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Teens love pizza — that’s an indisputable fact. So, when visiting New York City with teens, A Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour is a surefire hit.
First, the tour is in a bus, so they can’t whine about walking or about the weather being too cold or too hot. Secondly, Brooklyn is home to the mob, which most teens will have to admit is pretty cool. And of course, there’s amazing pizza.
First Pizza Stop: Grimaldi’s Nobody can get reservations at Grimaldi’s (Zagat’s No. 1 pizza place in NYC) — except for the Obamas and A Slice of Brooklyn. The famous thin-crust pizza Grimaldi’s bakes in a 900-degree coal-fired oven would probably be worth the (potentially several hours-long) wait, but A Slice of Brooklyn can’t have people wasting time in line.
After being advised not to make eye contact with the hungry people waiting outside, tour-goers make a beeline for two slices of the best Neapolitan pie in town. The unadulterated pizza Margherita is crispy, cheesy and delicious — and even though there’s another pizza stop to come, there’s no way every available slice won’t be eaten.
Second Pizza Stop: L&B Spumoni GardensL&B Spumoni Gardens is a Brooklyn institution, but unlike Grimaldi’s, its pizza is thick-crust Sicilian style. Loaded with slow-cooked tomato sauce and gooey cheese, the huge square slices at L&B are legendary — and for good reason. Here, adults also have the option of purchasing $6 wine or beer to wash down their pizza. If there’s still stomach space after two slices, stop at the ice cream counter to sample the restaurant’s namesake spumoni.
Movie Locations and MoreDue to the ability to skip lines, eating four slices of pizza does not take much time. Fortunately, Grimaldi’s and L&B Spumoni Gardens are about an hour apart, so there’s plenty of time to tour Brooklyn and learn what makes this borough so great.
“To talk about why our tour is so great, I have to talk about why Brooklyn is so great,” said our tour guide, Marc Sauve.
This leads to an explanation of the Battle of Brooklyn, the biggest battle against the British in the American Revolution. Sauve goes on to say that the battle — which sounds like a rap album, except it involved George Washington — was fought where we now eat pizza. Cue the parents’ applause: We always love when kids accidentally learn something.
Sauve knows this.
“Our history is cool, [and] what grabs teens’ attention is when they hear the kind of history they want to hear,” Sauve said.
The mob, rap and disco culture are among the cool things discussed in the tour. Even adults will enjoy seeing where Frank DeCicco blew up and where John Travolta strutted in “Saturday Night Fever.”
A Slice of Brooklyn tour is a great way to see a completely different side of New York. Or, as Sauve says, “It’s pretty freakin' cool.”
- The tour runs 7 days a week at 11 a.m.
- Each tour lasts 4.5 hours.
- Meet at the Union Square area of Manhattan.
- Cost is $80 for adults and $70 for kids under 12.
- Commission is 10 percent per ticket.