Chef Concierge Jacob Cerda's Favorite Pizza Slices
New York is full of great pizza slices, but for my money, I want mouthwateringly delicious and over-the-top options. My top five pizza slices balance outrageous toppings: buffalo chicken, fried eggplant and penne alla vodka with classic, tried-and-true New York spots.
Prince Street specializes in the “grandma’s slice” named after — what else — Italian grandmothers making pizza pies at home. The dough is a little thicker, the pie comes on a square dish and the toppings are reversed: The cheese goes down on the dough, red sauce on top.
If you’ve never had a grandma’s slice, it might seem odd. One bite of the fluffy, oversized square with its crispy edges, melty cheese and sweet, tangy tomato sauce and you’ll be sold for life. After all, grandma always did have the best cooking.
Prince’s slice is extra-perfect with its iconic pepperoni rounds. After cooking, the rounds twist up into perfect little cups that hold just the right amount of spicy chili oil.
I literally just had the most delicious pizza goodness I have ever tasted — and it was at Mani in Pasta. This slice of perfection is called the Montanarine. Have you ever had the fried dough at a carnival or street fair? It’s basically a fried, puffy dough with mozzarella and tomato sauce, it’s less than $4 and it’s the most sinful, mouthwatering piece of heaven I’ve ever had.
When people say, “New York-style pizza,” they are talking about Joe’s. No gimmicks here — just good, old-fashioned pizza with thin-ish crust, fresh tomato sauce and just enough cheese to balance it all out.
Served piping hot out of a brick oven, this is the perfect spot to work on your New York fold. Push your pointer finger straight down into the center of the crust and fold up both sides. This allows excess grease to slide off the pizza, makes it easier to eat and keeps you from burning your mouth on molten cheese. Extra “local points” if you eat it off a paper plate standing in the street.
Artichoke Basille’s Pizza is a much-written-about pizza joint — and for good reason. The 11 New York locales (including at LaGuardia and JFK International) have making simply delicious old-school pizza slices down to an art.
The ratio of cheese to pepperoni to slice size is nothing but over-indulgent goodness. Who can resist a pile of miniature pepperoni? And, of course, the signature artichoke slice is a great take on a white slice. Get both, eat most.
With eateries in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn, Patsy’s Pizzeria has developed a loyal following. Selling its first pies in 1933, Patsy’s southern-Italian, old-fashioned pizzas have attracted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Rosemary Clooney.
Not far from Archer is the Turtle Bay locale at 2nd Avenue and 43rd Street. The Park Slope pie shop in Brooklyn is handily next to Barclays Center.
Its classic pie has sweet red sauce and shredded mozzarella. The white pie, with the ideal amount of shredded mozzarella, ricotta, fresh parsley and black pepper. And the make-your-own? Can’t go wrong — especially with bacon and chicken.
This familia joint might have its origins in Salerno, Italy, but the nontraditional buffalo chicken slice is where it’s at. A spicy, tangy and all-around devourable Buffalo sauce coats moist chunks of chicken. Right as the heat from the sauce hits you, the creamy, blue-cheese-style sauce kicks in to cool everything back down before you start on the next slice — and trust me, there will be another slice.
We all would eat more veggies if they came deep-fried and atop pizza.
Copious amounts of crispy-on-the-outside, creamy-on-the-inside fried eggplant top this slice. The eggplant could be a meal in itself, but what sets the slice off is the slightly sweet red sauce with the needed acid to cut all that rich eggplant goodness. This veggie-packed party comes in small batches and they generally run out — so make sure to get there early.