#EatWithRouk: How Uncle Mario’s Became My Favorite Pizza Joint In NYC

Uncle Mario's pizza in NYC

Uncle Mario’s – My favorite pizza spot in NYC.

When you’re from a city like Providence, RI, you get spoiled by all of the great options there are for pizza. I even did a Providence blind pizza taste test with some friends for Beyond The Eats before.

I had to start with that note to make it clear that I’m a VERY picky person when it comes to good pizza. But hey, at least it’s easy for me to admit. I’ve tried pizza from a lot of different spots in NYC. Everywhere from the popular Artichoke Basille’s (which I’m NOT a fan of) to the even more popular Prince Street Pizza, to all of the dollar slice joints.

Now, before I mention a little more about Uncle Mario’s, I have to point out one IMPORTANT distinction. My favorite SLICE in NYC is at Prince Street Pizza, but my favorite overall pizza spot is Uncle Mario’s. You can go there, pick whatever you’d like, & it’s likely to be a solid choice. 

Now that that’s clear…

Here’s how I found out about Uncle Mario’s

Uncle Mario’s is a pizza joint in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of NYC. I found out about it through my friend, before I ever lived in NYC.

During my internship in New York, back in 2013, my friend Kyle drove up to NYC for the same internship program I was involved with. During the ride up he asked “hey, do you mind if we stop at Uncle Mario’s? It’s my favorite pizza spot in the city” At the time, I didn’t think anything of it.

My thoughts were more along the lines of “sure, why not, I love pizza & he’s driving anyway” I Also knew that he was from Rhode Island too, so I knew he’d be a tough pizza critic.

We got to the city, found parking after a few laps around the block, and walked into Uncle Mario’s. I ordered a grandma slice and remembered thinking it was good, but not great.

We left Uncle Mario’s, did all the shit we had to do for our internship, then went back home to Rhode Island.

Fast forward a couple of years…

now I’m living in NYC, eating like I’m 18 again, and I had been to tons of other pizza places. I ordered the grandma slice and a buffalo chicken slice because I was “feeling experimental” like the Big Sean song say.

Let me cut through the bullshit and long explanation – I fucking loved it. I actually ordered another buffalo chicken slice right after I ate the first one. Clearly, my taste had changed. 

I thought “Could this be my new favorite?” saying something is your favorite when there are probably 300 more places to get the same thing in a city is bold, so I held off.

I went back to Uncle Mario’s to try again the following week. I had what I like to call my “objective taste buds” ready. I decided to throw a curve at Uncle Mario’s greatness by ordering something that I never do…

I ordered a slice with pulled pork on it because I thought it would just be OK, but nope. Amazing.

In the following weeks, I continued to try other slices from Uncle Mario’s and they were all great.

Yeah, this is my favorite pizza place.

I proceeded to obnoxiously tweet about Uncle Mario’s over and over like I tend to do when I find new things I love. I also admitted to my friend Kyle that he put me on game STUPID EARLY.

What pizza places do you like in NYC? Is there somewhere that is better slice for slice? Let me know in the comments!

– Rouk