Pugsley’s Offers Classic Fordham Experience


Pugsleys Pizza has become a Fordham classic (Owen Corrigan for The Fordham Ram)

By Daniel Ziebarth

The Slice Shop is back for week three, and we’re talking Pugsley’s Pizza this time. Pugsley’s is a Fordham institution of sorts, as it is one of the best-known places in the neighborhood. Decked out with funky interior decorations and a unique patio set-up right across from campus, this pizza joint caters specifically to the college crowd.

If you’ve never been, the place is a little hard to find, as it’s tucked in a driveway on 193rd Street. This helps to cultivate the allure, though, as it adds another unique aspect that makes Pugsley’s special. When you first walk in, you can already sense the vibe. Pictures, posters, T-shirts and flags litter every crevice. It’s an eclectic set-up that reminds you of TGI Fridays mixed with an undergraduate student’s living room.

It’s weird at first, but you have to respect it; the style is charmingly offbeat. There’s even a slightly-smaller-than-life-size Statue of Liberty right next to the front counter.

The owners behind the counter make the place even better and are always down to joke around with and talk to customers. This is a huge part of making a slice shop seem welcoming: seeing the people behind the counter having fun and engaging with everyone in the restaurant adds to the experience of getting food. Make sure to talk to them if you show up; they’re bound to say something back and lighten the mood. This is another part of Pugsley’s that shines.

As for the actual pizza, Pugsley’s is aggressively average, particularly in comparison to the other great aspects of the shop. The place has many options for toppings, as well as both red sauce and white sauce pizzas, which is a plus, but there’s nothing too special about the pizza past that. However, the slices are Goldilocks-style: not too big and not too small. This is always nice and puts it ahead of other places with oversized slices. The crust is the best part of the actual pizza, crunchy with some chew. However, the sauce and cheese don’t add much. The sauce, especially, is low on flavor, and they tend to pile on a little too much cheese, which drowns out the rest of the slice.

It’s not terrible, but the pizza itself won’t keep you coming back each week. Make sure you bring some cash too, since Pugsley’s has a $10 credit card minimum. There is an ATM in the restaurant if you forget cash, but it’s a hassle and charges you to take out money, so be sure to come prepared. Overall, Pugsley’s is a fun pizza joint with a funky local atmosphere. The pizza is far from the star of the show, but it’s an awesome place to hang out, especially with a group of friends. I would put Pugsley’s ahead of a lot of neighborhood slice shops just for this reason.

If you’re looking for a unique Fordham classic, Pugsley’s is the place to go. It’s not really about the pizza here, but about the environment, and sometimes that’s all a slice shop needs.