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Italian immigrants introduced gooey cheese and a delicious sauce to the U.S. nation. Learn why New York's one dollar pizza may not be so cheap much longer!

Goodbye $1 New York pizza: Why you can’t get a cheap slice anymore

Remember the old days of pizza parties in elementary school? The treat could’ve been anything but it always had to be pizza. Part of the reason pizza became so popular was due to the sheer number of Italian immigrants who made up four million of the twenty million immigrants who came to the United States between 1880 and 1920. 

It’s an easy group dinner or even a midnight snack, a staple in the U.S. According to a poll, the average American consumes more than six thousand slices of pizza in his or her lifetime. In America’s post-World War Two era, Italian Americans migrated West and embraced the suburbia.

Some people say that immigrants should assimilate into the culture they move to. But American culture is a melting pot. What’s usually considered “traditional” or “conservative” is in fact a mixture of different other cultures. Many of the beloved traditions we share didn’t originate in our shores and pizza is merely one of them. 

Italian immigrants introduced gooey cheese and a delicious sauce to the U.S. nation. Now, if there’s one thing people will never grow tired of is cheap food. So, what’s all this talk about saying goodbye to New York pizza? Learn why NYC’s classic one dollar pizza may not be one dollar for much longer. 

New York pizza

The subway, the Yankees, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, what’s summoned to our minds when we hear New York City? For those of us who are food-obsessed, perhaps we’ll think about the Big Apple’s world-class offerings such as the street cart hot dogs, the takeout Chinese, and of course, the pizza!

Pizza is to New York as pasta is to Rome, what cheesesteaks are to Philadelphia, tacos to Mexico City, and poutine is to Montreal. In New York, pizza is seemingly available on every street corner. New York City’s thin-crusted, tomato-and-mozzarella-topped pies are a classic midnight snack to many of the city-dwellers, and the favorite dish of tourists. 

Experiencing a New York slice of pizza has always been a budget-friendly endeavor that usually costs less than three dollars. In the years succeeding the Great Recession of 2008, pizza prices were cut even further as a new sensation sprung up around the city. There were dollar pizza shops pushing slices for just one buck. Some of the well-known dollar-pizza shops were 99 Cent Fresh Pizza and 2 Bros. Pizza.

Due to changing economic circumstances, the era of one dollar slices might become a thing of the past. 


The cost of pizza ingredients is rising. From flour to tomatoes to pepperoni, is “all but forcing cheap slice joints to raise their prices.” From just 2020 to 2021, the cost of flour increased by fifty percent. The cost of tomatoes had risen to seventy-six percent. The price of garlic soared to 400%! Then bring on a global supply chain crisis along with a national labor shortage. We know how badly restaurants were affected by the pandemic.

According to Oren Halali, the co-founder of the popular dollar slice spot 2 Bros. Pizza, “Inflation is affecting every single ingredient, every single item we use. Flour, cheese, tomatoes, gloves, paper goods, paper plates, napkins. Everything. Labor is definitely up, as well.” One dollar pizza slices are currently fifty cents more. 

At this point, it looks like we’re all going to have to say farewell to the New York one dollar pizza. Hopefully, it’s merely a “see-you-later” and not a full-fledged “goodbye.”

Are you feeling the effects of inflation? Is this really the end of one dollar slices? Share your thoughts and favorite pizzas in the comments below!

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