Last weekend I kicked off the 2nd ever NYC Pizza Crawl. Switching up the boroughs, we tackled Manhattan to do a Patsy’s pizza crawl. Beginning with the first Patsy’s in East Harlem, then making our way to two other locations so that runners could learn a thing or two.
Sponsored by Pearl Izumi and dubbed the PIzza Crawl, the purpose of the event is to promote the Pearl Izumi running brand, running and pizza in New York City. With the success of my first crawl in March, April was bound to be a crustastic event! It was a wild idea at first, but I was confident that runners would jump at the chance to take part.
To make this event unique, the runners only knew the date, time and borough the crawl would be taking place in. The pizzerias would be a surprise once they showed up to crawl. There are no rules other than running, eating pizza and thanking the amazing pizzerias that opened their ovens for us.
The average New Yorker hears the name Patsy’s and automatically assumes that they are the same pizzeria all over Manhattan. This isn’t the case at all! The first Patsy’s was opened by Pasquale “Patsy” Lanceri in 1933. Patsy was formerly employed at Soho’s Lombardi’s Pizzeria, accredited the first pizzeria in North America. Serving coal-fired pizza baked in an old bread oven, this pizzeria represents the pre-1940’s NY-style pizza era. After Patsy died in the 1970’s, his widow sold the pizzeria to a good friend and then later in the 1990’s, the pizzeria was licensed the name to a handful of other pizzerias in NYC. Runners enjoyed the traditional cheese pizza which left them drooling for a second slice. Nope! They had to save room for 2 more slices!
Our second stop was the Patsy’s located on 60th street. Runners had the margherita pizza which differed by the type of cheese, the addition of basil and an entirely different oven—natural gas.
Our third and final Patsy’s was located on 3rd Avenue near the U.N. With a similar oven to our second stop, I decided to treat runners to a traditional grandma square. With the same exact ingredients as our second slice, but longer bake, added oil and a whole lot of excitement to end out the crawl.
If you’d like to sign up for next month’s tour, please follow our page on Facebook for details on how to sign up. Each monthly tour will consist of 3-4 pizzeria stops with running distances ranging from 3-12 miles. Run. Eat Pizza. Have fun!
Miriam Weiskind is a professional pizza enthusiast & tour guide for Scott’s Pizza Tours in NYC educating, writing about and tasting pizza all around NYC and beyond!