williamsburg's worst slice. Dude who owns it gave up caring like two years ago, and he bakes his depression into every pie.

GiorgioNYC
GiorgioNYC

Sietsema's right, you couldn't be more wrong. Pineapple on a pizza is a culinary atrocity, a food crime, something only a tasteless fool would enjoy. And anchovies do belong on pizza, cretino. We Italians have been using them for ages. It's called pizza napoletano. "Wonders of pineapple on pizza." Madonna mia, che idiozia.

DJW
DJW

The pizza everywhere in the US has mostly sucked forever. However, New York has dozens upon dozens of very good to incredible pizzerias to balance out the few thousand mediocre slice joints.

NYCfoodblows.
NYCfoodblows.

err...I guess I should have said "almost as big OF a fallacy as..." Please forgive I've only been living in this country since I was born. I'm still getting a grip on the English language.

Aquiline55
Aquiline55

Where is Anna maria's now? I used to go there in the 60's!

Cfelago
Cfelago

Seriously? SERIOUSLY?!

Rsietsema
Rsietsema

Thanks for your comments, pizzapie. I didn't put franchise places on the list because they're pretty much all bad. And they generally don't serve slices.

DJW
DJW

Meh. Toscano's picks up the slack well -- they kept the Totonno's oven -- and Giorgio's and Al Forno are decent for whole pies. Delizia? Little Vincent's? Two Boots? All fairly decent as well. The Upper East Side has its share of bad pizza, but it's no different than any other neighborhood.

Catskann64
Catskann64

ok, you just made me laugh so loudly, i woke up my mom. thanks ; )

DDB9000
DDB9000

First, notice I said "PERSONALLY", regarding fish on pizza. But leave it to some Guido to pull the Italiano card and sprinkle his rant with some choice Italian words to prove his infallibility. Sorry, buffone, you're not il Papa delle tutte pizze. We're talking pizza in the US, not Italy

But if you want to talk Italia, back in 1994 when I was in Firenze, I saw pizza there with...pineapple on it! To be honest, I was surprised, and for what it's worth, I didn't have any, as there were so many local varieties with great meats and vegetables on them. Go right ahead and insult gl'Italiani if you must, but yep: - pizza - pineapple - in Italia!

Sooooo... if you're going to invoke la bella patria, you might check with your relatives there (if they haven't already disowned you). Or maybe you're already there, picking up Berlusconi's merda and selling it as your own...

Justin
Justin

I haven't tried Toscano's, but I've heard bad things. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

Two Boots is terrible though. It's everything that is wrong with modern pizza places. Interesting/unusual topping choices do NOT make up for tasteless crust, bland sauce, and crappy cheese.

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