You don't need to be a bright spark to begin to fathom out the origins of the name given to Edison, a city in the north of the state of New Jersey. Even the city's motto – let there be light – is practically an instant giveaway. When it was first founded in the late 19th century Edison originally went by the name of Raritan, the name of a local native American tribe. It stayed that way until the mid-1950's when the city's name was changed to honor the ioneer of electricity, Thomas Edison.
With the introduction of electricity to the city and surrounding areas, the growth of industry and commerce rocketed, attracting an influx of many different nationalities seeking stable employment. It wasn't until well after the beginning of the 20th century though that pizza found its way to New Jersey to satisfy the appetites of all those hungry workers.
Being in such a close geographical location to the Big Apple, it's not surprising that a savvy pizza chef or two made the trip to Edison to resettle. Whether they sailed down the Arthur Kill Strait or made the journey south by land, along with their luggage they took a recipe for pies that was beginning to make a big impression everywhere in the States.
While Edison is known for New York-style pies, and thin crust is undeniably the most common on pizzeria menus, it's not the only variation to be found. New York-style pies are the go-to for many city residents though and why not? One enormous slice of a New York-style pizza once it's been folded in half is as easy to eat as a sub or sandwich. It comes hot too so when the frigid New Jersey winter takes hold, it makes a warming, tasty and very convenient lunch.
Sometimes there's just no escaping from your desk. That goes whether you're a student at Rutgers University or employed by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. Getting a pizza delivered isn't rocket science, but when you want the best delivery pizza in Edison try Menlo Pizza on Lafayette Avenue. Menlo Pizza occupies an independent, homely-looking, tiled roof bungalow. It's smart inside and out without being overly flashy. The well-kept gardens around the premises are a nice added touch that give the establishment a cottagey feel. Menlo is no slow, one-man cottage industry when it comes to rolling out dough, getting it cooked and sent on its way to its destination in minutes.
They're all team work at Menlo and that makes a big difference to quality and delivery speed. They've a good selection on their menu too so if you've already had pizza for lunch twice in one week, you'll be able to choose something new.
When you walk into a pizzeria that looks the way Fratelli's on Amboy Avenue does, you know you're about to be served up the best take-out pizza in Edison. While the exterior of Fratelli's won't wow you - it's just windows and a couple of neon signs - the interior will transport you straight to an authentic Mediterranean trattoria.
The bare brick-filled arches on the walls at Fratelli's, the rustic ceiling fans and the white marble floor all scream Italy loud and clearly. And that's before you even get a whiff of pizza baking or clap eyes on their lunchtime buffet display. The sight of it is enough to make anyone's stomach rumble, so don't be embarrassed if yours does. It's quite possibly a very common occurrence with their walk-in customers. Making a decision about what pie to take out could well turn out to be quite time-consuming too, but guaranteed you'll enjoy the view while choosing.
If you drove straight through South Amboy on the way to the beach in the Cheesequake State Park, that's understandable. Not only is there a fantastic beach there where you can chill out by the waterside, but acres and acres of wetlands, cedar swamps, and forest to go exploring in. You'll want to stop off in South Amboy when you're driving home though, as you can get a super slice of New York-style pie at Amano Pizza on Bordentown Avenue.
For any fan of American military history, Elizabeth in New Jersey is a must-visit city. With a three-hundred and fifty year history, American Revolution battlefields and a historic Midtown, there's plenty to explore. One way to see it all is by taking a self-guided walking tour of all the main sights. Do that and you won't feel guilty about indulging in a pie from Santillo's Brick Oven Pizza on Broad Street because you'll have earned all the scrumptious calories.
It's always good to get away from the humdrum of a big city like Edison. If you've headed out to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to get back to nature, well, who can blame you, especially if you're a bird watcher? After you've spent the day hiding in the bushes with a pair of binoculars, ticked off several species on your sighting list, you'll be more than ready to get back to civilization with a pie from Natalie's Italian Restaurant and Pizza on Valley Road in Gillette.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Chicago-style pizza in Edison?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Sicilian-style pizza in Edison?
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Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Edison?