Anthony Bourdain's Favorite Pizza Is An NYC Classic

Anthony Bourdain regularly traveled the world seeking out the best local foods. While there were some places he loved in particular — Bourdain's favorite travel destination was the iconic city, San Sebastián — he remained a fiercely proud New Yorker at heart. The Big Apple is a city famous for its diverse culinary offerings, though pizza is one of its specialties, with many believing New York pizza is the best you can get. For Bourdain, one Brooklyn joint offered the perfect example: Di Fara Pizza.

In his guide to eating and drinking in New York, published in The Guardian in 2005, Bourdain went so far as to describe Di Fara as "the best of the best." The superlative praise is even more impressive when you consider that the late chef had tasted some world-class offerings. That list included traditional pizza with very rigorous standards in Naples, Italy in addition to Sicilian boat-shaped barchetta, famous pizza trucks in Marseille, France, and even deep-fried pizza in Scotland.

Di Fara Pizza, opened by Domenico De Marco in 1965 and located on Brooklyn's Avenue J, is all about handcrafted pies using top-quality ingredients imported from Italy. And while it's not exactly a cheap option (you won't get a full pie for under $30, or a slice for less than $5), it's clearly a price Bourdain thought was worth paying for the impressive experience.

Anthony Bourdain's tips for enjoying New York-style pizza

"Where I come from, pizza defines you as a person," Anthony Bourdain once claimed (via YouTube). And pizza certainly defined Di Fara's founder Domenico De Marco, who was originally from Provincia di Caserta in Italy before he came to Brooklyn in 1959. Famous for making each pie himself, De Marco, who died in 2022, spent five decades honing his craft and perfecting the pizzas that so impressed Bourdain.

When it came to other quality New York pies, Bourdain was also a fan of Lombardi's on Spring Street. Opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi, who hailed from Naples, the restaurant lays claim to being America's first pizzeria. The chef especially enjoyed the white clam pie, which features freshly shucked clams alongside Romano cheese, garlic, and herbs.

While Lombardi's only serves whole pies, Bourdain was also partial to an iconic New York slice. He wasn't too fussy about where it came from, recommending "any of the ubiquitous mainstream joints" (via The Guardian). Ever the voice of experience, he also advised caution if eating pizza while walking, recommending angling the head forwards to stop the melting cheese and oil dripping down your shirt.

Bourdain didn't love every style of American pizza

There are many different types of pizza in the U.S., which vary hugely in terms of style, size, shape, and structure. And while Anthony Bourdain was fond of an NYC pie or takeout slice, there was one particular regional variety that he couldn't quite get his head around: Chicago deep dish pizza. In fact, he even said he believed it was a "crime against food" (via YouTube).

However, that was until the late chef visited Chicago in 2009 for his show "No Reservations," and headed to Burt's Place, owned by Burt Katz until his death in 2016. Bourdain wanted to see if the huge, hefty pies with a caramelized crust and stuffed with fresh vegetables could change his mind. Tucking into the cheesy concoction, even Bourdain had to admit that it was "a thing of beauty" and "really nice" (via YouTube), even if it was far removed from the styles he was used to.

But Chicago-style pizza is more than just deep dish, and it turns out Bourdain much preferred the wood-fired thin crust pie he tried at the city's Piece Brewery and Pizzeria (though that segment never made it into the finished episode). In an interview with Thrillist, he described that pizza as "really, really delicious," but still doubled down on his deep dish opinions, stating that "no Chicagoans I know eat that sh*t."