Philadelphia, PA - New Jersey is fortunate to have an abundance of Pizza restaurants. With a large Italian population and close to New York on the northeast and Philadelphia on the southwest, and New Jersey lies in the heart of what is known as the country's" Pizza Belt."
Where to Find The Best New Jersey Pizza
Pizza was actually invented by the Greeks several hundred years ago and were the early pioneers of pizza and eventually brought it to Southern Italy somewhere around the Naples Region. Even though the pizza was not Italian in origin, Italians gave it the name "pizza" and introduced it in the United States.
In the United States, Ilatian Migrants introduced pizza towards the end of the nineteenth century, when a wave of Italian immigrants migrated to the country and opened Italian bakeries and grocery stores. At the time, it's primarily found pizza in large cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston. But What makes NJ good pizza?
The crust is the foundation and mostly where the care goes. Most NJ pizza has a soft crust that's soft and chewy, and it should be doughy on the inside and crusty on the outside with a bread-like taste. The type of crust is the main thing that separates pizza styles. The cheese should be fresh, with either fresh crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce. The toppings should complement the pie and contain fresh, quality ingredients.
Unfortunately, the popularity of a pizza restaurant is usually not based on quality or authenticity. But more on the taste and preferences of the patrons.
Types of Pizza Popular in New Jersey
Authentic Neapolitan – Typlicy cooked in a wood-fired or brick oven, good Neapolitan pizza has a light, crisp, bubbly, chewy crust with a puffy lip or end crust that is slightly charred. Authentic Naples pizza is baked in an oven at 1,000 degrees for one minute to produce the perfect crust. Crushed tomatoes and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil are used.
Authentic Tuscan - While still considered a thin-crusted pizza, it has a thicker crust, more bread-like, than Neapolitan pizza. The pizza is saucier and usually has cheeses with a meat garnish and fresh herbs like oregano, basil, and parsley.
New York Neapolitan - Basically an Americanized style of Neapolitan pizza and differs by being slightly larger and thinner, more crisp and charred, and served with more cheese and sauce. Baked with a lower oven temperature than the authentic Neapolitan Pizza around 600 degrees, for 2-3 minutes to produce a more crispy, charred crust that suits American taste.
New York Style - Thicker both in body and crust with a similar soft, crisp, chewy crust on the outside with a bread-like tastiness to it, generally with no more than two toppings to maintain the crust's crispiness. You can find it with an abundance of oily yellow trails from the fresh Grande mozzarella cheese. The regular or standard New York-style pizza comes with no toppings, just cheese.
Sicilian Style - A rectangular pizza with thick crust and toppings baked directly into the crust usually has garlic.
The Best Pizza Restaurants in New Jersey
Best Northern New Jersey Pizza
John's Boy Pizzeria, Glen Rock, NJ - Storied family-owned parlor with New York-style pies and classic Italian dishes in comfy, narrow digs.
Ralph's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant, Nutley, NJ - Longtime dining room dishing out traditional Italian dishes and pizzas in a comfortable BYOB setting.
Best Central New Jersey Pizza
DeLorenzo's Tomato Pies, Trenton, NJ - When pizzas are called "Tomato Pies in Trenton." Whatever you call it, Delorenzo's in Trenton is an institution and is one of the best places in Central New Jersey for pizza and is as close to it comes to authentic Neapolitan pizza.
Conte's Bar, Princeton, NJ - This tavern-style restaurant is ideal if you are looking for a place to join a group of friends or family for some good pizza and a beer.
Best Southern New Jersey Pizza
Tacconelli's Pizzeria, Maple Shade, NJ - They are a spin-off of the original Tacconelli's in Philadelphia and serve thin-crust pizza that is chewy, crunchy, and bread-like tasty, with fresh cheese, sauces, and toppings.
Tony's Baltimore Grille, Atlantic City, NJ - This Atlantic City longtime favorite with the locals is like going into a time warp. They are noted for their excellent pizza, traditional Italian dishes at a meager price.