La Villa of Morrisville selected as the Overall Winner;
Jerry’s selected as the Best Tomato Pie within City Limits
In July of 2015, we solicited nominations from our readers for tomato pie restaurants that 1) are within a 10 minute drive of Trenton City Hall (319 E. State Street), and 2) offer tomato pie as a menu option. We received 38 nominations. Subsequently, we visited every location-qualified nominee, confirmed they offer tomato pie, and sampled their offerings.
La Villa of Morrisville makes the best Tomato Pie within a 10 minute drive of City Hall. Nothing about La Villa’s pie is conventional, from its square shape to its ultra thin crust. But the result is superb. If you weep for the loss of Papas and DeLorenzo’s tomato pie, check out La Villa. We don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Jerry’s Pizza & Grill makes the best Tomato Pie in town! Ask Luis to make it for you (his other pie men may not be 100% reliable), and you’ll get a superb pie.
The full list of Winners, Finalists, and Semi-Finalists is below: click on the restaurant name to bring up a mini-review…
What does it mean to be a Semi-Finalist? These restaurants will all earn the 2015 Hidden Trenton Seal of Approval. All serve an authentic tomato pie that we thought was at least very good. Some are superb. A few split our judges: some felt they were as good as our Finalists, but others disagreed. So, read our capsule reviews carefully and check out the Semi-Finalist restaurants. They are definitely worth exploring.
What is a Trenton Tomato Pie?
If you move to the Greater Trenton area from anywhere else, you’re astonished by how good the pizza is here. It’s no accident. It’s the legacy of Chambersburg’s Italian immigrant history, and the fact that the 2nd and 3rd pizza parlors in the USA were established in Trenton (in 1911 and 1912). They set the standards which others here copied, and which are still part of the region’s zeitgeist.
Better than mere pizza, a proper Trenton-style tomato pie starts with the crust. It has to be thin. It needs to be crispy. Wimpy, flaccid crust can go back to NYC. Cheese goes on first. Then crushed or chopped tomatoes (not sauce). Maybe a little extra olive oil. Fresh toppings as you like. Bake it until it’s slightly charred. The best tomato pie is like an artisan flat bread with cheese and tomato on top. At its best, it’s transcendent. Surprisingly difficult to make well.