I'm sure we all remember the disaster that was NYC's technically first Pizza Festival. It was more of a pizza failure. The lines were massive and the slices, in contrast, were smaller than people's hands. To say the feedback was less than stellar would be an understatement. But if anyone can flip the script on something like that, it's the geniuses of Arthur Avenue, the Bronx's infamous Italian mecca.

So Was This Festival Really Any Better?

The short answer is yes, yes it was better.

The New York Pizza Festival took place on the weekend of October 6-7 along a few blocks of Arthur Avenue. Sparked by the Pizza Festival in Naples, Italy, the festival showcased talents from 30 renowned US pizza makers and chefs, and even featured some that flew in from Italy.

The tickets were sold in an interesting, and frankly pretty ingenious way. You'd pay for a preset amount of slices and you'd punch a card corresponding to your choice that you could then get marked at whichever booth you wanted to taste from.

Ashley Steinberg

New York superstar, Rossopomodoro, alerted us to the festival and gave us a little tour. Their booth was featured in a part of the festivities called Napoli Pizza Village where the Italian vendors were featured. They served one of their most popular slices: the truffle pizza, which is a white slice covered in mushrooms and freshly shaved truffles. 

I'm not usually one for a white slice, but this one was phenomenal.

Ashley Steinberg

Their slices, among many others, were roughly the size of a slice you'd have with a personal pie from the brick oven joint. They're smaller than an average New York slice, but still a great size, considering some of the true blue New York stands did serve their standard, giant slices to counterbalance.

What Were Some of The Standouts?

My favorite was the Pizza Parmigiana slice from Il Pizziolo in Mt. Lebanon, PA. I'm a sucker for some good eggplant parm, and this was basically eggplant parm on a pizza.

Ashley Steinberg

There was also some pretty intriguing options like Pizza Frita (fried pizza) by Al Covento all the way from Italy, Keste's ever-popular Nutella pizza and the enticing Short Rib pizza.

Ashley Steinberg

There were also free sodas being given out and a tented section for to grab a beer or glass of wine with their slice.

All-in-all, it was even better than expected and one tasty as hell afternoon. It was such an improvement from last year's that there is another festival planned for 2019. That's right, mark your calendars for October 5-6 of next year. Maybe I'll see you there!