There are two kinds of pizza that get all the press in New York. One is wood oven-fired Napolitana pizza (Keste, Mortorino, et al.); and the other is coal-oven fired pantheon pizzas (John's, Totonno's, etc.). One from another time, and one from another place. Sad stuff! Because the classic New York pizza alice, orange and crisp and perfect, is still alive and well, and better than either.
Benny Tudino's serves straight up New York pizza slices with one difference: they are gigantic. The biggest slices you've ever seen. You could get two somewhere else. But this one goes up to 11. Forget about it!
Hidden away in one of the shadiest corners of the lower east side, and looking for all the world like just another pizza joint, Nonna Apa is in fact a singular kitchen with a distinctive slice and absolutely extraordinary veal, eggplant, and meatball subs. The place rewards repeated visits, because there's a wide variety of pizzas and specialties, and also because, like most artisanal operations, some times its better than others.
In many ways, Joe's is the quintessential New York slice. It's not the best, but it perfectly embodies what a New York slice is supposed to be: thin crust, a small amount of greasy cheese, some acidic sauce, and a paper plate to hold it all up. It doesn't bend or drip or have caper berries. No. It's just Joe's.
Nothing unusual here -- just the quintessential New York pizza joint, turning out perfectly crisp, orange-colored slices with just enough cheese and a tip that doesn't sag as you walk down Broadway.
A rustic glory, Joe & Pat's crisp, intense pies, with their chunked mozzarella and ultra-thin crusts, offer a kind of crude greatness you just don't find in Manhattan anymore. Eat it there. This masterpiece needs to be appreciated at its best.
Just a classic, throwback pizza joint, this Bronx standby totally embodies what the New York slice should be: thin, crispy, greasy, delicate, salty-sweet, and served on a paper plate.
Yes, it's in the middle of nowhere. Yes, you have to wait a million years while owner Dom DeMarco painstakingly makes his pies one at a time. And yes, the pizza costs more than the crap sold on every corner. But these are masterpiece pies, unique in the world, and the standard by which all other pizza is judged. Live with it.
New Park, the pride of Queens, pushes the New York slice's signature crispness to an extreme, but it never loses its delicious cheesy richness or tomato bite. Just a great, unique slice, a throwback to the days when slices has personality.
The titular artichoke slice is abominable, but this mini-chain deserves fame or its glorious square slice, an ultra-oily, ultra-rich, ultra-acidic, ultra-good feast on a plate. Get a lot of napkins and bring your appetite.
Hell's Kitchen Pizza is named not just for its neighborhood, but also for the infernal heat that comes via its spicy signature pie. This pizza is hardcore, uncompromising, and takes no shit from tourists -- just like the neighborhood it sits in.