Bleecker Street Pizza in NYC offers some of the best New York pizza and is a “Must-Eat”, and that’s not just true according to NYC tour guide Renee, who talked to Douglas Greenwood, the owner at Bleecker Street Pizza, to find out a little bit more about his great family-owned pizza place.
Read our post on where to find the best pizza in NYC.
Touted in 2011 by the New York Times as one of the “five must-eat” places in New York City, by Food Network as the best New York pizza three years in a row, and by Jimmy Kimmel on his TV show, Bleecker Street Pizza makes their pies “the old fashioned way.”
“As true to my Italian grandmother’s recipe as possible,” says Douglas Greenwood. “We do not know what flour she used to make her crust,” Greenwood admits, “but the dough and marinara sauce are exactly her recipes!” Only extra-virgin olive oil is used at Bleeker Street Pizza, (except in the deep fryer, which burns vegetable oil) and Parmigiano-Reggiano is sprinkled on all pies.
The pizzas are Tuscan style, since his Nonna made them that way. Crust bottoms are dusted with a mixture of toasted breadcrumbs, spices and seasonings, just the way she made them. Fresh basil tops off the Nonna Maria pie for which Bleecker Street Pizza has become famous!
No expense is spared in preparation of the food at Bleeker Street Pizza; basil is air-shipped in for use on the pies. The spinach on the mushroom-spinach pizza is sautéed in extra-virgin olive oil. Greenwood says he was told by his cheese supplier not to use the expensive Parmigiano-Reggiano on the pizzas. But, he does. “That’s the way my grandmother made them.”
Greenwood, who only has one branch of his family tree from Italy, said his family always commented that if they took Nonna Maria’s recipe and made pizzas, they would be successful. So, he did. But the route to this life took a 20-year path as a New York City Police Officer. He even worked the Manhattan South Task Force.
“When I retired, I was not ready to go fishing,” Greenwood said. “Well, not full-time.”
Remembering the wonderful Sundays of his childhood when his grandmother made her pizzas; the joyous afternoons with the family, friends and neighbors gathered around the table consuming them, he said he wanted to recreate the experience.
Greenwood said he chose Greenwich Village because he always liked working there as a policeman. He sought a location and found this former Japanese place at 69 Seventh Avenue on the corner of Bleecker Street, refurbished it, and started making pizzas. Now in its 11th year in business, Bleecker Street Pizza is still garnering accolades.
Food Paradise, a program on the Travel Channel, recently finished filming there for an upcoming episode on the best New York pizza. Open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Bleecker Street Pizza provides affordable pies from Classic recipes with high-end ingredients.
Written by Renee Rewiski. You can meet tour guide Renee on one of her many tours with Free Tours by Foot.