It’s National Pizza Day! As with any semi-official food related national holiday, I expect the local pizza joints to be buzzing from the time they unlock their front doors to the moment the last pie is out for late night delivery. After all, today is their day.
But, how does one celebrate National Pizza Day in Corning, a town that boasts not one, not two, but THREE exceptionally delicious pizza parlors? As someone without pizza prejudice, it’s not an easy task to decide which one I should visit any other day of the year, let alone THE day of the year. It’s an even more challenging task to seek recommendations. Corning has plenty of good, rational people. However, strike up a conversation about the best pizza place in the Crystal City, and you’re apt to find yourself in a bar fight.
But, rather than spend this holiest of holy days arguing with friends, family, and coworkers over which place has the best pizza offerings, take it from me. They’re all the best, for different reasons. So pick the one that best suits your National Pizza Day needs, and enjoy.
Aniello’s | The Community Pizza
Discussions about Aniello’s often devolve into those arguments that I mentioned above. As someone who only moved to Corning a few years ago, I’ve found that if you ask someone who did grow up in the city where to get pizza, they’ll almost always say Aniello’s, while transplant-residents most often say something else. That’s because Aniello’s is a central part of life for people who grew up in Corning, and rightfully so. It’s a Corning classic, a staple that’s been on Market Street for as long as some people can remember.
Parents take their kids to Aniello’s for dinner because of it’s energetic atmosphere. Teens hang out there doing whatever it is that teenagers do, free from judgement, and the bar crowd ends up there because it’s the only late night option for food on East Market. And, truthfully, the pizza is phenomenal. Don’t let that remark about me not growing up in Corning make you think that I can’t appreciate Aniello’s for what it has to offer, both in terms of pizza and its place in the hearts of Corning residents, because I certainly can. In fact, it’s how I’ll be celebrating my National Pizza Day, with an Aniello’s pie – half pepperoni, half black olives and banana peppers – and the people I care most about.
Atlas Pizzeria | The Perfect Dinner Pizza
Atlas and Aniello’s are nearly across the street from each other, and because of this they are at the center of Corning’s pizza debate. If you live in Corning, you have an opinion, and it’s nearly impossible to hold it back.
Technically though, Atlas has the best pizza in Corning – and I’m not just saying that! Atlas has the Best Pizza In Upstate New York, as decided by voters and a panel of pizza critics in New York Upstate’s 2016 Best of Upstate New York contest. Critics loved the authentic brick oven pizzas and cozy atmosphere at Atlas, and that was all it took to secure the top spot.
Those same characteristics make it the best place for a sit down pizza dinner. Whether it be a date night, a family dinner, or a night out with friends, make your way to the upstairs dining room at Atlas, order a few different specialty pizzas, some cheesy breadsticks, and a couple glasses of wine, and make a night of it. Atlas is also the best spot to visit if you’re torn between getting your pizza fix and eating healthy, because its antipasto salads are bomb. Pair one of those with a slice of pepperoni, and you’ve got one heck of a meal.
Rico’s | The True New York Style Pizza
Rico’s is somewhat removed from the drama surrounding Corning’s other pizza joints, but don’t mistake that fact for it not being worth fighting about. Rico’s makes a very good classic New York style pizza, and unless you’re from Chicago, there just isn’t anything to complain about.
Rico’s is also an authentically trendy spot with murals and art installations, and usually features a pretty solid playlist of The Killers, Incubus, and other favorite bands from the 90’s and 2000’s. It’s the kind of pizza place I’d expect to find in the heart of Brooklyn, so I’m grateful that it can be enjoyed in Downtown Corning. Rico’s is my favorite spot to grab a few slices on a lunch break, because I can usually avoid a large crowd and spend an hour zoning out to whatever’s playing over the speakers while trying to decipher an abstract mural for the 398th time. When you’re sitting in the window at Rico’s, watching people walk by, it almost feels as if you’ve been transported to another city, in a different time. As a sentimentalist, I love that, and I’ll always be grateful to Rico’s for providing that little break in my day.
If you’re in need of a similar break from reality this National Pizza Day, Rico’s has you covered.
FYI: National Margarita Day is Thursday, February 23rd. We know you’ll want to celebrate, so Urban Corning will do the research beforehand and find Corning’s best margaritas, so you don’t have to. Anything for our readers, right?!