New York Style Pizza: Ray’s Pizza

New York Style Pizza

Mushroom pizza, New York Style Pizza, www.theeducationaltourist.com

There is a rule somewhere that says while you are in New York city you must have some pizza. Not just any pizza either – it has to be New York style pizza. Truthfully, if it isn’t a rule – it should be! New York style pizza is special and fabulous!

New York Style Pizza: What is the difference?

What makes New York Style Pizza so special is the crust. It is very thin, hand tossed and has a high gluten type bread flour. Some say the water makes all the difference in the world, too, because of minerals unique to New York City water. Some feel so strongly about the water being the magic ingredient, that is is often shipped cross country to be included in crust!

New York Style Pizza: How do you eat it?

Pizza, New York Style Pizza, www.theeducationaltourist.com

New York Style pizzas are really big – usually 18 inches and cut into 8 slices. These large slices are then eaten by folding them in 1/2 to eat. The fold keeps all the toppings from falling off when you try to eat it.

New York Style Pizza: How long has it been around?

The very first pizzeria in the country was opened right here in New York city in 1905.  Gennaro Lombardi, an immigrant from Naples, Italy opened a grocery store which sold pizzas baked in the store. Entire pizzas cost 5 cents, but since people couldn’t afford the whole pizza, they started selling slices. The pizza maker, Antonio Totonno Pero, later left to open his own pizza place on Coney Island called Totonno’s.

Pizza itself though has been around since….drum roll, please….. 997 AD. Yep, the word pizza appears in a Latin text saying that the tenant was supposed to give the bishop 12  pizzas every Christmas day and again on Easter Sunday. I can think of worse payments can’t you?

New York Style Pizza: Ray’s Pizza

This chain has had a lot of changing hands and arguing over who is the original ‘Ray’. There are quite a few people who insist they are the original Ray of Ray’s Pizza.

Ray's Pizza, New York Style Pizza, www.theeducationaltourist.com

What is awesome about Ray’s is you can duck in off the street and quickly have a slice of pizza heaven to go. There was one just a stone’s throw from the hotel we stayed at during our last New York visit The Renaissance Hotel Times Square.

I like veggies on my pizza. I really do like veggies, but they also make me feel a little less guilty about eating pizza. Whatever works, right? All the pizza starts the same way – thin crust, a little bit of sauce, mozzarella cheese and then yummy toppings. Choose the topping you love or the one that makes you feel the least guilty. They are all delicious!

Why mozzarella cheese?? Well, because it is simply the best at baking. Mozarella has the least free oil, the highest moisture, and good elasticity. Yes, people apparently measure such things. I’d love to bump into someone at a party one day and hear “I measure cheese elasticity at work. What do you do?” LOL!

Another thing to love about Ray’s is the atmosphere. This feels like the real New York – gritty, busy, in a hurry. Step up to the counter and give your order to the pizza guy. He will be a man of few words. No need to chit chat here – order your pizza and move on. As a very friendly and talkative Texan this is an interesting experience. Enjoy it because when in Rome – do as the Romans do! Real New York style pizza in New York is a GREAT and very tasty experience.

 The Educational Tourist’s Traveling Food Rules:

Rule Number One:  Not all sightseeing is done with your eyes.

Try the local fare. Try what is unique and different! Compare to the way things are cooked back home. Which do you like better? Find a recipe and see if you can recreate at home.

Rule Number Two: Calories on vacation don’t count!

Have a piece of dessert. Have a glass of wine. Eat the chocolate they leave when they turn down the sheets at the hotel. Have gelato in Italy! Enjoy waffles in Belgium! Eat the bread in Paris! Live it up and……count calories and exercise when you get home. Life is short – enjoy it!

If you are headed to the big apple, you’ll be interested in my review of the perfectly located Renaissance Hotel right in Times Square. Wondering what to do while you are in New York? Read my posts on The Guggenheim Museum and Estiatorio Milos Restaurant for some great traveling ideas!

The Educational Tourist with shrimp paella, New York Style Pizza, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Happy pizza travels!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

The Educational Tourist logo, New York Style Pizza, www.theeducationaltourist.com

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22 Responses

  1. Fun stuff! Thin crust pizza is my favorite and the idea of folding one slice sounds like heaven. Good for Ray’s!

  2. We love the local fare when travelling and it is a must to try all the foods you can. The pizza looks amazing and delicious. If we ever make it to the big apple pizza will be on the list

  3. You had me at thin crust. Yummm. It’s interesting that you mention the water making the pizza taste so good. I just heard of this for the first time a couple days ago and it’s definitely something to consider. Oh, and calories definitely do not count on vacation, not with all that walking and exploring to be done! 😉

  4. wanderingwagarschristina says:

    NYC pizza is definitely one of my favorite foods. I had no idea about the water being shipped to other places. I have relative from NYC and they insist they have the best tasting water 🙂

  5. I’m a fan of any thinner crust pizza and this looks to fit the bill. I love how you mentioned local, as the locals know and local is so important when exploring an area. The pizza often says a lot about the area!

  6. Wandering JM says:

    Love the ‘calories on vacation do not count’. It is good to know more about New York style pizza aside from just eating eat. Very informative.

  7. Like the history around New York Style pizza. Had plenty of it last time I was there! Can’t beat a thin crispy crust!

  8. Munchkin Treks says:

    I love to hear that calories on vacation don’t count. I have to eat gluten free, so I’m always looking for places with gluten free crusts. But my kids love all types of pizza! I liked reading about the history of New York style pizza in your post.

  9. arnav2806 says:

    Haven’t been to the states yet, but when I do go, this is definitely on my bucket list.I love Pizzas but there is something different all together to have a New York style pizza in New York.

  10. omniyafareed says:

    wow this looks really peaceful. I would have never thought of going to a place like this but you have definitely encouraged me to pay it a visit. Great pics as well. Was it expensive to visit or was it somewhat affordable? I find touristic places to be a bit expensive 🙂

  11. I loved the fact that you have so many little tidbits of information on your post. Learnt so much about pizza today. Going to subscribe to your blog. 5 cents for a pizza and they couldn’t afford it? Times, they change.

  12. Nadine Smith says:

    Yummy! I love New York Style pizza because they’re big and they really don’t scrimp on the ingredients 🙂 Ray’s sounds like a great place to grab pizza. Here in the Philippines, we have something similar called S&R. Great New York style pizza!

  13. I had no idea New York style pizza was a thing! I’ll definitely make sure to pay more attention on my next visit. I can’t wait to taste it for myself now!

  14. Oh my goodness, I was already hungry but reading this post made me even more so! That pizza looks and sounds so delicious. Also, I totally agree that not all sight seeing is done with your eyes. Experiencing new places is definitely all about the smells and tastes that come along with the sighs!

  15. I always make it a point to eat pizza when in NY and we have some great slices. I agree it definitely should be a rule! I do struggle with the ‘fold’ though as its not normally my style.

  1. November 12, 2016

    […] Ray’s Pizzaria […]

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