The 10 Best Pizzas in NYC
We've been fuming since TripAdvisor's bogus pizza rankings placed New York fourth in the country this summer. The list--a product of crowdsourcing gone awry--proved to be ultimately useless, but in our reactionary anger, it gave us reason to mull over the finest examples NYC has to offer. From light, chewy Neapolitan rounds to Sicilian squares, archetypal "New York" slices and novelty pies, these are booming times for the city that helped introduce pizza to the United States. Certainly, no city in this great land boasts as rich a history with the foodstuff. Our take? You can bet your bottom dollar slice joint, New York is the best pizza city in America. Here's our top ten.
flickr/Eric__I_E Pizza from Lombardi's, which, despite being acknowledged as America's first pizzeria, didn't make the cut.
10. John's of Bleecker Street, 278 Bleecker Street
Beyond the salty, greasy cheese and heavily charcoal-kissed crust, it's the piquancy of John's sauce that remains the most remarkable thing about the offerings at this standard-bearer in the NYC pizza pantheon. Opened in 1929, John's famously eschews the trappings of traditional pizza parlors opting for table service over a slice counter. Selling pizza exclusively by the pie coupled with the restaurant's storied history accounts for the lines, but once you're inside, it's well worth the price of admission for the pizza as much as for the atmosphere. With its faded murals and deeply worn wooden booths, the place is a museum.
9. Don Antonio by Starita, 309 West 50th Street
Don Antonio by Starita
Keste's Roberto Caporuscio tapped mentor and pizza demigod Antonio Starita to help create the menu at this love letter to all things doughy. Forcella may have devoted an entire failed concept restaurant to the montanara pizza, but Don Antonio's version of the deep fried pie receives a topping of smoked buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes before being finished in the wood burning oven; the effect of smoky, milky cheese, fried dough and sweetly acidic tomatoes is transcendent, the crust superbly crisp. Together, both master and student have surpassed the majority of pizza places in New York.
8. Motorino, 139 Broadway, Brooklyn
Part of the Neapolitan pizza resurgence of the early '00s, Mathieu Palombino's international pizzeria (there's an outpost in Hong Kong) puts out pizzas that are respected for their ample chew and exterior char. The flavor developed on the crust allows for the chef to play around with aggressive toppings, like Brussels sprouts with pancetta and broccolini with spicy sausage and shreds of eggy stracciatella. After a structural failure at the flagship's location, Palombino's return to Williamsburg this past spring has proven triumphant; the pizza is as bubbled and fragrant as ever.