What is the best pizza in New Jersey? This post ends my New Jersey pizza tour, where I tried eight popular New Jersey pizzerias. I tried Trenton-style tomato pies, bar-style pizza, coal-fired pizza and classic-style pizza. My friend thinks that Star Tavern in Orange was the best, delicious and unique. I agree, but I also think it’s a tie with Brooklyn’s Coal-Burning Brick-Oven Pizza in Hackensack. But you can’t go wrong at any of these pizzerias. Most are family-owned businesses, many started by Italian immigrants. Kudos to them for keeping these businesses open in the ever-increasing corporate culture we have going on in America now. There are pizzerias in Italy that date back a couple of hundred years, so should there be here in America. Long live apizz’, long live the Jersey bar pizza, long live the Trenton tomato pie, long live coal-fired pizza, and long live the classic American slice.
Tie: Star Tavern in Orange, NJ, and Brooklyn’s Coal-Burning Brick-Oven Pizza in Hackensack, NJ.
I just want to add one thing since I posted this. There was only one pizzeria that I visited that had an excellent-tasting, traditional, old-world dough. That is Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, NJ. They know how to make pizza dough. For my taste, it was thinner than I like it, but it was a great example of how pizza dough should taste. In my book, dough is the hardest component of pizza to master. Papa’s masters it.
Stay tuned: The next two weeks, I look for the best ice cream in New Jersey.
Posted in America, Ice Cream, Italian, Pizza, Restaurant
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I had been wanting to go on a New Jersey pizza tour for some time now. I finally did it. My goal was to hit the classic pizza places, especially those started by Italian immigrants for a cultural, historical pilgrimage as well. So for the next two weeks, I will showcase one pizzeria per day.
Just to recap my pizza cred, my parents owned a pizzeria and my relatives opened some in New Jersey in the first half of the 20th century. I’ve eaten pizza in Naples, New York and New Haven. Now, it’s time for New Jersey.
(The writer in me couldn’t resist the alliteration, but I’ve had pizza in other parts of the country too, including Chicago.)
In 2002, I wrote an article on pizza for Hobokeni.com where I sampled pizza from every pizzeria in the Mile Square at the time. It was a huge task for one person, but I accomplished it with the help of friends (although I personally tried each slice too).
When critiquing pizza, I think it’s best to order a plain pie with no toppings. The three components of pizza are crust, sauce and cheese. I think it’s easier to taste each one when there are no other toppings. Also, I think it’s best to order a whole pie instead of a slice because slices can be sitting around at many pizzerias. The whole pie comes fresh out of the oven to you. Personally, I think the crust is the true testament of whether someone can make pizza or not. However, I’ve eaten pizza where the crust was great but the sauce or cheese was not. So I do believe a good pie is a combination of the three.
Hope you enjoy my journey, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on your favorite pie!
–Dina Di Maio