Before I get to the best pizza… which you’ll find out is Grigg Street Pizza… a bit of background.

NYC Pizza

And yes, I know – what a controversial headline! Fair enough because New York City has truly amazing pizza. Living in NYC for over 20 years, believe me – I know 🙂 

Now, like any food a city is known for, you do need to know where to go. You aren’t getting the city’s best slice at Ray’s or Famous Ray’s or Famous Original Ray’s or Famous Ray’s Original (if you know where that is coming from, you know…) but you will get a great traditional NY slice at Joe’s in the West Village, for example. 

Then you have a subset of NYC pies – coal oven and brick oven (wood) pizza. Coal oven pizza shops are limited to a handful in the 5 boroughs due to a ban enacted years ago that allowed those already in place to remain. You can find coal ovens at NY pizza institutions like the original Patsy’s, Totonnos, John’s on Bleecker Street, Arturo’s on Houston, Juliana’s (which is in the original Grimaldi’s spot in Brooklyn) and a few more. Coal oven definitely hits differently than wood fired which is still delicious and is much easier to find (just throw a stone). 

Long story short – there are roughly three NYC “styles” and you can add in a few more variants like the square slice (Sicilian), etc. Each has their place and each is amazing when done right. I’ve never had bad coal oven pizza (maybe because the few that have them know what they are doing for decades) but have certainly had bad pizza of other varieties all over NYC. Like I said, you have to know where to go.

One of the most iconic pizzas in the 5 boroughs is in Midwood, Brooklyn and is called DiFara’s. For those lucky enough to have sampled a pie when the original founder and owner Dom DiFara was around, there was nothing better. Nothing. Dom passed in 2022 at the age of 85 and had stopped making the pies sometime before then. But up until then he worked nearly every day of the year, with ingredients imported daily from Italy and with each piece of basil hand snipped onto your pie in front of your eyes with a quick drizzle of oil. Here’s a great article I found chronicling Dom. 

I had pizza there in the early 2000’s and it was essentially life changing. Sadly, while the pizza remains amazing, it’s no longer what it was without Dom working the oven. Honestly, not even close – though still quite good! Avoid the locations that have popped up in places like Las Vegas. Those aren’t representative of the real thing at all.

Where am I going with this? DiFara’s is actually the perfect segue into a pizza that I feel has a lot of DiFara’s in it – although you’ll need to ride a Metro North train about 45 minutes from Grand Central to find it.

Grigg Street Pizza – Greenwich, CT

In 2020, while the COVID pandemic was still running hot (tough time to open a new business!), Grigg Street pizza opened on a small side street (Grigg Street, of course) of Greenwich Avenue in downtown Greenwich, CT.

Grigg Street Pizza

I discovered it a few months later in early 2021 and it became a go to spot for me.

The pizza is made from only the highest quality ingredients (sourdough crust, fresh pulled mozz, etc) and, despite not being made in a coal oven, tastes an awful lot like it was.

Between the ingredients and the fresh parmesean they grate on top of each slice or pie as it leaves the oven on the way to your plate, it’s hard to find a better slice.

If you want a real taste of Fairfield County, ask for a side of hot oil to drizzle on top. It’s made fresh by most reputable pizza joints in the area and is a local tradition. 

Probably the biggest slice selection I’ve ever seen there – they go fast. The bottom row is the “Fatty”

To get there, just take Metro North’s New Haven line from Grand Central Station to Greenwich Station. Unfortunately, you are at the whim of the MTA’s insane commuter rail pricing scheme – so expect to pay about $21 round trip off peak and ~$6 more during peak times.

At peak times, the ride is just 43-47 minutes, although off peak and weekends the trip extends to a bit over an hour. You’ll need to cross over the tracks (there are stairs) and exit onto Railroad Ave. Head to your right and then walk left onto Greenwich Ave.

Grigg Street Pizza will be on your left and it’s a 5 minute walk from the train station.

Think I’m just spouting off a random slice joint I happen to like?

Well, much to my dismay (because of the crowds it brought!!), Grigg St Pizza has since been featured in the last year by both Dave Portnoy’s One Bite Pizza Reviews where they got a (super high) 8.2 which means “worth a special trip.”

Matt, one of the owners, then cajoled Dave into trying their take on the Philly Cheesesteak which is absolutely phenomenal but not for the lactose intolerant! If you can, get a slice and a cheesesteak and bring half or the cheesesteak home.

Then they got an appearance on Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives with Guy Fieri.

Needless to say, I’m not the only one that loves the place! Once again, the cheesesteak gets (rightly) featured and this time you get to see how they make it. Did I mention the freshly baked bread they use for it? Incredible.

My own cheesesteak

They also started making “Fatties” – big fat slices. Personally, I stick to the normal thin pizza which allows you to enjoy more and feel less stuffed. If it’s your first time, I definitely recommend you do the same. Two slices is perfect if you are just having pizza and they have a small variety of toppings to choose from.

Note that if you are picking up a pie to go, they have timeslots and you’ll want to either order online or call ahead. There are a handful of tables in the shop so be prepared to wait or share during busy times (like a weekend lunch time).

New Haven Pizza and other Connecticut Pizza Variants

Now I’d be remiss to not mention that Connecticut is rightly renowned in its own right for its New Haven style pizza. For those that have never tried it out of a sense of allegiance to NY pizza – I get that. But you are missing out. Much like Chicago style pizza is not a “competitor” to NY pizza, neither is New Haven style pizza – a thin crust sauce forward tase of heaven in its own right.

Frank Pepe’s is the go-to but Sally’s and Modern also make the cut. If you want to try some without going too far (since New Haven is a good hour past Greenwich and isn’t the safest of towns to roam), there is a Sally’s in Stamford – although it would be an Uber ride from the train, unlike Grigg St.

A pie at Sally’s in Stamford

Connecticut also has other local pies. There’s the love it or hate it very thin crust style hot oil pie at Colony Grill in Stamford and Greenwich actually had it’s divest dive bar reopen after being closed for several years – the Bruce Park Grill. They make their own unique “bar pie” with a nice cheesy crust char – shown below. Eat this hot at the bar!

Bruce Park Grill Bar Pie
Bruce Park Grill Bar Pie

Bottom Line

Grigg Street Pizza is freaking awesome. I truly prefer it over any NY slice (although that doesn’t mean I don’t get equally fired up to have one of the best NYC slices!) and definitely think it’s worth a trip for any NYC area pizza aficionado. 

Now, I fully expect you to come at me with your own pizza faves, so please go for it in the comments or in this thread on the MilesTalk Facebook Group.


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