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Pizza in Astoria

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  • basil Apr 23, 2002 01:16 AM
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What is the best pizzeria in Astoria? I am from Brooklyn and just moved here. Thanks.

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  1. w
    Wendy Leonard

    I don't know what the best pizza in Astoria is, but you should be able to get a good slice at Romanos on the corner of Broadway and 33rd. I used to get excellent pizza when I lived there ten years ago and recently, within the last month, a poster was extolling their pizza.

    14 Replies
    1. re: Wendy Leonard

      I also like Napoli. Another one that is a bit out of the way, is John's (no relation to the Bleeker St. one) on Astoria Blvd., near Crescent. I go there all of the time, and find it to be a notch better than most of the other local spots. I agree that Sac's is pretty bad. Dino's on Broadway is also barely acceptable.

      1. re: JohnFranco
        d
        Dan Sonenberg

        I'm surprised to see people dissing Sac's. I've been long disappointed with the pizza in Astoria - it seems to me that it should be much better than it is. Sac's Coal Oven pizza, for my money, is the best thing going. They also make non-Coal Oven stuff, and maybe that's what people don't like? But I've had the real stuff delivered and in person and it's always been very good. Plus, they're extremely generous with their toppings, and the toppings are always fresh and delicious.

        1. re: Dan Sonenberg

          I can't really taste the difference between the coal oven and regular at Sac. I find the sicilian pies to excellent if they allow them to cook the right amount of time. But the regular pies have a gummy, odd texture in the crust that I do not like, though I did like it the first 4 or 5 times. It was strange, I got sick of it one day and never wanted to eat it again...

          1. re: Steve A

            Where have you all been eating?There are 3 great pies in Astoria:

            Rizzo's
            Polito's
            Ginos Piccolo Italia

            Try them they are all different,but great!

            1. re: Astoriahound

              I've also enjoyed the pizza from Pinochio on 30th avenue and 33rd St. (or so). Not a classic "New York Pie" but cooked in a wood fired oven, always with fresh mozzarella and toppings and at a decent price. I think a small/individual (6 slices and enough for 2) starts at $4. I have heard reports that they can be inconsistent, but haven't experienced it myself.

          2. re: Dan Sonenberg

            I agree that sac's is a cut above all others in that part of Queens. Best thing is something nobody talks about: the spinach deep-dish.

            the poster who recommended Gino's Piccola Italia was right on. That's the best all-purpose cheap pizza/heroes/dishes joint in Astoria. Not great, but the best. And Gino's a great guy. Unlike the scowling characters at Sac's.

            1. re: Jim Leff

              I always forget about Sac's Spinach pie, thanks for the reminder. Just had a spin slice and it was excellent. $4/slice seems a little high for what you get but what are you gonna do? I think they used to be $3.

              The siciilian pie looked pale as is sadly too often the norm.

              1. re: Steve A.

                just to clarify; I mean the spinach stuffed pizza...the thick one.

                1. re: Jim Leff

                  yep, that's the only pizza I've seen with Spinach there

            2. re: Dan Sonenberg

              I could not agree with you more about Sac's. I picked up a pie form Napoli on 35th Avenue on Friday and it was nowhere near as good as the pizaa at Sac's. The pizza at Sac's is made with fresh mozzarella not the supermarket variety cheese. No comparison, Sac's is not Lombardis' but it is far better than Napoli if you like brick oven pizza.

              1. re: Dan Sonenberg

                I prefer John's in Manhattan, but I thank my lucky stars I live a block from Sac's pizza. I agree -- the rest of the menu is iffy, but this pizza is amazing. Fresh mozzarella, great sauce, delicious thin crust. I like the meatball topping best, but plain cheese is good. Plus, all the pizza guys are really nice.

                For what it's worth, I can't tell the difference between regular and coal oven. It doesn't matter -- it's all good.

              2. re: JohnFranco

                since everyone's on the sac-dissing theme, just wanted to second the rec for John's. they're within a sightline of my apartment so i go there frequently and enjoy them well, just regular slices.

                another place to consider i forget the name of, but it is on 31st st near the stairs of ditmars stop on the west side of the street -- i think the name is some male proper name followed by an apostrophe s -- i have had tasty pizza there.

              3. re: Wendy Leonard

                Ugh! Romano's is ok for some other stuff, but their pizza sucks. (I think the poster was extolling their gyros.) I like Rizzo's a lot -- it's not your average silician. It's a thin crust silician, with a very tangy sauce (with parm cheese mixed it) and blob on mozzarella on top. It's great, but always gets cold when I try to get it home (36th and Broadway) in time. :)

                There's also a new place on Broadway (around 34th St.) that I haven't tried yet. Doesn't look like anything special, but you might want to take a look.

                1. re: Dan
                  w
                  Wendy Leonard

                  I just searched for the link and you're right, the poster was extolling the souvlaki, fries, tzatziki. The other respondent who liked the place liked it eight years ago--so you are the current best source on the pizza.

              4. s
                Steve A. in Astoria

                I like Napoli on 35th Ave at 33rd St. good stuff.

                Sac's on 29th and B'way makes a good sicilian slice if they leave it in the oven long enough (this is way too often a problem, so it's a risky $1.90). Also, don't try anything but pizza at this place...

                3 Replies
                1. re: Steve A. in Astoria

                  i used to love sacs. but when they remodelled and re-opened as a full restaurant, it just stopped being as good. have ordered pies from there about 3 times and none could justify why we ordered from there once a week before they remodelled.

                  for personal pizzas, i like romanos on 33rd and broadway.

                  1. re: tracyk

                    Romano's pizza isn't even ITALIAN pizza. They hardly use sauce. Try Sac's again. Their pizza is still great - you might have caught them soon after the renovation when things were still crazy.

                  2. re: Steve A. in Astoria

                    You think $1.90 for a slice of pizza is high? No wonder you can't appreciate anything else on the menu. Sac's makes the best pizza in NYC - bar none. And their menu is great.

                    Try EVERYTHING on this menu - this is a hidden jewel in Astoria that won't be hidden for long.

                  3. A really good regular slice is hard to find in Astoria, but if you enjoy Sicilian Pizza you have two outstanding choices : Rose & Joe's Bakery on 31st St near Ditmars Blvd., and Rizzo's on 30-13 Steinway St.

                    1. I like the pizza from Portobello on Ditmars and 43rd, but it is inconsistent. Usually comes with fresh toppings (garlic and spinach is my favorite). The rest of the menu is pretty lousy, though.

                      Pizza Palace on Ditmars and 31st is just okay when fresh, but cannot handle the rigors of delivery.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Picnic

                        POLITO's on Broadway for Pizza Slices

                        HANDS DOWN!!!

                        1. re: Suzy

                          Polito's is very good. I love the Sicilian there.

                      2. I'm still trying to find a good regular slice in Astoria myself, but if you want amazing brick oven pizza, there's this hole-in-the-wall called Forno Italia at 43rd(?) and Ditmars. It's fresh, made right in front of you in the giant brick oven (with real wood logs in it), and the crust is crispy on the outside, chewy in the center, and has the slightest hint of charcoal flavor. The sauce pizzas can be a little droopy sometimes, but I'll tell you right now, you'll never taste anything as wonderful as the simple "aglio e olio" pizza (olive oil, garlic, and cheese). Also, their spaghetti carbonara is pretty good too, if your arteries can handle it :)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Billy

                          anybody ever check this place out? like 2 years ago it was a salsa dance spot called something like "Bongos". Is it
                          in fact good or is the quasi-review above jsut some
                          logrolling by a friend of the owner?

                        2. I'm now living in Boston, but I have been looking for pizza like they have at Rose and Joe's (Astoria) for a long time. God I miss that pizza. You can get decent pizza anywhere, but good bakery style is hard to find.

                          I hope they survived the gentrification.

                          1. Sac's is quality pizza, good ingredients and well done. I recommend going there in person though instead of ordering, as they seem to always deliver the pizza cold.

                            1. Rizzo's would be my call. Also, there is a place on 31st street near Ditmars called Last Stop something or other that I will always have a place in my heart for. The day I came to Astoria to look for apartments after college I ate there after a long day in the hot sun with no food and, at the time, was the best pizza I could have imagined. However, given my hunger and the euphoria of actually finding a great place on the first day of looking, my view of the pizza may be slightly inflated.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Astoria Lurker

                                You know, Last Stop (if that's what's it called) is actually really good. Its looks say "nasty subway stop pizza" but it tastes pretty good, as confirmed by my friends from Brooklyn for those of you who lament NW Queenz pizza. A nearby Rose & Joe's slice is excellnt too. I think that two places that dont appear much here are worth visiting: La Vita Mia by the Beer
                                Garden turns out a mean outerboro NY style crispy crusty cheesey slice.

                                And the off the beaten path LoRusso's on 18th St. just n. of
                                27th Ave, south of Astoria Park, can be inconsistent but often produces a killer focaccia, one of the best in the city. Somewhere here I saw someone suggested we visit in Dominic in Midwood. I agree. But if you're in Astoria...

                              2. Sac's Pizza is best eaten by the slice at the store. Let the slice/cheese sit up a bit after being reheated in the oven-the reheat in the oven insures the crispness of the crust-and then dig in. While the default slice is the plain cheese slice, I'll go for a meatball slice if I wanna make it a meal.
                                Delivery is always an iffy thing, regarding the food quality more than the actual delivery speed. If ordering a pie for home, I'll almost always try and pick it up as it comes out of the oven, crack the box a bit-gotta ensure that the pie does not become soggy-and make the couple of blocks trek back home to dig in.

                                1. I moved there a few months ago and was also on a quest for pizza. The pizza in Queens just ain't as good as Brooklyn or Manhattan. Alas, I always go with Sac's and Rizzo's. But if you really want good pizza, get on the N train to Brooklyn, transfer to the Q, get off at Avenue J, and head to Di Fara's.

                                  1. Romano's (pizza) = awful

                                    Sac's = ok, but has gone downhill

                                    Rizzo's = excellent, if you like the style, tho it, too, has gone downhill

                                    Sad that a former heavily Italian 'hood doesn't have a great pizza spot.

                                    1. My wife and I just moved to Astoria from Manhattan, and began trying pizza places based on some of these posts. We tried to go to Rizzo's last Saturday night. I called them, and they said that they would be open until 10pm. We got there at 8:45, and the place was shuttered up; my wife knocked on the door and asked what the deal was, and was met with the reponse, "No more pizza." I don't know what the deal is with that. We then went over to Sac's and got a Sicilian pie. The pizza was pretty good (the crust was on the light and flaky side and the cheese seemed to be of fairly high quality; the sauce seemed kind of blah to me. But the place is definitely a restaurant (as opposed to a pizza parlor), and had sort of a weird "romantic" ambience about it that made ordering and eating a pizza seem a bit awkward.

                                      Then, the other night, we got a couple of square slices to go from Rose and Joe's (near the Ditmars avenue subway), which was much tastier (the sauce was light and tangy). I realize that a comparison of Sac's and Rose and Joe's has to take more factors into account (The former has a coal-fired oven, the latter is a bakery and has a standard pizza oven). Plus there's the fact that you can buy slices from Rose and Joe's (can you order a whole pie?), but you have to take out. Anyway, on taste, Rose and Joe's wins.

                                      Looking forward to actually trying Rizzo's, etc.

                                      1. I've had similar problems with Rizzo's on weekend nights - do they just stay open until the run out of pizza? Because of this, I've never tried them.

                                        I have to quietly second ONE poster here that said Pinnochio's on 30th ave was surprisingly decent for italian-style pizza, not your typical NYC slice. I mean, okay, it's not Nick's or Grimaldi's, but I can't get Nick's or Grimaldi's to deliver, so on a weeknight when I want something with fresh mozzarella, I gotta tell you, Pinnochio's surprised me.

                                        1. ROMANOS small pie hands down
                                          SACS never had a good experience very pricey no cheese

                                          1. Sac's is pretty much a rip off. They try to sell it as the quality product to justify their overpricing, but there is just something off with all their pies I've tasted...and whenever I eat in the restaurant the pizza is nearly cold as soon as they bring it to the table. One further note on eating in there, the service is annoying. The waiters hover over the table and who I'm assuming are the owners make annoying Artie Bucco-esque (the Sopranos chef) smalltalk. Don't go...you're better off at Rizzo's or even, yes, Napoli.

                                            1. I've only been to Sac's once but I thought it was a well above average slice. Way better than the glorified microwave-style pizza at Rizzo's.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: eca

                                                I agree. I think Sac's is much better than most of the regular slice joints in the area.

                                                I just don't understand what is so good about Rizzo's...

                                              2. I gotta say, I've never been let down by a Rizzo's slice. Crust is crisp, sauce is tangy, and the mozz and parm are just right. Some of their pies are square like Elio's, but I haven't noticed similarities beyond that; unlike microwave (or even much parlor) pizza, each ingredient stands out and tastes fresh. I've even seen the guys in the back shredding cheese by hand!
                                                I was into Sac's for a while, but I've been disappointed twice now by gummy crust.

                                                1. rizzo's hand down for it's unique combo of sauciness, thick slice of moz. cheese and thin crust.

                                                  Otherwise Gyro Uno's because their house special pie has slices of crispy juicy gyro. Much better than ham, sausage or burger!

                                                  1. Anyone here ever had pizza from Rosario's (Italian grocery on 31st St.)? I hear it's good...

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: bennyt

                                                      no, it's not really good

                                                      much better slices are to be had in teh grimy pizza place across the street from rosario's next to the OTB parlor, seriously, although you wouldnt believe it lookintg at it

                                                      1. re: zemilideias

                                                        um, I actually don't believe that for a second. I will have to try it to find out if this is some sort of cruel joke...

                                                        1. re: zemilideias

                                                          no joke

                                                      2. We've really been enjoying the grandma style pizza at Michael and Angelo's (23rd Ave. and 29th or 28th). We take out a whole pie. 8 gigantic slices.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: bennyt

                                                          correction - it's six slice. but darn good. we just had it again the other night. definitely up there with Rose and Joes as the best slice in this part of Astoria.

                                                        2. Sac's for pizza. End of story. If Sac's was in some trendy part of Manhattan it would become an in mecca for the foodies. In Astoria.....so what!

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Stuartmc910

                                                            I honestly wasn't that impressed with Sac's, at least compared with other New York pizza institutions (Totonno's, DiFara's). I also think the atmosphere of the place is way bizarre.

                                                            1. re: Stuartmc910

                                                              I'll take it over the UES branch of Totonno's, sure, and I'm not keen on knocking coal-oven pizza, but I wouldn't make a special trip from outside Astoria/LIC to go to Sac's. Where's the char and the carmelization? Lombardi's et al. it ain't.

                                                              1. re: hatless

                                                                We had a good pie from Rizzo's (Steinway @ 30th Ave.) the other night- "Rustica" (anchovies, breadcrumbs, onions, black olives- sort of like pasta con sarde on a pizza). Very nice. They crust is extra crispy too (perhaps a result of the pan-baking?).

                                                                Where is this Gino's that Jim Leff was referring to?

                                                                1. re: bennyt

                                                                  I could be wrong, but I think Jim was referring to Gino's, on Broadway between 43rd and 44th. Look at the date of that reply, though: five years ago. Going there now, you can see how it once may have been good: a few diffferent Sicilian variations including a nonna pie and fresh mozzarella slices, for instance. Unfortunately, none of it is good. The crusts are soggy, the sauce too sweet and mushy, the cheese not of good quality. Like Grand Ave. pizza, it's another neighborhood slice joint gone downhill. Nothing to see here.

                                                                  It would be nice if CH made it much harder to post replies to a topic this old. Even better, simply not to allow it at all.

                                                                  1. re: hatless

                                                                    Hey how's it going? The gino's that Jim was referring to was on 25th Ave and 44th street. It was Gino's Piccola Italia Pizza. Gino is my father and, we have since sold the business in 2004 and re-located to South Carolina.

                                                            2. No one ever mentions Forno Italia (Ditmars and 42nd St. ... I think). Coal oven, good prices (although higher than they used to be thanks to their renovation). Also, if you want to travel south a ways, Bella Via in Hunter's Point is my favorite. The pizza is really good and the prices are great.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: whackdamole

                                                                Actually, my Italian landlady recommended Forno Italia (still haven't tried it yet, though. I also wanted to report that I finally got around to trying a Sicilian pie from Michael and Angelo's (23rd Ave. and 29th St.). Very good. I'd had Sicilian slices from there before, but taking home a whole pie is a different experience. The crust was perfectly baked, crispy on the edges but light and fluffy inside- sort of like eating a delicious Italian bread from a bakery. The dough takes a whole day to rise, apparently, and is baked twice, first without the sauce and cheese, and then with. The sauce is tasty and not too thick (not as tangy and spicy as Rose and Joe's, though), and the cheese oozes off the thing. I had just had square slices at L and B Spumoni Gardens in Bensonhurst a couple of days before; they're different styles (e.g., L and B has some kind of parmsan topping, and not nearly as much cheese in general), but I would say a Sicilan pie from Michael and Angelo's fresh out of the oven is just as enjoyable.

                                                              2. Sac's is decent, but I usually order it for delivery and it's always cold when it arrives and I'm just over on 34th Street, so I've been looking for alternatives. Sebestiano's Pizza on 34th Avenue between 32nd and 33rd is good - great meatballs and pretty fast. Boston Pizza on Broadway has to be the worst around, at least in my opinion.

                                                                1. The best triangle slices in Astoria in my oppinion are "Frankie's" under the N train on 31st street at the Ditmars Blvd. Stop. and "Politto's" which is on Broadway, between Steinway and 38th street. Both plaxces are your typical old dirty pizzerias but if you wanna get 2 slices and a coke, you cant do any better in astoria. Polittos is especially terrific.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: montoya040

                                                                    The pizza used to be *very* good at Polito's, especially in the 80's, but as the decades pass, and the neighborhood changes, so does the pizza. I don't remember when it was that I fell out of love with the place, but I do promise that I'll give it another try when I'm in the neighborhood.

                                                                    Polito's --> http://www.politopizza.com/about.html

                                                                  2. Rose and Joe's all the way. Rizzo's is good too but not as close to me.

                                                                    Sac's is very dissapointing. I prefer to trek a bit farther to Bella Via when I want a neopolitain pie. Bella Via is on Vernon and the best non Sicilian around .

                                                                    I've have inedible pizza from Sac's, which considering how much I like pizza says a lot. The sauce is way too sweet and they don't cook the pizza enough.

                                                                    And $6 per topping really turns me off.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: SpiceJunkies

                                                                      Where is Rose and Joe's ???

                                                                      1. re: montoya040

                                                                        Place info (plus links to earlier threads) ...

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Rose & Joe's
                                                                        22-40 31st St, Queens, NY 11105

                                                                    2. Rose and Joe's is my fav. for Sicilian. Rizzo's is good too, but too far from me.

                                                                      Sac's is just bad. The sauce is too sweet and they don't cook the pies enough. And $6 per topping is just wrong. Go to Bella Via on Vernon instead for a far better neopolitain pie. Not perfect, but way better than Sac's.
                                                                      I think Sac's agrevates me because they have the coal oven, but just don't use it to the fullest potential. When I moved to the hood I was excited to have Sac's so close, but I've been nothing but dissapointed ever since.

                                                                      I have heard the Micheal Angelo's is good for a NY slice style, but I have not yet been.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: SpiceJunkies

                                                                        Yes, Michael & Angelos (23rd Ave between 29th and 31st Sts) has excellent pizza! Great thin-crust, really fresh and tasty toppings. And classier than Frankies...

                                                                        1. re: Harlan

                                                                          Absolutely Michael Angelos II (I think that's the exact name). I have some real love for Rose and Joe's, particularly when I'm on the run, and need a slice, but Michael Angelos II is my place for whole pies; I've had some from there that were pretty artful. My fave is their Pizza Siciliana made with eggplant and fresh mozzarella - they do something amazing with the eggplant.

                                                                          1. re: round2

                                                                            I had some Michael and Angelos the other day. It really was very good. Although its not new york style pizza, and a large thin crust hardly feeds 2 people. Their chicken parm hero was laso excellent. Im glad this place opened, great addition to the hood.

                                                                      2. Sacs on Broadway and 27th street in Astoria has excellent Pizza. Brick Oven fast and reliable!!!

                                                                        9 Replies
                                                                        1. re: teacherkar

                                                                          Rizzo's is the oldest and most famous pizzeria in Astoria. However, if you live in the Ditmars area, you need to have other alternatives. Rose and Joe's on 31st street under the train station and Alba's on Ditmars are the best. I do not like Frankie's which is also under the train.

                                                                          1. re: teacherkar

                                                                            Pizza, like Chinese food, is one of the few that disappoints in Astoria. Or, rather, it never rises above the pack, only average in most places. But the best pizza in Astoria is'nt exactly pizza--check out LoRusso's focaccia's which are AMAZING and very well priced. It's on 18th St. in Old Astoria, a coupla blocks s. of Astoria Park.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Lorusso
                                                                            18-01 26th Rd, Queens, NY 11102

                                                                            1. re: zemilideias

                                                                              I don't konw what the problem is, Polito's is great pizza.
                                                                              r & J and Rizzo's are heralded all over, but I'm not as much of a fan.
                                                                              Haven't tried Sac's yet, but heard it rocks.

                                                                              1. re: zemilideias

                                                                                I have to agree on Lorusso. It is probably the only place I'll go out of my way for pizza (or not exactly pizza) in Astoria. I've only tried the individual sized focaccias, and they are great. Better than anything I've had at Rose & Joe's.

                                                                                1. re: E Eto

                                                                                  Another echo here on LoRusso's focaccias. Tried a number of them on Saturday afternoon and they were all winners, with an eggplant version leading the pack. This place is 2.5 blocks from Astoria Park, which did us little good last weekend but we're certainly gonna link the 2 once the town thaws out.

                                                                                  1. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                                                                                    Anybody know what became of the original owners of Grand Ave Pizza on 30th ave? The father and son that owned it in the 70's & 80's until they sold it to the current owner. Are they still in business elsewhere?

                                                                                    1. re: Beckster

                                                                                      I beleive that the original owners retired!!!
                                                                                      The pizza now is different and not as good.

                                                                                    2. re: MarcInSunnysideGardens

                                                                                      So I'm really curious to try LoRusso's tonight but it's quite a hike from my apartment. I don't have a menu, so what in general would be recommended? Definitely foccacia over regular pizza? Are we talking thick doughy foccacia?

                                                                                      1. re: jdream

                                                                                        The foccacia at LoRusso is not the usual thick, doughy version. It's closer to a somewhat denser pizza crust and full of flavor (including a distinct balsamic note). They've got multiple varieties displayed in the front case with a range of toppings. Try several if you can. (They're delicious even frozen and reheated.) Totally worth it.