Pizza by the slice is part of the norm when walking the streets of New York City. There is a 99 Cent Slice pizza joint on every block, and thousands of New Yorkers swear by these popular pizza locations. New Yorkers are convinced their city has the best pizza: thin crust, foldable yet crispy, and topped with creamy tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. But can a classic New York slice be topped? 

Charleston vs New York City: who has the better pizza?

I was on a mission to find the best slice of pizza over Spring Break, and it took me all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. I was visiting a friend who is currently a freshman at the College of Charleston, and I told her how I was scouting out a pizza-by-the-slice shop in Charleston for my review. She understood the assignment and took me to Sabatino’s Authentic New York City Pizza. The name has NYC in the title, so I was expecting it to feel like I was sitting in a 99 Cent joint eating a classic New York slice. The website claims, “At Sabatino’s Pizza, we do not attempt to mimic 'NY style,' we make our pizzas exactly how it’s done in the Bronx, NY.” Coming from the Fordham Rose Hill campus in the Bronx, I was intrigued to see if the slices compared to each other. My experience with pizza slices in the Bronx is limited, however, I have had several slices in Manhattan, so I used that for comparison.

The Big Reveal

I ordered a classic cheese slice which was a pretty decent size, however, it cost 5 dollars which is overpriced compared to New York's 99 cents. The pizza was solid, but I would not say it was better than back in New York. The slice had too much oil, and the crust was slightly blackened, eliminating the potential doughiness. The cheese-to-sauce ratio was fine, but I was thoroughly underwhelmed. When I attempted to fold the slice and eat it like a true New Yorker, it failed to hold its shape and oil was dripping everywhere. The pizza was good for the South but below the standards for a New York slice.

Charleston to Brooklyn

Continuing my Spring Week pizza review, I ventured to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and stumbled upon Rosa's Pizza, a family-owned and operated pizzeria. I was drawn to the illuminated red sign that convinced me to buy a slice or two.  

After recently trying Sabatino's, I was curious to see how they compared. I ordered a plain cheese and a white pizza with ricotta cheese. I don't know if it was because I was starving, but the pizza was mind-blowing. It had the perfect cheese-to-sauce ratio with not an overwhelming amount of oil, and the crust was the perfect amount of thickness and doughiness. The star of the show was the ricotta white pizza, the slight sweetness of the ricotta contrasted perfectly with the mozzarella cheese and garlic seasoning. Sabatino's put up a good fight, but New York City has proven to be superior once again.