Which Hawthorne Pizzeria Is the Best?


Daniel Sokolski, Staff Writer

A few weeks ago, I conducted an experiment to settle an ongoing war between the different pizza enterprises in Hawthorne to find out once and for all who has the best slice. I decided to order a plain New York Style slice from 3 of the most prominent Pizzerias in Hawthorne. These included Bogie’s Hoagies, Villa Rosa, and Puzo’s Family Restaurant. 

First up on my list was Bogie’s Hoagies, which is located on 421 Lafayette Avenue. This deli has been a staple for many residents of Hawthorne, especially students coming out of school looking for a nice place to sit and enjoy many of their high quality sandwiches. However, after the pandemic, the restaurant was set to close until it reopened under new management on January 17, 2022. Under this new management came a bigger emphasis on their selection of fresh made pizza. 

Aesthetically, Boagies is a very well presented restaurant with their array of pizzas and subs lining clear glass counters. And the large chalkboard designs across the walls displaying the restaurant’s multiple awards and most importantly, menu specials, really creates a welcoming environment for all who enter.

But is their Pizza any good? After ordering a plain slice of New York Style Pizza I can say that their pizza is definitely up to par with the price you are paying. Out of all three places I visited, Boagies had the cheapest slice by a mile, which comparatively is noticeable in terms of the quality of cheese and sauce. The sauce for me was a little sweet, but otherwise, if you’re looking for a nice quick slice to satisfy those mid-day cravings, Boagies is definitely an option!

Next up was Villa Rosa, and I was going in with very high expectations, as they were crowned the winner of the 2022 March Pizza Madness, which contained 16 local pizzerias in which Villa Rosa came out on top. They are a family run pizzeria that has been operating since 1985, currently managed under Bob Metaxotos. 

Aesthetically, VIlla Rosa has an old school look. The initial area where pizza is picked up is way too crowded for the sizable lines they receive. 

As for the Pizza itself, I could taste the difference between Bogies and Villa Rosa. Where Bogies used sliced provolone and a sweeter tomato sauce, Villa Rosa’s pizza had an excellent charred crust with a robust tomato sauce and stringy cheese. The only complaint I would have would be that the ratio of cheese to sauce was a little off, I was left with wanting a tiny bit more sauce. But if you are looking for an excellent upper mid-range pizza,then Villa Rosa is the place to be.

The final destination on my list was Puzzo´s, which I had no previous knowledge about. I only really heard about them from a friend of mine in class who could not stop raving about how good their pizza is. Now I understand why!

In terms of presentation, Puzo’s has a charming, calming atmosphere with their outdoor fountain, which reminds of a similar pizzeria I had gone to on my trip to Poland. After you walk in you are greeted by a wonderful, smaller figurine of an Italian chef. After walking to the other side of the restaurant you witness the wonders of Giuseppe, Gerardo, Giovanni and Mario, all brothers creating pizza for over 25 years. 

I sat there mesmerized as they flung the dough into the air and spun it on their fingertips. And as the pizza emerged from its fiery inferno, I was speechless as to what to do next. ¨ Should I take a bite, or should I give some kind of offering to this pinnacle of Pizza Cuisine?¨

And I have to tell you, I would never think that a slice of New York Style pizza could have such depth and complexity in terms of flavor. What really sells me on their pizza is their flour. After talking to a regular there, I discovered that Puzo’s is one of the only pizzerias to use corn based flour on their dough instead of regular flour. This creates a wonderful nutty/earthy aftertaste that brings their slices to another level.

Overall, all three pizzerias fit a certain niche in terms of audiences in Hawthorne. If you really just need a quick, but flavorful slice that doesn’t sacrifice taste for its low cost, then stop by Boagies. If you are looking for a great quality slice and are willing to wait in a sizable line, then Villa Rosa will satisfy you. Overall, I give the victory to Puzo’s. Their restaurant is more than just a place to get your slice and go. It’s an experience. If you have some time to go to their establishment, sit down, and enjoy the flavor of their wonderful slices baked with love, then Puzo’s is the place for you. After all, food is not just sustenance, it’s a way of life.