I'm on a pizza expedition around New York City, dedicated to trying it all, from fancy gastropub pies to grandma slices to dollar slices. This past weekend I revisited one of the greats: John's Pizzeria.
John's is a classic, coal oven pizza place open since 1929 in the village. It's one of the originals of the city, better than the others I think.
Sometimes you have to wait to get in, sometime you don't. There are no slices. The walls have been scratched over the years from what seems like faux hooliganism, just people wanting to be part of a place well loved.
The inside is always a mix of locals and tourists. On this Saturday the table next to us was having a small family reunion dinner, with at least four pies surrounding their plates. I dreamed of that many pies.
The pizzas here are coal fired and quintessentially New York with a flat blackened crust, basic tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella. These are not your artfully constructed pies. The crust and dough won't have you singing the praises of its tang, its sourdough ferment. The tomato flavor is bright but simple. I find it's rustic, classic charred edges unpretentiously delicious.
I always go for a medium pie of mozzarella with fresh Italian sausage to split between two. If you're especially hungry, a larger pie will do too. You can get beer or wine or a salad but really, you're here for the simple pie.
Eat in or take it to go, sitting by the Hudson or in closer Washington Square Park.
John's Pizzeria 278 Bleecker St New York, NY 10014