Real NYC Experiences part 2 (Pizza)

This is the 2nd post in a series of three - offering a list of things to do and places to see while in New York.

After subways, pizza is arguably the item second most associated with NYC... well, at least in some (hungry, foodie) NYer's minds.

Ask a NYer what their favorite pizza is and you will get an impassioned and often long response with lots of qualifiers and maybe even some instructions on how to properly eat pizza.  I thought I would include some of my favorites and a map for those of you who want to do a little gastronomic exploration.

View Best NYC Pizza in a larger map

1. Di FaraMidwood, Brooklyn
Dom DeMarco

In my opinion Dom DeMarco of Di Fara Pizza makes the best pizza in the city.  Di Fara is a little bit of a trek and is in the middle of Midwood, Brooklyn (which some would say is the middle of no where), but foodies trek to this pizza mecca and wait in line often up to an hour for Dom's delicious pizza.  The pizza crust is crispy, ingredients are fresh and is always finished off with some olive oil, basil and fresh grated parmesan.
The wait for a full pie can often take an hour, as Dom makes every pie that comes out of the oven here - and has been doing it for over 45 years, but its worth it.  If you can't wait for a full pie, you can grab a slice, which is just as good... but will probably make you want to get a full pie.

2. Lucali'sCarroll Gardens, Brooklyn
Located in Carroll Gardens, two blocks from our home, Lucali's makes a similar style to Di Fara's pizza - thin crispy crust with fresh ingredients and toppings - and nearly as good.  This pizzeria, run by Mark Iacono, is a sit down BYOB that doesn't take reservations - get there close to opening time if you don't want to wait an hour to sit.  Once you get in you are in for a treat.
Lucali's is a small warm cozy pizzeria that makes you feel at home, with friendly waitresses with thick Brooklyn accents - which makes this trendy pizzeria (that Jay-Z and Beyonce frequent) seem more authentic.

If you question the authenticity of this joint, maybe this profile of Mark Iacono will convince you.

3. John's of BleeckerWest Village, Manhattan
John's of Bleecker
Founded in 1929 by John Sasso, John's of Bleecker Street is my favorite spot in Manhattan.  Often crowded with a line around the block, the wait is worth it.  Being on Bleecker in the West Village, this pizza joint is a great spot for people watching while you are waiting and there are plenty of places to grab a drink afterwards.

4. Arturo's PizzeriaWest Village, Manhattan
Arturo's has the best quality pizza to time waiting ratio.  In a no frills restaurant that looks like it hasn't changed in over 40 years - check out the bathroom that still has a bath tub in there - Arturo's has wonderful coal oven cooked pizza and I've never had to wait longer than 30 minutes for a table - I probably just jinxed myself.
Have a peroni and listen to some live jazz while you wait and then get a pie and an fresh arugula salad with shaved parmesan - and maybe a few more peronis.

5. Zero Otto NoveArthur Avenue, Bronx
Arthur Ave is the Bronx's Little Italy - Robert Deniro's A Bronx Tale took place here. 
Arthur Avenue is a great place to have some of the best Italian food in the world and Zero Otto Nove is widely considered the best pizzeria on Arthur Ave.

6. Grimaldi'sDUMBO, Brooklyn
Many consider Grimaldi's the best pizza in NYC.  Well situated under the Brooklyn Bridge, this pizzeria has become a tourist favorite with tour buses lining up outside.
Unfortunately, for many locals Yoga Berra's famous quote rings too true - "Nobody goes there anymore.  Its too crowded."

If you want to grab a pie from this famous pizzeria, here is a secret tip, you can call (718-858-4300) and order a pie to go and then take it over to the park across the street and eat some of the best pizza in the city while taking in the wonderful view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline while tourists look at you and your pizza longingly.

7. Denino's Pizza TavernStaten Island
Staten Island has a number of good pizzeria's - they don't call it Staten Italy for nothing.  Denino's is a stand out and although its dough is a little thicker and softer  than the others on this list, its fantastic and worth the trip to New York City's southern most borough.

8. Patsy's Pizzeria, East Harlem, Manhattan
This place is an East Harlem institution - originally opened in 1933 - surviving and thriving as the neighborhood has shifted from Italian to Puerto Rican.
Patsy's now has a number of locations, most of which are probably more conveniently located, but I suggest you head up to the original restaurant on First Avenue and 117th.  As Sinatra says on their website, "You should have pizza at Patsy's on 117th Street.  The greatest in the world.  There ain't nothing like that.  I don't care where the hell you go.  All over Italy you don't get anything like that."

9. L&B Spumoni GardensGravesend, Brooklyn
Located in Gravesend Brooklyn, this pizzeria is over 70 years old and is famous for its Sicilian pie, Italian Ices and Spumoni.  There is also a nice area to eat outside.
L&B Square

10. Lombardi's PizzaLittle Italy, Manhattan
Lombardi's claims to be America's first pizzeria - although I think some in New Haven woudl disagree.  Not only is this arguably the birth place of the modern day pizza, they make a hell of a pie.

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