With an authentic New York vibe and perfect sausage and pepperoni pizza, John’s of Bleecker Street in the city’s Greenwich Village has always been my go-to pizza place. I don’t care if the tourists know about it too.
I started eating at John’s with my dad about 10 years ago, and now a trip to New York doesn’t feel complete without one of their large pepperoni and sausage pies. My most recent trip to New York was no exception, and I even went with my dad.
As always, the pizzas are cooked in an 83-year-old coal-fired oven at 850 degrees. In just a few minutes they emerge thin, crispy, perfectly charred, and topped with tangy tomato sauce and a generous amount of gooey cheese. Enough said.
Granted, you can’t keep a pizza this good secret for long. And since John’s has been dishing them out since 1929, it’s safe to say that word has gotten out. Yes it’s a popular spot, and yes the tourists know about it, but that doesn’t make it any lesser in my book. What’s good is good.
What makes John’s even better is the atmosphere. It’s been called one of the “New Yorkiest” places in the city. But it’s not “New Yorkie” by design, it’s “New Yorkie” because it is New York. It’s real, it’s authentic, and it’s not trying to be anything it isn’t. The ceilings are tin and the walls are lined with narrow booths with hard wooden benches. The benches and wood-paneled walls are worn and etched with the names of thousands of past visitors. The place isn’t short on character.
Couple the pizza (which you can only order by the pie – small and large – there are no individual slices here), with a pitcher of beer (preferably Yuengling), and the laid back vibe, and you’ve got a recipe for a great and relatively inexpensive New York dinner.
Sure there are comparable pizzas around town, some say even better pizzas, but I won’t be the judge of that in this post. All I know is that I like John’s pizza and the next time I’m in New York, I’ll be back.
And if my opinion isn’t doing it for you, Vanilla Ice has been there and according to John’s website, Ice says, “Keep making the ‘dope’ pizza.” So it must be good.
John’s of Bleeker Street is located at 278 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10014
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