Coastal rivalry aside, Californians will admit, for the sake of pizza, that New York pies deserve the hype (We're not conceding though. We'd rather have a California pizza than a New York burrito any day).
A real pizza pie, as New Yorkers call it, should be around 18 inches in diameter, thin-crusted, greasy enough to induce a little guilt, and must have the perfect amount of burnt cheese, or 'bubbles,' atop sauce and dough. Though it's safe to say no Californian joint could ever produce an authentic NY slice, many come close.
Interested in grabbing a New York slice? I suggest you head onto the 405.
1. Giant Manhattan Pizza (Anaheim)
New Yorkers eat their slices folded in half, so pies need be wide. As its name promises, Giant Manhattan Pizza takes portion size very seriously. You want big pizza? Giant Manhattan Pizza will give you gargantuan pizza. If you thought New York pies were already pushing it in the size department, try Giant Manhattan Pizza's 30 diameter pie. How many times can you fold that.
2. A Slice of NY Pizza (Huntington Beach)
If you're driving down Pacific Coast Highway and are suddenly hit with a desperate urge for pizza pie, then a stop at A Slice of New York Pizza would be smart. As its name suggests, A Slice of New York Pizza sells by the slice, just like in New York. Plus, it's affordable: with $6.75, you get two large slices and a soda.
Not only does A Slice of New York Pizza get the basics right, but it's also full of P.D.A. for the Big Apple. Its walls are covered with photos of the New York Yankees and Jets (Ain't it supposed to be Mets and Jets?), so New Yorkers, do feel welcome.
3. D'Amore's Pizza (Tustin)
If your favorite part about pizza is the cheese, then D'Amore's Pizza should be on your go-to list. Have you ever watched the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? The series features various scenes of the ninja turtles eating cheesy pizza slices too good to be real. D'Amore's pizza is as close as Orange County will get to Ninja Turtle pizza. It's so cheesy that disengaging a slice from a pie is an endeavor, but hey, that's how you know you're eating a good pie.
4. Johnny's Real New York Pizza (Corona Del Mar)
Johnny's Real New York Pizza aces the most important test for New York pizza: crust. Johnny's crust is so impeccably thin – the right kind of NY thin (thin enough for a good crunch but not flaky) — that it cracks when folded, just like it's supposed to. Johnny's Real New York Pizza is situated along Pacific Coast Highway, so like A Slice of NY Pizza, it's a good place to stop by when craving on the road.
5. Al's New York Café (Costa Mesa)
Besides its signature thin crust and large size, New York pizza is really about an esteemed pride for local neighborhood pizza joints. Al's New York Café borrows that idea and brings it to Costa Mesa. A hole in the wall spot, Al's offers Costa Mesians a standard taste of Manhattan: thin-crusted, obtuse-shaped slices. Love your pizza joint, Costa Mesa. Love it.