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Pieing the competition: Bed-Stuy Saraghina’s coppa pizza joins the greats

for The Brooklyn Paper

Outside of Naples, Italy, the fiercest contest for best pizza is right here in Brooklyn.

There are the old-school, such as Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge that has been serving up the good stuff for years, and there are the new standbys Roberta’s and Paulie Gee’s, where on a busy Saturday night hungry customers wait for hours to taste the wood-fired pies. New or old, they all raise the bar on pizza perfection — and the latest member of the elite in-crowd is Saraghina in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Though the eatery’s Margherita will satisfy even the most discerning pizza-lover, a recent standout is the more creative Coppa e Carciofi, which comes topped with fresh mozzarella, spicy Italian salami and artichoke hearts.

The pie is centered around the coppa, an Italian cured salami made from the neck of a pig, which becomes salty, fatty, and fragrant atop the warm pie. The artichoke hearts, marinated in chili flakes and garlic, are meaty on their own, and hold up well to the coppa and bubbly mozzarella. And though slightly less flavorful than some of the competition, the dough is beautifully charred in Saraghina’s wood-burning oven, which reaches up to 900 degrees.

It’s a carefully crafted pizza good enough to make the competition raise their eyebrows.

Finding a new standout in one of the most pizza-obsessed cities on earth is not easy, but when one arrives, it’s something worth celebrating. Though Saraghina is a bit of a trek for some, if you get close enough, the smell of the pizza from down the street will draw you into the restaurant’s warm glow.

Saraghina [435 Halsey St. at Lewis Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, (718) 574–0010 www.saraghinabrooklyn.com].

Will Levitt is a Brooklyn-based food writer. Follow him on Twitter @UnderEggWill

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diehipster from Exterminating Ethans says:
My prediction: This place will be out of business by February 2014.

Notice how all these hipster pizza parlors - I wont even begin to go through the names - need to add "zany" ingredients and give the pizzas quirky names to make up for the actual quality and taste? Ok, whatever, I'm sure its a decent slice and I would eat it if I was hungry but none of these places will ever be famous for a simple slice of dough, sauce and cheese like so many south Brooklyn places are.

Keep trying Zacheriah, Zoey and Zane. You'll never be real Brooklynites - NEVER.
May 29, 2013, 7:15 am
ty from pps says:
What?!

Are you really this miserable of a person that *any* new local business is a "hipster failure"?! So f^cking sad.

I do like how you basically bored yourself in the middle of your pathetic comment. I wonder, have you actually eaten pizza in Brooklyn? The vast majority of the "real Brooklyn" pizza is ordinary to mediocre. Nothing better than you can get in Cleveland (i've never been to Cleveland, but I know how you like talking about Ohio so much).
May 29, 2013, 8:20 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Artichokes and salami are so zany!

Back when "real" Brooklynites were Italian, they ate artichokes and salami.

I can't get over the affected snobbery that tries to look down on artichokes and salami for being zany. I have nothing more to add. smh
May 29, 2013, 9:39 am
BunnynSunny from Clinton Hill says:
I wish this kid a lot of luck!
May 29, 2013, 11:28 am
AD from BedStuy says:
Saraghina has been open and doing well since 2009. Hardly a "new" local business guys.
May 29, 2013, 2:23 pm
Jim from Queens says:
ty pps You are a diehipster stalker. Lay off the man!
May 29, 2013, 2:50 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
diehipster,
you are out of touch if you think this is a decent slice. This is New Brooklyn. You can't buy this get this by the slice, you need to get a whole pie. Pizza by the slice is only for knuckle-dragging Guido's wearing wife-beaters dragging Tina by the hair from L&B. What would you know about real Brooklyn pizza?
May 29, 2013, 6:59 pm
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
Saraghina has great pizza, but so does 50 other fancy brick oven or coal oven places in Brooklyn. I have a hard time rating Saraghina against Franny's against Graziella's against Motorino against all the other great places that have opened up in the past 10 years.
May 30, 2013, 10:32 am
JAZ from Hunting Redbeards says:
Swampy - stop acting like growing up on places like J&V, Johnny's, Totonno, Krispy, L&B, etc. means we'd have some sort of knowledge about Brooklyn pizza.

If you haven't waited for 2 hours to eat a Roberta's gentrification pizza served by a smug 'creative' from the midwest dressed as a depression era paperboy, then you just don't know Brooklyn!
May 30, 2013, 10:37 am
Teresa from Williamsburg says:
My grandma made the best pizza in Brooklyn and only our family got to eat it!
May 30, 2013, 3:16 pm
Teresa from Williamsburg says:
'Cause she made it with love!
May 30, 2013, 3:16 pm
Adamben from Bedstuy says:
This is not a hipster nabe but a mixed area.

With that said the coppa is one tasty pizza.
May 31, 2013, 9:45 am
Fantastica from Brooklyn says:
The pizza has a compost-like taste. Not going back. Gimme a slice Bensonhurst pizza... da-best!
June 3, 2013, 4:12 pm

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