We Completed The NYC 5 Boro Pizza Challenge!

pizza challenge

The Michael W Travels family loves pizza so over this past weekend, Kim, Theo and I had a fun day completing a fun pizza challenge!

I’m not sure where I came across the 5 Boro Pizza Challenge but when I read about it, I figured it would be a fun little adventure in NYC. 

The way this pizza challenge works is that you have to visit a designated pizzeria (and eat a slice) in each of the 5 boroughs, getting there by mass transit, running, biking or walking. No cars or Uber rides are allowed. You then show proof of each visit by posting photos to Instagram using #5boropizzachallenge.

In its second year, the 5 Boro Pizza Challenge took place on September 23, 2017.

pizza challenge

The race started out in Washington Square Park, where all entrants picked up a special t-shirt and “the list of the 5 appointed pizzerias” at 11 AM sharp!

Kim and I didn’t think we were going to win the challenge but we did want to finish and have a fun time in doing-so.

Going into this pizza challenge, we wondered if we’d feel gross after eating 5 slices of pizza over the course of a day. (We’ve done our own little pizza tours in the past but I don’t think we’ve ever visited more than 3 in a day. I visited 4 once while on Scott’s Pizza Tours.)

Kim and I had a plan going into the challenge but immediately switched things up which messed up our finishing time.

Rather than start in Staten Island or the Bronx, we walked over to the first stop.

a man eating pizza outside of a restaurant

We arrived at Prince Street Pizza at around 11:20 and it wasn’t open yet. There was a short line ahead of us plus they didn’t open until 11:35. A better move would’ve been to go directly to another borough to start things off.

a slice of pizza on a paper plate

Prince Street Pizza is known for its square slices, especially those topped with pepperoni. Kim and I each got a plain slice since we figured it would be lighter. The slice was tasty and enjoyable but I left wishing I had opted for the pepperoni square! (I haven’t had it in a few years…)

a man and woman sitting on a bus

We then walked over to the bus stop, a short walk away from Prince Street to head to our second stop.

a group of people standing outside a restaurant

I’ve never heard of Paulie’s Pizzeria in Staten Island but I’m glad they were included on the challenge.

a slice of pizza on a paper plate

The slice was thin, extremely saucy and delicious! If we weren’t in the middle of a challenge, I would’ve definitely wanted more pizza!

Now we had some big decisions to make- Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx.

We got stuck waiting for the ferry for around a half hour. (I think we missed the previous one by about 5 minutes!)

Then we made our way our third stop after taking two more trains.

a man holding a slice of pizza

Kim and I have been going to Best Pizza in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for some time now. The shop is owned by Frank Pinello, the host of Viceland’s The Pizza Show.

a slice of pizza on a paper plate

There are lots of good options at Best Pizza but we stuck to getting regular slices, which are delicious (and probably my favorite of the challenge).

If you haven’t been to Best Pizza, I highly recommend it. They also have an awesome white slice with caramelized onion that I’d suggest you try.

a man and child in front of a restaurant

Next up was two more trains to Polito’s Pizza in Queens, a place I never heard of before.

a slice of pizza on a paper plate

We waited a couple of minutes for a slice from a fresh pie and then we were off to get back to the train. After a couple of bites, I’d say this slice was OK but nothing memorable.

Kim’s slice went flying off of her plate as we were walking so I shared some of my slice which practically tore in half from folding it!

Two more train rides later we were at our last stop.

a man holding a plate of pizza

I only know a few pizzerias in the Bronx and Golden Pizza isn’t one of them. When we walked into this small corner shop, we were greeted with lots of smiles by the friendly counterman.

pizza challenge

We were each handed a fresh slice, took a photo outside the shop and were then back to the train.

Golden Pizza is definitely not destination worthy pizza and isn’t very good but they were so friendly in the shop that I hate to write bad things. Regardless of how good or bad the pizza was, it still made for a fun last stop!

We then made our way back to the after- party at Amity Hall to show our photos and claim our finisher’s medal!

It took us a little under 7 hours to complete the challenge which wasn’t too bad considering we were traveling with a one-year old.

Some things I was surprised at:

  • We didn’t feel gross from eating all of that pizza.
  • We felt like we ran a 5K. Yes, we also did a ton of fast walking!
  • We weren’t full after we were done with the challenge.
  • I could’ve eatem more pizza!

This was a really fun event which I’d love to enter again in the future. Maybe we’ll do some training for the 2018 5 Boro Pizza Challenge!

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