No matter where they are in the country, all cities have past history, some museums, learning centers, art galleries, and a few urban green spaces. Allentown in Pennsylvania has a lot more of all of them than most and if places were ranked by cultural activities then Allentown would be high up in the ratings.
After being founded on a dry and dusty brush-covered prairie, Allentown has developed to be an award-winning city and leader in urban development. Industrialization as varied as the manufacture of trucks and the production of silk brought a boom era to the city in the early 20th century and it has continued right up to the present day.
Many of the first migrants to move to Allentown were of German origin, but it wasn't long before the Italians followed. While many were employed in the city's industries, some set up business on their own and began to feed the growing workforce with tasty, cheese and sauce-covered dough called pizza.
Pies being dished up in this part of Pennsylvania haven't undergone many transformations since they were first introduced. Pizzerias still use the old recipes that have been handed down from their forefathers who brought them over from their home country. For that reason, Allentown is known for its thick crust pizzas.
Thick crust is one of the original styles of presenting pizza. It's a pie that looks more rustic than say New York-style or a Neapolitan, but that's the way it's meant to be. The base dough of these hand-pressed pizzas is thicker and even deeper around the edges. That's an edge traditionally brushed with olive oil so it turns a deep golden brown and is crispy when cooked. If you don't want the extra calories, let the chef know before he makes your pie. When it comes to toppings on a thick crust, anything goes. There are really no limits.
You can always tell a pizzeria knows how to produce the goods by the fact they will be busy. When you want the best delivery pizza in Allentown, that's not something you'll need to worry about. There's no waiting for a table or jostling for elbow room when you order a pie to be delivered. The Slice of Italy pizzeria is housed in a very up-to-date premises on Allentown's Tilghman Street. All glass and aluminum outside and shiny chrome inside, it's neat and super clean. Its ultra-modern appearance might make you think they know nothing about traditional pizza preparation, but you'd be mistaken.
Get a pizza delivered from Slice Of Italy and that's exactly what you'll get – a slice of Italy in a box. Whether you get a normal pie, a gourmet one, a chicken fajita or pizza alla vodka, you'll be shouting bellissimo after the very first bite.
If you're spending your day visiting the Mack Truck Museum, America On Wheels Museum, or taking the kids to the Da Vinci Science Center, all that history and science can leave you and the family famished. When you've still got more visits on the agenda, get the best takeout pizza in Allentown from Ray's Famous Pizza on Union Boulevard. It's not called famous for nothing.
Calling yourself famous gives you a lot to live up to and thankfully, Ray manages to do it quite nicely. Although Ray's pagoda-style establishment would probably suit a Chinese restaurant better than an Italian, the architecture doesn't affect the quality of the pies. The spacious lot out front means you'll have no problem parking to pick up your pizza.
Whatever you choose from Ray's menu for a take-out, whether it's a white sauce with broccoli, a calzone stuffed to bursting point, or just a regular with cheese, you know it'll be a total treat as Ray's is famous for their pizza.
Coopersburg is a city around ten miles south of Allentown and a place you'd probably only go to for a visit if you belong to a historical society. Coopersburg was colonized by the British under the rule of Charles II by a settler who gave his name to the state of Pennsylvania. That’s fascinating, but can you get a decent pizza there? Yes, at La Borgata Pizzeria on Lanark Road.
Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has nothing to compare with its famous namesake city in Palestine, but it still has its place on the register of National Historic Places. Known as Christmas City, Bethlehem, PA's claim to fame is its illuminated star that shines over the city from high up on South Mountain. If you've driven there to get a photo of it for your social media account, drop in at Martellucci's on Easton Avenue. You'll find their pizzas equally as enlightening.
There's not much to be said about Neffs, a small town ten miles north-west of Allentown, other than it has a church with a spiked tower and is a quiet place to pull up in if you've been over at Lehigh Valley Zoo. After feeding time at the zoo, take the kids there for a pizza from Di Fiore's and they'll be even happier feeding their faces with a scrumptious pie than they were feeding the animals.
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