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What are the Best Coal-Fired Pizzas in NYC

Coal fired ovens (left) can only to had by inheriting in NYC restaurants. They produce a thinner crispier pizza than when cooked in a wood oven.

Both oven and pizza from Luzzo's on 1st Avenue.

What is a Coal Fired Oven -- .Coal-burning ovens are hot commodities for pizza makers since the only way to get one in New York City is to inherit it. Coal fired ovens have a long history to pizza making in the US. New York City was the birth place of New York style pizza. Lombardi's which opened in 1905 was the first pizzeria in the United States, and it happened to use a coal-fired oven.

One of the main differences between coal and wood comes not from the coal smoke but by the intense heat a coal fire generates. Coal provides about 13,000 BTUs of heat per pound, while wood provides about 6,500 BTUs per pound. Oven temperatures in a coal fired oven exceed 900 degrees imparting a characteristic char to the crust. In addition the higher heat lets the crust get crispier.


Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano -- 1524 Neptune Ave (between 15th St & 16th St) Brooklyn, NY 11224 --(718) 372-8606
For 2012 Totonno's was rated the best pizza in New York City by Zagat's receiving a rating of 26. Located in Coney Island, Brooklyn since around 1926. Zagat Rating 26 -- See Zagat Reviews -- "...Every self-respecting pizza-loving New Yorker should visit the Coney Island original at least once in his lifetime..." read more from New York Magazine.

Luzzo's -- 211 1st Ave (between 12th St & 13th St) New York, NY 10003 -- (212) 473-7447
Luzzo’s Bufala Quadratti is a paper thin 1/16? flat pizza that takes you straight back to Italy circa 1898. Fitting for a pizza cooked in a 120 year old oven.....Michele Luliano has long had a name for himself on the New York City restaurant scene. As the owner of Luzzo’s, he developed a cult following for the traditional pizzas he serves at the East Village mainstay. In 2010, he opened Ovest, a sister restaurant to Luzzo’s in Chelsea.
Luzzo's website and menu -- yelp reviews (4 stars) -Zagat 25-- - See-- Zagat Reviews

Grimaldi's --1 Front St (between Dock St & York St) Brooklyn, NY 11201 (718) 858-4300
Grimaldi’s offers over 100 years of pizza-making traditions.."Weighing in at 25 tons and heated by 100 pounds of coal per day (cleanest burning fuel available and environmentally tested), the oven heats up to 1200 degrees. We also purchase special coal from Pennsylvania called anthracite. It actually burns cleaner and more Eco-friendly than gas or wood-fired methods..."
Grimaldi's website -- Zagat 24--- see Zagat Reviews --Gayot's top 10 Pizza's in New York

John's Pizzeria -- 278 Bleecker St (between Jones St & Morton St) New York, NY 10014 --(212) 243-1680
John's of Bleecker Street was founded in 1929 by John Sasso, and the restaurant is still in its original location. John's Pizzeria serve coal-fired, brick oven pizza, cooked in 850-degree ovens. John Sasso was one of the original bakers at Lombardi's. The walls are all carved out, and while the pizza is Ok, the place seems more about who you are with than about the pizza.
John's website and menu -- Zagat 23 --see Zagat Reviews

Patsy's 2287 1st Ave (between 117th St & 118th St) New York, NY 10035 ---(212) 534-9783 -- Numerous locations around NYC (Yelp 4 stars)

Excellent thin crust pizza at numerous locations. Latest location is at 69th and First Avenue.

Website -- Zagat's 20

Lombardi's -- 32 Spring St (between Mott St & Mulberry St) New York, NY 10012 -- (212) 941-7994
Lombardi's which opened in 1905 was the first pizzeria in the United States. Expect long lines and lots of tourists.
Lombardi's home page and menu, Zagat 25-- Yelp 4 stars.

Arturo's --106 W. Houston St., New York, NY10012 at Thompson St. --212-677-3820
This is more of a neighborhood place with few tourists. Among toppings are sausage, pepperoni, calamari, lobster, spinach, and fresh basil. A large pie will feed two people, or as many as four --Live jazz.---Zagat 23 -- Read review in Slice

Verde Coal Oven Pizza -- 254 Irving Ave (between Greene Ave & Menahan St) Brooklyn, NY 11237 -- (718) 381-8800.
Charlie Verde born in Sambuca, Sicily, took possession of the 104 year coal oven and turned it into a pizzeria in 2011.
Verde Coal Oven Pizza Website and Menu -- Yelp 4 stars --

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