Since 2008, New York has seen an explosion of 99 cent pizza restaurants particularly around Manhattan. This is surely due to the bad economy and in 2011, the trend continues as there is still strong demand for a cheap slice. This leaves the question, are any of these places good?
I remember seeing my first 99 cent pizza joint in Manhattan, a place called 2 Bros. Pizza on 32 St. Mark's Place between 2nd and 3rd Avenue in 2008. Of course my first impression was that this place couldn't be any good. The pizzas were stacked on a tower of racks, unlike your conventional New York Pizzaria which lays out each type of pizza on a long counter. I ordered a slice and found that the quality was a bit better than school lunchroom pizza. The crust was thick and a slice was about three-quarters the size of a conventional 16-inch pie slice. The cheese and sauce were passable. Both tasted as if it were the most basic cheeses and sauces you could buy.
Being the "Cheap Guy", I've tried many 99 cent pizzas throughout Manhattan and have found that each vary in quality. At some places, you will get a really good approximation of a true New York gas oven slice. At some places, the size of the slice is nearly the size of real slice. At some places, the sauce is excellent. At most places the mozarella is similar in taste and texture.
The point here is that no matter where you go for your 99 cent slice, you can get full for a buck or a little more. Most of these restaurants sell sodas for 75 cents and no more than a dollar. You can usually get an entire pie for $8! These restaurants usually do not provide seating and are small. They'll serve your slice on a paper plate, no tray. Finally, I noticed that most 99 cent pizzas are Middle Eastern run or Pakistani, different that the Central American and Mexican personnel you would see at traditional pizzarias.
So there, enjoy your slice, as New York bargains rarely get better than this!