Walk down any street in New York City and you’re bound to see a pizza place. Since the city is absolutely packed full of them, it is often hard, especially if you are just visiting for a short period of time, to know where to go when you want a good slice. Yet, if you’re in Greenwich Village, Chelsea, or the East Village, you’re in luck. Head to Artichoke Basille’s Pizza, and, I assure you, you won’t be disappointed.

Ask any NYU student what their favorite late night spot is after a night out, and many of them will tell you Artichoke. Personally, it’s my favorite. On Friday and Saturday nights, the place is packed. The East Village location is located right near my dorm, and I tend to head there about once a week to get my fix. Open from Tuesday-Saturday until 5AM and on Sunday and Monday until 12AM, it’s perfect for that late night craving. Artichoke is nothing fancy. It’s a tiny shop with barely any seating and modest decoration. There are a few benches outside but aside from that, really nothing. The taste of the pizza is reason enough to stand in the cold to eat it.

The menu at the Greenwich Village and East Village locations is basic. Artichoke makes only a few kinds of pizza, and you can either order a slice, or a whole pie. In Greenwich Village you can also order a calzone or a meatball Parmesan roll, and in Chelsea you can actually dine in and order from an expanded menu. Yet, the four kinds of pizza they serve at the Easy Village location that I frequent are enough for me. The options there are: artichoke, margarita, crab, and Sicilian.

Artichoke is famous for their artichoke and spinach pizza.  The pizza crust is like a foccacia bread, lathered in a creamy white sauce, and topped with cheese, spinach, and big chunks of artichokes. I’m not a huge fan of white sauce, so I tend to stray away from this slice, but pretty much everyone I know names it as their favorite. I usually keep it simple and order the margarita slice, which is insanely good, and exactly how I like my pizza. The crust is super thin and has the perfect crispiness to it. It’s covered in a delicious marinara sauce and topped with fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. This may not sound entirely original, but I have not tasted a single piece of margarita pizza that compares, and I’ve eaten pizza in Italy! When I want something different, I order the crab slice. This kind is just as unique as the artichoke pizza. The crust is a little thicker and covered in a creamy sauce, cheese, and big chunks of crabmeat. If you love seafood, you’ll enjoy this pizza. When I do head to the Greenwich Village location, I like to grab a meatball slice. It tastes like a delicious meatball Parmesan sandwich, but even better.

The one drawback of Artichoke is that it is a little pricey. The slices are either $4 or $4.50 and the whole pies range from $24-$30 dollars. Honestly, though, it’s worth it. I try to be incredibly budget-conscious when I eat out or order food, but Artichoke is worth that extra dollar or two. The slices are absolutely gigantic and fill you up, so one is enough for an entire meal. Also, Artichoke delivers, which is a huge plus. Now that it is finally feeling like winter in the city, you can avoid the freezing cold and have a steaming hot pizza delivered to your door. You can even order online which is very convenient. The line at Artichoke can be crazy, especially on weekend nights when the shop tends to be full of drunken college students on their way back from the bars. That can be somewhat frustrating, yet the employees of Artichoke are extremely efficient, and the line moves pretty quickly.

Another interesting thing about Artichoke is their plans to expand. They started selling their pizza in the frozen food section of over 300 grocery stores in the area, and are planning to go nationwide. There is also talk of them opening up more stores. It will be interesting to see what happens with this awesome company in the future!

Artichoke really does have the perfect slice of pizza for anyone, and since there are multiple locations in lower Manhattan, there are more chances to try it out! Become a fan of them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter to find out more. They tweet and update their page frequently. Whether you’re a local New Yorker or tourist, definitely try out Artichoke next time you’re in the area. I’ll probably head back this weekend for another slice!

By Elizabeth Kelly
Artichoke Basille's Pizza & Bar on Urbanspoon

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2 Responses to Artichoke

  1. Peggynewmark says:

    Thanks for the tip Elizabeth……you had my mouth watering…..

  2. Bett says:

    I have a lovely secret for those who want the Artichoke goodness without standing in the cold, or the heat, or paying the somewhat heavy fare, or if you want an alternative experience such as vegan:

    Make your own artichoke cream!!!

    Just whizz artichoke hearts with olive oil, garlic, and a little thyme or other herbs of your choice in a processor or a well-powered blender. Try the thyme, I think you’ll like that. Or try oregano or a nice Italian herb mix. If you must use a blender you may have to do much jar-scraping but it’s worth it.

    Slather the result on your pizza crust or frozen pizza, add daiya brand vegan cheese, and prepare for artichokey delight!

    (If money is no object you can go to Fairway (or probably other gourmet shops) and buy this product: http://www.fairwaymarket.com/cara-cucina-della-tradizione-italiana-crema-di-carciofi-e-aglio-artichoke-and-garlic-cream/ or, you can buy the fairway brand one which isn’t quite as yummy.)

    I suggest buying a small jar of the expensive one and using it as an example to get your own artichoke paste to taste as close to it as possible. You might try roasting the garlic before adding it. I am considering trying to saute it gently first.

    If you use a good brand of marinated artichoke hearts you will have to add less oil, but if you can find nice bottled plain artichoke hearts, you’ll have a better quality food. (Because I don’t think mere humans who shop in supermarkets can even find oil of quality as low as that which is added to oily processed things.) If you can find good organic marinated artichoke hearts in which the oil is also organic, then I take that last comment back.

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