When I went to high school what kids would do after school was get greasy food because we were hungry and greasy food is cheap. There was a pizza parlor that had a special that basically allowed you to share a large pie and a two liter soda for ten bucks. My friends, those days are over.
If you are hungry and you get two slices and a soda you are at least going to spend seven dollars and if you get toppings, don't expect any change back from the ten dollar bill you gave the pizza dude. Heck, you probably still owe him fifteen cents.
Ah pizza, the proletarian meal is no longer a standard, but a luxury. I am mournful of this happening, more so than the rising price of my groceries. For me, the sad state of the economy has mainly been an abstraction since I never had any assets to lose in the first place. The rise in the price of the slice, however, well that hurts--bad.
In these trying times it is best to concentrate consumption to those venues that produce a quality slice. There are many arguments about where the best slice is in the city. I've been to Franny's, with the upscale personal pizzas with the blistered crust, good indeed. I've also been to Grimaldi's and waited for forty minutes to try the pizza. I believe it was good, but I'm not sure it justified the line and they don't even sell it by the slice. Joe's on 7th in the Slope isn't bad; it's also much closer to what I think of when I think of NYC pizza. X-tra Cheese off of Northern boulevard in Flushing is pretty sweet, although if you do find yourself in the neighborhood, skip the pizza and get the chicken roll.
People often say Ray's is really where it's at for a quintessential NY slice and I think I have to agree. Of course even if people agree on that, there is the completely different question about which Ray's you are alluding to. Personally my heart belongs to the Ray's on Houston. You just need one slice post drinks, or two if you have a friend not getting a slice with you, soda is optional. May I suggest you violently dust it with garlic powder, followed by a sweep or two of pepper flakes. Enjoy it while you can. Soon we'll all be pouring spaghetti sauce on Lender's bagels and zapping them in the microwave with store brand shredded cheese and calling it a night with some Netflix dvds, which isn't the worst fate that can befall one...if you think about it.
Famous Original Ray's Pizza
195 E. Houston, btwn Ludlow & Orchard Street
295 Flatbush Avenue, btwn Prospect Place & St Marks Avenue
19 Old Fulton Street, under Brooklyn Bridge
137 7th Avenue, btwn Carroll Street & Garfield Place
147-20 Northern Boulevard, at 147th Street