What’s on the menu at Prince Street Pizza, Canada’s first location of the popular New York pizza chain
Name: Prince Street Pizza
Contact: 470 Front St. W., princestreetpizza.ca, @psp_ca
Owners: Lawrence Longo and Alana Severino
Head pizza maker: Jason Yu
Accessibility: Fully accessible
The original Prince Street Pizza opened in Manhattan’s Nolita neighbourhood (on Prince Street, of course) in 2012. Its founding philosophy is that pasta sauce—like creamy vodka sauce and spicy, tomato-based fra diavolo—pairs just as well with pizza dough. Accordingly, PSP’s crusts are hefty, Sicilian-style rectangles topped with bright, zingy pasta sauces (which have been optimized for pizza) along with toppings like fresh mozzarella and crispy cups of pepperoni.
Related: What’s on the menu at Renaissance Pizza, a new pizzeria in the west end for Detroit-style pies
Lawrence Longo, co-owner of the flagship Canadian location, was a Prince Street regular. “I’ll never forget my first slice,” he says. “It had this airy crust that was crispy and doughy at the same time, and the sauce just hit me in the back of the throat with spice. The pepperoni had this snap to it, almost like an amazing hot dog.”
His passion for Prince Street’s pies led to a friendship with the owners, who eventually entrusted him with bringing the brand—and zip code–spanning lineups—to LA’s Sunset Boulevard. Since then, Longo has helped open seven other locations. This is the chain’s first Canadian outpost, for which Longo partnered with his sister Alana Severino. While the line is (so far) confined to a single postal code, it regularly snakes along Front Street long before the doors open—proof of a splashy Canadian debut.
The flagship slice is the Spicy Spring, which sports Prince Street’s trademark focaccia-like dough, fiery fra diavolo sauce, mozzarella with a hint of pecorino romano, and a truckload of cup-and-char pepperoni. Most of the pies on offer have the same Sicilian-style dough, which strikes a satisfying balance between chewy and crispy. But the sauce is what sets these pizzas apart from the pack—it’s bright, neither too sweet nor too tangy and good enough to eat with a spoon. There’s even a water filter in the back that (at least in theory) adjusts Toronto tap water to the precise minerality of New York tap water. Head pizza maker Jason Yu claims it makes all the difference—we can’t confirm that, but it’s a solid slice regardless.
Your standard selection of soft drinks—you really can’t go wrong with a slice of pepperoni and a can of Coke.
The takeout-only joint is designed to look like the original New York location—right down to the exposed red brick, the wall of celebrity photos and convincing replicas of the OG PSP’s brown ceiling tiles. Slices are laid out in a glass display case set in front of a sizable oven with a sign that proudly declares “We do not serve ranch, blue cheese, ketchup, mayo” (and they mean it). “We just don’t think these things go well with our particular style of pizza,” Longo diplomatically explains.