Among the multitude of pizzerias in Long Island City, a family owned, old fashioned restaurant in Queens stands alone. When it comes to an unmatched pizza crust and undeniably gourmet pizza toppings, Bella Via holds the title for best pizza in LIC, if not all of Queens.

It all comes down to the coal fire, brick oven pizza crust that forms the base of each amazing Italian pie. While many pizzerias have shifted away from tradition, citing the ease of gas ovens and the incredible effort it takes to maintain a coal fired brick oven, Bella Via still holds to the same rigid standards that makes their pies the best pizza in town.

But why does the method of baking the pizza matter so much? Isn’t crust just a foundation for the toppings? Is it really that important how the crust is baked as long as it’s neither raw nor burnt?

The answer is a resounding yes – to any true pizza aficionado, the crust is the tipping point that makes or breaks a slice of pizza. The way each pie is baked is a testimony that here, tradition has meaning and taste is more than just a rudimentary concept.

The trick to a perfectly baked pizza is an extremely high, dry heat – the pizza crust must be cooked quickly and thoroughly to achieve a crispy chewy base while the toppings, sauce and cheese are perfectly cooked without being either browned or left raw on the face.

A temperature of over 900 degrees is required, and that is where brick or stone ovens come in – the thick walls concentrate the heat in the center of the oven, and the pizza can rest directly on the floor or on a stone a few inches above the floor, crisping on the outside while the inside of the crust bakes quickly to chewy perfection.

The end result is a crust that snaps neatly apart when sliced, doesn’t collapse under the weight of fresh toppings and sweet tomato sauce, and maintains an easy to chew interior that stays warm while you work your way through the pie.

For a true New York pizza experience, order from or stop into Bella Via today. You’ll finally understand what all the fuss is about and a coal fire brick oven baked pizza will become a “must have” when you crave a slice of pie!