New York's Dollar Slice Is Dead

The final holdout location of 2 Bros. Pizza has raised its prices.

New York City's pizza slice culture is arguably the defining feature of its cuisine. When I visit, I make sure to grab at least one dollar slice for fun, and it's always better than I expect it to be (since an emphasis on affordability doesn't always result in the highest quality product). But 2023 has sounded the death knell for cheap pizza: The chain that put the NYC dollar slice on the map, 2 Bros. Pizza, has finally caved to the tidal force that is inflation, and that $1 price is, sadly, no more.

The New York Post reports that 2 Bros. Pizza is raising prices at all of its locations to $1.50 per slice. In December 2021, co-owner Eli Halali told The New York Times that the chain had "committed to keep our plain slice at $1 where we can for as long as we can."

Eventually, "where we can" dwindled down to a single East Village location on St. Mark's Place, where Manhattan's last 2 Bros. dollar slices were sold. The business has now reached that crossroads, and the holdout location is raising its price.

Part of the issue is that, although the price of cheese eventually stabilized, it landed at a higher cost than it had been in the past. Considering cheese accounts for about 40% of the chain's pizza production costs, that's no small increase in expenditure. And the price of everything else related to pizza has gone up, too, including tomatoes, flour, and food prep gloves, plus labor. In the midst of all these market changes, the dollar slice just couldn't stay profitable. It couldn't even break even.

Understandable though it may be, I loved the dollar slice, and its demise is surely unwelcome news to New Yorkers of all stripes. The $1 price point is just so satisfying, a nice, round number—though $1.50 certainly isn't the worst, either, and it's better than anything you can find near The Takeout's Chicago headquarters.

One customer told the Post that they've had to make adjustments to their orders, scaling back from three slices to two. Obviously no one is exactly happy about the change, but most people seem understanding about it. Many of us are resigned to the fact that things are just getting more expensive, which wouldn't be so hard to swallow if wages rose in kind.

I guess this means that the $1 NYC slice has been officially relegated to the "remember when" category of small talk. RIP, dollar slice. You were an impossibly good deal while you lasted.