Slices, Subways and Service: Spilled Milk #20
My 10 favorite pizza places in NYC.
I just read on Food & Wine Magazine’s website that since the early 1960's, the price of a slice of pizza has correlated with the cost of a subway ride. It can only be described as miraculous confluence. Today, according to Bloomberg, for the first time since the "pizza principle" went public, a plain slice is more expensive than a single subway ride. I am 100% serious.
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The article points out that subway fares have been frozen at $2.75 and the short column, which I think is meant more as an amusing anecdotal piece of food news, also points out that rising costs of labor, oil, cost of goods, etc., created the current economic climate and pegs a plain slice at around $3.14, but two thoughts occurred to me simultaneously.
But as a born and bred New Yorker:
Here are my 10 favorite pizzas in NYC off the top of my head.
I am sure I missed a bunch. I want to know what YOUR favorite pizza place is in your neck of the woods. And following this list, read on about my own moral outrage about lists like this in a time like this.
Brick oven, 90 year old Harlem location, it’s the real deal.
I like the original Carmine Street location, this was the slice joint of my childhood around the corner from my Dad’s place. Still rocks it for me.
Wood-fired pizza heaven. Old school, too. Don’t let the cute names for the pies fool you.
Dom just passed away last mont. I’ve eaten here a hundred times and never had anyone else make my pizza but him. It’s on my list because its superb and I am sure to bawl like a baby next month when I am in NYC go grab a pie there. The ‘square’ pie with blistered cherry tomatoes and garlic is an old love of mine.
Over 80 years old and going strong, I get the whole pie, and I like the corners, if you know you know. The sauce is on top of the cheese and I just can’t get enough of this place.
Maybe my favorite crust, with superb scorch marks. All their salumi is made in-house so go for a pie with some of their signature cured meats.
Don’t sleep on the stunning calzone, but the Mark Iacono pies are perfectly thin but still have both crunch and chew. Magic. And the cheese/sauce ratio is nailed.
Get the Margherita and the meatball/onion/ricotta pies and then call me. You can’t pick a fave, I dare you.
Serious Neapolitan style pies and much better at the OG location than at the newer outpost in Manhattan. I love this place because of the pizza, but it’s also the whole Arthur Avenue vibe that I adore. A must.
A unicorn. Thin crispy crust with the most unique way of adding sauce, cheese and other toppings. You just need to go. This isn’t some newfangled modernist place, its 60 plus years old. Architectural masterpieces in your hand.
OK, I know I said 10 faves, but Motorino in Manhattan is also one of the best pizzerias and easily top 5 crusts in NYC, it’s downright pillowy. Hit the East 12th street location. You will thank me, worthy of the hype.
My moral outrage? I am getting crabby in my old age.
There is a war in Ukraine that has me scared for the world my son will inherit, a climate crisis that is truly existential that we aren’t doing enough about, a voting rights crisis that is under-reported despite all the daily news about it (add more Russian interference/hacking for 2022 to that mix as retribution for sanctions) and I am worried for the future of my country.
And someone wants to write about subway prices and pizza slices??? WTF.
Well, that’s what I felt an hour ago. Apologies to F&W.
Now I am happy because I am sure, like everyone else, if I didn’t have pizza to talk about, I would be an even worse emotional mess. In times like these, we must do everything we can to heal our world and take care of the people who live on this planet. And we need pizza too, and the joy that comes with talking about it. And lists. And do I feel guilty writing this while the news blares some awful headlines and children are hungry and homeless in the Sahel, Ukraine, and other global conflict hot zones? Fuck yes I do.
And if you feel the same, make sure you are doing something every day to help one of these organizations…the pizza tastes better at the end of your night if you do something for someone else during your day.
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