READERS' PICK: For 14 years, our readers have declared Magpies the place for gourmet pizza. Looking for a wheat crust, Greek style, or thin crust vegetarian overload? Look no further than Magpies. These folks specialize in specialty pies, customizing your order as well as recommending one from a veritable catalogue of micro and macro brews to wash it down. The Fourth Avenue location offers indoor and patio seating. But their free delivery service will take your pie anywhere you want it to go, within reason.
READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: Brooklyn Pizza, 534 N. Fourth Ave. You don't have to visit Rome to enjoy good Italian food, and thank God you don't have to visit New York to enjoy great pizza here in the Old Pueblo. Hallelujah! Brooklyn has created the perfect hot, beautiful, slice of thin-crust pie (you can order it thick if you must), along with a full menu of tantalizing heroes and calzones. Toppings include your favorite meats and various greens (from artichoke to zucchini), a great selection of microbrews, smokes and possibly the best collection of '50s dinette sets citywide. They do offer free delivery, but for a slice of what makes Brooklyn the best, go in and take part of this funky, friendly collaboration of 20-somethings.
MORE MANIA: Upper Crust Pizza, 1909 E. Grant Road, lives up to its name with pizza that's inexplicably good. We were astonished by a cheese pizza with the humble addition of tomatoes and spinach, so fresh and flavorful with whole leaves green, two kinds of aged mozzarella, and a roasted-tomato marinara that makes our mouth water just thinking about it. Served on a quarter-inch crust, piping hot. We don't expect you to take our word that these pies are wholly more than the sum of their parts -- you'll have to taste it yourself to believe it.
MORE MANIA: Irv's Deli and New York Pizza, 4558 E. Broadway Blvd. The sign says New York Pizza...not New York style pizza. The whole place is decked out like a joint in Coney Island, from a sign for ice-cream in the front window that's straight out of the '50s (cartoon boy and giant cone included), on to food that's pure Brooklyn. Giant, paper-thin slabs of pizza, hot pastrami on rye oozing yellow mustard, and fizzy egg creams in tall, sweating cups. Thinking of going someplace else? Fo'gettabowdit!