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The gloopy, sloppy artichoke slice at Artichoke Basille's Pizza

the exterior of the Chelsea location of Artichoke Basille's at dusk
the exterior of the Chelsea location of Artichoke Basille's at dusk
photo by Katie Ett,

I remember reading a magazine article a few years ago in which pizza snobs argued about the best pizza in NYC: was it Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, Di Fara? I was confused. It was obviously Artichoke.

Owned by a couple of cousins with roots in Staten Island (of course), Artichoke Basille's Pizza started in 2008 in the East Village and has since expanded to Chelsea, the West Village, LaGuardia Airport, the casino out in Queens, Berkeley, and homes and hearts across America thanks to the frozen food section of a variety of grocery stores. In NYC, you have your Lombardi’s holdouts and your Grimaldi’s hangers-on, and you can't fault anyone for loving a traditional pizza, but Artichoke is an entirely different beast, a pie that might not fit into a conversation about marinara sauce and pepperoni.

Sure, Artichoke does a margherita pie, but the thing to get is the artichoke slice. It's mozzarella and pecorino with artichoke hearts and spinach, over a buttery cream sauce that oozes out onto your paper plate, your hands, your coat, your shoes, and ultimately the sidewalk where you're eating it. Alone and ashamed, because you told yourself you weren't going to stop for another slice after work today, but here you are all the same. It's like spinach and artichoke dip on pizza dough instead of tortilla chips, and who in his right mind chooses a wimpy two inches of corn chip when he could have a hefty foot of glorious baked crust all draped in the gloopy, sloppy mess? It's a thin-ish crust with a thick outer edge, bready enough to soak up some of the creamy sauce but crusty and rigid on the bottom, which makes it perfect for holding all of that thick cheese. A lesser crust couldn't cut it.

– Katie Ett,