According to The New Yorker, a slice from Scarr’s Pizza, which opened in a new location in New York City last month, isn’t just a slice. It’s “a legendary slice, an if-you-know-you-know slice, a slice that earns heart-eyes emojis when you post it on Instagram.”

In fact, food writer Helen Rosner suggests, it’s “best-slice-in-New-York” good, although, she readily admits, that’s always an arguable proposition, especially in the Big Apple, “where everyone believes they’re a pizza expert—including actual pizza experts, who are nightmares.” Regardless, Rosner notes, “Any list of great pizza that leaves off Scarr’s shouldn’t be trusted. The restaurant’s slice is excellent, just this side of faultless.”

Founded by Scarr Pimentel in 2016, the Black Latino-owned pizzeria remains an Orchard Street hotspot—it simply moved across the street in July. Pimentel cut his teeth at famed NYC pizza destinations like Lombardi’s, Artichoke Basille’s and the Greenwich Village institution, Joe’s Pizza, before opening the store bearing his own name. And Pimentel was offering vegan-friendly fare before vegan-friendly was cool.

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It’s also interesting to note that Pimentel doesn’t eat pork himself, so you won’t find it on his pies—the pepperoni is made from beef, and the Italian sausage is made from chicken.

As Pimentel explained to in 2018, “I knew I wanted to do a slice shop. But I didn’t want to be like a Joe’s. I wanted to kick it up another level and be different from everyone else. That’s when I started experimenting and researching bread—trying to make it healthier. I was reading about different flour and nutrients. But I also wanted it to be by the slice. I didn’t want it to be a little bougie spot where you come in and order pies only, and they’re tiny-ass pizzas for $20, $30, and up. I wanted it to be accessible to everybody. If you’ve got three or four dollars in your pocket, you can afford to come in here and eat. And you’re eating really good, because I use the best ingredients in the world.”

This photo shows two Black men, both sporting beards and wearing caps, sitting in front of the exterior sign for Scarr's Pizza

Scarr’s Pizza / Instagram

Pimentel, a Dominican-American, mills his grains in-house, using a blend of his own flour and a heritage, organic, non-GMO wheat from a farm in upstate New York. According to Bon Appétit, his approach—milling wheat berries fresh every day—preserves the nutrients that are found naturally in wheat. He then mixes the flour with water and lets it ferment for a few days before working his pizza magic.

“People don’t understand that once you mill flour, it’s like a time clock for all the minerals, and they all start dissipating, like any food item,” Pimentel explains in a video shot by Square. “So, I was, like, all right, I’m going to take it a step further and just start milling my own [flour] so we could retain all the nutrients and, you know, vitamins and minerals….The fermentation process is always important because it helps with the breakdown of the enzymes and makes it easier to digest. If it’s under-fermented, it causes you to feel bloated, to feel gassy, like you want to take a nap within 30 minutes of eating that pizza.”

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Thusly, Pimentel says his pies can be eaten by the gluten-free crowd, too. “There is this perception that wheat is bad for you,” Pimentel told Bon Appétit. “But the reason we have gluten intolerances is because we’ve been eating Wonder Bread with chemical flour our whole lives.” He adds that anyone can eat a slice of his pizza “and not feel like s—.”

In fact, you’ll feel elated, judging by Priya Krishna’s evaluation of Scarr’s Pizza in Bon Appétit. “At first glance,” she writes, “it could be just another New York slice: thin, wide-brimmed, with a rippled coating of cheese hiding a schmear of tomato sauce. But I quickly realize it’s much more special: the complex texture, the light-as-air crust, the weirdly wholesome feeling I have even after eating an entire personal pie.”

Despite the glaring lack of pork on the menu, Scarr’s Pizza is considered a classic New York pizzeria, with round pies, Sicilians and grandma pies on the menu. You won’t find any fancy artisanal toppings here, just pizzas like the DJ Clark Kent (sauce, cheese, Italian chicken sausage and fresh garlic) and the Hotboi (sauce, cheese, beef pepperoni, jalapeños and a drizzle of Mike’s Hot Honey).

“The DJ Clark Kent…is a new candidate for my favorite Scarr’s slice,” Rosner writes in the New Yorker. “Is it the best slice of pizza in New York? You’ve got to answer that for yourself.”

Food & Ingredients