When A Slice of Brooklyn invited us to check out their Pizza Tour, we thought two things: 1) How have we not done this yet? and 2) Do we have to take the L train?
It turns out we didn’t. *Insert enormous sigh of relief here* The group participants conveniently convened at Union Square, where we were picked up by a giant temperature-controlled bus. Our tour guide, the man who would serve as our Pizza Moses, was “Marc with a C”. Marc’s a born-and-bred Brooklynite, which means he was there long before it became trendy. He doesn’t sport a man bun or have ironic facial hair. And he isn’t wearing pink pants rolled up to show his petite ankles. His tats, an infinity symbol tattooed on his wrist and a small skull on his forearm, are the regalia of locals. He’s legit.
The Slice of Brooklyn Pizza Tour lasts 4.5 hours, and we were a little antsy. Locals walk, hop on a train, walk some more. But with this tour we’re supposed to just… sit? Well, yes and no. Yes, you’re sitting, but no, that’s not all you’re doing. On our journey Marc kept us entertained, finding just the right balance of Brooklyn fun facts, history and movie clips to throw at us. We took the scenic route, going through Brooklyn neighborhoods and stalking million-dollar homes. Are you a movie buff? So is Marc. He’ll show you the spot where Gene Hackman gets shot at in French Connection, and the movie will be playing on the screens while he does it.
And let’s not forget the most important part of the tour: the pizza.
There’s a scene in Sex and the City where Carrie Bradshaw famously says, “Men, I may not know, but SHOES, shoes, I know.” Well, we can say the same about pizza. We may not know much about anything else, but PIZZA, pizza we know. A Slice of Brooklyn ingeniously doesn’t try to cover too much. We made two stops on the tour to get a taste of two distinct, but equally important, types of New York City pizza.
We skipped the line at Grimaldi’s, which made us feel like Pizza Kardashian. If that person existed, she might be the only Kardashian we’d be interested in. (Nah, probably not.) At L&B Spumoni Gardens, we sat at the longest family-style table and indulged in their specialty dessert.
For the newbies who were ready to pass out from the pizza and spumoni (not us of course, we’re pros), we headed to Coney Island for a quick tour. The combination of the sharp breeze on the boardwalk, as well as the crazy sights and sounds, perked everyone up.
A Slice of Brooklyn is rated as one of the top tours in New York City on Trip Advisor with over 1000 Excellent ratings. The bus tour can offer a welcome break from the manic pace of New York City sightseeing. So for any out-of-towner looking to see what Brooklyn is all about while sampling some amazing pizza, this is a fantastic option. But locals shouldn’t turn their noses up at it either. We learned so many new things on this tour and we met fantastic people visiting from the UK and Canada. And no waiting for the L train, guys. Come on.
Tip: Grab a seat at the front of the bus and you might catch some of the banter between Marc and the driver, Edwin. He’s the “straight man” in the double act, but he still has some pretty good zingers.
You can find out more about the Pizza Tour at A Slice of Brooklyn’s website here.
Thank you to A Slice of Brooklyn Bus Tours for partnering on this post.
If you’d like another point of view on this fun experience, check out our buddy Mary Lane’s post on her blog, New York Cliche. Or just check out her blog for fun New York City adventures!
– L. & J.