Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

Robyn Lane

I’ve eaten a ton of pizza in my lifetime, and I’ll bet most people you meet will say the same. Most of the pizza I’ve consumed has been cooked in a deck oven. You’ve seen them in most pizza joints. Some people say good pizza is good pizza no matter the cooking method.

Ingredients are the most important part of pizza making. If your sauce sucks, it doesn’t matter how good the quality of your dough and cheese are. To me, the sauce makes the pizza. I like a good balance of the tomato flavor, not too tangy, not too spicy, not too sweet.

According to a blog written by author S. Kaya on the Chef’s Deal website, One of the most preferred restaurant pizza ovens is the deck oven. The hot stone deck it has is what cooks the crust perfectly without burning the toppings. The pizza stone can be made of stone or ceramic and comes in various thicknesses. Also, its radiant heat prevents unmelted cheese and burnt crust.

Then there’s the wood fired brick oven pizza. According to Kaya’s blog: Brick pizza ovens are the traditional ones that cook with wood fire, providing the authentic smokey flavor. A pizza cooks both from the top and bottom. In a brick pizza oven, the dough cooks by the heat transmission from the bottom, and the toppings cook by the heat from the air, so the top and bottom of the pizza cook simultaneously, providing a perfectly cooked pizza.

Coal fired pizza ovens  are 2 to 3 times larger than wood fired ovens and  bake the pizza at a much higher temperature.. Coal fired pizzas are known for their blackened crusts which often perplexes pizza lovers who mistake the pizza as  being burnt.


Coal fired pizza is the favored style of some of America’s oldest pizzerias. In fact, the oldest pizzeria in America  uses the coal fired method and is just a car ride away.

Lombardi’s is located at 32 Spring Street on the corner of Mott Street in the Nolita neighborhood in New York City. It opened in 1905, and has been recognized by the Pizza Hall of Fame as the first pizzeria in the United States.

No let’s talk about the places that have the best coal fired pizza available on the Jersey Shore.

  • Del Ponte's Coal Fired Pizza - 600 Main St, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

    Del Ponte’s has the best bakery in Monmouth County so it’s no surprise that they are noted for having the best coal fired pizza as well. Most of my foodie friends claim that Del Ponte’s coal fired pizza is the best in Monmouth County.

  • Zoni's Brooklyn Brick Coal Oven Pizzeria - 287 NJ-35, Middletown Township, NJ 07701

    Zoni’s not only has a reputation for making some of the best coal fired pizza around, they’re marketing geniuses. Recently, they offered a limited time coupon for a free pizza. I thought for sure there was a catch. I asked around and found out there was no catch, just free pizza with no  purchase necessary and the offer was dine-in only.

    That’s the way to get people in the door who may have never crossed their threshold. Plus the owner makes it a point to build relationships with his customers. In my opinion, that’s the way every small business should be run. Get to know your customers!




  • Coal Fired Pizza - 100 US-9, Manalapan Township, NJ 07726

    Coal Fired Pizza in Manalapan is a simple Italian restaurant specializing in pies cooked in an 800-degree coal-burning oven. A week ago, Diana M. stepped foot into CF for the first time and said, “Omggggg I have to say this is the BEST PIZZA I HAD IN MY WHOLE LIFE!! The dough is made so nicely, and with the homemade tomato sauce and all the toppings, the pizza is officially the best I’ve ever eaten!! The owner Al is SUPER NICE! Would 100% recommend!!!”  

    My brother In-Law and his family live in town. Next time we visit, we’re heading over there.




  • Seasons Coal Fired Bistro - 2200 US-9, Howell Township, NJ 07731

    Hubby and I were here many years ago, and I remember the warm hospitality, the fresh ingredients, and the perfect crunch from the ultra crispy crust. Not sure why we haven’t been back.  I think it’s time.




  • Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza & Wings - : 98 US-9, Englishtown, NJ 07726

    Anthony’s is a casual chain restaurant serving charred-crust pies, wings, subs, and Italian specialties.  I’ve never been to any of the Anthony’s Coal Fired restaurants, but I wouldn’t mind heading over to this location for the simple reason that I  noticed a few bad reviews mixed in with many good reviews.

    I was impressed that their management took the time to respond to almost every review by either thanking customers who took time to write positive reviews, or apologizing to those whose reviews weren’t so favorable with an offer to make things right.  I commend a business for paying attention to their customer’s needs.


  • Urban Coal House Pizza + Bar - 2 locations: 515 NJ-70, Brick Township, NJ 08723 & 2 Bridge Ave, Red Bank, NJ 07701

    The pizza may be the star, but their wings and burgers deserve to share some of that spotlight.  A good selections of beers on tap to go with a nice old world style coal fired pie. On Mondays, they have $5.00 off any medium artisan pie, and half off crafts & drafts available from  4pm until closing, dine in only.


  • The Coal House - Square Mall, 2100 NJ-35, Sea Girt, NJ 08750

    Their Motto: “No Preservatives, No Additives, No Kidding.” Their pies look amazing! Hand pulled mozzarella, and only the freshest ingredients are used by these artisan pizza makers.

    They also cater to folks who are gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and even those who are carb conscious.  Word on the street is, the garlic knots are bangin’.




  • Tommy's Tavern + Tap | Restaurant + Bar + Pizzeria = various locations including Seabright & Freehold

    Tommy’s beer selection is the talk of the town, and the coal fired pizza and coal oven roasted wings are the perfect accompaniment to an ice cold draft. You have to taste the coal roasted  barbeque chicken and the cheese curds.

    I’m supposed to be focusing on pizza here, but I digress. Our RAT Rock nation buddy, Johnny Pushko is a fixture at the Freehold location, but any location will be just as good.  Their glorious White Fig & Pig pie is my first choice. How can I say no to a beautiful pie with fig jam, mozzarella, imported prosciutto di parma, balsamic glaze, arugula & fresh cracked pepper.


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