New Yorkers don’t have to be told where to get a good slice of pizza. Most people have their nearby favorites, and pretty much everyone knows that when you’re in the Village, Joe’s is the place to go; it’s no secret discovery. This tip is for visitors.
Pizza by the slice is ubiquitous in New York. Decades ago, it was possible to walk into just about any storefront pizza shop and get a good, satisfying slice. Today, that’s just not so. Too many pizza shops turn out thick, cloddish, over-sauced and over-cheesed pies topped with less-than-mediocre ingredients. You have to be selective, and that unfortunately runs counter to the whole point of slice pizza: this should be a snack that you can grab wherever you are. Nobody travels to obtain “the best” slice, as you would most certainly do to find the finest whole pies.
So if you find yourself in the Village, and you have a hankering for a slice of old-style New York pie (“slice” and “pie” are the operative words in the NY area), head to Joe’s. It’s a small, rough-and-tumble shop, with some chest-high counter space at which you can eat your slices standing up or, if you’re lucky, you might find an empty stool. Ignore the toppings. There are three things to get: a plain slice, a plain slice with fresh mutz, or best of all, a plain Sicilian slice.
These are not “gourmet” or “artisan” pizzas. They’re just regular old pizzas cooked in a standard gas oven, with one important difference: they taste good. The crust is thin, and good eating right to the edge (but no charred crust here). The sauce is light and tomatoey, not thick and sweet. The cheese is dairy-sweet and toasty. The Sicilian, especially if you’re lucky enough to get a slice cut from a fresh-out-of-the-oven pie, is a large rectangle with a light, airy, crunchy crust. Feel free to sprinkle on the garlic powder or crushed red pepper from the canisters scattered around the place, if that’s the way you like it; it’s that kind of pie.
A true slice of New York.7 Carmine Street New York NY 10014 212-366-1182 Joe’s Pizza’s Website Joe’s Pizza on Facebook