5601 W. 135th St., Overland Park
The Brooklyn Bridge opened in 1883. Grimaldi’s Pizza opened under it, on the east bank of the East River, in 1990. It gives you some sense of how much cajones the Grimaldis have to stamp their boxes with “the Pizza that made the [century-old] Brooklyn Bridge famous.” And yet no one argued with Patsy Grimaldi—or the folks that operate coal-fired franchises across fourteen states. Grimaldi made pizzas like he learned from his uncle at Patsy’s in east Harlem, one of the most famous pizzerias in the world. Patsy’s of Harlem may still be the gold standard, and I was duly impressed a few years ago, but I’ve never walked out of the Grimaldi’s at Prairie Fire unsatisfied. This is great New York pizza, with milky mozzarella and a kiss of coal-fired char.
1111 Burlington St., North Kansas City
The Northland’s brand-new Pizza Tascio is an homage to old ideals, built from more advanced tools. The New York crust here is made with 00 flour (AP is traditional) in order to get it thin and just a little crispy with water from the Missouri instead of the Hudson. The details are on-point here, including the spicy pepperoni, which is finished with a light brushing of Mike’s Hot Honey. For Tascio’s slices, those pies are essentially par-baked, then finished in the deck oven upon order. Hungry for two slices? You might as well buy a whole pie—you’re unlikely to have regrets.
Haha’s Pizza Hub
3834 Main St., KCMO
Haha’s Pizza on Main Street in Midtown KCMO feels a lot like New York. There’s a door open to the alley, the din of construction on the streets outside and a little lobby packed with people getting carryout pizzas. It’s a little thick for Brooklyn, a little thinner than most local pies and heavy on the cheese. Haha’s is open until 3 am on weekends and also makes everything from falafel to wings.
4144 Pennsylvania Ave., KCMO
The oversized slices at Fat Sully’s in Westport come to KC via Denver and D.C. The “jumbo slice” is a staple of our nation’s capital, where it originated as a way of catching the attention of after-bar crowds in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. But the foundation of these massive—a foot from tip to crust and wider than a paper plate—slices is the classic foldable New York slice. You end up eating it like a stromboli, and loving every grease-slicked bite.
1815 Wyandotte St., KCMO and 7901 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park
Buffalo State has two local locations, both previously named Papa Keno’s—that switcheroo inspired a lawsuit that’s fallen off the radar. Buffalo State resembles its Papa with classic New York-style pies that get oven-heated until the mozzarella gets a little brown and bubbly and the pepperoni cups up.