What’s the Garlickiest Dish in NYC (and Immediate Vicinity)?


Rocambole is said to be the strongest form of garlic, and has a dirty appearance due to its purplish coloration.

My Irish grandfather, Ned Lafferty, loved garlic so much he was known to take out two pieces of white bread, spread them heavily with mayonnaise, then coarsely chop an entire head of garlic and sprinkle it over the bread to make a raw-garlic sandwich. Recently, in a Jersey City pizza parlor, I had what amounted to the same thing.

The garlic knots at 3 Guys are smeared with nearly raw garlic, and lots of it!

Like calzones and hippie rolls, garlic knots are byproducts of New York pizza parlors, made with the same dough as the pizzas. At a typical price of $1.75 for four, this quintessential Italian-American snack is often the cheapest and most filling item on a pizzeria’s menu.

The dough balls, sometimes tied up as knots, are baked, and then soaked in garlic and olive oil so that the garlic adheres to the outside of the knot. Parsley and grated cheese are often added. These become adhered to the outside of the knot, sometimes during a brief secondary baking.

After sampling them all over town for the last few months, the strongest FiTR encountered were found at 3 Guys From Italy pizzeria in Jersey City. It was once located in a ramshackle shopping strip just south of the Journal Square PATH, but when that was recently demolished, the place moved to a new storefront on Kennedy Boulevard. The slices are also quite good, though a little doughy and undercooked. But the garlic knots are perfection, light as a balloon and guaranteed to leave your lips and tongue burning with garlic.

A bland tomato dipping sauce is served on the side.

3 Guys From Italy
2854 Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ

The 3 Guys crew hard at work

The new façade of 3 Guys, right on Kennedy Boulevard

3 Guys’ plain cheese slice is pretty good, too.