10 Great Pizza Places in NYC
by Katherine Faw Morris, New York Observer contributor, 01/16/2009
Like yellow taxis, pinstripes and bagels with shmeer, pizza is a very New York thing. It's an Italian import, of course, and other American cities have their own takes, but the classic New York slice—droopy, drippy, best eaten folded in half, outside, hunched over a stoop—is what put pizza on the global map. It all started in 1905, when Neapolitan immigrant Gennaro Lombardi began selling old-country pies out of his Little Italy grocery. Lombardi apprentices went on to open their own coal oven pizzerias, including Totonno's in Coney Island, Patsy's in East Harlem, and much later, Grimaldi's under the Brooklyn Bridge. You needn't be Italian nor use Industrial Revolution fuel to turn out crisp, thin-crust pies, though: Witness Nick's, run by a Greek-American with a gas oven. Staten Island's divey Denino's and the Bronx's shiny Zero Otto Nove make great pizza All City. Franny's adds a greenmarket twist, Lucali remembers the way things were, and at Una Pizza Napoletana, the rules of the True Neapolitan Pizza Association are taken very seriously. Yet for the finest use of dough, cheese and tomatoes, head out to Di Fara on Avenue J, where septuagenarian Domenico DeMarco handcrafts start-to-finish every single order of the city's—and therefore the world's—very best pizza pie.
Browse a lifetime's worth of drinking and dining reviews at Observer.com.