OPP: New Jersey bar pizza mini crawl – Kinchley’s and Star Tavern

On Tuesday night my longtime friend Justin and I went on a mini two-stop bar-pizza crawl of North Jersey. We started at Kinchley’s Tavern in Ramsey, New Jersey, a legendary bar-pie joint I had never been to despite all my years of Slice-ing. LOVE.

Photo Aug 19, 8 06 35 PM

I mean, look at that horse outside. WHAT?!? Who does that? Had I not already known what lay inside (thanks to lots of blog posts I’d read about it), I would have loved the place already. Here’s the interior:


As I think about what I’d like Margot’s Pizza to look like or embody, I can’t help think of places like this. I don’t want to be too kitsch, but I definitely would love to incorporate elements of this classic 1970s “pizza parlor” look. What’s that you say? Where’s the pizza? Here ya go:

Kinchley's Tavern pizza
From left: sausage and onion, pepperoni and hot pickled pepper.

Very thin-crusted, cracker-crust pizza. The closest thing to it I can reference in NYC would be maybe the Gruppo-Vezzo-Spunto empire or Lee’s Tavern. Much different from what we would later have at our second and final stop of the evening, Star Tavern (which I’d been to a handful of times before):

Star Tavern pepperoni pizza
The pepperoni pizza at Star is much heavier on the cheese and has a more flexible crust than Kinchley’s.

This was a nice trip to take and the first time I’d had other people’s bar pies since I started experimenting with Margot’s Pizza. In a way it was very fitting to sample these two pies, because I would say Margot’s Pizza is somewhere between the two in terms of texture, crispness, and topping/cheese density.

In all, a great night out.