Totonno’s has been a New York heavyweight since 1924 and is THE reason you should be thinking about a trip to Coney Island this summer. Plus, you really don’t need another hot dog.
What you do need is some world-class pizza, and that’s what you’re going to get at Totonno. But you are also going to meet homegrown royalty: The Mayor. Scan the framed walls and you’ll see photos of her throughout the years, as black and white turns to color. Even though much time has passed, little has changed. The Mayor still runs the show today, roaming the floor, taking the orders, and serving the pies.
Issue is, The Mayor doesn’t care. Not about you, not about any of it. She’s either drunk with power or just so completely jaded by her reign at the top that she does what she wants, when she wants.
That’s not to say she is angry or rude, because she is neither. It’s just, having overcome a number of obstacles over the years - including two fires and Hurricane Sandy - The Mayor is all business, with no use for time-consuming things like smiling or acknowledging your existence.
On a recent trip, we seated ourselves at one of the eight tables in the room and waited 15 minutes before The Mayor made her way over. It’s not that she didn’t see us - she just wasn’t ready until she was ready. Finally she arrived, threw down some Styrofoam plates and disposable cups, and hollered our two-word order - “large, plain” - at the kitchen. A total of 11 seconds of effort that took far longer than it needed to. But then lunch was served, and all was forgotten.
That’s the thing about Totonno. Nobody with working taste buds leaves an unhappy customer, and The Mayor knows this. So what’s the difference? The perfectly crispy crust is one of the best bottoms you’ll find on any pizza, anywhere, and the sweet red sauce is something straight out of an Italian wet dream. The fact that you can call ahead and carry it out to the boardwalk for a meal and an ocean view? Game over. What other politician can run on that kind of campaign? Four more years, every four years, for as long as they’re making the dough. The Mayor for President.
It’s all about the crust out here. Thin, crispy, and charred in all the right places. The oven doesn’t look like much, but you can’t argue with the result. Burning things never tasted so good. Pies don’t come cheap ($21 for an eight-slice large) but the homemade mozz and fresh dough are well worth the coin. We’re partial to the plain, but top with toppings at your discretion.
Seriously? There’s literally nothing but pizza here. Just eat the pizza.