pageview_candidate 101 Best Pizzas in America 2013 (Slideshow)

#57 Joe & Pat's Pizzeria, Staten Island, N.Y. (Vodka)

The home of Staten Island’s thin crispy crust pizza has been family-owned-and-operated since it opened in 1960. “Thin crispy crust, huh?” you may ask. “What’s that all about?” Well, Joe & Pat’s has sweet sauce and pizza that is so thin you can eat seven slices without feeling stuffed. It’s got that airiness that spawns lighter-than-air adjectives, but still has a great crust and a weighty enough bottom that their slices don’t get floppy.

The folks at Joe & Pat’s note their vodka pie (vodka sauce, mozzarella, and basil) as one of the customer favorites, but they do killer veggie, pesto, and buffalo chicken pies (just accept it already and get over your bad old self), and are happy to accommodate you with everything from topping pies with beloved, but not necessarily omnipresent Italian-American ingredients like scungilli, clams, shrimp, artichoke hearts, and fried calamari to making your pizza 14-inch, 15-inch, Sicilian, grandma, gluten-free, individual-sized, or even heart-shaped (no, it’s not gimmicky when a place is this sincere: “We speak English and Italian.”)

And if you like what you taste at Joe & Pat’s, well, you’re going to want to check out the sister restaurant Ciro’s opened in 1997 by their brother Ciro Papparlardo, and Rubirosa on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, where the family’s thin-crust pizza recipe lives on thanks to Angelo (AJ) Pappalardo, who if you didn’t know, happens to be the son of Giuseppe Pappalardo, who Joe & Pat’s is partially named for. Man, pizza heritage in New York runs deep -- and to a good degree that’s thanks to Staten Island. So give them a hand!