A Self-Made Pizza Tour of NYC

For several years now, Lance and I have wanted to do a pizza tour in NYC.

There were two factors which kept us hesitant: First, we weren’t sure we wanted to do such a ‘touristy’ thing. Tours are for people in places they don’t go to often. A city you frequent multiple times over the course of year isn’t exactly somewhere you think of taking a tour. Second, did we really want to pay anywhere from $55 to $75 for a tour where we wouldn’t eat anywhere near that price in pizza?

My argument was that we would learn so much on the tour, it would be worth the price. Yet, still we didn’t go.

Then, I bought this adorable pizza map in a West Elm in Brooklyn, thus birthing the idea of this weekend devoted to pizza eating.

Originally, I told you we went to four pizza places. When I went back to my notes from that weekend, I realized we went to five.

Yes, you read it right. Five pizza places. One afternoon. Ten slices of pizza.

Because, you better believe it, we did not share slices.

And yes, by the end, we wished we had.

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Overachiever that I am, I tend to set the bar high when we make plans to do something. This weekend was not only going to be about our pizza tour. When I purchased the pizza map, I couldn’t resist the doughnut map tucked beside it. We were also going to hit as many doughnut shops on our map that we could.

Spoiler alert, we only made it to one. And since this post is not about doughnuts, I’m only going to share this with you:

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Yes, I totally pretended to take a picture of Lance to document this boy for myself forever

This kid was a boy after my own heart. His mother ordered donuts for a party they were going to and got him the chocolate doughnut he is eating with gusto in the photo while she continued to place her order. When she came back to him, a stack of boxes in hand, he asked what she had for them to have right now.

Despite the doughnut he was currently still eating.

Yes, even Lance knew I had found the perfect child for me.

I had to resist the urge to take him home.

The rules for our pizza tour were that we had to order a slice of plain and a slice of pepperoni. Nothing else. No other toppings could tempt us away from this standard.

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Stop #1 on our pizza tour was Village Pizza. We likened the taste to boardwalk pizza. The best boardwalk pizza you’ve ever had, but still boardwalk pizza*. The crust had a medium thickness, not too thin or thick**. We liked the cheese better than the pepperoni.

*We were expecting city pizza, so although it was delicious, it felt like something we could easily get at the beach.

**Not that I have a preference.

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Stop #2 was Bleecker Street Pizza where we grabbed the only open table, a high-top right by the front door. After we got our pizza, a group of about ten people (a pizza tour!) squeezed into the two-foot-wide aisle of remaining space in the tight quarters. The pepperoni here was spicier than at Stop #1 and we preferred it to the plain. The sauce was sweet and full of all the beautiful Italian spice flavors a good sauce should possess. It was a thin crust and overall, this was my favorite stop of the day.

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Stop #3 was Joe’s Pizza, the long line from the counter to the door made us certain this would be the best stop of all. The counters lining the walls and tables in the center of the room were without chairs, making it standing room only. Even with people standing, the place was crowded. The sauce had potential but, in the end, the room smelled better than the pizza tasted.

By this point, the remaining pizza places didn’t stand a chance. We attempted to break up our tour by doing a little shopping, but we had purposefully picked spots that were close to one another (the longest walk we had was about twenty minutes).

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Stop #4 was Rosario’s Pizza. The plain was as average as pizza comes; the crust thicker than the other slices we had eaten thus far. The pepperoni was better than the plain, but not the best of the day, by far. Hubby noted the pepperoni slices had been laid with OCD precision.

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By Stop #5, Stanton Pizza, I was done, but refused to tap out early. Of all the places we went, this was the smallest, less visited* stop. The crust had a smoky taste, a sweet sauce, and the slices were the cheapest of the day: $2 for plain, the same for pepperoni.

*However, it was long past lunch hours by then.

As we watched the pizza tour at Stop #2 we learned each person gets a third of a slice of pizza each on the tour. A third of a slice! Can you imagine? I would have been heartbroken to go on a pizza tour and realize I was spending $55 for one slice of pizza. I would have needed a lecture on the foundation of pizza making as well as a graphed-out map of New York City pizza development over the years in order to feel as though I had gotten my money’s worth.

For under $35, we gained no historical insight, save for the kind quick Google searches and my little NYC Pizza Map provided, but we also ate ten slices between us.

Not bad for a self-made pizza tour, if you ask me.

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