Welcome Week Stories: The Magical, Mystery Pizza Tour

Ryan Mikel, Entertainment Editor

NYU’s Freshman Welcome Week is a whirlwind of back-to-back, mostly fun — sometimes forced — experiences: the Schoolhouse-Rock-style welcoming at Madison Square Garden, the always lit, always anticipated “Ball” at the Kimmel Center, and those notorious 49 Grove St. parties. It is not uncommon to be overwhelmed by the overwhelming amount of options for immersing yourself in NYU student life. It is also not uncommon to make your own fun.

For my Third North third-floor comrades and me, we went on a super cheesy, one-night-only tour of the myriad of pizza joints Greenwich Village has to offer. From the college student friendly prices of Two Bros Pizza to the Southern comfort twang of Two Boots Pizza, the self-curated excursion helped lay the first stone between the unfamiliar faces and places around me through a night of never-ending slices.

Across the street from Third North Residence Hall, Gotham Pizza is a near-must midnight destination for those coming home from the library or a night out. Carrying one of the more pricey selections of pizza — averaging $3 to $4 a slice —  Gotham is well-known amongst NYU students for its four-for-$1 garlic knots and to-die-for White Slice. A few blocks to its right and left, Joe’s Pizza and Ray’s Pizza, respectively, are Gotham’s sworn competitors, offering similar price points. Ray’s Pizza, a personal favorite, offers wider slices and wider varieties, including bagels, calzones and a killer homemade ranch recipe. Joe’s Pizza, the general consensus’ favorite, is hailed by New York Magazine as “Best of New York,” offering mouth-watering slices, but with a lengthy weekend line.

For the adventurous souls, Two Boots Pizza offers a unique array of pizzas, including “The Bayou Beast” with shrimp, crawfish, and jalapenos; the Cajun bacon cheeseburger pie known as “The Dude”; and the otherworldly Cajun Ranch dipping sauce. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Two Bros Pizza accommodates the broke and simplistic souls of NYU with its $3 house special — two plain cheese slices and a Coke.

Of course, the Village pizzerias don’t end here, for you have the next four years to find your favorite midnight cheese fix. But for those looking for a night off from Welcome Week shenanigans, I cannot more highly recommend grabbing your roommates, friends, and their roommates for a tour of the world-class New York City pizza scene.

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 27 print edition. Email Ryan Mikel at [email protected].