Hi there! Today I’m here to talk awesome foodie experiences – namely, the NYC Crosstown Pizza Walk my sister and I recently took with Scott’s Pizza Tours.
The walk was a birthday gift for Meg, who’s an absolute connoisseur of pizza. The girl knows her slices, and she has a discerning palate! I was excited to try some of New York’s best pizzerias with her. And we lucked out in getting a beautiful late summer / early fall Saturday for our three-hour tour! (I will now have the Gilligan’s Island theme song stuck in my head for the rest of this post.)
Our group assembled at 11 a.m., and our tour guide, Joe, started out by giving us a brief overview of “pizza history,” both in Italy and the United States. And lest you think you’d be starting to snooze, our first pizza stop was just around the corner…
Lombardi’s of Little Italy was our first stop. This joint was America’s first licensed pizzeria and has been a staple since 1905. The slices we sampled used bufala mozzarella and fresh basil, and the underside was nice and charred and blistery, just the way I like it.
After chowing down on our sample slice (and one of the lonely leftovers too), the tour trekked over to visit the Bari pizza ovens at the restaurant supply stores on the Bowery. It was cool to hear how much of a difference there is between coal ovens and gas ovens!
Stop #2? Joe’s of Greenwich Village. We perched all over Father Demo Square to sample these slices, where were the greasy, drippy, extra-jumbo New York slices you’re probably used to seeing on TV. You know, the ones where the cheese slides off and you’ve gotta fold ‘em to eat ‘em.
Our final stop was close by – John’s of Bleecker Street. In addition to Meg freaking out because of the Friends trivia inherent in this stop, it was also her favorite pizza slice. They actually put the cheese on first at John’s, then dollop the sauce on top, so her favorite part of pizza (that would be the cheese) totally wins the flavor war.
Overall (I reserved judgment till the end), my favorite was definitely Lombardi’s. I’m a margherita pizza purist, and Lombardi’s slices went heavy on the sauce and light on the high-quality cheese. Plus their crust was a thing of beauty – crisp but chewy and smoky from the hot oven. I die.
Our tour guide was fantastic as well. Joe made sure to regale us with PPIs (points of pizza interest) at every turn, and his energy totally set the tone for the day. Plus he’s actually worked in pizzerias everywhere from Detroit to Chicago to New York, so his knowledge and love of pizza runs deep!
I was able to book both of our tours through Vimbly, which made scheduling really easy. The website makes it easy to search activities by city and view the next available tour dates and times, and you can even narrow your search results by desired price, time of day, and day of the week. Plus, their booking and reminder services are free. They have “Food Adventures” and “Cooking Classes” areas of their site that sound like a perfect bet for any of you readers. 🙂 Right now, Vimbly is only available in New York and Chicago, but maybe they’ll be booking in your area soon!
So. Who wants to go grab a slice with me?
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary ticket for a tour of my choice. All opinions of the tour, and of Vimbly’s services, are my own.