Ramsey, NJ 07446
- Cost: $
- Credit Cards: No
- Alcohol: Full Bar
- Parking: Private Lot
- Take Out: Yes
January 11, 2014
Dotting the Jersey landscape are classic roadside taverns that started out as bars, but today are better known for their food. Kinchley’s Tavern is one of these vintage spots, celebrated for its thin crust pizza.
Look for the large Clydesdale Horse and illuminated pizza sign over the front door to find Kinchley’s in northern Bergen County. Outside, it’s a ramshackle red brick and wood shingled building with a large parking lot on Franklin Turnpike just off of Route 17 North. Inside, the cozy wood paneled dining room has tables and booths with red-checkered tablecloths and shelves filled with antique model trains. (Try to find very cool pink TaB soda freight car.)
Kinchley’s is best known for its thin crust bar pies. Kinchley’s pizza recipe – a very thin crust with sweet tomato sauce – is unchanged since 1947. (The tavern opened a decade earlier.) They make a good pizza. For a spicier pie, ask for Fra Diavolo sauce. You can fold a slice as long as you don’t go overboard with toppings. We did not order the “garbage” pie, which comes with pepperoni, meatball, sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic – anchovies are extra. I’d have to eat that one with a shovel, since the crust is so thin – almost cracker-like, but not quite. Unfortunately, the crust adds little flavor. There is no char whatsoever underneath. For this style of pizza, I prefer the version at Star Tavern.
Italian-American standards like fried calamari, mussels (hot or sweet), antipasto (the cold was large, but forgettable), sandwiches, burgers and pastas round out the menu. You can order anchovies as a side!
Kinchley’s gets packed on weekends. The wait for a table on a cold, December Friday evening was 30 minutes. Find a spot in the narrow bar area and enjoy a pint from the draughts on tap. There were a couple less common selection when we visited – Muddy Creek Lager from Defiant in Pearl River, NY and Allagash White from Maine.
Altogether, Kinchley’s is worth a visit for its classic tavern atmosphere and straightforward bar pie pizza.