Searching for good pizza in New York City is like searching for grapes at a vineyard. They’re not hard to find, but some have certain indefinable qualities that make them scrumptiallylicious.
Everybody knows pizza originated in Italy, but New York City pizza has quite a history as well. The city’s actually been serving up slices since the early 1900s. Pretty soon, Italian immigrants to NYC were experimenting with a different style of pie that became known as “New York-Style” pizza. This pizza is known for its thin hand-tossed crust, and overall it’s light on tomato sauce so snackers can easily fold a tasty slice into a street snack on-the-go.
As of 2010, there were some 400 pizza parlours listed in NYC. Where to start, right? Well, that’s why Weekend Trips is here. We’ll do the research, you take care of the eating. Deal?
While we’re talking about history, let’s start with the most historic pizza joints in the Big Apple. The list begins with Lombardi’s and Patsy’s Pizzeria. It’s hard to beat Lombardi’s in term of history because Genarro Lombardi started selling pizza pies in 1897. In 1905, he got his first actual pizza shop, and ever since it’s been recognized as the first pizza place in the whole of the United States of America. That’s pretty cool on its own. Add the fact that it’s delish and you’re all set. Fun fact: for its 100th anniversary in 2005, Lombardi’s (now at 32 Spring Street) sold pizza for five cents as a tip of the ol’ hat to 1905 prices.
Next is Patsy’s (named for Pasquale “Patsy” Lanceriat). Keep in mind these NYC pizza families are now in their third and fourth generations. Not many restaurants can say that. Patsy’s (2287 1st Av and East 117th Street in East Harlem), along with pizza spots like John’s Pizzeria on Bleecker Street, are often credited with keeping traditional pizza styles alive when newer generations started demanding faster, cheaper, more unusual styles of pizza.
As far as modern pizza hotspots go in NYC, there are plenty. Two of the joints that come up most often are PeteZaaz (Ha!) and Forcella. PeteZaaz (766 Classon Ave) is a tiny shop that offers pizza craziness like sour cream, curried squash, blueberries, tequila sauce and pickled Thai chillies. A bit odd, but sometimes you have to take risks to get the reward!
Finally, we leave you with Forcella (334 Bowery & 485 Lorimer St.), where we recommend you check out Pizzaiolo Giulio Adriani‘s signature montanara, a fried Neapolitan-style pizza dish. A trip to Forcella’s will also let you check out some rather unique pizza parlour architecture and interior design. Let’s just say the exposed ovens are covered in black-and-white mosaic tiles. ZA!
Don’t forget to take your vitamins!