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Joe’s Pizza NYC (Ann Arbor)

November 10, 2022

  • 1107 South University Avenue, Suite B
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 213-5625
  • Website
  • Menu 

I was so excited when we first moved to Kalamazoo because it was a college town. College towns usually have open late pizza by the slice places.

Imagine my disappointment when Kalamazoo didn’t have one of those.

There was a place that tried for a while. Hot Slice opened on Michigan Avenue where DP Dough is now but didn’t survive. It took way too long. It would take 20 minutes just to get a slice of pizza. If I wanted to wait, I would have ordered a full one from somewhere.

I had a late work assignment in Oakland County a few weeks ago. I had picked up a sandwich at DiBella’s in Auburn Hills but I was hungry again by the time I was coming home around 11:00 PM.

I knew of at least one pizza by the slice place in Ann Arbor so I headed there. When I looked up the address, I actually found a second place I had never been to so I went that route instead.

Joe’s Pizza NYC is the quintessential late night college town pizza joint. The small restaurant is at the intersection of South University Avenue and East University Avenue. The building is right on the edge of the University of Michigan campus. The space was a bookstore a few years ago but it was gutted and rebuilt to house a bank, a pizza restaurant, and a gym.

Joe’s Pizza NYC is part of a small chain of similar pizza joints branched off from the original Joe’s Pizza in New York City’s Greenwich Village. There are six locations total with the other five all being located in NYC.

Joe’s is exactly what you’d expect from a pizza by the slice place. The layout is counter service with pizza’s being kept warm under heat lamps.

The pizzas are big New York style pies that yield big slices. They have a few specialty pizzas sitting out alongside the usual pepperoni and cheese pizzas. They have more options as they just add on to the cheese pizza before throwing it back in to the oven to be warmed up.

I asked for two slices of pepperoni and I was paying, I noticed a Detroit style pizza. I asked what it was and the answer I got was “Sicilian style.” I told them to add that as well. Three slices is a lot..but I was hungry.

I spent right around $15 on the three slices which I didn’t think was too bad considering those three slices were probably as much as you’d get from a typical delivery pizza.

I could have just stayed and ate the slices but I grabbed them to go. The dining area was actually pretty full. It was the Tuesday before Halloween and I was shocked at how many students were in full costume at midnight on a Tuesday night. This is definitely the college experience I missed out on by going to a small private school.

I started with the Sicilian slice first since that would likely be the most messy and hardest to eat while driving. The slice was kind of Detroit style but didn’t have that rich buttery crust. It was the same idea but the bread was a little softer. The sauce on this slice really stood out. It was a fresher, cleaner tasting sauce than the other slices. There were chunks of whole tomato in it. A good slice but not really what I’m looking for in places like this.

The two pepperoni slices were exactly what I was looking for. They were the long, floppy New York Style slices that you fold over and eat like a little sandwich. The handle of the pizza had that good snap that you had to use your thumb to break but the rest of the crust was firm but easily folded in half. The pizza was a little greasy from the pepperoni but that’s what makes pizza like this so dang good.

Joe’s Pizza NYC is everything I love about these late night pizza by the slice places. It was quick. It was cheap. It was delicious. I know we have Benny DiCarta’s in Kalamazoo but that’s downtown. I go there for lunch every so often. It’s just not the same as having one near campus. U of M has the perfect spot for grabbing a slice after a night of….socializing.

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