Competition breeds the best. If only one pizzeria existed in New York, of course, there’d be no real winning slice. Thankfully, we’ll never know what that sorry situation tastes like, since pizza—like dance parties, dog runs, and fried chicken—has to evolve upward here.
Which is good for New York, although it means that choosing the best of the best is a serious job requiring research, interviewing, anonymous visits, discreet scribblings in notebooks, and even paddling the Hudson. But we can now state with confidence that, for example, Gustafer Yellowgold is the concert every tot should attend this year and the best frozen yogurt can be found on the sixth floor of Lord & Taylor.
Another welcome side effect to competition: pricing. In New York, the best does not mean the most costly, and these days, value is on everybody’s mind. Need a party frock for $25? A discount car rental? How about an all-you-can-eat brunch that’s both exquisitely good and (relatively) cheap? And to champion the things that never change, we put together a foldout map of classics.
We also know that every rivalry is improved by new information, so share your carefully selected picks with us, and your fellow New Yorkers, in the comments section at nymag.com. The fun is in the debate. And the best fried chicken? Click ahead.
CONTRIBUTORS: Alec Appelbaum, Jami Attenberg, Amos Barshad, Grace Bastidas, Molly Bennet, Sarah Bernard, Carly Berwick, Elizabeth Brown, Sara Cardace, Annsley Chapman, Elizabeth Cline, Annemarie Conte, Catherine Coreno, Anna Davies, Joe DeLessio, Charlotte Druckman, Gillian Duffy, Wendy Goodman, Geoffrey Gray, Gael Greene, Stephen Haskell, Kaija Helmetag, Caroline Jackson, Kaitlin Jessing-Butz, Boris Kachka, Ben Kawaller, Claudine Ko, Amy Larocca, Joshua Lyon, Aja Mangum, Alex Marvar, Rebecca Milzoff, Josh Ozersky, Rob Patronite, Adam Platt, Robin Raisfeld, S. Jhoanna Robledo, Doria Santlofer, Pervaiz Shallwani, Adam Sternbergh, Jean Tang, William Tracy, Diana Tsui, Alexandra Vallis, Carol Vinzant, Betsy Wiesendanger, Rachel Wolff, and Alexandra Zissu.