Long Island Pizza - Not just a New York City wannabe!
Long Island comprises Brooklyn and Queens (which are two of the five boroughs of New York City), as well as Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It's a looooong island. But when people refer to Long Island, they're talking about Nassau and Suffolk, which lie outside the City. And when they talk about Long Island pizza, well, there's a lot of it. And one pizzeria at a time, we'll be bringing you the best.
Besides the great beaches and Montauk Point, Long Island is known for a few things: The Norden Bombsight (if you're old enough to remember WW II), Joey Buttafucco (that's one we'd like to forget), and the Grandma Pizza. The Grandma Pizza was first made at Umberto's Pizzeria in New Hyde Park, NY. Now everyone on L.I. makes it (it's even branching into NYC), but Umberto's still makes it best. Click here for our review of Umberto's.
As New York City grew and its residents became more affluent, many New Yorkers moved out of the boroughs to Long Island -- which presented a great opportunity for pizza makers wanting to open their own places as well as for established pizzerias to open new locations.
The first pizzeria to open on Long Island was Eddie's which opened in New Hyde Park in 1935. Still open, Eddie's serves what it calls a bar pie, which features a cracker-thin crust. We don't know if it's still the case, but back in the 1970's, it was a local rite of passage that when you were old enough for a legal beer (back then it was 18), you went to Eddie's for brews and bar pies. We enjoyed their white pizza, without the benefit of the beer.
There are a couple of Suffolk County gems we found through Newsday's 2008 "Best of Long Island Pizza" List: The excellent Colloseo in Port Jefferson Station, and late-night favorite Little Vincent's in Lake Ronkonkoma.
All over Long Island you'll find some wonderful neighborhood pizza places, several coal-fired brick oven pizzerias, and at least one branch of a New York City pizza institution. Click here for our review of Grimaldi's in Garden City
We've been living on Long Island and eating Long Island pizza for a long time (Lillian grew up here, about a mile from Umberto's!), and every time we think we've found the best pizza, someone else will say, "well, have you tasted...?" and we're off to another pizzeria! The Yellow Pages lists 258 pizza places on Long Island, but we think that number is low (maybe those are only the ones who advertise in the Yellow Pages). We may never get to all of them. If you live on Long Island and want to recommend a great pizzeria, contact us!
Visit the Little Vincent's Pizza in Lake Ronkonkoma page
Visit the Colosseo in Port Jefferson Station page
Visit the Original Umberto's Pizzeria page
Visit the Grimaldi's Garden City page
Return from Long Island Pizza to the passion-4-pizza home page