As another year comes to an end, it’s time to look back on some of the best pizza I ate in 2018.
This year, IDreamOfPizza celebrated its 10 year anniversary, which included a visit to my 10 all-time favorite NYC pizza spots. And I also launched a brand new pizza podcast called All Things Pizza. While I ate pizza as far away as Japan this year, 4 of my 5 favorite pies hail from within New York State. Here’s a rundown of where you can find them:
5) Mushroom Pizza
(Mushrooms, Kale, Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese, Balsamic Reduction, Truffle Oil)
In March, I made my third trip to Hawaii and first to Kauai. A food truck on the island’s eastern shore which has been around for almost 4 years, serves eight Neapolitan style pies. My favorite was their mushroom pie, which contains local goat cheese from nearby Kauai Kunana Dairy, kale from the farmer’s market, and a hefty serving of caramelized onions. All topped off with some balsamic. Mushrooms and onions are two of my favorite pizza toppings. So it’s no surprise that this was one of the best pies I had this year.
4) “The Farm” Pizza
(Fresh Mozzarella, Chilis, Green Garlic, Market Greens, Fresh Herbs)
New York, NY
Bocce was one of my favorite New York restaurant openings of 2018. It took over the lease on the Union Square Pavilion, a structure that was built nearly a century ago but has seldomly been open to the public in recent years. Their farm pie changes based on what’s in season, but my favorite incarnation of it was in late spring, when it featured a mix of “greens” and “herbs” with some mozz, chilis, and green garlic. What exactly was on here? Who knows. But all of the greens were pre-cooked to perfection and when I look back at this pie I’m reminded of warm weather and summer fun.
3) Dessert Pizza
(Hollowed Out Crust, 10 Scoops Of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream,
Caramel Corn, Nutella Crips, Nutella Cream, Sugar)
Dobbs Ferry, NY
What is pizza, exactly? That’s a much debated question. And for the purposes of this list, I’m willing to accept any dishes which a restaurant identifies as a pizza. In this case, that includes the “Dessert Pizza” from The Parlor. It’s not a traditional dessert pizza. But it’s 10x better than any traditional dessert pizza. Pizza dough is baked, sliced open, and then stuffed with ten scoops of ice cream, caramel corn and nutella crips. It’s then topped with nutella cream and sugar and sliced just like a stuffed pizza pie. Pizza Hut may have invented the stuffed crust. But The Parlor invented the best dessert pizza known to man.
2) Grandma Cheese Slice
(Tomato Sauce, Mozzarella, Grana Padano, Parm, Roasted Garlic)
I may have eaten this “under the radar” slice more than any other this past year. After 16 years of living in Manhattan, I finally made the move to Brooklyn. And my search for a decent slice in Park Slope lead me to Gristmill, a farm to table restaurant that has been around for a few years. They serve full personal pies in their dining room. But these off-menu grandma slices are the real reason you want to come here. The sourdough-like crust is topped with tomato sauce, an assortment of fresh cheeses and some garlic. Every bite melts in your mouth.
1) Vodka Slice
(Vodka Sauce, Mozzarella, Basil)
New York, NY
There has been a lot of talk about the revitalization of the New York slice this year. And one shop leading the way is the critically acclaimed (at least by the New York Times) Morningside Heights shop, Mama’s Too. I came here early on in the year (before the hype) and at the end of the year (post-hype) and I agree that this spot warrants all of the accolades it’s been getting. The most difficult task is deciding on my favorite slice there. But I’m going to award that distinction to their vodka slice. It’s super creamy — as if someone scooped a ladle of the best vodka sauce you’ve ever tasted on every slice — and then laced it with mozzarella. Throw some fresh basil on top and you have my favorite pizza of 2018.