Best Pizza, Brooklyn
718 599 2210
33 Havermeyer, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Maybe it’s initially a bit feather-ruffling to see a business including the word “best” in their name. I’d walked by this place a million times and it always reminded me of how cheated I felt as a kid when I learned that companies could legally call themselves things like “Real Fruit Juice”
even though their products did not actually contain anything remotely resembling fruit. Today, hunger overwhelmed my branding-jaded senses and I’m actually moved to share this place with other people.
I ordered the vegetable pizza, elusively placed on the bottom shelf of the display case. Don’t let this fool you! Not only is it visually delightful, with its seasonal vegetables speckled across its surface like some kingly gemstone collection, it’s also absurdly tasty. I don’t tend to get excited about pizza, and bread bores my taste-buds, but this crust actually tasted like a dessert. The texture was rich and soft with just the right amount of crunch on the surface.
Anyone who is a fan of the “Scuttlebutt” sandwich at Saltie will find this pizza comparable in range of flavor and the subtle layers of taste that are artfully composed in the most delicious way. While waiting for the pizza to be ready, it’s impossible to avoid noticing that the ceiling and some of the walls are covered with paper plates decorated by grateful customers. Again, this decor set off marketing alarm bells, and I was fully expecting the slice to disappoint, but after trying the vegetable slice and a bite of someone else’s cheese pizza (which actually came with a fresh basil leaf on top, and had a really complex and refreshing red sauce), I completely understood the impulse to add a plate to the wall.
The place was started by a charming fellow called Frank and his friends (all descendants of restaurant folk), and clearly the tricks of the trade are in their blood. The place has great character, a small but absolutely delicious menu, and an atmosphere that inspires loyalty. On my way out, a French-speaking boy switched to English to tell me how much he loved the place. He related that he first came in about a year ago, when only the first half of the ceiling was decorated with drawings made by customers. When he said it, he had the air of a well-traveled adult, swearing up and down that this orchard once had only one apple tree, and ‘now look how far it’s come…’