#23 Prince Street Pizza

December 16th, 2017

Manhattan, NYC

One of our favorite slice joints around Manhattan is Prince Street Pizza. We stumbled upon Prince Street pizza back when we started working our way around NYC, even though it wasn’t on the original 2015 Daily Meal list that we started working from. We kept coming across the name on other “Best of” lists, so we knew that we had to make it a stop, especially because it was within walking distance of our offices. AND THEN it made it on the 2016 list, and again on the 2017 list. It was about time.

If you are walking around SoHo/Nolita and looking for a slice of pizza, this is one of the best. (Williamsburg Pizza would be another good bet.)  It has an old-school charm, even though it is a relatively new establishment. It’s location, though, is pizza history: it is half of the original location of Ray’s Pizza (of traditional NY pizza fame). These days, you may find a “Ray’s Original” on a number of NY street corners, but the “original” Ray’s no longer exists, having given in to a rent/lease dispute back in 2011.

 

Prince Street Pizza is known mainly for their square slices. THE slice to order is the spicy square pepperoni slice with a fresh Fra diavolo sauce. You just have to do it. And not just because those little tiny cups of pepperoni are so darn instagrammable. It just tastes amazing (and this is coming from someone who is not the biggest fan of pepperoni).  The plain cheese slices and margherita slices are also good. You could get one of those too. We would never just stop at one slice!

The crust on the square slices here isn’t thick and heavy like some Sicilian slices. It is pretty light and airy, making it easy to eat more than one slice.

You won’t get a seat to eat in Prince Street, especially if you come for slices during the lunch or dinner rush. You should be prepared to take your slices to go. There is a small counter inside, but it is pretty tight to sit if you aren’t by yourself.  This isn’t a place to linger – get in, order, and move on.

Eric has recently recruited a bunch of people from his office to take trips over to Prince Street for lunch. It makes me really sad that my office has moved out of SoHo and I can’t regularly join them.

I mean, just look at those ronis! Right?

To visit:

Prince Street Pizza
27 Prince St
New York, NY 10012

#85 Sal’s Pizza

April 10th, 2016

Mamaroneck, NY

Sal’s Pizza in Mamaroneck is ranked mainly for their Sicilian pie. We took our friends Claire and Jeff out to Mamaroneck one weekend afternoon to test it out. Mamaroneck, for anyone who doesn’t drive around NYC that often, is right in Westchester County, right off of I-95 as you go into Connecticut. It is probably an hour drive from our house in NJ to get there. I can’t remember if Eric got us lost driving there – the chances are good that he did.

 

When we went here last April, it had been a while since we had eaten a Sicilian slice. We’d been so busy eating our way around the NY slice joints! It was good to change it up. We ended up just going with a plain Sicilian pie to split between the four of us, which ended up being plenty of food. Next time we probably would have also tried the salad pie, since it seems to be another popular option.

Sal’s is known in the area to have lines out the door for these Sicilian slices, but we were there for lunch and got a table right away. The pizzeria is very old-school, and just what you’d expect from a 50-ish year old restaurant in terms of both atmosphere and decor.

 

As for the pizza, it is also pretty traditional. The regular slices looked like traditional NY slices. For the Sicilian, the crust was good. It was nice and airy and not too dense like the crust on some Sicilian slices that you find around NYC. The sauce was on the sweeter side. The mozzarella was not put on lightly (as you can see in the picture above). The Sicilian slice was pretty much everything that you’d expect from a Sicilian slice, although it also sort of reminded us of Ellio’s frozen pizzas.

We know that some people like their pizza full of cheese and grease. If that’s you, you should make a stop here at Sal’s as soon as possible. You probably aren’t trying to stay the same pants size while eating pizza 2-3 times a week.  While we will never turn down a slice of pizza, so much cheese isn’t really our thing.

There’s a rumor that Joe Torre used to stop here for pizzas on his way home from home games. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, and we think he probably could have found better pizza in the area. But it is quite possible he is one of those cheesy pizza lovers, in which case, we’d understand why he made the stop.

To visit:

Sal’s Pizza
316 Mamaroneck Avenue
Mamaroneck NY 10543

 

 

 

 

 

 

#83 King Umberto

December 4th, 2016

Elmont, NY

We spent Sunday morning decorating the house for Christmas, and by noon we were getting antsy (OK, I was getting antsy). So we decided to take another unplanned pizza road trip. This time, we picked one of the new 2016 pizza places that was close to NYC, King Umberto. This is not to be confused with Umberto’s in New Hyde Park, or Galleria Umberto in Boston’s North End (both of which we have been to, and will include in future posts). Or any of the other million pizza places named after the Italian king.

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King Umberto is part restaurant/part pizzeria. We only went in the pizzeria, so we can’t comment personally on the other food. But if the pizza is any indication, the rest of the food served is probably pretty good.  We had pretty big appetites from that drive up past Manhattan, through the Bronx, and down the lovely Cross Island Parkway, so we didn’t hold back with the number of slices we ordered. Also, we like to give fair reviews here on 101pizzaplaces.com, so we wanted to try as many different styles as possible.

To start with, we each ordered a veggie slice. The crust on these slices was thick, almost as thick as the Sicilian style slices. Loaded with veggies and a generous portion of cheese on top of the veggies. That slice alone would make a good meal. Then, we had to try the Elmont slice.  The Elmont is a rectanglular Focaccia-style pan pizza topped with garlic, tomato sauce, and homemade fresh and shredded mozzarella. We also tried one of the Grandma slices – the King of Hearts slice: whole wheat crust topped with sun-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and artichoke hearts. To round it all off, we ordered one of the stuffed slices as an afterthought. That was a double crusted pizza filled with mozz, ricotta, broccoli, and spinach. Eric ate most of that one.

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We have to say that we loved the service here also. It wasn’t super busy and the server at the desk was happy to listen to us debate which slices to order and threw in his own two cents, which was appreciated.

On our way out, we both commented that we wished this place was closer to downtown, because it had a slice selection comparable to the best in NYC, and good prices too. We were happily full as we drove back to NJ.

To visit:

King Umberto
1343 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003

 

#24 Kesté

November 19th, 2015

Manhattan, NYC

Kesté is another restaurant on the list that is within walking distance from our office, so we decided to go here for lunch. It was an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria, and it has about 50 different pizzas on the menu, as well as salads and appetizers. It was definitely a difficult decision. We went with the Vegetariana, which has zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, artichokes, mushrooms and basil. img_20151119_121224500

There isn’t really too much to say about this pizza, besides that it was good. These were some of our first Neapolitan pies of the quest, and they are probably up there still with our favorites, having been to a lot of them by now.

The location is great, too. The restuarant is right on Bleecker Street, across from John’s of Bleecker and up the street from Joe’s and Bleecker Street pizza. It took us about 10 minutes to walk there.

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The restaurant itself is pretty tiny. We’ve heard that dinner can get crowded, but it was pretty empty when we showed up for lunch. But then, I think we got there right when it opened, so that wasn’t too surprising.

We will definitely be coming back here now that we have time to revisit our favorites. We need to try some of the other pies on the menu!

They also have delivery, if there are any interested New Yorkers out there.

 

To visit:

Kesté
271 Bleecker Street
New York, NY  10014

 

 

 

#30 Lombardi’s

November 11th, 2015

Manhattan, NYC

We took another walk and lunch date to Lombardi’s, which is only a 15 minute walk from our office. Lombardi’s claims to be the first pizza in the United States (opening in 1905). It is not the longest-running open pizza place, though, since it closed down for 10 years in the mid-80’s and changed location. So the location where it sits today has only been open for the last 20 or so years.

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We got the traditional pie here, which was tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella. It had a nice coal oven bake to the crust. The sauce was good, and there was a lot of it, which we liked. We also had a side of breadsticks.

We understand that Lombardi’s is another one of these New York Pizza Places that’s on every tourists’ list, but we didn’t love it. Similar to how we felt about Joe’s – its a great NY pie, but it wasn’t anything special.

Also, it was a bit overpriced. We wish that we were back in 1905, when their pies sold for 5 cents!

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To visit:

Lombardi’s
32 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012

#22 John’s of Bleecker

November 4th, 2015

Manhattan, NYC

Our second stop was John’s of Bleecker, for a traditional NY pie. This was actually our second time eating pizza here. A year or so ago, Eric bought me a gift certificate to John’s because he had heard that it was one of the oldest and best pizzas in the city. This time, we just walked up from our offices for a lunch date.

John’s of Bleecker is the third oldest pizza place in the city (after Totonno’s and Lombardi’s), and it was started back in 1929. Bleecker Street is not the original location, however, the pizza is still the same coal-fired brick oven pizza that it was back then.

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We went with the original cheese pie here with roasted tomatoes. A medium was just enough for the two of us to split, although last time we split a large pie.  As you will see, we have big pizza appetites.

The atmosphere at John’s is very no-frill. They don’t take reservations and the wait in the evening is always long. Diners over the years have scribbled names and dates on the booths. While they have some sides and salads, it really is all about the pizza. This is just as it should be, since the pizza is excellent.

 

First bites:

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The pizza scene in New York can be a bit overwhelming, but it’s safe to say that John’s of Bleecker is guaranteed a high ranking on our list.

To visit:

John’s of Bleecker Street
278 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014