New York style pizza is characterized by thin crust and large hand-tossed pies that are often sold in wider slices to go. The crust is crispy along the edge but pliable and soft enough beneath its toppings for easier folding. As much as we all agree that New York pizza is way better than any other pizza in the United States, we can’t all agree on which pizza spot is the best in the city. For some it is all about that spot in the neighbourhood, for others it’s about faithfulness and authenticity to traditions while for others it is how “New York-ish” it is.
Below are some of the city’s most famous pizzeria places that you definitely need to visit.
Lombardi’s is located in Manhattan’s North of the Little Italy neighbourhood. It was the first ever pizzeria to be opened in America, in the year 1905. Founded by the Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi, the coal-oven baked pizzas from this restaurant have had quite a celebrity following, with regular visits from customers like Jack Nicholson. Their pizzeria’s Neapolitan-style (from Italy, Naples) pizzas feature smoky, crispy crusts with fresh mozzarella as well as toppings such as sweet Italian sausage, coal oven roasted peppers, homemade meatballs, and many more. The standard pizza at this restaurant’s menu is Gennaro’s Original Pizza, topped with Romano cheese, mozzarella, fresh basil and San Marzano tomato sauce. The queue can be long, but due to the expansion of the restaurant, the maximum wait time has been reduced to 20 minutes. You can either dine-in or have your pizza delivered to your residence.
Located on the 27 Prince Street in Nolita, Ray’s Pizza is another famous restaurant known for Neapolitan pizza. More than 40 pizzerias exist with the name “Ray”– Famous Original Ray’s, Original Ray’s, Not Ray’s Pizza and many others. There is still debate on which one gained fame first. Ray’s Pizza started in 1959 by Ralph Cuomo and located on the Prince Street is believed to have preceded them all. You really need to try the Ray’s Famous Special; it is filled with pepperoni, bacon, meatballs and other toppings. You can also order one of their White Pizzas with sauce as well as plenty of ricotta and your choice of toppings. They have an extensive dine-in menu which also contains other Italian favourites, like chicken parmigiana and baked ziti. Your pizza can also be delivered to your Bed and Breakfast in New York.
Di Fara Pizza
Even though Di Fara Pizza is located outside Manhattan, critics rave about this pizzeria. It has for more than forty years served up homemade pies prepared by founder Domenico DeMarco himself. Although he is over 70 years old, Domenico still works in the restaurant three to four hours a day making the dough for his very famous Neapolitan pizzas that feature a thin crust with folded, soft edges. When food critics ask him the reason behind Di Fara’s pizza popularity, he says the secret is in the fresh ingredients used in each pie: basil that is grown at the restaurant, mozzarella and flour from Italy as well as tomato sauce that is infused with olive oil. This restaurant does not accept reservations or phone orders.