Well… for me, it all began at Gusta Pizza in Florence, Italy; but for New York City, it began at Lombardi’s.
My first experience with Lombardi’s (New York’s first pizzeria) was when one of my internships ordered it on my last day back in 2009. I was pretty impressed at the time, but didn’t really have a clue about what Lombardi’s was all about. My first formal visit was on the pizza tour I took with Scott’s Pizza Tours (here on out referred to as “SPT”) in March of 2010. If you really want to learn about what you’re eating, that’s definitely a great way to jump right on into it. Scott knows e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g there is to know about pizza. I’m going on another one at the end of March and cannot wait.
Lombardi’s is just plain New York pizza goodness; coal-oven margherita pies. If you’re serious about this pizza craze and want somewhere to start out, it’s pretty much the quintessential place to go. If you sit in the back room (like we did), you even get to walk through their kitchen and see the oven – awesome.
I’m personally a fan of a bit of char on my crust (which is pretty much going to happen if it’s cooked in an oven like Lombardi’s), and that’s what you get here. The mozzarella was stringy, sauce the perfect mixture of sweet and savory. However, beware: you cannot order by the slice, so bring some friends or a big appetite (though you can order it to go).
And when you’re done, if you’re in need of dessert, swing on over to Ferrara Bakery & Cafe on Grand and get a cheminée. Not the fanciest of places, but yum to the max.
Location: SoHo/Little Italy
32 Spring Street