There are some foods that New York is known for: bagels, hot dogs, and of course pizza. My college years in the Midwest most adventures in pizza were ordering the campus specials from chains like Domino’s and Papa John’s…not that there’s anything wrong with that. But New York opened me up to a world full of pizza that I never knew existed. Most tourists are familiar with famous haunts like Grimaldi’s and John’s, but here are some other worthy slices to try.
Best Traditional Slice-Sal and Carmine’s: It’s hard to walk a block in NYC without finding a place to grab a basic slice. Most, to be honest, are mediocre, but Sal and Carmine’s is the perfect place to walk in for a standard slice or pie and leave completely satisfied. I think the secret to this little hole in the wall is their focus on simplicity. They don’t crowd their menu with other dishes and sides. They only serve pizza and it is dished up with fresh ingredients and baked to perfection.
Best Sicilian Slice-Spumoni Gardens: Traveling out to Graveshead, Brooklyn might not be on everyone’s to-do list, but it is worth making a special lunch trek to Spumoni Gardens. This is the perfect summer jaunt thanks to their ample outdoor seating. They have a comprehensive Italian menu and you can certainly gorge on pasta and entrees, but the standout dish is the Sicilian slice. Seeing as they’ve been serving up slices since 1939 and have had a loyal following all these decades, they must be doing something right.
Best Gourmet Toppings-Artichoke: This local chain has locations throughout the Village and Chelsea and even LaGuardia Airport. What sets Artichoke apart from other pizzerias is their premium toppings. Their house specialty is their namesake pizza with artichoke hearts, spinach, cream sauce, and two cheeses. I’m also a fan of the Crab Pizza with crab sauce, cheese, and surimi stuffing.
Best Pizza at an Upscale Restaurant-Cafe Fiorello: This Upper West Side restaurant is one of my favorite’s in the city. Fiorello’s has an incredible antipasto bar, deadly desserts, the best bartenders in the city, and amazing pizza. Their pies are served ultra thin and crispy. They are perfect for sharing over a bottle of red wine or cocktails. The menu changes every so often but there is always a great selection of both meat and vegetarian pies. You can’t go wrong with the classic Margherita pizza.
Best Pizza that is Worth the Long Wait-Di Fara’s: I mentioned Grimaldi’s and John’s which both serve up amazing pies and are notorious for their wait times. In my opinion the true worth the wait pizza is at Di Fara‘s in Midwood, Brooklyn. They’ve been a neighborhood fixture for over 50 years and while five dollars for a single slice may seem steep in a city famous for one buck slices, trust me it is worth every penny. They don’t take reservations so brace yourself for a potential wait. In my personal experience I’ve waited up to 45 minutes for a single slice. I do have friends that have endured a two hour queue, but swore it was worth it. I’ll let you be the judge.