Quality Pies + Family Ties at Carmine’s Pizza Factory in Jersey City

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For Carmine Testa, co-owner of Carmine’s Pizza Factory, pizza making is a family trade. Since his father opened a pizzeria when he was 13 years old, Carmine has been working in the kitchen. “I learned to cook the entire menu,” he said of his teenage years at his father’s restaurant. “I enjoyed doing it.” In 2000, he opened Carmine’s Pizza Factory with his sister Mary. It is one of those old-school neighborhood pizza joints, with exposed brick walls, cheese shakers on heavy wood tables, and New York-style pies displayed on glass shelves. Read on to learn more about this Hamilton Park community staple.

Carmine’s Pizza Factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

The Pizza

Carmine’s Pizza Factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

The pizzas are solid, made with homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella that oozes over the edges of each slice, and nicely browned thin crust with a reliable crackle and pleasant bite. Thick, square-shaped Sicilian pies are available upon request.

carmine's pizza factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

There are other Italian American staples, such as hot subs, red sauce pasta, and chicken parmigiana. The zeppolis are delicious too.

Carmine knows his pies. You can find videos of him expertly kneading and tossing the doughs all over social media: he has topped prestigious pizza making competitions around the world. He finished second in the World Championship of Pizza Makers’ American Division in Naples, Italy, and won the North America Caputo Cup in Atlantic City in 2019.

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Passing on the Family Tradition

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

The Testa family is proud of its culinary tradition and Carmine is eager to pass it on to his two sons. Michael (“very very good at pizza making”) and Nicholas (“very good”), aged 17 and 14, started working weekends in their father’s kitchen when they were young. “They grew up in the pizzeria,” Carmine said.

In fact, the boys made a splash in the industry a long time ago. A video of the 7-year-old Michael throwing a pizza dough like a freestyler at the World Pizza Games went viral in 2012. He was barely taller than the counter, but he was already like a master.

carmine's pizza factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

The boys are actively involved in the family’s business. They went on TV shows and appeared with celebrities; they started their own food donation initiatives; and have participated in various local and national charity programs.

Michael and Nicolas started the “Pizza Across America” initiative in 2018, which works with a network of over 8,000 pizzerias across the country through a pizza-ordering app called Slice to donate food to their local shelters and soup kitchens.

Carmine, who himself never shies away from the camera, is happy to pass the spotlight onto the boys, who often appear together as “ the Jersey Pizza Boys.” In fact, the family recently opened a new pizza restaurant under the same name in Avenel, New Jersey.

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carmine's pizza factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

A lot has changed in Jersey City’s restaurant industry since Carmine’s Pizza Factory first opened 21 years ago. There are more varieties in the food scene, Carmine observed, and customers are more interested to try cuisines they are unfamiliar with.

Carmine’s Pizza Factory

(Photo credit: @carminespizzafactoryjc)

“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” he said. His food, nevertheless, is more stable than hype, and able to withstand all sorts of economic ups and downs. It might not be the fanciest dish on the block, but a good slice of New York-style pizza is always welcomed.

Carmine’s Pizza Factory (Instagram @Jersey_pizza_boys), 366 8th Street, Jersey City, online ordering through the website.

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Yiwei was born and raised in China. She has lived extensively in Beijing and Hong Kong, before finally settling down in New York. She moved to Hoboken after a few years in Westchester and immediately felt at home here. Two years ago, she left her job at an investment bank to travel the world and explore her interests, and has since then taken on a few freelancing gigs in career coaching, college admission consulting, and writing. When she is not wandering wildly in the streets of Europe, Asia, or Latin America, she can be found sipping an espresso in one of Hoboken's coffee shops or trying out restaurants in Hoboken and Jersey City area.