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Your favorite place to get a slice of NY pizza?

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You know, the kind that's no fuss, no pretensions of being Neapolitan this or gourmet that.

Just a basic floppy cheese slice maybe with pepperoni and occasionally mushrooms or bell peppers but always with the requisite red grease.

Served up on paper plates, and best eaten folded and standing up.

So what say you?

Me? My personal favorite spot is probably Sacco in Hell's Kitchen.

Yours?

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  1. I love Italian Village on First Ave. between 79th and 80th Streets.

    2nd fav: Costco in East Harlem.

    2 Replies
    1. re: pbjluver

      Y'know, that's really interesting.

      I'm not quibbling, but I've never really considered the Costco slice to be a NY slice of pie. But maybe I've just never let my imagination wander. Sufficiently.

      1. re: pbjluver

        I lived around the corner from them for about 2 years and ate their pizza about once or twice a week....(say 3 or 4 years ago....) I always brought our doorman back a slice too...

      2. I never met a down-and-dirty slice of NY that I didn't like. When it come to this type of pizza, I have no preference whatsoever. To me, a slice is a slice is a slice. After almost 50 years of eating this type of pizza in the NYC metro area, I'm not picky.

        4 Replies
        1. re: ttoommyy

          C'mon, really?

          Do you really think there's no difference between, say, a 2 Bros. slice and other slices?

          I think there's definitely a difference between $1 slice shops and other places.

          But again, not quibbling ...

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Sometimes the $1 slices are completely delicious. The one on my block is quite good.

            My favorite slice is Joe's on Carmine Street, however.

            1. re: loratliff

              Joe's definitely has good pizza.

            2. re: ipsedixit

              I never said there was no difference. Of course there is. I just said I never met a slice I didn't like. At this point in my life, having had numerous amounts of NY slices, I couldn't even begin to tell you which I like best. I just like them all. I am not snobbish when it comes to a slice. Neopolitan style? That's a different story.

          2. Years ago, I was headed to New York and asked a friend who'd lived there that exact same question. His reply was, essentially "Anything with Ray's in the name."

            He did then give us specific locations and I was in slice heaven. But I loved the basic-ness of his first reply!

            1. I've always had a soft spot for Ben's, on the NE corner of Spring & Thompson. Prolly because that's my old neighbourhood, but still, I've never been disappointed with what I've eaten there.

              (Shouldn't that read "slice of NY pizza"? -unless a NY slice has some sort of distinctive shape and I just missed the memo!)

              7 Replies
              1. re: Phil Ogelos

                You're absolutely right.

                Edited to fix the title.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  You're a man good, ipse ;)

                2. re: Phil Ogelos

                  +1 on Bens. I used to eat there in the early 1980s when I worked in a machine shop on Spring and Mercer. The area has changed, Ben's has not (really, it hasn't... same counters, booths etc)

                  1. re: dyrewolf

                    "... worked in a machine shop on Spring and Mercer"

                    man, you must be, like, 400 years old!
                    (you know, from the Iron Age.)

                    1. re: Phil Ogelos

                      51. It was industrial back then and the artists just started moving in. On the NW corner of Spring and Broadway there was a cheap diner... there were no designer boutiques and the first galleries had just started opening...

                      (there are still machine shops making things out of metal... they just aren't anywhere in Manhattan anymore)

                      1. re: dyrewolf

                        I lived in a storefront on Mott from '79 - '81, and catty-corner from Fanelli's from '83 - '85 (the owners offered to sell me that big (& I mean really big) loft then for $120k, and I scoffed at their rapaciousness!)
                        Evidently, I lived in that neighbourhood during the Stone Age.
                        ('Stone' as in antiquity, and 'Stone' as in my dunderheadedness.)

                        1. re: Phil Ogelos

                          I'll do you one worse... the building where the machine shop was, good sized structure... 12 or 14 story, maybe 100 feet across was offered to my uncle (whose business I worked at) for $250,000 in the 70's... def more than $25 million now...

                3. Pizza 33, original location at 33rd and 3rd.
                  Honorable mention to Rocky's Pizzeria II on 2nd ave b/w 33rd and 34th (and rocky's garlic knots are nearly perfect....)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                    Used to like Pizza 33 (especially since I used to live across the street), but stopped going when they price gouged their loyal customers during the blackout 10 years ago--they were written up in the newspapers about it or reported on TV (forgot which).

                    1. re: ellenost

                      Oh what shithead opportunists!! I lived on the ues during the blackout- actually my local deli at the time let me have a house accnt there during the blackout.... i'll give rocky's slice another shot as my local since i'm there anyways for the knots....(those are destination worthy!)

                  2. Well, I was about to say Sacco, but looks like someone already beat me to it ;)

                    By the way I tried eating it while sitting once.. never again. Just not the same.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Ziggy41

                      Yes, the grease drips on you when seated.

                      Never washes off. Esp. in a suit and tie.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I'm a foolish romantic: I gave up on NY pizza after Vinny's on Amst. closed. Anyone else remember their sublime pizza?

                        1. re: swannee

                          Your silly absolutism, swannee, reminds me of an experience in Saranda, Albania: my driver and I called out to a man on the street to ask which was the best restaurant in town, and he answered, "oh, it closed some time ago."

                          1. re: swannee

                            I do indeed remember Vinny's and sort of gave up on pizza anywhere in the nabe after they closed. But then I discovered Little Italy Pizza (don't you just hate the name?) on B'way betw. 70th & 71st and think it's pretty damned good. I think it's a chain, but I haven't tried it anywhere else. Not Vinny's, but it does it for me.

                      2. Didn't manage pizza on the recent trip, but my usual approach when visiting has been to pop into any hole in the wall when a craving hit. Very few disappointments.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pikawicca

                          Exactly what I was getting at up above. A NY slice is whatever it is. They're all good. No elitism needed.

                        2. Did you see the serious eats article the other day? Great minds....
                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            Good read. My $1 slice joint (surprisingly) meets all of the criteria and looks identical to the Rosario's slice in the story, so I'm going to continue popping in there as needed. I do like Nonna's LES that he mentions as well—did delivery from them a few weeks ago and thought it was really good, so I'm sure it's much better if you eat it in.

                            1. re: loratliff

                              What's your $1 slice joint?

                              1. re: Humbucker

                                Oh gosh, do they even have names? Haha, I had to Google, but apparently it's called FDR 99 Cents Slice Pizza, on East 2nd Street, near the corner of Avenue A.

                                I think it's really good for a dollar. It's not Joe's or Bleecker Street Pizza, but it's $1!

                          2. How about the west side? Anything near the A/C or 1,2, trains?

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: doublejnyc

                              What stops?

                              Both Bleecker Street/Joe's are near the A/C at West 4th and the 1 at Christopher.

                              Siena Pizza is at the corner of 8th Ave. and 40th Street is right by the entrance to the A/C at Port Authority. I used to get slices there when I worked across the street.

                              1. re: doublejnyc

                                NY Pizza Suprema. 8th Ave and 31st.

                                I like their upside down. Cross between a Sicilian and grandma's.

                                1. re: thegforceny

                                  The grandmother's there kicks ass.

                                  1. re: Jerseygirl111

                                    Count me among the upside-downs. :)

                                2. re: doublejnyc

                                  My friend, who's a slice and bottle of Coke kind of girl, whose brain would start to melt if anyone talked abut Neapolitan or gourmet in relation to pizza, liked Caesar's Palace on the corner of 84th and Amsterdam, if you're on the UWS. That puts it in between the 86th St. 1/2/3 and C stops. On her recommendation, I always took out of towners there after a visit to AMNH for "real NY pizza" and they always seemed happy with it.

                                3. well easily my favorite is louie & ernies, but thats in the bronx. i'll stick with joe's for manhattan. i like my typical slice joint, village pizza, on my block just fine too. and yes some of those dollar slice joints hit the spot sometimes.

                                  1. Speaking for the UWS, Freddie & Pepper's does a really nice slice - it's got that layered texture where the bottom is super-thin and crispy, giving way to a bit of chew.

                                    Also, the fresh mushroom slice at Rigoletto is a personal favorite - big, crisp, foldable, all that.

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: JeffOverley

                                      Ooohhh- i'll be near rigoletto around lunch tomorrow! Do they use fresh shrooms....? I love anything mushroom-y but those canned ones just make me sad....

                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                        If I recall correctly, they do both fresh and canned, but there's typically at least one slice with portabellos, which I believe they'll also add to any previously made slice (not ideal, but an option).

                                      2. re: JeffOverley

                                        I like anything fresh out of the oven at Rigoletto, esp the Sicilian (which sorta bites when reheated)

                                        1. re: JeffOverley

                                          Just heard that Rigoletto is closing this Sunday, March 2--at least, as a place where you can get a slice. Sign in the window says free pizza and drinks from 6 to 9 that evening. Heard they never had the traffic on 72nd Street that they did on Amsterdam and are turning it into some kind of "organic" place. They'll still do pizzas for delivery, but won't sell by the slice.

                                          1. re: JoanN

                                            Rigoletto never was NY pizza. Frozen dough.

                                            1. re: knucklesandwich

                                              When they were on Amsterdam as well as on 72nd St.? I thought the pizza went downhill after the move.

                                              1. re: knucklesandwich

                                                There is nothing wrong with frozen dough, as long as it was good to begin with.

                                                1. re: pikawicca

                                                  I noticed yesterday Brooklyn Kitchen @ Gotham West carrying frozen Roberta's pizza

                                          2. For a poor college student, there was nothing better than the slab at Coronet.

                                            1. any place that has a sidewalk window for dog service....

                                              Diesel determines where we stop

                                               
                                              1. We used to love to get a slice at South Ferry, after Sandy is their still a joint there for a slice or two on the way home to SI?

                                                1. I have had so much deeply mediocre food at celebrated restaurants this trip to NYC that I figured what I needed today, in order to redeem NYC as a place with good food, was an old-fashioned "slice."

                                                  Alas it was not to be. I made it to Sacco in Hell's Kitchen. The crust was okay (not too soggy, not too crackery), but the pizza itself was tasteless and deeply unsatisfying. I definitely do not advise going out of your way for this place. My opinion is that if you find yourself on 9th Ave. at exactly 54th Street or exactly 55th Street and were starving, it would be okay, but if you were more than one short block away, it would not be worth it to detour (and unless you were famished, you should pass it right by).

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: omotosando

                                                    There's no NY slice worthy of a special trip. You can find decent slices everywhere. I work two blocks away from Sacco and its as solid as they come. Sorry we failed you!

                                                  2. My current favorite in this category would have to be Prince St. pizza in Soho (formerly the original Rays).

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: lexismore

                                                      1+ on Prince St Pizza..had an awesome Sicilian slice and a margherita w/pepperoni...Oh yeah!

                                                      1. re: lexismore

                                                        Was the Ray's Pizza at 11th Street and 6th Avenue throughout the 1970s the *original* Original Ray's? I don't remember there being any other Ray's Pizza until the '80s (by which time I no longer lived in NY).

                                                        1. re: Jay F

                                                          I was wondering that myself when I noticed the other day--with dismay, I might add--that it was gone. I only ate there once (in the '70s) and remember that the slice was huge. Despite not living all that far away, I never felt compelled to eat there but it always hurts to see an old place close. Does anyone happen to know what happened?

                                                          I guess I just answered my own question: http://vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com/... . I shudder to think what will happen to that month-to-month barber shop.

                                                          1. re: MacGuffin

                                                            Thanks, MacGuffin.

                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                              You're welcome. :`(

                                                          2. re: Jay F

                                                            Yeah, that was the way people tended to think, but I'm not sure anyone knew which one was actually the first.

                                                            1. re: Pan

                                                              It would seem that Famous Original Ray's is older than Famous Ray's by seven years but isn't "original": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray%27s_... .

                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                Great Wikipedia article! Thanks for the link.

                                                        2. Pizza Suprema on Eighth Ave. near the post office. Everything's good--my faves are the upside-down, fresh mozzarella, and mushroom. I have to add that there used to be a much more good pizza than there is now. The old guys retired/died/whatever and a lot of the current stuff is sub-par compared to what it was, e.g. Frank's on E. 23rd St. It's much more of a crapshoot these days.

                                                          18 Replies
                                                          1. re: MacGuffin

                                                            I find Pizza Surpema's pizzas (at least the ones with tomato sauce) to be too sweet my taste buds which makes me feel like I'm eating a dessert. Not sure if they simply add too much sugar or if they add MSG to the sauce (some places do that!)

                                                            1. re: nycguy20011

                                                              That's interesting because I hate sweet non-dessert food and have never found that to be the case. Different strokes, I guess.

                                                              1. re: nycguy20011

                                                                MSG wouldn't make something sweet, so it would more likely be sugar.

                                                                1. re: Humbucker

                                                                  Trust me, this isn't a place that would use MSG, regardless. They're sticklers for quality.

                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                    I like MSG, so I would actually probably be interested in a place that used it!

                                                                    Not so into very sweet pizza sauce, though.

                                                                2. re: nycguy20011

                                                                  Not all the pizza suprema varieties use the same sauce, so you may have better luck with another.

                                                                  1. re: thegforceny

                                                                    Good point. I seem to recall that they have three.

                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                      Three or four, yeah.

                                                                      The standard is pretty sweet, but no more so (or not too much more so) than Joe's.

                                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                                        I haven't had a slice from Joe's in a long time (I always ordered fresh mozz) but don't remember their sauce as being sweet. Could the tomatoes used have anything to do with perceived sweetness?

                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                          I've been to Joe's recently. I think it's just what every corner pizzeria should taste like but doesn't, and their prices are economical. I don't remember their sauce being anything but good tomato sauce.

                                                                          1. re: Pan

                                                                            I thought is was good, too. I'm not often in the West Village these days, though. However, the price difference between fresh mozz and pizza mozz seemed to have increased sharply the last time I was there.

                                                                          2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                            It's definitely the tomatoes used, and I'd liken it to a cherry tomato kind of sweetness (though what they use, San Marzano or whatever, I don't know). The 14th St. location seems a notch sweeter to me, and having tried Joe's off and on over the years, I never thought of Joe's as being sweet either, until recently. I don't mind it myself, but I'm also not a Joe's fanatic, nor do I think a sweeter sauce on a pizza slice is a bad thing.... but to my tastes, it should be regarded as one of the sweeter slices around.

                                                                            1. re: sugartoof

                                                                              Joe's has a 14th St. location?

                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                Yes, next to the Trader Joe's. If that helps.

                                                                                1. re: villainx

                                                                                  I'm often in/near Union Square so I'll have to check it out. I was really sorry when their second, around-the-corner Village location closed years ago.

                                                                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                    I thought that was the original location. You mean the one on Bleecker, where the ice cream place was at?

                                                                                    1. re: villainx

                                                                                      I checked online and you're right--the one that closed was the original. If memory serves, the owner's son-in-law told me that the landlord wanted an insane rent increase. A shame because both locations always seemed to be teeming with customers. I think another pizzeria ended up there and after they folded, Grom moved in (I'm still loyal to Cones when I'm in the area).

                                                                                      1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                        I liked the pizza at the original location best, the present (2nd) location on 6th (or Carmine) is just a touch not as good. And I find the 14th street location a touch not as good as the 2nd location.

                                                                                        But it's still an above average slice. Thankfully, the starting point was at a really high level.

                                                                3. Ok...today I became a Di Fara convert! Didn't take much...second/third bite of my first slice!

                                                                  14 Replies
                                                                  1. re: smilingal

                                                                    Not for me. I liked (not loved) it many years ago when I first tried it with friends after a New York Magazine article (and prior to its becoming a cult). Several years ago, I took the train out to Brooklyn to bring home a whole pie. As I recall, it was $30+ (I ordered it with all buffalo mozzarella) and very nearly inedible. MUCH too salty, hardly any sauce. What is it now, ~$5/slice? More?

                                                                    Let the flaming begin. :)

                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                      We bought two pies - $26 each - and slices were $5.00.

                                                                      1. re: smilingal

                                                                        As mentioned, I ordered all buffalo. It adds to the cost.

                                                                      2. re: MacGuffin

                                                                        actually their pizza sucks....all hype...
                                                                        come on $40 for 8 slices of pizza?

                                                                        1. re: PHREDDY

                                                                          I think the problem with DiFara's is the lack of consistency. When Dom is on point, his square pie is hands down the best pizza I've ever had in my life. And then sometimes, he burns the pie to death.

                                                                          I don't see how the price is relevant when the goal is best as opposed to best value.

                                                                          That being said, I certainly wouldn't put DiFara's in the "no fuss basic floppy cheese slice category.

                                                                          1. re: lexismore

                                                                            Agree with your final point but IMHO, "best" is just that--what tastes best to you and at least somewhat subjective. Paying a premium for something that doesn't even approach tasting premium is painful and besides, we're talking (lest we forget) Midwood pizza here in a place that was not just cited but closed at least once for health code violations, not Per Se, so price is relevant. As to the square pizza, it has meat in the sauce so I've never had it.

                                                                            1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                              Per Se did get a BOH grade of C once, so they might not be the best counter-example for you to give.

                                                                              1. re: Pan

                                                                                I was aware of that when I posted "not just cited but closed," i.e. there's a big difference between "C" (i.e. "get it together NOW") and "closed." Twice, as it turns out.

                                                                                1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                  I'm not suggesting there's no difference. And let's just say I wasn't surprised when they were closed.

                                                                                  1. re: Pan

                                                                                    I'll tell you the truth--I was. However, it had been some time since I'd eaten/ordered anything there when the first closure occurred. One of my best friends has always lived near that subway stop and visiting involves walking past Di Fara. I was shocked, and even more shocked when I passed a few weeks later and it was still shuttered. Granted, the place is a dive but I tend to like dives (e.g. Shanghai Cafe when it was on the other side of Canal) if they're clean. I guess hygiene deteriorated because I don't recall any BOH controversy when I ate there.

                                                                                    1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                      If you really care,check to see what the violations actually were. I remember visiting one time and Dom was wearing a tam o'shanter. When I stopped laughing asked why a guy from Italy had chosen such headgear,Maggie told me that they got clipped for Dom not wearing a hygienic plastic hair net. Yeah the place is not always that clean but I have never felt my health was in any danger.

                                                                                      1. re: stuartlafonda

                                                                                        "If you really care"

                                                                                        I don't. I think the pizza's awful. But I'll lay ya odds that he wasn't closed twice for wearing a tam.

                                                                                        1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                          http://ny.eater.com/archives/2011/11/...

                                                                                          I'm glad not everyone likes it. The wait is long enough already.

                                                                                          1. re: lexismore

                                                                                            I'm delighted to facilitate a more expeditious slice.

                                                                    2. Little Italy Amsterdam bet 70&71

                                                                      1. La Margarita, a relatively new place on Ludlow between Stanton and Rivington, makes some damn good pizza.

                                                                        1. Bleeker Street Pizza. The Nonna is amazing. AMAZING!

                                                                          1. Sal and Carmine's on 102 and Broadway - I travel there just to eat it!

                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: minichloe

                                                                              I used to go there on a regular basis years ago after martial arts classes. I went more for the companionship of my friends because I found their pizza too salty.

                                                                              1. re: MacGuffin

                                                                                I find them a bit salty too, but also think the crust sauce and cheese is perfect... depends on how I'm feeling that day I suppose.

                                                                                (Btw martial arts classes... Kokushi Budo?)

                                                                                1. re: minichloe

                                                                                  You guessed it! (All four disciplines.)

                                                                                  I thought there was a bit too much cheese (I'm more of a sauce person) but regardless, it was the kind of good NYC pizza that used to be a lot more available than it is now.