A New York Pizza Slice History

A New York Pizza Slice HistoryThe New York style pizza slice has long been a staple in the restaurant business. There are many restaurants that have tried to re-create this historically great slice over the years and a number of establishments across New York that have lineups every day. Whether you are looking for a cheap slice or a slice with history, the New York slice is a true icon. Understanding the roots of the New York Slice is not something that everyone knows however:


One of the very first places to serve the New York slice was Lombardi’s which considers itself to be America’s first pizzeria. The restaurant used a coal-fired oven to reach temperatures of 800-1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This was one of the first times that a restaurant in the US was using an oven to create pizza. 

The main reason for this oven was a cheaper fuel source that was more convenient. A number of other restaurants by the 1920s had set up with a similar style oven and there were a series of pizzerias open by the year 1933. 

Pizza by the slice:

The big difference between pizzerias in the early 1900s and the 1930s was the serving size. Most pizzerias at this time were using their ovens to produce whole pizzas only. In 1933 Patsy’s in East Harlem was one of the only ones using a steel frame and selling pizza by the slice. 

Perfecting the New York slice:

The slice culture really took off with the use of a gas-fired pizza oven in the year 1934. When an oven was made in the United States with the sole purpose for creating pizza, many restaurants were launching the chance to try pizza by the slice. As the ovens were able to cook in the 500 to 550°F range, pizza by the slice had a longer shelf life and this made it easier to keep as a slice by slice sale option.

The golden age of the New York slice launched in the 1960s and 70s with a number of restaurants creating the aesthetic for the classic sleigh shop with plastic bench seats, stained-glass lamps, wood paneling and a picture window. 

The New York slice continues to be an icon of the city and of food culture worldwide. At Top Slice Pizzeria in Downtown St Petersburg, Florida we carry this iconic tradition using New York water for the best results. Stop by today for an authentic slice!