The New York style pizza was started by one Italian immigrant: Gennaro Lombardi. As the story goes, Lombardi opened his eponymous pizzeria on Spring Street in 1905. He had to adapt the recipes he was used to in Italy, swapping a wood-fired oven for coal-burning one, and deploying mozzarella di buffalo for mozzarella fior di latte.
From thereon, this style of Italian-American pizza went gangbusters, and New York City would never be the same.
According to a cool piece on Grub Street, a total of 36 pizzerias in NYC can be traced back to Lombardi’s, including other legendary spots like Patsy’s (a direct descendant) and Grimaldi’s (a spinoff of Patsy’s).
Along with the timeline, New York Magazine has a fascinating profile on pizza scion Patsy Grimaldi, who is opening a new spot called Juliana’s in the old Grimaldi’s space.
[via Grub Street New York]