It's all well and good to know where the best pizza in the city is—if you've got the time to travel there—but what if you need a decent slice right now? Slice'rs know that every street-corner slice in NYC is not created equal, so we decided to explore the possibilities literally block by block.
We just finished moving into our new (awesome) digs in Little Italy on Tuesday, so we decided to take a victory lap around the 'hood checking out the food scene. This did, of course, result in trying out every slice-eria within walking distance. We picked Mulberry and Spring since it seems to be the epicenter of the slice joints (near our office on Grand, all we've got is $10 whole-pie lunch specials, which we'll certainly get to eventually). Here's what to get and what to avoid.
The Best: Rubirosa, $3
The slices Rubirosa serves on weekdays until 5pm (after that it's whole pies only) aren't typical New York-style. Rather, they lie somewhere between an ultra-thin bar pie, and a well-charred coal-oven pie. The sauce is fresh and tasty, the cheese is applied very sparingly (a good thing in my book), and the crust is flavorful and pliant with awesome charred crisp edges.
My only complaint would be its size. Because of how thin it is, you'll need at least a couple slices to pass for a light lunch.
Rubirosa Pizza & Bar
For Cheese Lovers: Ray's, $2.75
It's pretty widely known that the Ray's on Prince Street is in fact the true original Ray's, before the whole hoard of knockoffs started popping up all over the city. It's a classic New York slice, though it seems quality may have slipped since we reviewed it last year, or is at the very least inconsistent. This time, we found it to be very heavy on the cheese, with a sauce that simply wasn't flavorful enough to stand out. The crust was pretty tasty, if a little thick.
If plenty of cheese and a pretty filling slice is your thing, you could do far worse than Ray's.
"This reminds me of pizza I had as a little kid," said Robyn, "but the pizza I had as a little kid wasn't that good."
Editor's Update (1/24/2014): Ray's Pizza has closed and reopened as Prince Street Pizza, which now serves some of the finest slices and square slices in the city.
27 Prince St # A, New York, NY 10012 (at Mott Street; map)
Skip it: Pomodoro Pizza & Restaurant, $2.85
With a candy-sweet sauce and mounds of gloppy, flavorless cheese, the only redeeming factor was a well-charred undercarriage. It's not enough to make up for the thickness and doughiness of the rest of the crust, however. We'll pass.