One block, two insatiable plebeians, three pizzerias, and, of course, $1 pizza

Step out of the ACBD subway station on 145th Street and greet the bustling intersection of 145th and St Nicholas Ave. A 24-hour Dunkin Donuts on the southeast corner tugs on your sweet tooth; a Checkers on the southwest corner beckons you with irresistible fryer fumes. Let’s not forget the local delis that patrol every intersection every which direction you turn, saving your every craving. You don’t even have to see them to confirm their existence.

A plethora of options all within effortless reach—but today, all you need is a quick slice. Dollar pizza? This neighborhood has got you covered. 

If the number of passersby determined the number of dollar-pizza joints on a block, three would still be a little stingy for 145th Street. Nevertheless, it’s two more than most streets are blessed with. 

Now, you may say that dollar pizza is dollar pizza, just as a deli sandwich is a deli sandwich and Chinese food is Chinese food. I say that may be the case in any other city. Not in New York. Here, even the three different places on the same block roll out pies that are unmistakably distinctive from each other. And when life gives you dollar pizza, you eat them all.

A friend and I have done the public good by testing all three dollar pizzas to provide this ultimate guide to match pizzerias to palates—so there’s no need for hesitation upon exiting the station.

We went to all three consecutively around 9PM on a Thursday night and ate them within five minutes of their leaving the oven (delayed for pictures, of course) to analyze them as objectively as possible.

We all know about Midtown's and Downtown's slices already; it's time to put Harlem's on the radar. 

New Millennium Pizza

394 W 145th St

beer, coffee
Wendy You

This joint is actually up the 145th hill, a couple steps from the subway station, whereas the other two are downhill. This place also has no signage on the outside where businesses’ names usually are; you’ll find out you’re in the right place only when you step inside and see their name on their overhead menu, a small table with two chairs to your right, and a mini bar with two stools to your left. Or, you’ll notice its excessively Coca-Cola-laden exterior with the “Slice Pizza” sign enclosed in a mini patio containing a bench for outdoor bites.

beer, tea, coffee, wine
Wendy You

The crust: flimsy and buttery, but not crispy.

The cheese: not gooey, but a decent layer.

The sauce: not much, mostly adhered to cheese, and not its own entity.

Overall taste: pretty typical of most New York pizzerias, almost reminiscent of frozen pizza baked and left to cool a little.

Best for: drunchies (or any craving for mushy food).

Bias: this was the first place of the night so we were really hungry; our slice was pre-made but warmed in the oven for a minute.

pizza, crust, cheese, mozzarella, sauce, pepperoni
Wendy You
pizza, chicken, dough, cheese
Wendy You

Victorio’s Brick-Oven Pizza

348 W 145th St

coffee, beer
Wendy You

Walk downhill from the subway station, and this is the first dollar pizza you will encounter. Although its entrance is hidden even lower down a few steps, you won’t miss the flashing neon signs coupled with the faux brick exterior that has pizza and exorbitant scenes reminiscent of Italy painted on it. There are more than a couple of tables here—and even an outdoor high-top—so you can rest your weary feet after standing to eat your slice at New Millennium.

pizza, beer, cheese
Wendy You

The crust: thin, crispy for the first minute before contact with the paper plate softened it.

The cheese: melted, stringy, gooey, with burnt speckles throughout.

The sauce: not much, but its own entity.

Overall taste: noticeable cheese taste, like fresh mozzarella, otherwise generic.

Best for: an acceptable NY-style slice.

Bias: our particular slice came from a pie fresh out the oven.

pizza, pepperoni, crust, mozzarella, dough, cheese
Wendy You
pizza, pepperoni, dough, crust, mozzarella
Wendy You

Harlem Brothers Pizza & Wings

346 W 145th St

Wendy You

Literally right next to Victorio’s, this spot is much less intricate in its design despite almost the exact same layout: steps leading down to the doorway, a counter attached to a long glass display of the pre-made foods with a row of tables and chairs running adjacent, complete with an outdoor high-top. Though their color scheme is inarguably Italian, Harlem Brothers predominantly markets their titular wings. Their reheating oven is comparable to a simplified toaster oven stuck on the wall, and it seems, considering the paper plate reading “00” plastered on their pizza-slice sign outside, they used to sell their slices for $1.25 before realizing they had to yield to competition just a couple steps away.

beer, coffee, ale, wine
Wendy You

The crust: doughy, crispy on bottom, inconsistent thickness throughout slice.

The cheese: not gooey nor melted, very sparse.

The sauce: integrated into the crust, not its own entity.

Overall taste: spiced like Ellio’s pizza, plasticky.

Best for: bread-lovers looking for pizza not unlike one from another state that claims New York-style.

Bias: this was our third slice so we weren't as hungry; there were higher expectations to meet after the other two; our slice was pre-made but warmed in the oven for a minute.

pizza, pepperoni, crust, dough, cheese, sauce, mozzarella, salami, tomato, pie, ham, frozen pizza
Wendy You
pizza, pepperoni, crust, dough, salami, cheese, sauce, mozzarella, tomato, ham, frozen pizza, pie
Wendy You

At the end of the pizza crawl, we were still hungry. We could have tried the pizzerias' beef patties or Harlem Brothers’ prided wings, but we settled for Chinese instead, so as to not taint our opinions of the pizza with other food from the aforementioned places.

But if you don’t trust us seasoned veterans, I highly encourage you to do your own pizza hopping.