PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You may not have to go too far to get yourself a delightful slice of pizza in Philadelphia or New Jersey.
According to the food site The Daily Meal, the Garden State netted six worthy pizzerias on the site’s “101 Best Pizzas in America” list, while Philadelphia had four.
The shops include Reservoir Tavern in Boonton, Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville, Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza in Elizabeth, Razza in Jersey City, Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville and Star Tavern Pizzeria in Orange.
They ranked in the following order, according to The Daily Meal:
- #34 Star Tavern Pizzeria, Orange, N.J. (Thin Crust)
The bar pie. In the annals of all things pizza, it is perhaps one of the most underrated styles. The maligned proponents of the pile-it-on philosophy behind deep-dish get bent out of shape when Chicago’s signature style is besmirched, but there doesn’t seem to be a similar geographic identification attached to this more nuanced, reserved, and minimalist approach. It’s a shame, save that it makes bar pie bastions like Colony, Eddie’s (on 2014’s list), and Star Tavern in Orange, New Jersey, even easier to like, and, selfishly, to eat at without battling crowds.Owned and operated by the Vayianos family since 1980, “The Star” is run by former attorney Gary Vayianos, whose kitchen turns out super-thin, crispy, to-the-edges-with-the-sauce toppings, with a sauce-to-cheese ratio that delivers as much as you need and not more than the structural integrity can handle.
- #45 Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville (Tomato Pie: mozzarella and tomato sauce): “DeLorenzo’s serves serious tradition with their pizza — 70 years’ worth. It was launched in Trenton in 1947 by Southern Italian immigrant Alexander “Chick” De Lorenzo; today, Delorenzo’s tradition is upheld by his grandson Sam Amico at the new location in Robbinsville, opened in 2007 (the original closed in 2012 when stewards Gary and Eileen Amico retired).”
- #46 Razza, Jersey City (Bufala): “Razza opened just across the Hudson River from New York in Jersey City in late 2012, and it quietly became renowned locally for its wood-fired pizzas prepared by chef-owner Dan Richer, who was a semifinalist for the James Beard Rising Star Award and is so meticulous about his craft that he was nicknamed ‘the Jiro of Bread,’ after the sushi chef featured in Jiro Dreams of Sushi.”
- #64 Santillo’s Brick Oven Pizza, Elizabeth (Sicilian: pepperoni, mozzarella, pizza sauce): “What can you say about Al Santillo? Santillo may be the least well-known great pizza tradition curator in America, the gatekeeper to three generations of pizza-making and one of the most unique pizzerias in America. The man has tomato sauce running through his veins. Al Santillo’s grandfather, who had long made focaccia for his family at home, decided to try it as a business in 1950.”
- #86 Papa’s Tomato Pies, Robbinsville (Mustard Pie): “Lombardi’s may be responsible for ‘America’s first pizza,’ but as Nick Azzaro, owner of Papa’s Tomato Pies, isn’t shy about saying, Papa’s — established in 1912 — is America’s oldest continuously owned, family-owned pizzeria. With more than 100 years under its belt, no wonder Papa’s made this list of America’s best pies again.”
- #92 Reservoir Tavern, Boonton (Cheese Pie): “Tucked away on a quiet side street near the Jersey City Reservoir in Boonton, New Jersey, is Reservoir Tavern, serving some of the state’s finest brick-oven pizza and Old World Italian fare since 1936. Run by the Bevacqua family since day one, this no-frills bar and dining room commands a lengthy wait every night of the week.”
The Daily Meal made its judgments based on the following criteria:
“We believe the following qualities are basic to the platonic pie: a nuanced sauce, neither too sweet nor salty (assuming that it has sauce); good-quality, well-distributed cheese (assuming that it has cheese); good-quality and sensibly combined toppings; a flavorful, savory crust; and, perhaps most important aside from the overall quality of the ingredients, a judicious, well-balanced, and pleasing ratio of sauce, cheese, toppings, and crust that maintains a structural integrity no matter the style.”
Philadelphia also had some pizzerias rank among the nation’s best. The four are listed below.
- #53 Pizzeria Vetri, Philadelphia, Pa. (Tonno: Sicilian tuna, onion, mozzarella, tomato sauce, peperoncino)
- #71 Lorenzo and Sons, Philadelphia, Pa. (Cheese Pie)
- #72 Pizza Brain, Philadelphia, Pa. (Forbes Waggensense: mozzarella, fontina, grana padano, basil, smoked pepperoni, tomato sauce)
- #84 Pizzeria Beddia, Philadelphia, Pa. (Tomato, mozzarella, Old Gold aged cheese, extra-virgin olive oil)
The Daily Meal website posted the 2017 edition of its annual top pie list on Thursday.