Gallery: 11 Great Pizza Road Trips from NYC

Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza (Elizabeth NJ <em>~40 minutes</em>)
Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza (Elizabeth NJ ~40 minutes)

"The phone rings at Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza and Al Santillo Jr., third-generation bread-baker and pizza-maker, picks up. 'Yeah? The usual? OK. How's your mother? OK. See you soon.' Hidden down an alleyway between two houses in a sleepy section of Elizabeth, Santillo's is just the kind of place you'd expect that kind of exchange to happen. It's a certifiably old-school New Jersey pizzeria. Al says he's been working at Santillo's since he was 5 — he's now 54."

All Santillo's intel on Slice »

Star Tavern (Orange NJ <em>~40 minutes</em>)
Star Tavern (Orange NJ ~40 minutes)

"Star Tavern makes an amazingly great thin-crust pizza. I'm craving the stuff as I type this, and not just because I haven't had breakfast yet. If you don't already live in Orange, or in Essex County (because if you do, you already know this), Star is worth a detour — and even a trip." —AK

All Star Tavern intel on Slice »

Pizzetteria Brunetti (Westhampton Beach NY <em>~1 hour, 45 minutes</em>)
Pizzetteria Brunetti (Westhampton Beach NY ~1 hour, 45 minutes)

"The vongole. You HAVE to get this pizza if you visit Brunetti. I mean, this is Long Island. Where else are you going to get clams this fresh? Co-owner Jason Brunetti says they come from a local clammer. No surprise there. Ours were meaty, just briny enough, and without a hint of that rubbery texture that can ruin a clam pie. If you like seafood and/or clam pies, it would be a crime to skip this pizza." —AK

Colony Grill (Stamford CT <em>~1 hour</em>)
Colony Grill (Stamford CT ~1 hour)

"Connecticut has a rich pizza tradition—mostly centered on New Haven. But there's a oft-celebrated gem in Stamford called Colony Grill that serves up some lean, mean bar-style pizza. It is well worth visiting if you are ever in the area—in fact I URGE YOU TO GO. Just be sure to order your pie with the signature hot oil topping." —AK

All Colony Grill intel on Slice »

Roseland Pizza (Derby CT <em>~1 hour, 50 minutes</em>)
Roseland Pizza (Derby CT ~1 hour, 50 minutes)

"Roseland, like Sally's Apizza in New Haven, is stuck in the amber of time (or should I say coagulated pizza cheese?). The white clam pie had briny, fresh clams and was easily a match for Pepe's pie.
Crust is thinner on the Roseland than at either Frank Pepe's or Sally's — more akin to that at Modern but without the floppiness." —AK

Reservoir Tavern (Boonton NJ <em>~45 minutes</em>)
Reservoir Tavern (Boonton NJ ~45 minutes)

"The parking lot was absolutely packed — and packed with a diversity of vehicles (work-battered pickup trucks, new BMWs, old Hondas, Chevys, Fords, Mini Coopers) that suggests this pizzeria draws people from all walks of life. I always take that as a sign of a good pizzeria. I added my rental car to the mix and lined up for a table....Though there is a "bar" size (12 inch) — along with small (14 inch) and large (16 inch) — the pizzas at Reservoir instead are hearty pies with a crust that's close to, but thicker than, a typical NYC-style pizza. The sauce and cheese are there in quantities to stand up to the thicker crust — a salty, savory molten goo of red, white, orange, and yellow all flowing together. Careful when you pick it up — the scalding-hot top layer might just slide right off." —AK

Figs Wood-Fired Bistro (Sandy Hook CT <em>~1 hour, 45 minutes</em>)
Figs Wood-Fired Bistro (Sandy Hook CT ~1 hour, 45 minutes)

"...a defiantly thin crust emerges from the Figs wood-burning stove, forming the basis for their eight signature pizzas. Minutes after biting into one of these pies, the salty, crispy crust (without much discernible chew) will already be a distant memory. It's more of a utensil at Figs, meant to wield the bold flavors and heavy pile of ingredients that make up their pizzas.... The eponymous Roasted Fig is a joy ride. It features figs, gorgonzola, garlic, walnuts, and arugula. Beginning with a whole wheat crust, the pie is then smothered with a layer of garlicky roasted figs (seemingly puréed) creating a sticky and sweet base. Atop this fruity layer you'll find loads of pungent gorgonzola that would dominate the pie were it not for a final layer of sweetly dressed arugula and walnuts. The final layer of greens is tossed generously with a honey balsamic glaze. The dueling flavors of sweet and savory are woven together so evenly on this pizza you may have trouble deciding if this is dinner or dessert. " —Amy Kundrat

Mario's Restaurant (Clifton NJ <em>~30 minutes</em>)
Mario's Restaurant (Clifton NJ ~30 minutes)

"Emma Barilari liked her pizza thin. So thin that dollar bills laid flat next to a slice threatened to tower over it. So thin that light passed through it. But, at the same time, she didn't like it as crisp as a cracker; she wanted some pliancy and textural contrast. This takes skill and a particular set of circumstances to achieve, a feat that might even require a 'secret family recipe.' That might have been a problem, except that Emma and her husband happened to own a restaurant called Mario's." —Nick Solares

Zuppardi's Apizza (West Haven CT <em>~1 hour, 45 minutes</em>)
Zuppardi's Apizza (West Haven CT ~1 hour, 45 minutes)

"The clams were tender, briny, perfect, barely heated through, and their clam liqueur leaked or ran out in every direction. The crust was crunchy, thick enough. This was clam pie prepared by the clam-pizza gods. This was first ballot pizza hall of fame pizza." —Ed Levine

All Zuppardi's intel on Slice »

Queen Margherita (Nutley NJ <em>~30 minutes</em>)
Queen Margherita (Nutley NJ ~30 minutes)

"I do not hesitate to say that their Margherita has entered the pantheon of my all time favorites. The pools of creamy buffalo mozzarella melted imperceptibly into the sauce, and the perfectly charred crust knocked it out of the park with a prominent sourdough tang." —Tim Kang

La Sicilia (Belleville NJ <em>~35 minutes</em>)
La Sicilia (Belleville NJ ~35 minutes)

"Fellow pizza-crazed friends, I must emphatically present a new candidate for the great pizza hall of fame. It is a garlic-laden, tomato-loaded masterpiece that has haunted my dreams since I ate my last bite." —Tim Kang