Summit was initially settled by European pioneers in the early 18th century who called it Turkey Hill after the flocks of wild turkeys that fed in the area. It remained a quiet and widespread farming community for several decades until a train station was installed there by the Morris and Essex Railroad who were laying a track through rural New Jersey. It was to be the same railway line that transported the wealthy of New York to Summit to enjoy time away from the city. Some purchased land to build their own summer estates, others invested in hotels and rooming houses to cater for the visitors. Building work in Summit continued on until well into the 20th century and as better highways were opened it slowly evolved into a bedroom community. By the 1950s and 60s, the resident population was numerous enough to attract the attention of some Italians looking for somewhere to open their restaurants. They found ideal premises in Summit and the town was graced with its first pizzerias.
All but a very few of the pizzerias in this New Jersey city rejected the modern pie trends that were dominating the US food scene during the period they opened. Summit isn't known for New York-style pizza which is surprising given the Big Apple's close proximity. Summit is known for thick crust pizza which is the type of pie that tops the bill on most of the menus in the city's pizzeras. Thick crust pizza is a pie that has been part of the Italian food scene for so long no one knows where or when it was first baked. The fact that it was baked somewhere did the world a big favor as thick crust pizza is one of the most popular foods ever. Simple, delicious, and suitable for any meal, it's no wonder pizza is on just about everyone's favorite food list.
When a pizzeria has been open as long as Doria's Pizza and Restaurant has been, they've got to be doing something right. What Doria's has been doing for the last thirty-five years and more to keep their business ticking over is making the best delivery pizza in Summit. Doria's Pizza and Restaurant premises is on Springfield Avenue. It's not a huge place by any means, but one where the love of quality Italian food and the color sky blue is apparent. The light blue furnishings in Doria's certainly brighten up the place, no question about it. There's no question Doria's pizzas are authentic either. Get one bite of their Bruschetta or White Veggie and you'll be ordering delivery pizzas from there for the next three decades.
If you've been at the Summit Village Green catching a concert or been visiting the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, don't go home without picking up the best take-out pizza in Summit. You'll find the best take-out pizza in Summit in a pizzeria on Beechwood Road called Zappia's Cucina and Brick Oven Pizza. Zappia's is another of the pizzerias that have been baking pies for the Summit locals for almost thirty years. Zappia's premises are of the no-fuss and no-frills type, with only a few tables for the occasional in-house diner. All the attention to detail in this pizzeria goes into the pies they produce and they do a super job. Give their Chicken Caesar Salad pizza a try and you'll get two meals in one to take out. There's definitely no need for a side order of fresh stuff as the pie will already be wearing it.
You can combine a day of history with some outdoor time if you make the short five-mile drive from Summit to Chatham Township. Chatham is on the border of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge which is around eight thousand acres of open countryside and one of the best places in New Jersey for bird spotting. Get your binoculars out here and you'll see all manner of waterfowl as well as mammals like deer, otter, squirrels, and coyotes. Before you go for pizza at Zio Gino Pizza and Grill on Shunpike Road, pay a visit to the Museum of Early Trades and Crafts. It'll give you a fascinating insight into how people went about things in bygone days.
If you want to feel the big city vibe but don't want to go as far as New York, go to Elizabeth instead. Elizabeth is around a fifteen-mile drive east from Summit and somewhere you can enjoy a full day in a more relaxed atmosphere. Explore the Boxwood Hall State Historic Site or the Liberty Hall Museum which dates back to Victorian times to get your history fix. If it's springtime don't miss taking a stroll through the blossoming cherry trees in Branch Brook Park. If it's not flowering time, take a hike along the Elizabeth River Trail instead before heading to Mario's Famous Pizza on Front Street.
Newark is one of the most interesting cities near Summit to visit. Less than a thirty-minute drive away, in Newark you can educate yourself about one of history's most interesting and inventive people, Thomas Edison, by visiting the Thomas Edison National Historic Park. Check out the Native American and other art in the Montclair Art Museum or more international works in the Newark Museum of Art. Kids will go wild for the rides at the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park and be more than content to finish the day with a pie from the Pizza Village Cafe on Ferry Street.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Summit?
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