97-14 Rockaway Beach Boulevard
(Between 97th & 98th Streets)
What it is: Brick oven pizza joint and craft can oasis right next door to the Playland Motel.
Why we love it: Chef and owner Whitney Aycock, reputed Rockaway Beach Pizza Nazi, is as serious about pizza as he is playfully surly with customers, though his attitude is more rooted in a punk rock chef aesthetic and his affection for a well-placed F-bomb than misanthropy. We feel mostly at home in the casual one room space with a couch and just a few bar stools; seems more like a friend’s living room than a bar/restaurant, if your friend’s living room had a groovy brick pizza oven that keeps popping out delicious pies. Bring pizza snobs and your beach companions who are starving after a long day in the surf.
What to order: One of the ten constantly rotating craft cans—touted “stuff we like to drink”—which on a recent visit included Sixpoint Bengali Tiger and Abita Purple Haze ($6). Any of the 12 pies, from The Margherita ($9), to the Cavolini ($14) with brussels sprouts and pancetta.
Regular tip: Check out the priceless “Some of our many faults” section on the menu, rife with “fuck”-laden disclaimers.