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.
So we're cheating a little bit this week, since the block between Sixth and Seventh Avenues on Bleecker is technically subdivided into four smaller blocks due to the off-grid street intersections. It's still somewhat of a pizza hot spot in the city, though, with three New York joints (Joe's, Bleecker, and ZPizza), a Neapolitan pie joint (Kesté), a Roman pizza spot (Roma), and the New York–Neapolitan coal-oven pizzeria John's. But we're interested in one thing: Who makes the best order-by-the-slice pizza?
The Best Overall: The Sicilian from Bleecker Street Pizza ($2.75)
Bleecker Street's regular slices have an odd cornmeal-coated bottom crust that we consider cheating (it gets crisp, but doesn't get any nice charred flavors), but their cheese, a combination of creamy mozzarella with a hint of a more strongly aged Parm is top notch, as is their great fresh tomato sauce (it's got some sugar added to it, but it works). The Sicilian pie forgoes the cornmeal, instead delivering a crust that's crisp, deeply browned, and plenty tasty. Fresh basil seals the deal.
If you want a thin-crust style slice, you should opt for the Nonna Maria ($2.75) made with fresh mozzarella, marinara sauce, and fresh basil.
Bleecker Street Pizza
The Best Crust: Joe's on Carmine ($2.75)
The archetypical New York-style crust: thin and crisp with nicely charred spots on the bottom and a soft doughy later at the crust/sauce interface. The edges are bubbly and tender with a crisp upper surface and a few bubbles that hit that beautiful spot that just barely touches the edge of being burnt without actually getting there.
The only downside? An overly sweet sauce and creamy, but one-dimensional cheese. If they'd upgrade the toppings, this might be one of our favorite New York-style slices in the city.
Decent Roman Pies: Roma Pizza ($3)
Their buy-by-the-rectangle pizza bianca sure ain't no Sullivan Street, but it's a respectable option, provided you get it fresh. Even 30 minutes later, these pies become stale, stiff, and tough to chew.
The tomato and cheese slices are better, with a very creamy mozzarella, and decent but cooked-tasting tomato sauce.
OK for 99¢: ZPizza
A newcomer to the Bleecker street pizza scene, ZPizza's sign has two words that we rarely like to see on the side of a pizzeria: "organic" and "brick oven." We just find that more often than not, those two words are imply a restaurant that has thought more about concept than execution.
Such is the case here. Not that the pizzas are horrible, and certainly fine for 99 cents, but the floppy whole wheat crust brings the whole thing down.
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