~Photo Courtesy of John's Pizzeria~
You can’t walk very far in any direction on a NYC street without the alluring aroma of savory pizza beckoning you towards a corner stand or neighborhood restaurant. Asking a New Yorker to choose their favorite place to get a pie is sure to evoke some strong emotions, something akin to asking a parent to choose their favorite child. While it would be impossible to find the get a consensus on the best place to get a slice, everyone will agree that eating pizza in New York is an essential experience.
John’s Pizzeria~A Unique New York Experience
Grabbing a typical slice of pizza in NYC often means cramming into a crowded corner restaurant, or huddling under a stoop or on the steps while trying to balance your plate sized pizza on your lap. It’s a decidedly casual experience, and one that every visitor should try at least once. But, John’s Pizzeria offers a dining experience where the locale is just as unique as the pizza. John’s has been in the pizza business since the 1920’s, but in the search to offer New Yorkers and tourists alike something extra special, they located their Times Square restaurant in the abandoned Gospel Tabernacle Church.
Crowded tables and quick counter service? Fuhgeddabouit! John’s Pizzeria offers 400 seats under a sprawling five story stained glass cupola. There are very few restaurants in the city that offer three stories, but this one even adds more ambience with romantic chandeliers, old fireplaces, and rustic wooden details, set off by gothic stained glass windows. Even with the place packed and the noise level humming, it is still a relaxed and romantic atmosphere.
So, is the pizza as unique as the location? Not being a pizza aficionado, and having learned my lesson about guessing the nuances of the pizza culture in Chicago, I decided it was best if I just asked. According to our server, John’s pizza is known for its thin, yet chewy crust that boasts a hint of smoky flavor from the brick-fired oven. The charred crust is complimented by a slightly sweet sauce, mozzarella cheese and fresh toppings. The verdict? Good! Cheesy and delicious. Almost a holy experience. But, that may have just been the stained glass talking.