The key to great pizza could be debated endlessly. With so many joints devoted to the revered item throughout the state, choosing just a few was nearly impossible. We narrowed down our list by category – these slices will please even the most picky of pizza aficionados. We know the Garden State prides itself on great pizza – here are our picks for the best slices. By Emily Tamburri.
See Also: Jersey’s 5 Best Burgers
Best Thin Crust
Located on the Franklin Turnpike is an unassuming tavern offering some of the thinnest, crispiest pizza you could ever imagine, with tasty sauce and cheese spread out right to the edge. This crust is almost cracker-like in texture, but flavorful and doesn’t get soggy in the middle like other thin crusts. Don’t be surprised if you consume twice your usual amount of pizza—the crust is that thin and the pizza is that good. Don’t forget to bring cash though—no credit cards accepted at this joint.
Best Brick Oven
Only a path ride away from the original Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn, its Hoboken cousin still packs all the flavor that a coal, brick oven slice should have. Each thin crust pie is baked over slow burning coals to create a slightly charred, crisp effect that withstands the weight of fresh sliced mozzarella and the other many pizza toppings you can choose to add on.
Home of the famous Trenton Tomato Pie, DeLorenzo’s has been serving New Jersey’s finest crushed California tomato sauce atop their thin crust pies since 1938. If you prefer sauce to cheese, this is the right place. With the chunky tomato sauce smothering – but not overpowering – a handmade crust, the slice somehow retains its firm texture. The pizza is finished off with a drizzle of oil and a sprinkling of cheese, making it a classic New Jersey favorite.
Basile’s is the place for a great thick crust square of Sicilian pizza. The dough is cooked evenly and crispy on the edges while remaining fluffy and moist inside. This perfectly cooked Sicilian crust is adorned with Basile’s homemade crushed tomato sauce, sliced vine ripened tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and parmesan cheeses and a hint of basil—a simplistic approach to a slice of pizza with authentic Italian flavors.
Once you try this slice, you’ll be asking your local pizza place to hold the cheese and give you a side salad. Spring Lake Gourmet Pizza features an Ensalada, or salad slice, which is simply their thin crust pizza dough and tomato sauce cooked to perfection. What makes it extraordinary is the crisp lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives and anything else you desire piled high on top of the crust; a slice perfect for the health conscious or lactose intolerant.
To mix up your regular tomato sauce and mozzarella pizza, Dusal’s offers a buffalo chicken pizza slice that is covered in a spicy buffalo sauce for extra kick. A chewier and slightly thicker crust provides the support needed for this heavy slice, with piles of sliced buffalo chicken baked into of layers of melted bubbly mozzarella, and an extra drizzle of tangy buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing.
The Jersey shore boardwalk is full of pizza joints that line the coast, but none seem to quite compare to Mack’s in taste, texture and slight greasiness—which might sound like a bad thing if you haven’t tried this pizza perfection. This pizza joint dates back decades and is consistently ranked among the “best” by Jersey Shore-goers. The very large slice is a fast and easy dinner for summer nights, or after a late night of hanging out shore-style. You can watch the pizza being made right in front of you, and what comes out of the oven is a pie that blows all other shore pizzas right out of the water.