It’s quite possible that pizza is the most popular meal on the planet. Pizza has everything: It’s affordable, portable, comforting, varied, nutritious — and most importantly, it’s very delicious any time of day or night.
Several outstanding pizza places in Downtown await you, offering plenty of variety to satisfy your pizza urges. Here’s the scoop on six spots we visited this week. Tough job, but someone had to do it!
THE 4TH HORSEMAN / 121 W 4TH ST.
“Notorious” isn’t a word used often to describe a pizza joint — but it works perfectly for The 4th Horseman, a spot that combines amazing pizza with a macabre, apocalyptic rock ‘n roll atmosphere.
At The 4th Horseman, you and your pizza-loving pals can tear into a Slasher (mozzarella, pepperoni, tomato sauce), a Rosemary’s Baby (Italian sausage and balsamic mushrooms), or a Hellfire, which is loaded with the hottest peppers possible and shaped like a pentagram!
Along with several more pizza varieties, you can get an order of Tot-ley Crue (tater tots) or perhaps some Count Mac-ula (Velveeta cheese sauce and shell pasta, chopped green chili, and Flaming Hot Cheeto dust). After your meal, gird your loins for a visit to the Dark Art Emporium, which adjoins The 4th Horseman. Filled with oddities and curiosities, it will put an even more bizarre twist on this pizza experience of yours.
Visit The 4th Horseman Sunday through Thursday from noon until 10 PM, and noon until midnight on Friday and Saturday. For menu details, a virtual tour of the Dark Art Emporium, and a look at The 4th Horseman’s wild selection of merch, click here.
GILAN PIZZA AND GRILL / 429 SHORELINE VILLAGE DRIVE #C
Pizza by the sea, anyone? On any given day, visitors and locals alike can be seen filling Gilan’s patio at Shoreline Village, dining al fresco on a variety of pizzas and other items from the wide-ranging menu. A server mentioned that Gilan’s Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham is a big favorite. Diners also enjoy the “make your own” pizza option, getting creative with the toppings list and a blank 10″ canvas of fresh-daily pizza dough.
Other menu choices include pasta entrees, burgers, fish and chips, soups, salads, and a tasty little list of appetizers that pair nicely with a glass of wine or your favorite on-tap or bottled beer.
Whether you’re visiting Shoreline Village as a tourist or as a Downtown worker taking your lunch break, Gilan will provide you with fabulous pizza and a groovy seaside location in which to savor it.
Gilan Pizza and Grill is open Monday through Friday, 10 AM to 10 PM, Sundays from 11 AM to 9 PM. For menu details and to order online, click here.
BUONO’S AUTHENTIC PIZZERIA / 250 W OCEAN BLVD. #A
Yes, authentic. Patriarch Nicolaniello Buono brought a family menu to America from Italy in the ’60s and started his restaurant business: Dining on a Buono’s pizza that just emerged from their gas-fired brick oven is a lot like enjoying a meal in the Old Country.
Create your own Buono’s pizza from a toppings list that includes all the traditional favorites — sausage, pepperoni, olives, etcetera — and gourmet items such as artichoke, feta cheese, and pine nuts. NOTE: Cheesy, toasty Buono’s pizza is a perfect now-and-later treat!
Buono’s also serves a variety of Italian entrees and a terrific selection of hot and cold sandwiches. The all-you-can-eat “Trip to Italy” lunch buffet, with salads, four pasta varieties, and an assortment of pizza slices, will satisfy the most ravenous appetite.
Enjoy Buono’s every day from 11 AM to 9 PM (Saturdays and Sundays until 10 PM). To see the complete menu, coupons, VIP Club info and details on the Buono’s Fundraiser Program, click here.
MICHAEL’S DOWNTOWN / 210 E 3RD ST.
One of the first things to notice at Michael’s Downtown is the passion and energy of Chef Giuseppe. Watch him roll the made-from-scratch pizza dough, inspect the fresh veggies with which he’s about to adorn your pizza, and check the wood oven to make sure it will cook your pie at precisely 775 degrees. It’s a lesson in pizza chef mastery!
General Manager Clare Le Bras mentioned that the Heirloom Cauliflower pizza, with smoked mozzarella, goat cheese, pesto, and Calabrian chilis, is emerging as a favorite on the pizza menu. Other notable pizza offerings include the Pistachio Stracciatella, with stracciatella and mozzarella cheese, mortadella sausage, pistachio, and olive oil.
Giuseppe and his kitchen staff are as adept with pasta, steak, and fish entrees as they are with their pizzas. After finishing a great Michael’s meal and perhaps a bottle of reserve wine, you’ll be ready for an Affogato — hazelnut gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso.
Michael’s Downtown is open Monday through Friday, 11:30 AM to 10 PM, 11 AM to 10 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. For detailed menu info, take-out and delivery orders, and gift cards, click here.
BROADWAY PIZZA & GRILL / 120 E BROADWAY
Open since 2006, this comfortable and cozy spot has become a neighborhood favorite. It is well known for its pizza, classic Italian fare, and high-quality sandwiches.
You can satisfy your hunger with a large selection of pizza stand-outs like the Stromboli (mozzarella and pizza sauce on stuffed pizza dough and three toppings of your choice), or the Carnivore, with heaps of pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, and ham.
The good-looking bar has all kinds of wine and beer for you, and the liquor and cocktail menus really shine. The whole place has that inviting neighborhood hangout vibe!
Hang out at Broadway Pizza & Grill Monday through Wednesday, 11 AM to 10 PM: Thursday, 11 AM to 11 PM; Friday and Saturday, 11 AM to midnight; and Sunday, 11 AM to 10 PM. For menus, online ordering, and catering info, click here.
MILANA’S NEW YORK PIZZERIA / 165 E 4TH ST.
The sign outside encourages you to “eat like a New Yorker.” When you enter, you’ll be treated to a lesson in New York pizza culture!
Milana’s serves red pies (marinara sauce-based) and white pies (olive oil-based). A dynamite white pie is the Yankee Blu with slab bacon, white onion, and bleu cheese crumbles. A favorite red pie is the BBQ Chicken, with red onion, cilantro, and BBQ sauce.
FYI: Milana’s always has a variety of red and white pie slices available. And did you know that a pizza doesn’t have to be round? Try the incredible “Brooklyn Square” Sicilian style pizzas — especially the pepperoni and honey with ricotta.
Milana’s is open every day from 11 AM to 10 PM (11 AM to 10 PM on weekends). For complete menu info and to order online, click here.