HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >


best pizza in manhattan?

  • j

hi! leaving ny shortly and want to try
the best ny pizza (except Lombardi's and
Grimaldi's since i've already tried).
any recs?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. The original Patsy's up on 116th st.

    This topic also comes up fairly often, if you do a search I'm sure you'll come across a lot of posts.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ultbil

      I've never heard about this place. How is it comapred to famous places such as Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, John's, Di Fara, Pizza 33? Is the wait long? I also found it has some midtown locations... Do they have same quality in other locations, too?

      1. re: kelly

        Far be it for me to be the last word on NY pizza as I don't live there anymore, that being said...

        DiFara - Different class altogether
        Grimaldis - Better than patsys
        Lombardis- pretty close you will get much arguments on both sides in this case
        Johns - not quite as good as Patsys

        Never been to pizza 33.

        The other locations that I have been to are not as good as the one in Harlem but are still good. Probably as good as John's other locations, not the original.

        1. re: T. Pigeon

          The Patsy's in Harlem only shares its name with the others, but the pizza is far better (at the original).

          I think that the owners of the original gave (sold) the rights to the name. I don't believe that there is any other connection (food, decor...) b/t the original and the chain...but I'm hearing this second-hand.

          I also think that Grimaldi's, Lombardi's and Patsy's all oringinally had some sort family connection.

          "Grimaldi, whose restaurant bears his name, learned the trade from his uncle and namesake, Patsy Lancieri, who, in turn, learned from Gennaro Lombardi, the man credited with opening the first pizzeria in America, Lombardi's, in 1905. Lancieri opened the celebrated Patsy's in East Harlem in 1931 where Grimaldi worked 61 years ago at the tender age of 10."


          1. re: ultbil

            Aside from incredibly good pizza, the Harlem Pasty's is wonderful to visit. The center of disappearing Italian Harlem, and I remember watching, years ago, the 90 year old owner, daughter of the founder, a frail old lady, rushing outside waving her cane to chase away some hoodlums from the sidewalk near the entrance. There's a dining room and, a few doors down, the oven and small takeout place.

            Image: http://www.evite.com/gtimages/V/Q/X/V...

    2. Rosario's Pizza on Orchard and stanton, LES staple and the best sauce in NYC

      4 Replies
      1. re: john k

        are you kidding me? don't want to start a flame war here, but ... I paid my last visit to them about a year ago, finally had it with the short and nasty little old man behind the counter. Fine, I get it, the surly old pizza man in his old shop, but he's just rude.

        1. re: dd

          No flames, I guess it's just a difference of opinions. the old man has always been pretty cool to me and I actually really like the pizza there. I'm assuming the time of night and condition of customers he gets probably makes him harder or ruder to some customers but I've always enjoyed my stops there.

          1. re: john k

            The "old man" has a name, and it's Sal, and he is one of the nicest guys I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He never fails to bring a smile to my face. I am not willing to defend the pizza, as I have many other favorites in Manhattan, but Sal is a joy to be around,.... so maybe take the time to get to know him on your next visit.

            1. re: Lisabnyc

              That's right! Sal! I like Sal

      2. a
        Andrew Gottlieb

        Luzzo's and Una Pizza Napoletana near 12th and 1st ave, La Pizza Fresca on 20th, or Patsy's Uptown are my choices these days for primo pie. That being said, while I like the pizza, I do not like to Una Pizza Napoletana.

        1. Both Nick's and Giorgio's are extraordinary, almost as good as Lombardi's, better than Grimaldi's in my opinion.


          1. "best pizza in manhattan or the 5 boroughs" is one of those age-old topics that gets debated endlessly in this city, but is never fully resolved (and probably never will be).

            IMO di fara, in the midwood section of brooklyn, is the standard bearer for nyc pizza. many on this board will agree with me on that. i think it would be absolutely perfect if it were made in a coal-fired oven, but in all honesty i'm just splitting hairs here; bottom line, it's by far the best pizza.

            while there are numerous good-to-great pizza places in the 5 boroughs, i'll limit myself to manhattan (and throw in grimaldi's, since it's right across the river) in ranking the best pizzas:

            1) patsy's (only the original spanish harlem location on 1st ave btwn 117th/118th; the other locations are separately owned and far inferior)

            2) una pizzeria napoletana
            e. 12th st, east village
            a little pricey for the portions, but it really adheres to the strict neapolitan style of making pies. a very different pie than your "typical" or "classic" nyc pizza.

            3) L'Asso
            kenmare st @ mott st, nolita
            new place that serves pies and slices out of a wood-fired oven. i've gone here twice and was impressed by the ingredients, crust, and flavor the first time; the second time, the slice was good but a little dried-out (probably due to reheating).

            4) grimaldi's

            5) lombardi's

            6) john's (only the original bleecker st location btwn 7th/6th aves; the other branches are nowhere near as good)

            7) totonno's
            i have to add a major caveat here: the brooklyn location is easily one of the best pizzas in the city (probably in the top 3 along with di fara), but the manhattan locations are only so-so in comparison. i once had an excellent pie at the gramercy park location (the pies were unremarkable on my other visits there), but have never had better than a so-so pie at the upper east side branch.

            if the manhattan branches consistently made pies of the same quality as the brooklyn branch, totonno's would be #1 on this manhattan list.

            8) sal and carmine's
            broadway near 100th st, on the (far) upper west side.
            2nd best pizza by-the-slice in manhattan after the original patsy's in spanish harlem. nothing spectacular here, just a good old-fashioned, classic nyc slice.

            9) joe's pizza
            carmine st off of bleecker st in the village.
            best "by-the-slice" place downtown. be sure to get a slice that's fresh out of the oven, which is typical late at night when there are long (but fast-moving) lines; that's the quintessential joe's experience. if you get a slice mid-day, you'll probably get a slice that's been sitting around and is dried up--not terrible, but nothing special.

            but when you get a fresh slice from joe's...all i can say is, that's a TRUE nyc experience.

            1. Arturro's on Houston. No one seems to mention this place in the "Best Pizza" discussions. Makes me happy, since it means less people to fight with for a table.

              As an aside, I'm not a fan of Grimaldi's. Not sure what the fuss is all about.

              5 Replies
              1. re: binkis

                arturo's makes its pizzas in a coal-fired oven, right? if so, that would make it one of the only places in manhattan that does so, along with lombardi's, patsy's, john's, and angelo's. am i missing any? (yeah, i know grimaldi's does this as well, but i'm referring to manhattan places specifically.)

                1. re: surly

                  That's correct. They use a coal-fired oven.

                2. re: binkis

                  the one time i went. i really liked arturo's. so far it's my favorite, if you can call something your favorite after only one visit.

                  i don't eat pizza much and haven't been to many of the places mentioned. but i did go to lombardi's recently and it wasn't good.

                  1. re: binkis

                    I do, every time. Besides Arturo's, I love Patsy's in East Harlem.

                    1. re: binkis

                      I like Arturo's. Im not sure why people like John's so much , all the "black stuff" i guess it's cinders , I dont like all over the bottom of the pizza. Some places that have good pizza that are never mentioned are Gigino, Mezzo Giorno, Inatesso. My favorite pizza is in Pisa , Italy made in wood burning dome style ovens.

                    2. one place that i forgot to mention:

                      nick's on the upper east side.

                      now, i should note that i have NOT been to this location, but i have been to the original in forest hills, queens, which is very good. granted, restaurant branches tend to be inferior to the original (see totonno's, john's, patsy's), but i've heard mostly good things about the manhattan branch of nick's.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: surly

                        Pizza is good but rest of food is not so good.

                      2. s

                        1.Patsy's east harlem. I think it was the Big Dog that mentioned to look for the older grey haired pizza maker as the key to getting the best slice.He was there last Sunday at 4:00 and the pizza was great.
                        You have to love thin pizza to really enjoy Patsy's.
                        2. Lombardy's when they are not busy and take the time to do it right.
                        3. L'asso on Kenmare, a really good pie and an overlooked place.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                          I won't offer any superlatives, but I'm all for propogating the word on L'Asso, on Mott & Kenmare. They have a beautiful wood oven, BTW.

                          I just wandered into L'Asso today, and it was probably the best thing that happened to me all week. And I didn't even get a apie to order--I just picked up two Neapolitan slices and brought them back to the office. Here's the deal:

                          Crust: Heaven. Good chewiness, but somehow still airy inside that 1/12th-or-so-inch thickness.

                          Tomato: A bit rich for my taste, but maybe because it was a reheated slice.

                          Cheese: Creamy, creamy, creamy. Again, probably suffered a little from the reheating, but its richness was a welcome contrast to the strong tomato test.

                          It comes already dusted with some oregano. The sad thing is, I stopped by around 2 p.m. this afternoon, and there was nary a customer in the joint. I call on all fellow Chowhounds to keep these wonderful guys in business. I'll definitely be back, to get a pie to order.

                        2. Although I wouldn't consider it the best pizza in Manhattan, I recently had a pie from Ronald's on Orcard street - it was darn good! Very fresh ingredients and a fairly crispy thin crust; thankfully there is an option fo delivery on the LES!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Wingman

                            Angelo's Coal Oven Pizza on 57th between 6th and 7th

                          2. i love the pizza at adrienne's pizzabar on stone street. it's owned by the guy that own's nicks in queens.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: jon

                              Does Adrienne's Pizzabar do take-out?

                              1. re: jj

                                yes, definitely, and they deliver. just note: they have slices at lunch everyday except friday.

                            2. Check out the list of Top 10 Best Pizzas in New York.


                              The list includes not only the usuals like Di Fara's and Totonno, but new gems like Pizza Mezzaluna which are not packed with tourists. Many do not serve by the slice, but rather whole pizzas, so hope you are hungry!

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: medfoodie

                                Thanks for that info! I'm not familiar with Mezzaluna at all, and I see that it's only 2 blocks further west than Arturo's, so not that far from my place.

                                I'm looking at the uptown location's menu, which I'm guessing is the same or almost the same as the downtown location's, and there's a lot listed other than pizza. How are their pastas and carpaccio? I'm a little put off that they are charging in the teens for antipasti and salads.

                                1. re: Pan

                                  You are looking at the higher prices on the menu for the original Mezzaluna. It seems that the new Pizza Mezzaluna menu at www.PizzaMezzalunaNYC.com has reasonable prices. I've been there and agree that the sausage and tuna pizzas are wonderful.

                                  1. re: medfoodie

                                    Who are you agreeing with about the sausage and tuna pizzas?

                              2. I'm sure that "j" has left NYC already - but just now walked in from an excursion to Patsy's 1st Ave (near to 117th) up in East Harlem and it was just fantastic - the char, the crust, the cheese, the tomato - even their Italian wine by the glass - everything was king of the world, top of the heap (apologies to Frank, but I don't think he would mind - Patsy's has a portrait of him hanging there in the restaurant, after all . . .).