Ray’s Pizza Bagel Cafe

It seems like everyone in New York has a favorite pizza place. I found my favorite slice a few months ago. And then I forgot where it was. I had tasted the pizza of the heavens and the only fuzzy memory from long nights out with friends was that it had a glowing neon sign of a big pizza pie with a slice pulled out and the words “Ray’s Pizza.” I thought, “I’ll just do a quick Google search and find that Ray’s Pizza in no time.”

Boy was I in for a shock. There are a literal ton of Ray’s Pizza’s throughout New York and none of them looked right. This Seinfeld episode encapsulates my frustration clearly:

Somehow we always ended up back at the same Ray’s, at least 3 times before I made it a crusade that the next time we went there, I’d write down the address and never lose my pizza place again. Yesterday was that day. We rediscovered my pizza mecca and I’ve burned the location into my mind, never to forget it again: the corner of St. Mark’s Place under the St. Mark’s Hotel.

After the first foray into Ray’s, I wondered had it all been an alcohol-induced dream. A slice of pizza so perfect, tasty, crisp, sweet, savory and delicious, like nothing I’d ever tasted before. Was it really that good or was I just drunk and hungry?

I made it a point to return sober and reinforced my initial suspicions: the pizza really was that good. My slice of choice: bacon. Heavenly.


The quality and favor of a slice is such a hotly contested topic in New York that I hesitate to even put my hat in the ring for my Ray’s. The truth is you can go to any pizza parlor in the city and have a great slice. It’s not hard to find great pizza here. It’s always hot and always ready.

But I don’t think I want to know if any other slices are better. I’ve found my Ray’s and I’m sticking to it.

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