New York pizza suffered many failed permutations before arriving at its famed thin-crust style, from the cheesy video billboards baked onto the Times Square pie to the sad aftertaste of Woody Allen’s deep-seated-anxiety dish. Bite into a successful East Coast experiment with today’s Groupon: for $8, you get $16 worth of New York-style pizza and Italian fare at Ray’s Pizza in Riverside.
Ray’s crew of artisan pie-throwers expertly flattens doughy canvases into thin disks of New York–style flavor, applying a saucy glaze and a coat of cheese to complete their museum-worthy creations. Take your lunch break in Brooklyn with a hot and bubbly slice of classic cheese ($1.79), or bribe a parking meter with the pepperoni dimes on a one-topping slice ($1.99). Signature pizzas range from the Bluto-busting Spinach Delight to the spicy buffalo chicken ($10.99–$18.99), and fresh and gooey 18-inch templates of cheese supply sustenance to parties of picky eaters ($11.99). Meaty buffalo wings ($14.99 for 20) and sandwiches, such as the Home Meatball ($5.99), provide alternative opportunities to quench sauce thirsts. Though Chicago-style calzones stuffed with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses argue constantly with hot-tempered pizzas over Bulls-Knicks playoff odds, a host of homemade desserts, including cannoli ($2.25) and tiramisu ($2.99), ensure meals end on a saccharine note.
Ray's Pizza Riverside
At Ray's Pizza Riverside, chefs stretch crusts from an 8-inch personal pizza to a gigantic 20-incher. Once guests choose their size, they can create their own topping combination or leave it to the chefs with specialty pies that include a barbecue chicken pizza and the pizza de bianco, which eschews pizza sauce and instead uses olive oil and garlic as the base for mozzarella and ricotta cheeses. Chefs also craft savory calzones filled with a variety of ingredients and cooked twice to crispy perfection. Salads, garlic bread sticks, and wings complete meals, which can be delivered to your door, taken home, to eat or enjoyed inside the pizzeria while watching sports games and using the complimentary WiFi.
1201 University Ave.
Riverside, California 92507