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Owner Of Pizzeria Ranked Best In NJ Skipped College Graduation To Fly To Italy

Pies from Razza
Pies from Razza Photo Credit: Rachel Weston (grow_cook_eat_repeat Instagram)

A popular eatery open for about a decade has the best pizza in New Jersey, according to a new ranking from 24/7 Wall St.

Razza Pizza Artigianale in Jersey City was ranked the best pizzeria in the Garden State. The rankings were created based on a variety of ratings, reviews, and lists.

"Razza opened in 2012, but its reputation exploded in 2017 after New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells wrote provocatively that this New Jersey pizzeria served the best pizza in New York City," 24/7 Wall St writes. 

"The pies are a little larger than standard Neapolitan pizzas, but they have the crunchy texture you’d expect from fresh bread crusts, and they truly are worth the hype – and the wait."

Owner Dan Richer is a Matawan native who skipped his graduation ceremony at Rutgers University to go to Italy, the Razza website says.

"There, he found food and a way of cooking that was so incredibly different than anything he had ever experienced in the United States," the Razza website reads. "After returning home, he began to cook and was inspired to learn everything he could about Italian cooking techniques and ingredients."

Richer launched a catering company before buying a small pizzeria in Maplewood, in 2007. He transformed it into a lively neighborhood locale and was later recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Rising Star Chef semi-finalist in 2011. The following year, he opened Razza.

Razza sources as much as it can locally and makes everything from scratch.

"The flour we use is milled in Clifton. We make our own bread and our own butter," its website says. 

"Each ingredient is hand-picked, down to the salt that goes on the pizza. We have grown our own yeast culture that we believe makes a better pie."

Razza, 275-277 Grove St., Jersey City.

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