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All photos by Nick Solares unless otherwise noted

It's Hip to Be Square: 12 Great NYC Square Slices

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2013_brunch_heatmap_helo.jpegWith the exception of the old school coal oven pizzerias that form the original Neapolitan-American style, just about every classic NYC pizza joint sells square slices. Whether marketed as a Sicilian, grandma, or simply as a "square" slice, this form of pizza is generally baked in pans rather than directly on the oven surface, like a round pie. We see far more diversity in square form than with regular pies, which all tend to be flat and round. Here are 12 square slices that are worth trying:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

L&B Spumoni Gardens

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One of the most unique and celebrated square slices in the city is also one of the more polarizing. L&B serves a pie which has the cheese directly applied to the dough and is then topped with sauce. It is an architecture that has found expression elsewhere, most notably with the so called "tomato pies" of Trenton, NJ, but it's not very common in New York City.

Prince Street Pizza

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Prince Street Pizza might just be the new king of square pies. The restaurant offers five different versions that are all easy to love, including a regular Sicilian (pictured above), the pepperoni-loaded Spicy Spring, and the Broadway Breadcrumb, which is similar to Sfincione, a cheese-less bread found in Sicilian bakeries.

Sullivan Street Bakery

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The pizza pomodoro at Jim Lahey's Sullivan Street Bakery is the most elemental square pie in the city, but it's also deceptively complex. The smear of tomato, the thin-but-pliant crust with slightly burnt edges, and the hint of salt result in a slice that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Rizzo's Fine Pizza

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While most square slices tend to rise well over an inch in height, Rizzo's in Astoria is famous for serving vanishingly thin square pizzas with edge to edge sauce and a judicious application of cheese. The slice is unique, but after trying it you may wonder why the style hasn't proliferated in NYC.

Di Fara Pizza

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While the regular round pie is the main attraction here, don't miss out on the Sicilian. It uses the same ingredients as the regular pie: a three cheese blend that includes buffalo mozzarella, a flavorful tomato sauce. and fresh cut basil. But the thicker crust of the square slice holds up better than the round pie, especially since Dom DeMarco has taken to anointing his pizza with lashings of olive oil.

Joe's Pizza

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This West Village mainstay offers a Sicilian slice that looks like a dense cheese bomb but is actually quite light and airy. The slightly sweet sauce and molten cheese are in perfect proportion to the crust. Pro tip: Have them cut the slice in half to make eating it more manageable.

Best Pizza

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Best Pizza might be a relatively new operation, but the pies here look and taste decidedly old school. The grandma slice here comes with crushed tomatoes, garlic, finely chopped anchovies for a salty punch, and just the right amount of cheese.

New York Pizza Suprema

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[Photo by Adam Kuban]

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery

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While best known for the eponymous artichoke slice, both the margherita and the Sicilian pies here are inspired by Di Fara and they are similarly appointed. The Sicilian is baked with enough oil in the sheet pan for the pie to qualify as fried. The result is a deeply burnished crust which gets so oily and rich that you might think the pie is laden with pepperoni (it isn't).

Royal Pizza

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This old school Murray Hill pizzeria sells a Sicilian slice with a comical amount of cheese. Ironically, while you might tell yourself that you will discard much of it, don't be surprised to find an empty plate at the end. It may seem like a lot of cheese, but it is turns out to be just the right amount.

San Marco Pizzeria

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This old school neighborhood joint might not be a destination pizzeria like some of the more celebrated places on this map, but that turns out to be a good thing. You won't find huge crowds here, but you will find both an excellent grandma (pictured above) as well as an equally commendable standard Sicilian slice.

Adrienne's Pizza Bar

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[Photo by Hong-An Tran]

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L&B Spumoni Gardens

One of the most unique and celebrated square slices in the city is also one of the more polarizing. L&B serves a pie which has the cheese directly applied to the dough and is then topped with sauce. It is an architecture that has found expression elsewhere, most notably with the so called "tomato pies" of Trenton, NJ, but it's not very common in New York City.

Prince Street Pizza

Prince Street Pizza might just be the new king of square pies. The restaurant offers five different versions that are all easy to love, including a regular Sicilian (pictured above), the pepperoni-loaded Spicy Spring, and the Broadway Breadcrumb, which is similar to Sfincione, a cheese-less bread found in Sicilian bakeries.

Sullivan Street Bakery

The pizza pomodoro at Jim Lahey's Sullivan Street Bakery is the most elemental square pie in the city, but it's also deceptively complex. The smear of tomato, the thin-but-pliant crust with slightly burnt edges, and the hint of salt result in a slice that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Rizzo's Fine Pizza

While most square slices tend to rise well over an inch in height, Rizzo's in Astoria is famous for serving vanishingly thin square pizzas with edge to edge sauce and a judicious application of cheese. The slice is unique, but after trying it you may wonder why the style hasn't proliferated in NYC.

Di Fara Pizza

While the regular round pie is the main attraction here, don't miss out on the Sicilian. It uses the same ingredients as the regular pie: a three cheese blend that includes buffalo mozzarella, a flavorful tomato sauce. and fresh cut basil. But the thicker crust of the square slice holds up better than the round pie, especially since Dom DeMarco has taken to anointing his pizza with lashings of olive oil.

Joe's Pizza

This West Village mainstay offers a Sicilian slice that looks like a dense cheese bomb but is actually quite light and airy. The slightly sweet sauce and molten cheese are in perfect proportion to the crust. Pro tip: Have them cut the slice in half to make eating it more manageable.

Best Pizza

Best Pizza might be a relatively new operation, but the pies here look and taste decidedly old school. The grandma slice here comes with crushed tomatoes, garlic, finely chopped anchovies for a salty punch, and just the right amount of cheese.

New York Pizza Suprema

[Photo by Adam Kuban]

Artichoke Basille’s Pizza & Brewery

While best known for the eponymous artichoke slice, both the margherita and the Sicilian pies here are inspired by Di Fara and they are similarly appointed. The Sicilian is baked with enough oil in the sheet pan for the pie to qualify as fried. The result is a deeply burnished crust which gets so oily and rich that you might think the pie is laden with pepperoni (it isn't).

Royal Pizza

This old school Murray Hill pizzeria sells a Sicilian slice with a comical amount of cheese. Ironically, while you might tell yourself that you will discard much of it, don't be surprised to find an empty plate at the end. It may seem like a lot of cheese, but it is turns out to be just the right amount.

San Marco Pizzeria

This old school neighborhood joint might not be a destination pizzeria like some of the more celebrated places on this map, but that turns out to be a good thing. You won't find huge crowds here, but you will find both an excellent grandma (pictured above) as well as an equally commendable standard Sicilian slice.

Adrienne's Pizza Bar

[Photo by Hong-An Tran]

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