Pizza is life.
I crave it, dream about it, long for it.
NYC is one of the Meccas for the pie. And I don’t think it’s one of the reasons I moved my family to this city, but subconsciously, maybe it was.
Eating a slice, as the grease seeps into the flimsy white paper plate, is a quintessential New York experience.
Sure there are a lot of flashy things about NYC: Times Square, Fifth Avenue shopping, Broadway theatre. But they are the face of the city, not it’s heart.
People who work hard to build a dream are at its core. They come in all ages, races, shades, shapes, tastes; and you will see that rainbow of humanity in any pizza shop. At the heart of the city, you find a humble, but a delicious, slice.
Pizza is everywhere, yet, when you bite into a great one, it’s transcendent. It can be heaven on an isosceles triangle for three dollars.
Every living person can enjoy it. It’s for the poor and the billionaire. It’s for everyone.
It’s a slice of joy.
Here are a few of my favorite pizza restaurants in NYC in reverse order.
This is a beloved spot. There are lines, but they are manageable. The regular slice is great, but I’ve realized that it’s a touch too sweet for me. But it’s still one of the best slice shops in the city.
It’s a lesser known place, but I love it. It’s a no-nonsense shop. I go there for the regular slice, but the pepperoni is terrific too. The crust is perfect, and it’s on the saltier side, which I like—a lot.
Prince Street Pizza:
This is where you go for the square slice with pepperoni on it. It’s officially called the Spicy Spring, but I’ve always called it the pepperoni. There is always a monster line here. Once I tried getting there thirty minutes before it opened at 11a to beat everyone—nope—there was another dude already there, pacing like a lion waiting for his prey. The staff isn’t always the nicest, but the square is worth it.
The thin crispy crust and beautiful cheese and toppings on these pizzas are otherworldly. It’s not a slice shop, so you have to sit down and order a whole pie. But you need to try this place. There is a line too, so you should go right when it opens, which is 1130a. When I did that, I was seated right away, and they made sweet love to my palette.
This place isn’t just hype. It’s real.
The pizza here was worth the two and a half hours of waiting for my two slices. That’s not even mentioning the fact I drove deep into a part of Brooklyn I didn’t even know existed. And my slices may have tasted so good because I waited so long, smelling all of those pies being made by a young Italian guy before they were passed onto all of the other customers before me who devoured them as I watched. But I don’t think so. I think they were just that incredible, and I would do again. I had a slice of the Classic (with sausage, peppers, mushrooms, and onions) and a pepperoni slice. Both were exquisite. I wanted to stay there forever and speak Italian and work there. But I could feel my wife’s stare through the texts she was sending me like a machine gun spits out bullets, and I knew I had to go home. It was between keeping my family intact or another slice. I almost went for the latter: It was that good.