Friday, December 13, 2013

Robbinsville, NJ: Pizza Capital of the World?

When regular people talk about the best pizza cities in America or in the world, we typically hear about New York, Naples, Chicago, Rome.

The pizza cognoscenti go a little deeper, and can make good arguments for San Francisco, Trenton NJ, and New Haven CT. Those arguments are stronger if you calculate a ratio of great pizza joints to number of residents.
A slice from Denino's, Staten Island NYC

We can quickly toss out Chicago from being a candidate. Maybe Chicago is the best city for pizza-flavored casseroles. Trenton, too, is scratched from contention because it is no longer home to any of its legendary tomato pie slingers.

Blasphemy, but I strike Naples from the list because Neapolitan pie, in its overall appeal, ranks below American pie (defined HERE.)
Pizza marinara, Rome

It's hard to argue against Rome or New York, and I won't. And New York, especially, has so many pizza joints that it's difficult to discern the exact count of how many qualify as destination pizza. This makes it difficult or impossible to calculate the ratio of great pies to residents.

So I turn my focus to New Haven, CT. This small city has 130,000 residents and three legendary pizza joints - Frank Pepe's, Sally's, and Modern Apizza. I've been to all three and verified that they are superb pizza. So New Haven has one great pizza for every 43,333 residents. Not bad.
Big pies at Sally's in New Haven

We talked about how Trenton has lost every single one of its great pizza/tomato pie places: DeLorenzo's (Hudson St), the other DeLorenzo's (Hamilton Ave), Papa's, Joe's, Maruca's, Sam's Roma, Pica's, Hudson Beer Gardens. All gone.

However, two of them moved to nearby Robbinsville, NJ - the Hudson St. DeLorenzo's, and Papa's Tomato Pies. The new locations are walking distance from each other, and doing a booming business.
Sausage pie at DeLorenzo's, Robbinsville

Robbinsville, even after a period of rapid growth, had 13,642 citizens as of the 2010 census. So in Robbinsville, there is one great tomato pie joint for every 6821 residents. I doubt that Rome or even NYC could match that.

Robbinsville, NJ - pizza capital of the world? 


  1. should give Bacco in N Wales and Bacco Bistro in Doylestown a try for coal fired tomato pie Chambersburg style.
    Would be interested in your opinion

  2. SG - That looks good, from what I can see on Urbanspoon. Wish I knew about it 3 days ago when I drove by en route to Sellersville! Thanks for the tip. PQ

  3. Better to say...Tomato Pie capital of the World, perhaps?

  4. Joe - That goes without saying! But if you think of tomato pie as a unique kind of pizza - rather than a different animal altogether - Robbinsville rules the world of TP and pizza too. :-)