Can you think of anything more quintessentially New York than a slice of pizza? Every street corner offers another option but it takes a real New Yorker to be able to tell the best from the rest. Need a little guidance? Take some advice from Haute Living’s NY Editor and try these top 5 pizza joints that will have you saying “mangia, mangia!”
Lucali is a labor of love powered by memories from owner Mark Iacono’s early days. The pizza hot spot located in Carroll Gardens began as an innocent mission by a man, who incidentally had never before made a pizza, to save his favorite childhood hang-out. What was once a candy shop has been transformed into an eatery now famous throughout the country. In 2009 GQ magazine ranked the pizza place second in the nation. The menu consists entirely of mouth-watering, thin-crust pizzas and calzones and you’ll feel amongst family in the natural, home grown atmosphere. Grab your wallet, as Lucali is a cash only establishment, and a bottle of wine that is sure to compliment the Italian fare and be come prepared to dig in.
328 E. 14th Street (near First Ave.)
Artichoke- Bastille's Pizza & Bar
With three locations and high-quality ingredients, Artichokes is the definition of a real New York-style pizza joint. Famous for their name-sake Artichoke pizza, this rich and creamy slice is made with large chunks of artichoke spinach and layers upon layers of cheese. However, prepare yourself for a wait even at 3:00 am, as the fashionable and the hungry exit the nightlife scene, artichoke is usually their next stop.
7 Carmine Street, @ Bleecker Street
This Greenwhich Village institution has been owned and operated by its namesake since opening in 1975. As such, it has remained one of the best and most sought after slices in the city. Here, you will always find a line forming down the block when the late-night snack urge hits. The after-club crowd is entertaining enough alone to warrant the wait, but the pizza is what keeps people coming back. Favored by Regis Philben and Kelly Ripa, Kevin Bacon and Ben Affleck; you can't call yourself a New Yorker until you've had a slice of Joe's.
656 6 Avenue
Once upon a time this pie was only available by waiting on line, under the Brooklyn Bridge, for at least an hour. Though it has expanded its locales (including a Manhattan outpost, listed above) it has by no means compromised its, well, deliciousness. Grimaldi's is solely available by the pie. Why? Because the owners refuse to compromise quality for convenience. As such, each pie is made only after it has been ordered in a coal-fired brick oven--giving it a genuine smokey flavor that is hard to come by elsewhere. Loved throughout New York history by the likes of former Mayor Giuliani and Frank Sinatra, if you love this pizza then you're in good company.
L & B Spumoni Gardens
Known for its famous Sicilion slice and, of course, originating Spumoni ice cream, this is another obligatory New York slice to sample. Still in the hands of the original family, The Barbarti's--whose relatives began selling Spumoni and ices from the back of a horse-drawn carriage--this remains a true New York staple. A true landmark, Spumoni can't be beat on a summer day with its outdoor seating and friendly atmosphere. The only issue you will have here is whether to order the extremely famous pizza pie, Spumoni ice cream, Italian ices, or the fried calamari cocktail shown on Man vs. Food. In true haute style, we recommend getting everything you want.