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pizza in brooklyn

  • n

So I finally went to Di Fara's. I basically died and went to heaven. Big chunks of garlic and whole button mushrooms, and perfection in a crust...oh, and the guy, the plates, the grated cheese...MAMA MIA.

I'm interested in knowing how other places in Brooklyn I haven't been to compare to this pizza in TYPE of pizza: The House of Pizza, Carroll Gardens, Gino's, 18ave Bensonhurst; Del Mar, Sheepshead Bay (these are from the Lichtman List).


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  1. Lichtman list? Anyone who would create a list of Brooklyn's six best pizzerias, and omit Totonno's from that list, has a credibility problem. I know this is subjective but still -- six pizzerias in Brooklyn better than Totonno's?

    5 Replies
    1. re: pracrev


      BTW, the Lichtman list merely lists what Lichtman believes are Brooklyn's best pizzerias. This poster apparently attempts to identify what he believes are Brooklyn's best, without necessarily limiting himself to a fixed number, i.e the best five, or six or ten. Of course, Mr. Lichtman can repsond and clarify if this assumption is incorrect. His list and the link:

      DiFara's Midwood
      Grimaldi's Dumbo
      The House of Pizza Carroll Gardens
      L & B Bensonhurst
      Gino's 18ave Bensonhurst
      Del Mar Sheepshead Bay


      1. re: pracrev
        Nina Wugmeister

        Yes, of course the Lichtman List is only Josh's humble opinion, but reading his posts over lo these many decades has made me come to respect his opinion. Hence I was interested in what people had to say about the pizza itself, not so much where the best is, but what makes each pizza from each of those places so good. At Di Fara's yesterday (heaven on earth), the pizza was wonderful - but I'm interested in knowing if the pizza in those other places is the same *kind* of pizza...and, in my humble opinion, I'll take Di Fara's over Totonno's any day, although I like Totonno's pizza a great deal.

        1. re: Nina Wugmeister
          Josh Lichtman

          Difara's serves the best overall pizza in New York. With its great tangy sauce made with fresh roasted tomato's, wonderful cheese that somehow tastes better than a superior cheese such as Crona Heights and its perfectly charred chewey crust you cannot go wrong. Dom is truly a student of the great master pizza making ghosts of naples.

          Grimaldi's makes the best coal oven pizza in nyc. The former owner, Patsy Grimaldi was also a great pizza maker. Since his departure the place has slipped, the pizza has grown soggier and denser. They also stopped using cheese and sausage from the Corona Heights pork store. Yet still the pizza can be one of the best meals in NYC.

          The House of Pizza serves the best calzones in new york. They deep fry them just like it's done in Napoli. The result is a light creamy taste sensation. They also serve a classic new york slice which is crunchy tasty and has a italian soulful bite to it. The establishment is run by two eccentric Italian brothers.

          L&B serves the grandest "square" in the land which can be truly addictive. search older posts for more info

          Delmar serves another classic new York slice the way it once was, could be and ought to be. I cannot visit Sheepshead bay and not eat a slice at DelMar. Stick to the basics at DelMar and you too will agree.

          Gino's serves wonderful foccacia styly pizza that is extremely tasty and flavorful when served hot. They have a great deal of pride at Gino's and this reflects in the overall quality. They do not cut any corners.

          I must also mention a bakery with no name on Bay 50th Street and stillwell Avenue in Bensonhurst which serves a wondeful brick oven folded bakery style pizza. The pizza is so good that they usually run out at noon. I defy any hound to try this joint.

          Totonno's has slipped to a mere shadow of its former greatness. This is due to the death of its great pizza maker founder is was miserable and grouchy but sincerely dedicated to making superb pizza.

          1. re: Josh Lichtman
            Nina Wugmeister

            Thank you Josh! That's exactly what I meant.

            1. re: Josh Lichtman

              Being a huge fan of Del-Mar I would also try their sandwiches, specialty dishes and cold antipasto, you can't go wrong with either. But if you do stick with pizza, Their plain jane pies are excellent - the best around. I don't know what they do, but they do it and do it well. If you want something a little different pizza-wise then order their vodka or white pizza, they're truly different and a great alternative to your typical pie.

      2. g
        Gino Chekatsofaye

        L&B Spumoni Gardens in Bensenhurst

        1. Welcome to heaven

          1. I have to admit, almost sheepishly, that the appeal of L&B was totally lost on me. Well, not totally. The outdoor area seems like a nice place to eat something, But I'm not sure their pizza is what I would wish for. I'm willing to try again since it's so often listed on places like this, full of opinions I respect. Maybe someone could elucidate me on the merits of Spumoni Gardens (the spumoni was first-rate, btw) or more specifically, what exactly should i order next time I go there??

            1 Reply
            1. re: HankyT

              got to go with the squares and an edge piece if you dont get a whole pie. Middle pieces can be to gloppy.

              Im not sure its still as good as it was, say 20 years ago. but its definitely an experience.

            2. The appeal of L&B is totally lost on me as well.
              I eat it, b/c it's within easy delivery to where I work, but
              the sauce is basically tomato paste flavored with garlic...
              Come on... You guys all know it's true..

              1. wow, i'd say only di fara's and possibly l & b is worthy these days. i went to grimaldi's a week or so ago and it keeps getting worse. the house of pizza was sold and is a mere shadow of what it once was. gino's and delmar- not sure they are worthy of any list. I'll blame that on youthful exurbarance. The state of pizza in Brooklyn, however has improved dramatically since 2001. Some new contenders worthy of the Lichtman list are Lucali's, Savoia, Fornino- all pretty darn good.
                DiFara's Midwood
                Grimaldi's Dumbo
                The House of Pizza Carroll Gardens
                L & B Bensonhurst
                Gino's 18ave Bensonhurst
                Del Mar Sheepshead Bay

                4 Replies
                1. re: josh L

                  What about Totonno's? And there's another place...

                  1. re: Pan

                    Was once the best but it slipped after the old man died. I haven't been in years, however so I need to check them out again. They have that great oven.

                  2. re: josh L

                    I posted on another thread about how bad Grimaldi's has got - even my sentimental kids have gotten over their attachment now. Its a real shame, with that oven, that they have forgotten how to make good pizza.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      and poor pasty is making pizza at some food court at floyd bennett field. ten years ago, he was the king of pizza.

                  3. Everyone always seems to overlook Sam's on Court Street. Nowhere near one of Dom's pies or Patsy's I'm sure (haven't been in years), but a great second-tier pizza place. Great sauce and toppings, tasty (if sometimes a little thick) crust, nice char. Can be soupy I guess but I've enjoyed a pie at Sam's often over the years. Beats almost everything in Brownstone Bklyn hands down. Well maybe not Franny's, but I think Sam's real (and maybe a little crazy) Brooklyn ambiance counts for a lot. None of us eats pizza in a vacuum, after all. (Place your own Sam's cleanliness joke here.)

                    1. I prefer La casa bella on 2759 cropsey ave, corner of 26th street for their pizza.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: csw

                        Yesss! ...Casa Bella!
                        I really like their brick oven Margharita pie.
                        We order from them pretty frequently. Is it the best ever?.. No.
                        But it's consistantly very good and the restaurant staff and delivery guys are very nice. The pizza arrives hot and pretty much on time. I have not eaten their "menu food", but I have heard it's pretty good.

                        I have heard the menu food is good as well

                      2. The bakery on Bay 50th & Stillwell (actually Harway Ave but right at the end so no biggie..) is called A&G and their bakery pies are AMAZING but NOTHING compared to their lard bread which only available on weekends...sensational! You can always go there then hit L&B...also for a good regular Brooklyn slice hit Lenny's on 86th Street by 20th Ave...

                        1. those are some mighty tasty pizzas.

                          1. The only thing you want to eat at L & B is the square pie (aka Sicilian). Oh, and maybe one of their salads.
                            Whether it's worth the trip to Bensonhurst is for each to decide on their own.

                            1. I really don't think L&B's is worth the trip to Bensonhurst.
                              If you've gone that far, try Casa Bella or continue down Cropsey Ave, make a left onto Neptune and go to Totonno's

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Tay

                                Can anyone provide the address for L&B or Gino's in Bensonhurst? I'll be visiting my mom (in Boro Park) twice in the next few months and would like to take her out for a slice. I'll definitely try DiFara's too. Thanks.

                              2. L&B's is located at: 2725 86th St. Brooklyn, NY 11223
                                He'rs a link if you'd like a visual.
                                If you're taking Mom, better bring the Tums as I can pretty much promise you'll need them. The sauce, while tasty is a very think, heavy style and it's got heartburn written all over it. All warnings aside, it's a fun place to visit just for the experience. Have a great time!


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Tay

                                  Uh oh--if Tums are needed, taking Mom might be a problem. Best for her to order off the regular menu? Looks interesting, thanks!

                                  1. re: rednails

                                    To be honest, I don't think L&B has very good food.
                                    For good traditional Italian menu food, I'd go to Gino's in Bay Ridge.. If it's Pizza you crave, just continue down Cropsey Ave, make a left onto Neptune Ave and get a delicious pizza at Totonno's on Neptune and West 16th St.O hope you
                                    have a delicious time!

                                    1. re: Tay

                                      Thanks for the clarification. Mom likes an Italian restaurant on McDonald Ave, near Ave J I think. Traditional red-sauce, 5 course bargain place. It's OK, not great.

                                      Does any one know of a good place for a slice on 18th Ave betw 60-86 st? I used to go (many years ago) to a place on 61 st, and there was another one further down 18th.

                                2. As for Gino's. The only Gino's I frequent is located in Bay Ridge at 7414 5th Ave. Parking is totally out of the question, but it's wonderful to eat at a long time family owned Pizzaria/Restaurant that's been around for a gazillion years.
                                  Speaking of Bay Ridge, does anyone know if Elegante Pizzaria on 5th just off 69th St AKA: Bay Ridge Ave, is still around and if so, is it still owned by the same family? They used to make a pretty fierce square pie. Any information appreciated.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Tay

                                    Is there another Gino's other than Bay Ridge? Some of the posts above indicate Bensonhurst, an area I'm much more familiar with. Thanks.

                                  2. TRY "EUROPA" Pizzeria on the corner of 20th avenue and 65th street in bensonhurst. One of the best brick-oven pizzerias around.