Encyclopizzeria’s New York City Pizza Excursion

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Whenever one of my Chicago friends has come back from visiting New York City, the first thing they comment on is how dirty it is. “There’s no alleys,” they’ll say with a mixture of shock and disgust. Then, they’ll comment on how alive it is. How it never closes. How you can get a slice of pizza for $1 whenever you want. How a bus can take you from Chinatown to an array of other cities on the East Coast. This 24/7, never sleep, have-it-all mentality often has some of my Chicago friends returning to claim that New York City is a “real” city. “Chicago’s a borough,” they’ll say.

This May, Stephen and I visited New York City. He a grizzled veteran. Me, a wide-eyed newcomer in awe of the intricacies of the subway and the diversity of the boroughs. I had been to New York City twice when I was an awkward pre-teen and only interested in waving outside of the MTV studios while they taped TRL. This time, New York City was different. This time we were there for pizza.

Whatever your opinion on New York City is, there’s no denying that their pizza is as impressive and varied as the city itself. It elicits a passion and conveys a history and culture of a place that, like so many cities, has undergone drastic changes and progressions since pizza first graced its streets in 1905.

Stephen and I spent four days in New York City. We ate at 13 pizza places. Four of the places we visited were while on a school bus tour with pizza extraordinaire, Scott Wiener. After our tour, per Scott’s recommendations, we bought a bottle of red wine, boarded a ferry and ventured out to Staten Island. Where their above ground pools and suburban-like landscape reminded us of home.

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There’s no denying we’ll be back to the city that never sleeps. Next time, we’ll eat pizza in the boroughs we missedQueens and the Bronx and keep exploring a city with a pizza culture and history just as rich as Chicago’s.

Our goal for this trip was never to compare Chicago’s pizza to New York City’s. This has been done and, frankly, that conversation is getting old. There is no comparison. The two city’s pizza aesthetic, taste and texture are drastically different. Lucky for us, everyone we met on our trip knew this. No one tried to convert or debate us. Everyone we met was a pizza fanatic just trying to find a few good slices, wherever that may have been.

While in New York City, Stephen and I had the pleasure of talking with Emmett Burke, a Lake Forest native and Chicago expat who recently opened up New York City’s first deep dish restaurant in Soho. This interview, along with an in-depth overview of Scott’s incredible Pizza Tour and a recap of our time spent sharing pizza at John’s of Bleecker Street Joe’s with New York City pizza bloggers Jason Fierman and Jamie Miles, who were gracious enough to offer us their time and pizza expertise, will appear on Encyclopizzeria later this week.

In the meantime, we’ve included the list of pizzerias we conquered on our trip. None of which we have anything bad to say about. As always, feel free to let us know what places we missed and what places you too are a fan of in the comments below.

 Di Fara
1424 Avenue J
Brooklyn, NY 11230
Neighborhood: Midwood

House of Pizza and Calzone
132 Union St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens

Best Pizza
33 Havemeyer St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Neighborhood: Willamsburg-North

Grimaldi’s 
1 Front Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Neighborhood: Dumbo

Lee’s Tavern
60 Hancock St
Staten Island, NY 10305
Neighborhood: Dongan Hills

Nonna’s Pizzeria
27 Bower Ct
Staten Island, NY 10308
Neighborhood: Great Kills

Lombardi’s Pizza
32 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012
Neighborhood: Nolita

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza
Multiple Locations
328 E. 14th St
New York, NY 1003
Neighborhood: East Village

John’s of Bleecker Street
278 Bleecker St
New York, NY 10014
Neighborhood: West Village

Joe’s Pizza
7 Carmine St
New York, NY 10014
Neighborhood: West Village

Patsy’s 
2287 1st Ave
New York, NY 10035
Neighborhood: East Harlem

Adrienne’s Pizza Bar
54 Stone St
New York, NY 10004
Neighborhood: Financial District

Emmett’s 
50 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
Neighborhood: SoHo

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About Author

Erin Nederbo grew up in Chicago's Jefferson Park neighborhood. Her writing has appeared on UpChicago.com and in New City. Her favorite pizza topping is sausage.

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  1. Pingback: Why you should take a pizza road trip to Providence and Boston - Encyclopizzeria

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