We are truly fortunate to have great options for pizza right here at The Shore. Perhaps it comes as no surprise that four stand-out area restaurants were recognized by NJ MONTHLY as among those serving THE BEST PIZZA IN THE STATE. We know what you're thinking: why only four?? And we agree! This IS New Jersey - home of some of the best authentic Italian food in the country. So where else could one be assured to find this internationally recognized dish making its mark?
If you've been watching "Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy," on CNN you've undoubltly been dreaming of Roma and all things Italian. Lucky for you, we are about to make those dreams come true with recognition of four restaurants serving, by NJ Monthly standards, some of the best pizza the state - specifically from Asbury Park to Bay Head. Gustare!
Tiny Medusa Stone Fired Kitchen sits on a corner lot with several parking spaces and picnic tables. Chef/owners Aimee McElroy and Lauren Castellini met while working at Porta in Asbury Park and opened Medusa in 2016. From the wood-burning oven come bubbling gems like the Marinara pie, topped with fire-roasted tomatoes, garlicky red sauce and fresh basil. The Local Mushroom pie, thick with ricotta and mozzarella, delivers strips of shiitake, oyster and lion’s mane mushrooms. Earthy and creamy, it’s flecked with rosemary and thyme for an aromatic come-hither.
711 Fourth Avenue, 732-361-3061 | BYO
Before Covid-19, the nightlife at the barnlike spaces Porta occupies was so lively, you might have forgotten they were, first and foremost, pizza palaces driven by wood-burning ovens. But the pizza—Neapolitan style, quick baked under high heat, emerging with puffy, blistered crusts—is indeed a draw. Start with a cheese-free Marinara to revel in the San Marzano tomatoes and the charred crust. Then escalate to the Carbonara, topped with guanciale and a raw egg, which emerges over-easy. The 14 1/2 brandishes spicy soppressata and Calabrian chilies. Seasonal Betty pies, healthy and hearty, are coated with goat cheese and heaped,
depending on season, with leeks, heirloom Jersey tomatoes, mushrooms, or brussels sprouts.
911 Kingsley Street, Asbury Park, 732-776-7661; 135 Newark Avenue, Jersey City, 848-282-0842
Owners Steve and Shanti Mignona make dough from sourdough starter and their own dairy and non-dairy cheeses and pickled vegetables. Baked in a wood-burning oven, the crusts emerge pillowy and freckled with char. The pies come in two categories—red and white. A notable red, the Beekeeper’s Lament, drizzles local honey over tomato sauce, mozzarella, and spicy Calabrian soppressata. (Substitute vegan sausage—it’s just as good.) The Got Yer Goat, a white, combines roasted garlic goat cheese, mozzarella, squash purée, caramelized onions, tender kale, pecorino and pumpkin seeds for a meat-free indulgence.
550 Cookman Avenue, 732-455-3003 | BYO
With its neon sign, wood-paneled walls and Sinatra-centric sound system, Vic’s doesn’t look or sound much different than it did when it opened in 1947. Nor has the pizza changed from the way founders Vittorio “Vic” Giunco and his wife, Carmella, made it. The crust has sufficient body to support thick mozzarella, and house-made sauce is generously applied. Chef Keith Kohlmann and the fourth generation, led by co-owners Ed Dollive and Chrissie and Travis Semblewski, keep Vic’s vibrant.—Kelly-Jane Cotter
60 Main Street, 732-774-8225
Thank you @njmonthly