Traditional recipes

Antonio’s Pizza, Your New Favorite Pizza Parlor

Antonio’s Pizza, Your New Favorite Pizza Parlor

Champaign’s plea for a better pizza parlor that serves by-the-slice and is willing to serve many booze-lined bellies at the bewitching hour (2AM when the bars close), has finally been answered with Green Streets new addition, Antonio’s Pizza. It didn’t take long for students to realize that “gourmet” pizza was the only pizza they would want to eat after bar close, at lunch time, or just for a second dinner (no judgments).

Photo by Meredith Marcus

And “gourmet” pizza is exactly what it is. Gone are the expectations of choices like cheese, sausage or pepperoni when you enter, and are immediately awestruck by, Antonio’s. Although this pizza parlor has the classic toppings, you might find your gaze immediately fixed on the pizza bar. Yes, we said pizza bar.

Displayed for your choosing are the multitudes of pizza choices, pieces of different types of pizzas formed together like a puzzle to form one large pizza. Although there is a menu above the oven, which quickly warms up/ oozes up your slice(s) of choice, you will most likely find yourself saying, “I’ll take that one”, and pointing through the glass window.

Photo by Meredith Marcus

The employees of Antonio’s are armed and ready with every name of pizza they sell, so don’t think you are going to be steered blindly through this adventure. Whether it is the black bean avocado, pesto chicken, beaurider (topped with breaded chicken, tortellini, pesto and mozzarella), macaroni and cheese or two of the most popular picks, chicken bacon ranch or Sicilian, you will never go questioning your decisions (unless you are torn between three different slices, in that case, get them all!).

Photo by Meredith Marcus

And although pizza-by-the-slice is their selling point, entire pizzas are sold, too. To learn more about their pizza, check them out on Facebook, where they post specials that are served hot in the restaurant that day. Or if you really want to plan ahead, go on their website and play around with their “Pizza Simulator” to study up on all of the delicious options and difficult decisions you will be faced with when you enter the restaurant.

Antonio’s Pizza was a sponsor of Spoon UIUC’s launch party at the Clybourne and made the delicious (and spicy) pizzas for the pizza eating competition.

Address: 619 E. Green St., Champaign, IL
Hours of operation: Sun-Mon 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM, Tue- Wed 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM, Thu – Sat 11:00 AM – 3:00 AM

The post Antonio’s Pizza, Your New Favorite Pizza Parlor originally appeared on Spoon University. Please visit Spoon University to see more posts like this one. More good stuff from Spoon University here:

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Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


Pizza Patrol names best pizza in New Jersey

After six months, 1,000 slices and 9,000 miles on the Munchmobile, the Pizza Patrol sat down and picked New Jersey's best pizza.

The Pizza Patrol sampled plenty of mediocre pizza during our three-season search, as the weekly reviews attest. We also enjoyed plenty of great pizza, which made the selection of winners difficult.

Our six overall winners span a range of looks and locales — from a tiny pizza parlor in Raritan Borough and a strip mall pizzeria in Lyndhurst to a no-bathroom, no credit-card legend in Trenton and a spacious sports bar/pizzeria in Orange.

Reactions from our winners ran from joy and jubilation to surprise and disbelief. Allie DeLucia, owner of DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza in Raritan, our plain pizza champion. kept repeating the same word — "Really?''

"I'm a true believer that anything can be improved,'' said Charlie Wilson, owner of La Rustique Cafe in Jersey City, our pick for best margherita pizza in New Jersey.

It's hard to imagine our winners needing to improve. Our pizza mission was unprecedented — no one had visited hundreds of pizzerias in one state in such a short period. We hit 333 pizzerias in all — 11 percent of the estimated 3,000 pizzerias in New Jersey. And now it's time to rest — and let our winners enjoy the spotlight. Here are the winners, with three Award of Excellence winners, in alphabetical order, in each category.

BEST PLAIN PIZZA

DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza, 3 First Ave., Raritan (908) 725-1322. Maybe it's the cheese — part skim mozzarella, as opposed to the whole milk mozzarella used by many pizzerias. Maybe it's the 93-year-old oven. Or maybe it's the girls.

Apart from Allie DeLucia, his son Christian, and Allie’s brother Buddy, it’s an all-girl crew at DeLucia’s. Cristina DeFalco and Carly Mobert were making the pizzas when we stopped by.

"We’ve always had just girls here,’’ Allie DeLucia said. "I don’t know why.’’

His grandfather Constantino opened DeLucia’s in 1917 as a bakery. They started making pizza here in the 1930s. Allie, Christian and Buddy make the dough every day none of that premade stuff for them.

"I was brought up that way,’’ Allie said. "What the hell, do the work.’’

DeLucia’s plain pizza is all about the crunch — one bite, and you’re hooked. A plain slice cannot rely on toppings or other form of cover-up it must stand on its own. The crust, sauce — and that crunch — make DeLucia’s the best plain pizza in New Jersey.

Award of Excellence: Buona Pizza and Restaurant, 243 South Ave. East, Westfield (908) 232-2066. Buona, open since 1977, looks like your average neighborhood pizzeria, but the pizza is anything but. We visited Buona's on our second trip, in early July the memory of the plain slice lasted right through the summer.

Award of Excellence: Papa's Tomato Pies, 804 Chambers St., Trenton (609) 392-0359. The two De Lorenzos in Trenton get all the attention, but this wood-paneled pizzeria has the history. Opened in 1912, Papa's is the second-oldest pizzeria in the country. The owner is Nick Azarro, grandson of founder Joe Papa. Nick does a mustard pie (it's weirdly compelling), but stick to the plain it's a doughy delight.

Award of Excellence: Spirito's, 714 Third Ave., Elizabeth (908) 351-5414. This legendary Elizabeth restaurant is known for its ravioli — and pizza. The plain pizza, with its distinctive crackly crust, is a standout. Pizza Patrol member Al Windrem called it "awesome.'' The rest of us agreed.

BEST SAUSAGE PIZZA

De Lorenzo's Tomato Pies, 530 Hudson St., Trenton (609) 695-9534. They don't make them like this anymore. Wooden booths, tile floors, no bathrooms, no credit cards, and a cop stationed outside at night.

De Lorenzo’s is pizza old-school. Alexander "Chick" De Lorenzo opened the pizzeria in 1947 today, Gary Amico and his wife, Eileen, Chick’s daughter, run De Lorenzo’s. Gary makes the pizzas, and Eileen works the formidable 1940s-vintage cash register. The secret to De Lorenzo’s success?

"Good recipe, thin well-done pizza,’’ Gary Amico replied.

If there was an overriding theme on the Pizza Patrol, it was the abundance of subpar sausage. De Lo’s sausage pizza is superlative the sausage is from City Beef in Trenton.

"All three of our children were raised in that high chair,’’ said Susan Brooks of Hamilton, who eats at De Lorenzo’s every Thursday with her sister, LuAnne Nutt. They always order a plain pizza with extra tomato sauce.


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