After years as the original Ray’s pizza destination, the restaurant has reopened under the same management as Famous Roio's, paying homage to the Italian village Roio del Sangro where the owner grew up.
The various incarnations of Ray's pizzerias that have popped up all over the city over the past decades leave New Yorkers wondering—who is Ray? And which restaurant is the true original? It’s nearly impossible to think about the plethora of Ray's around town without thinking of Seinfeld's famous "which Ray's" riff from a 1998 episode:
SEINFELD: [Talking about Kramer being lost] What's around you?
KRAMER: I'm looking at Ray's pizza. You know where that is?
SEINFELD: Is it Famous Ray's?
KRAMER: No, it's just original.
SEINFELD: Famous ORIGINAL Ray's?
KRAMER: It's just original, Jerry!
Even Santahad something to say about the situation in the 2003 Will Ferrell movie Elf:
SANTA: [describing New York City to Buddy the Elf] Well, there are some things you should know. First off, you see gum on the street, leave it there. It isn't free candy.
SANTA: Second, there are, like, thirty Ray's Pizzas. They all claim to be the original. But the real one's on 11th.
So, there you have it—this is the home of the original cheesy, too-big-for-the-paper-plate slices. Now that the confusion is behind us, come try the pizza under its new name and put the debate over originality to rest. This place is everything a proper NYC pizzeria is supposed to be—nothing fancy, but always hits the spot.