Fish, rice, beans and mofongo are common finds in the Dominican Republic. But finding pizza reminiscent of a slice you’d spot back home? Much less likely. Which is why when I came across Pizzarelli pizzeria that claimed it served the “best slice in DR,” and it appeared it could hold up, I obviously had to test it.
When Columbus set foot in Santo Domingo in late 1400, it was an entirely different place and there was certainly no pizzeria (Pizzarelli was founded in 1982, for the record). But wouldn’t Christopher have loved the surprise of a meal reminiscent of home after his long Atlantic journey? Well I can speak for myself when I tell you that finding pizza in a far off locale always elicits a thrill. Plus it makes you realize that pizza truly IS a universal food.
Anyway, back to the question at hand: Was this pizza truly the best in the West? I can’t say with certainty, since I only had one slice during our entire trip, but it definitely was worth the visit. The crust was better than you’d expect at a chain (we passed two other locations and turns out there are several more).
The dough tasted homemade and hand-pressed since there was inconsistent thickness near the crust that gave it authenticity. The sauce was especially robust and tasty, accentuated by a bit of spice from the pepperoni.
Unfortunately the selections were light, with just pepperoni as the slice option as they had to cook more, but better to under prepare than have stale, day-old slices waiting under a heat lamp. They also offer calzones and full pizza pies for order incase your appetite calls for it.
Overall, as a tourist from a city that does pizza better than nearly everywhere else in the world (sans Naples) I’ve gotta say Pizzarelli gets my stamp of approval. No it’s not a “world best” by any means but it’s good enough to warrant taking a break from seafood ceviche and Presidente beer to try “DR’s best slice.” You won’t regret it!