SAN DIEGO – Authentic New York-style pizza can be a hard thing to come by on the West Coast.

While some might decide to fly to the East Coast to get an authentic New York-style slice, San Diegans are now able to find it right at home: Prince Street Pizza, a big city classic for Sicilian-inspired pies, just opened a new location right in the Gaslamp.

Prince Street Pizza was founded in 2012 by Frank and Dominic Morano, a father-son duo, bringing their family’s Sicilian recipes to the New York pizza scene. In the years since the opening, Prince Street has expanded with three additional stores in Los Angeles and Miami.

About two years ago, conversations among the Los Angeles spots started about potentially expanding down to San Diego, finally coming to fruition in January.

“We figured San Diego would be a great spot to open and expand,” San Diego co-general manager Graham Senour said. “There’s a very diverse food community here and we thought bringing a Sicilian slice down to the Gaslamp and San Diego in general would be a great opportunity for the community.”

Prince Street Pizza locations across the country are known for their spicier pizza sauces, made from scratch everyday using one the owner’s great grandfather’s recipe. 

“Everything is made with care, handcrafted,” Senour said. “Recipes have been ironed out to a tee and there, it really comes down to the quality.”

The sauces can take up to two hours to make the quintessential spicy marinara, involving careful hand grinding of the ingredients. Some of the other sauce offerings, like the spicy vodka or cream of honey and ricotta sauces, can take up to two and a half hours to prepare.

“That’s what put us on the map,” Lorenzo Hidalgo, the other co-general manager, said. “We’re not the typical original pizza sauce on our pies.”

Since the restaurant’s grand opening in the Gaslamp, crowds have been flocking to the store to try some of these authentic and unique New York slices, with lines that sometimes go out the door.

“Reception by the community has been absolutely amazing,” Senour said. “We pride ourselves in being a New York style pizza.” 

“We definitely have, both West Coast and East Coast, locals come in (saying) ‘Oh, I’m from New York, I’ll be the judge if this is real New York pizza,’ and a lot of them end up coming back saying really positive things,” he continued.

With the reception the new Prince Street location has received over the last month, Hidalgo and Senior said they’re excited to start finding new ways to bring their pies to people in the downtown neighborhood. 

“We’re excited to be a part of this community,” Senour said. “We’re happy to be able to provide a new piece of our Sicilian-style and our pizza into (San Diego’s) diversity.”