The best slice in town


Photo Credit: Rob Zamparelli

Umberto throwing the pizza dough in the air as he prepares to make a pie for a customer.

by Rob Zamparelli, Sports Editor

John’s Boy Pizza is not your typical pizzeria. It’s a well-known, family-owned pizza shop with what many local residents of Glen Rock (where the business is located) would call the “best slice in town”. John’s Boy is located at 206 1/2 Rock Road in Glen Rock, NJ. The long, narrow restaurant shows off its place in local history by displaying tons of photos of Glen Rock, alongside pictures of sports and Italy, which is the home country of owners Umberto and Patty.

John’s Boy has solidified itself into a Glen Rock staple: Umberto and Patty make it their business to keep themselves familiar with their regulars in order to strengthen the reputation of the shop as a down-to-earth, family owned establishment. John’s Boy is known to round down the prices for meals.  For example, the cost of a few slices may be rounded down  from $5.89 to $5.50, a practice that customers notice and appreciate.

Recently, John’s Boy was named as one of the top eight “old-fashioned” pizza places in northern New Jersey. This title recognizes John’s Boy’s long tradition of making homemade pizza in Glen Rock, a practice that goes back to 1983 when the business first opened. 

Originally owned and operated by Patty’s father,  the pizza place picked up many of the traditions, such as offering discounts and making its pizza fresh, it still holds today. Although Umberto grew up wanting to be a soccer player, he saw the pride Patty’s father had in his pizza place and wanted to continue in his footsteps.

John’s Boy is different from many other pizzerias around town because, despite its success, the pizzeria does not deliver. Many other local pizzerias rely on delivery because it brings in business over the weekend.

John’s Boy, however, prefers a more personal touch.

“I want to have a relationship with my customers,” Umberto said. “I want my pizza place to be different from the rest.”

Unlike other restaurants that rotate chefs who make the pizza, Umberto is the only one at John’s Boy who makes the pizza.

Despite the commitment the business holds to upholding these traditions, the unique way John’s Boy operates comes with its own challenges. If Umberto can’t make it to work for some reason, the restaurant has to close. However, this sacrifice is for his customers. Umberto said that he feels the customers deserve the best food and service, which he can’t guarantee if he’s not here.

Umberto’s pizza is handmade with fresh, high quality ingredients. As the John’s Boy website describes, “Our pizza is made one pie at a time, with the freshest ingredients and the care and attention of our owners, Umberto and Patrizia.” This pizza have become famous with Glen Rock residents for its taste and affordability, giving John’s Boy the reputation as the place to go for “the best slice in town”.