The neighborhood of New York that is now known as Flushing was first colonized by Dutch settlers in the mid-17th century. It was a settlement which spread along the banks of the Flushing River and around the shores of Flushing Bay during the two decades it remained a Dutch enclave. But it wasn’t long before invading British forces thought its well-protected coastal position made a good base, and they overpowered the Dutch settlers to take control of Flushing. Flushing remained under British governance until the War of Independence was won when it was incorporated into the district of Queens. As Flushing's port-oriented industries grew, migrants from all over the world that had relocated to New York were drawn to the prospering area. Many of the new settlers were of Chinese descent, but while Flushing was and still is renowned for its Chinatown, it also developed its own Italian community. Over time the Italian colonists were able to open their own businesses and along with spring rolls and wontons, pizza became a popular food among the locals.
While Flushing has become known for New York-style pizza and it's a type of pie that predominates the pizzeria menus in Flushing, it's not the only kind you'll find. The restaurant owners of Flushing are descendants of families from many different regions of Italy and alongside America's favorite pizza, they like to serve up ones that are traditional to their home country. New York-style pizza is a type of pizza that was developed to suit American taste and the chaotic city lifestyle. As a grab-and-go snack it's ideal as a slice can be folded over, held in a napkin, and eaten while the consumer is on the move similar to how pizza is served - al taglio – in Italy. The two differences between them being New York-style is circular and thin based while pizza al taglio is a thick-crusted rectangular pie. Most important of all though is they both taste just as good as each other.
There are plenty of pizzerias in Flushing and then there are pizzerias that should be shouted about. One in particular that deserves a pat on the back is Michael and Son's Italian Food and Pizza as they bake the best delivery pizza in Flushing. Michael and Son's, as you might guess from the name, is a family-run concern which is located on 47th Avenue which has been serving the local community great delivery pies for a couple of decades. While Michael and Son's might work out of a small premises, they're big on pizza and out of all the food they serve, their pizzas are what keeps their regulars coming back time and time again. Once you've had a delivery pizza from Michael and Son's once, just like the rest of their customers, you'll probably never order a pie from anywhere else again especially if you order their Sicilian-style grandma pizza topped with extra pepperoni.
If you've been having a family day out with the kids and taken them for a visit to Queens Zoo or been having a wander around Queens Botanical Garden, you're just a couple of blocks away from being able to pick up the best take-out pizza in Flushing. Head over to Kissena Boulevard and about halfway down it, you'll come across a pizzeria called Gino's of Kissena and if it’s open for business, you've got it made. Gino's of Kissena occupies a smart, and very professional-looking brick-built premises where the large plate-glass windows are shaded by a bright blue canopy. This pizzeria is as tidy inside as it is outside, but you probably won't notice as your eyes will be drawn directly to the open-plan kitchen where the pizza action is going on. You'll be literally drooling as you watch these guys prep your pie and no matter whether it's a meat or veggie-topped one, it's guaranteed to be good.
One good thing about Flushing is that it's surrounded by plenty of other New York districts which are just as buzzing. Take the Grand Central Parkway out of Flushing in a westerly direction, cross over the Robert F Kennedy Bridge and you'll be on Randall's Island. It's a super spot for a family day out and if you go to Ward's Island Park you'll get some great views of Manhattan over the East River. Take the youngsters to the Randall's Island Urban Farm so they can see fruit really does grow on trees rather than in plastic bags. Before you go home, cross back over the river via Hell Gate Bridge and take them for a pie in the Astoria Park Pizzeria.
Manhattan is easy to get to from Flushing and while you may encounter heavy traffic on the way, the trip shouldn't take you longer than half an hour. In Manhattan you can spend the day wandering around Central Park, visit Central Park Zoo, or spend a couple of hours browsing the exhibits in the Museum of the City of New York. Get a feel for the New York vibe by taking a wander around Times Square or alternatively head for Pier 83 on the Manhattan waterfront and take a ninety-minute cruise that goes all the way around Manhattan Island. It's a great way of seeing the sights, including the Statue of Liberty, before having a pizza somewhere like La Vela on 11th Avenue.
A twenty-mile drive south out of Flushing will see you enjoying the sea views of Long Beach in less than forty-five minutes. Long Beach may be a city, but it's also a barrier island, and one with a superb beach. While the beach is privately owned you can get a day pass which enables you to stroll along the immense stretch of sand or alternatively, restrict your seaside strolling to the boardwalk area which has free admission. After you've had enough of the sea breeze whipping through your hair, grab a table at Brixx and Barley on West Park Avenue and tuck into a brick-oven baked pizza.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Flushing?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best cauliflower crust pizza in Flushing?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best stuffed pizza in Flushing?
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best Sicilian-style pizza in Flushing?