Finding good pizza in New York City is a pretty easy thing to do. The 5 boroughs combine for more than 1,000 places to grab a slice or pie. Pizza is the signature food of the city, and everyone has an opinion on what they consider to be the best.
Look, I’m not going to try to find the best pizza in New York City. I have my favorite spot, and I’m sure you do as well. With so many different things to consider (crust style, sauce texture, amount of cheese, toppings, etc.), I think it’s impossible to pick out the best. I’m also not going to eat a slice at every place, like Colin Hagendorf did. My bucket list includes a few famous pizzerias in New York, including the challenge of having a dollar slice.
New Yorkers love their pizza. Sure, we have bagels and hot dogs, but pizza is our signature food. And trying to replicate a New York slice outside of the state just doesn’t work. Trust me - I lived in Florida for 5 years. It’s pretty easy to find an affordable meal, and there is even a Pizza Principle that says the average cost for a slice matches the cost for a ride on the subway. Nowadays, that puts the price for a slice at $2.75.
$2.75 seems cheap enough, so why is it a challenge to find a dollar slice? If you think about it, as the price of food decreases, so does the overall quality of the meal. Dollar slices are historically known for containing cheaper cheese and sauce, which will obviously impact the taste. It’s why most New Yorkers will just pony up the extra $1.75 for their slices.
I was in the Lower East Side and decided to look up some dollar slice places. I found one with pretty good reviews, so I walked over. It was a tiny place, with just a counter and a small fridge of drinks. The special was $2.75 for 2 slices and a drink, so I went with that. The guy behind the counter tossed the slices on a plate (um, where is the oven?) and I was on my way.
The verdict? It was actually better than I was expecting, and better than the pizza I used to get while I lived in Florida. I could definitely taste the difference in cheese, but the crust still held up to the New York “it’s all about the water” standard. This place had good reviews, so I may have just gotten lucky with where I chose to go. Either way, my dollar slice passed the test…but I think I’ll just shell out the $1.75 more for some good old New York pizza of the “not questionable” variety.
Interested in more bucket list adventures in New York City? Follow along on Instagram at @fiveboroughbucketlist!