In terms of pizza notoriety, New York style pizza may be one of the first that comes to mind—in fact, American pizza history has its origins in New York City, dating back to 1905. Within NYC lies Queens, which joined the pizza scene in the 1950s. Nestled on the far east side and located adjacent to Brooklyn, Queens is the largest borough in the city—this means there is plenty of pizza to choose from! Because the food scene in Queens is so competitive, pizzerias offer plentiful selections to cater to every need. In terms of style, many pizzerias in Queens have tried to maintain the authentic, rustic, hole-in-the-wall atmosphere. It is quintessential, in fact, to offer pizza sold out of a window on a restaurant’s façade. Many pizzerias in Queens are owned and operated by Italian-American immigrants, which means you get a really authentic experience. You will find a lot of “classic” and by-the-slice restaurants, some of which have been around for over 50 years!
Though Queens’ most popular type of pizza is the New York-style, which offers a pliant and thin crust that thickens and becomes crispy along the edge, there has also been a growth of Brooklyn-style pizza in the area because of its proximity to the neighboring borough. Both are foldable and designed for portability, which ties in with the on-the-go lifestyle of many New Yorkers, both young and old. However, the New York-style has cheese that spans the entire diameter of the pie, while the Brooklyn style offers a thinner and crispier crust with toppings that are more dispersed. When there was a surge of pizzeria openings in the area—dubbed the “First Golden Age of the Slice”—in the ‘60s and ‘70s, there was a shift in popularity from the classic minimalist Neapolitan-American pizza to the more affordable and cheesy New York-style. The movement from sit-down and moderately priced pizzerias to more affordable pizzas that can be eaten with one hand has revamped the standards for what is considered a classic New York pizza.
Angelo’s Pizza lies in an area in Queens called Corona, and it is mere blocks away from the Corona Arts & Sciences Academy, which provides a lot of its clientele. Featuring a brick corner storefront, before you even enter you can tell it has a traditional vibe. It offers a wide selection of pizzas and dishes, including its predominant New York-style and gourmet pizzas, hero sandwiches, calzones, pasta, and more. At this establishment, you can either custom order your pizza or get one that is pre-listed, and they come whole or by the slice. Customizable pizzas are either of New York or Sicilian style. The menu items are moderately priced, but a lot of entrees and whole pizzas are a bit more expensive. Pizza and lasagna are their most highly-rated menu items, and there are plenty of vegetarian options available. Here, the delivery fee is only $1, but there is a $15 minimum.
Domenick’s Pizza can be found in the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens. It is surrounded by other restaurants with similar unassuming storefronts, and its small size is due to its takeout-centric clientele. It offers minimal indoor seating, and the walls are adorned with a mural depicting Italian scenery. You can easily tell that it has been around for a long time. Plus, its high Slice rating and positions in all three of the recommended lists are evidence of its success. The restaurant has a massive menu containing not only several different types of pizza, but also salads, soups, sandwiches, and other entrees. The pizza itself can get pretty expensive, but there are many other cost-effective menu items. They do not exclusively sell Italian food—though out of everything, that is what they have the most of—and offer American selections as well. Most customers grab their pizza at the counter to eat on the go, but they also offer free delivery with only a $10 minimum.
The Elmont area is just to the east of Queens Village and has its own collection of pizzerias. At King Umberto’s of Elmont, the prices can be high. It is an upscale restaurant with a gorgeous interior, and has separate dining room and pizzeria menus. The pizzeria selection is abundant with both traditional and premium pies, including gluten-free options.
Located north of Elmont, New Hyde Park is home to a plethora of pizza establishments. One of its top rated is Toscana Pizzeria Restaurant, whose specialty is thin pizza, but they also offer other types. Their storefront and interior have a casual design. You can customize your pizza with a variety of toppings, and they even offer a cauliflower crust.
Sitting to the south east of Elmont, Franklin Square is home to Chef Gigi’s Place Naples Street Food, one of many pizzerias offered in the area. Their menu is overwhelmingly big and offers numerous styles of pizza, including those with exotic toppings and uncommonly authentic crusts.
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