Legend has it that Halloween is the biggest pizza night of the year (in New York, at least, though that could very well translate into anywhere). My friend, Mark, suggested that I use this fun fact as inspiration for a post about great pizza spots in NYC…so, here goes!
We all have our favorite local place. My favorite is Mimi’s. This is, reportedly, Paul McCartney’s favorite, too (so, yes, great minds DO think alike). My family has been going here for years (whenever I’m there, Steve asks about my parents, which tricks me into thinking that I live in a small town (in a good way)).
Of course, the list of the BEST pizza places in the city is more varied/specific/detailed/trendy/current than I have here, but I’m not a food critic, so what I bring to the table (get it? Because we are talking about food?) is a New York Native’s prospective on the best, most classic, most authentic New York pizza. These are the places to which we bring visitors so that they may experience the pizza that makes it hard for us to enjoy it anywhere else:
Patsy’s (First Avenue and 117th/118th)
The original (and, therefore, the only legitimate) location opened in 1933 in Italian Harlem (now known as Spanish Harlem). This place has such an interesting history, and the walls are lined with proclamations, letters, and photographs from actors, mayors, and government officials. You definitely get the sense that the place hasn’t changed in decades, and the fact that a pie is $12 only emphasizes that fact.
John’s of Bleecker Street (278 Bleecker between 6th Ave and 7th Ave)
Like Patsy’s, there have existed other locations, but the Bleecker Street John’s is the original (well, sort of…the ORIGINAL original was on Sullivan Street until John lost his lease and moved it to Bleecker Street). With a prime location in the West Village, there is often a line, but it’s worth the wait.
Lombardi’s Pizza (32 Spring Street)
Lombardi is THE guy who taught the other guys. Located on the border of SoHo and Little Italy, Lombardi’s was licensed as New York City’s first pizzeria in 1905. This is the place that made New York pizza what it is.
Bonus: Rice to Riches is directly across the street, so go there for rice pudding after you’ve had your pizza.
Barboncino Pizza (781 Franklin Ave, Crown Heights, Brooklyn)
This is the only one on the list that isn’t historic, but OH MY GOODNESS I love this place. The Arugula Pizza, the Sweet Apple Pizza, and the Nutella Calzone…amazing. Barboncino is located right near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Museum, so go for brunch and then stroll the gardens or see some art.
~The New York Native