In what the Bayonne Community News and the Bayonne Chamber of Commerce hope will become an annual tradition for bragging rights over who has the best pizza, the results of Bayonne’s Best Pizza Challenge are in.
The results in six categories were based on customer ballots submitted throughout April. The contest was open to any Bayonne restaurant that makes its own pizza.
The big winner this year was The Big Apple, which finished first in two categories: Best Thin Crust and Best White Pizza; and second place in two categories: Best Regular Pizza and Best Specialty Pizza. The restaurant also won one third place category with best Unique Pizza.
Mona Lisa came up with first place in two categories, Best Specialty and Best Unique pizzas, second place for Best Sicilian, and third place for Best White Pizza.
Although La Guardiola won first place only for Best Sicilian Pizza, it won awards in all six categories, including second place for Best Unique and Best White Pizza, and third place for Best Regular, Best Thin Crust and Best Specialty Pizza.
Pompeii won first place for Best Regular Pizza and third place for Best Sicilian Pizza.
“We’re known for our regular pizza,” said Vito Palmieri of Pompeii.
Naples won second place for Best Thin Crust Pizza.
The winners will get bragging rights for a whole year.
The contest is one of the new initiatives by chamber President Vincent Virga to increase interest in local businesses.
“I must say that I was thrilled with the participation we had for our first annual event,” Virga said. “With the level of competitive juices that flow in this town, I would not be surprised if we double the number for next year. To me, this event went beyond pizzas, but more to motivate pizzeria owners (could have been any biz sector) to find innovative ways to promote their businesses during very difficult economic times and beyond. Hopefully we motivated them to stay the course and continue marketing their businesses. Too often we become complacent and in industry it can be disastrous and by the time you realize the problem it could be to late. I want to thank the board as well as The Bayonne Community News for all their work in making this event and the BCC a success.”
The judges of the contest were the general public, who filled out write-in ballots and dropped them off at designated stores or voted on-line. Dave Unger, co-publisher of the Bayonne Community News, said this is planned to be an annual event.
Restaurants paid a $300 fee to participate, but the winners will get bragging rights for a whole year, after which they will compete again for the title.
The winners will receive recognition at the Chamber’s Membership Summer Kickoff Networking Reception on June 7 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Villa Maria, located at 515 Broadway. Each winning restaurant will receive a plaque, with second and third place winners receiving certificates.
In cities throughout Hudson County, quality pizza is one staple of many menus, and though several eateries have local followings, this contest is a way to reach out to the community. It allows people who might not be familiar with the quality of a restaurant’s offerings to try them.
Although Bayonne has had hotdog-eating contests over the years, this chamber event allows the public to choose which restaurants have the best offerings in each category.
For more information call (201) 436-4333 or email the Chamber at firstname.lastname@example.org.