While Shanghai abounds in white linen, sitdown-style pizzerias, pizza-by-the-slice is a smaller niche, which only New York Style Pizza and a few others have attempted to fill. The newest attemptee is Slices, a New York-style pizza parlor in Jing’an serving mammoth pizzas by the slice, pastas, salads, and frozen yogurt.
Decor and service
Comfier than your average American pizza parlor. The traditional hard cafeteria stools are replaced by plush lounge chairs, that fluorescent hospital lighting makes way for a warm glow, and the ambling spark-plug pizza chef with his tomato-smudged apron is swapped out for a more sprightly female staff. It’s more spacious too with a whole other seating area in the back on top of the already roomy front. It’s like a pizza parlor that mated with a Starbucks.
Pizza by the slice options include a meatlicious meat lovers (28RMB), hawaiian with pineapple and ham (25RMB), and a deluxe with ham, sausage, bell pepper and mushroom. Slices start at 25RMB, pricier than the competition, but considering the sprawling slabs you get, it’s not too bad. And yes, except for the thin crust, the pizzas are gargantuan, like the star destroyers from Star Wars if they were topped with meat and cheese. One’s more than enough for an afternoon snack or even dinner – that is, it would be if they ever had the flavor you wanted in stock.
No matter what time we went, whether 3pm or at peak meal times only one or two slices sat stagnating in the display case. The cooks can wizard up your flavor from scratch if it’s not on display, but this takes a while and after around 7pm they refuse to – presumably because they fear that with closing time approaching they’d be wasting a whole pie for one slice, but they don’t close until 10pm. Apparently there’s little traffic after 7. Regardless, slices doesn’t seem have an effective system of gauging their turnover and adjusting pizza stocks accordingly. Part of the problem is there doesn’t appear to be much turnover.
If you don’t want a slice, you can opt for a whole pie, which starts at a fairly standard 95RMB for a 14 inch margherita and runs you north of 200RMB for some of the 22-inch options. While slice options generally overlap with whole options, some flavors like the margherita are only served whole.
Keeping with pizza parlor tradition, sides are rudimentary at best. Pastas like the spaghetti bolognese (40RMB and the carbonara (42RMB) amount to cheesy, tomatoey glop and salads and frozen yogurts aren’t too spectacular either. But we’re not really going to fault them. Just like you don’t go to a brew pub for a glass of Pinot Noir, you don’t go to a place called “Slices” for the salad.
While it won’t be vying for the pizza-by-the-slice crown (a title retired by Italian Kitchen when it closed in December 2012), Slices still occupies a niche for those who want tasty pizza without the rigamarole of table-cloths and a wine list.
Slices – 97 Xiangyang Bei Lu, near Changle Lu (襄阳北路97号, 近长乐路). Tel: (0)21-5206-3667. Hours: 8am-10pm Mon-Fri, 8am-10:30pm Sat-Sun.
See a complete list of our restaurant reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].