• Eric Mack


#1 – Davinci Pizzeria – 6514 18th Ave. Brooklyn, N

While I was growing up on Staten EYEEE-land, the rest of the family still lived in Bensonhurst, BROOKLYN. Every Saturday, we would go visit ‘Poppy and Gram’ on 18th Ave and 58th St. I have vivid memories of their house, but what I remember the most are the weekly afternoon walks. It was seven blocks to DaVinci which is on 18th Ave and 65th St. The tables, the guys working and the overall vibe are all just part of what makes this a classic pizzeria. What is most impressive is their “square pie” fresh out of the oven. DaVinci opened in 1966 and has been passed down through generations of the family. It is known as the “best Square (Sicilian) in the world”. Every few years, we make it back there to confirm that the finest square slice in the world has not changed.

Light, luscious and crispy with that awesome ‘stringy-when-you-take –a-bite’ of mozzarella on a classic Sicilian slice with the perfect amount of sauce are just a few of the traits that make it special. When you visit DaVinci Pizzeria, your experience begins the moment you walk in. Your humble hosts will greet you at the counter as they have for over 50 years. If you don't know where to look, you might just walk past it ---- but don’t, as it’s by far the best Sicilian slice in Brooklyn! Over the years, it has been renovated and modernized a bit, but we wouldn’t want it to change too much as it’s a long time staple in Bensonhurst. If you’re ever in the mood for a pizza journey, take a trip to DaVinci in Brooklyn and order a fresh Sicilian pie!

#2 – L&B Spumoni Gardens - 2725 86th St, Brooklyn, NY 11223

Photo courtesy of Foodiebytes.com

If you call yourself a New Yawkaaa, you know about L&B Spumoni Gardens. It’s always a treat to go and grab that piping hot half tray that they’re dishing out like hot cakes on a cool summer night. The definitive, cash only line moves fast, and eating outside on their picnic-like tables with friends and family all give L&B a tingly good ambiance and vibe. But what truly makes L&B –> L&B is the “L&B slice”. When you open the half tray and grab a slice, the one inch plus thick crust is smothered with the perfect amount of just sweet enough sauce on a crispy, airy square slice. There is a molten layer of cheese underneath the sauce. It all blends perfectly, and if you go and don’t scarf three pretty easily, the half tray is on The Wreckord!

#3 – Brothers – Staten Island – Port Richmond Ave.

Photo courtesy of The Daily Meal

Growing up on Staten Island, I searched and searched for a square pie like DaVinci’s. I found the next best thing at Brothers. It is very much like DaVinci, and Brothers’ Sicilian pie looks like a compact cheese bomb with random circles of sauce splurging out, and is actually crisp, light and airy. Like L&B, the cash only register and packed family style pizzeria gives you that classic NY pizzeria feel. It is down the block from one of the other best pizzeria’s on Staten Island, Denino’s, but the two bring very different assets to the table. What sets Brothers and Denino's apart is that Brothers offers styles of pizza aside from the round pie, with the best square and pan slices on Staten Island!

#4 – DiFara’s – 1424 Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Photo courtesy of Explore Brooklyn

OOOOF! Time to talk about DiFara’s. Easy! Owner Don DeMarco has been dishing out fresh pies made to order for over 50 years. After about 40 of those years, he proclaimed his pies to be ‘perfect’. Today, he makes up to 150 pies a day and if this was rating regular slices in NYC, he would be close to the top spot. His ‘square’ makes this list as well, because all of his pizza uses a buffalo mozzarella three cheese blend and he dashes just enough olive oil that seeps into the Sicilian-style crust perfectly without making it soggy. With all of this, it’s sort of a non-traditional Sicilian, because it is thicker than a grandma slice but thinner than a regular Sicilian slice. The copious amounts of sauce infused with the cheese and basil trimmings make this unique NYC $6.00 square slice worth every penny.

#5 – Pizza Wagon – 8610 5th Ave. Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

Photo courtesy of YELP

If you know, you know. Pizza Wagon is a classic in South Brooklyn! You can go inside of course, but most South Brooklynites like to go up to their friendly window that showcase fresh regular cheese and Sicilian pies in the window. At Pizza Wagon, I always go for the square. To be honest, I tried it a little later in life, and it just gives me the feel of true New York pizza. It’s always packed, it's diverse and when fresh out, their square takes a stab at Brother’s and DaVinci for a top notch, delicious and classic Sicilian slice. We all know true New Yorkers love a classic middle slice when done right! Although Pizza Wagon only has an eight slice rectangular Sicilian pie (which means there are no middles), these elongated rectangular Sicilian slices with a textbook amount of cheese and sauce are ready for one to enjoy each and every bite!

#pizza #newyorkcity #Sicilian #NYC #brooklyn #statenisland