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Nick's Pizza -- Best In New York, Maybe the East Coast

Josh May 24, 2004 10:16 PM

Went there again tonight.

Grimaldi's is slipping, Pepe's is slipping, Totonno's is slipping. Nick's Pizza is the one pizza store that consistently impresses me each time I go in.

Cheese is from the Corona Heights Pork Store. It is incredibly fresh, creamy, and perfectly apportioned.

Crust is amazing, and they don't even use a fancy oven to do it. Crispy outside, chewy but light inside.

Basil is a great touch and is also generously apportioned. Not to mention their great salads and cannolis.

If you haven't been to Nick's in Forest Hills go. I guarantee you a great experience.

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  1. d
    Dan in LIC RE: Josh May 24, 2004 11:30 PM

    A dissenting opinion on the cannolli at Nick's. Only tried once, but I thought it was absolutely awful... shell was way too thin and charcterless (reminded me of a waffle cone), and the filling was overly rich without having any distinct flavour. They make great pizza, but I'd never try a second cannolli.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dan in LIC
      Nina W. RE: Dan in LIC May 25, 2004 11:52 AM

      I have to agree. I go to the Nick's in Manhattan a lot, and I love the food. Good pizza, good pastas and salad....but those cannolis are bad.

    2. b
      bob oppedisano RE: Josh May 25, 2004 09:32 AM

      We're regulars at the Manhattan Nick's, and, yes, the pizzas are uniformly excellent (not so with other stuff): great crisp crust, good cheese, just the right proportions. Haven't been back to Grimaldi's for a while, but Totonno's remains sui generis. I've been going there since the late fifties, and it's always served a sweet, wet, somewhat soft-crust pie, closer to la pizza napolitana. There have bene some consistency problems, but when it's right, it's untouched.

      6 Replies
      1. re: bob oppedisano
        Ian RE: bob oppedisano May 25, 2004 02:19 PM

        I've been to both Nick's numerous times and don't think that the Manhattan one measures up. They do have a much larger menu in Manhattan, but I think they're still perfecting the pizza -- at least in comparison to the FH location.

        1. re: bob oppedisano
          Joe D. RE: bob oppedisano May 25, 2004 05:13 PM

          Where is the Manhattan Nick's? How long has it been around?

          1. re: Joe D.
            bob oppedisano RE: Joe D. May 25, 2004 05:28 PM

            Nick's Manhattan is at Second Avenue and 94th Street, and has been open for about a year.

            1. re: bob oppedisano
              ajs42548 RE: bob oppedisano Apr 13, 2008 06:20 PM

              Not to nit pick, but Nick's Manhattan has been open for several years now. I live one block from it and have gone there for years.

              1. re: ajs42548
                TBird RE: ajs42548 Apr 13, 2008 07:45 PM

                lol. his post was from: "May 25, 2004 08:28PM"...

                1. re: TBird
                  ajs42548 RE: TBird Apr 14, 2008 03:27 PM

                  I guess in this case I deserve a big fat "DUH". Go ahead, I can take it and I certainly deserve it. LOL.

        2. a
          Adelaide RE: Josh May 25, 2004 12:02 PM

          where is nick's located?

          1 Reply
          1. re: Adelaide
            Kelly RE: Adelaide May 25, 2004 01:38 PM

            The Nick's in Queens is located on Ascan Avenue, right of of Austin Street. Parking around there is a mess to say the least! You can take the E, F, R, or V train (G on the weekends) to 71st/Continental. It's about a 3 maybe 4 block walk.

            During the day Nick's caters to the stroller crowd. Doesn't bother me in the least, but it might bother some....

            Rapanelle in Ridgewood also has a great brick oven pie. Cheese is also from the Corona Pork Store. They are located on Myrtle Avenue, and they have a website. www.rapanelle.com

          2. l
            Lucho RE: Josh May 26, 2004 12:24 PM

            I certainly agree. Evening after evening, perfect Pizza. I would have only one humble proposal. Although the crust and the cheese border to perfection, the list of toppings is somehow limited. A visit to Di Fara's would be a great learning experience for the people at Nicks
            BTW nobody mentions Nicks cofee. By far the best expresso in Forest Hills, and probably one of the best in the whole city.

            1. b
              budinado RE: Josh Jul 20, 2004 10:28 AM

              Nick's has delicious pizza. Unfortunately they are VERY skimpy with the cheese. Ordering with extra cheese just makes it, but then the pie is then too expensive.

              Drive to DiFara. Its worth the trip!

              7 Replies
              1. re: budinado
                TBird RE: budinado Apr 13, 2008 02:54 PM

                had a VERY good pie from nick's today. nice to know.

                1. re: TBird
                  tigerwoman RE: TBird Apr 13, 2008 04:25 PM

                  and make sure to try their watercress and arugula salad with roasted peppers, sundried tomato and an amazing honey mustard (not normal generic kind) vinaigrette. Oh I will just have to go there soon to have that salad

                  wonder where they get their cheese from now that corona heights pork store has been out of biz for a few years.?? anyone know.??

                  1. re: tigerwoman
                    racer x RE: tigerwoman Apr 15, 2008 06:44 PM

                    Yeah, their salads are out of this world. One of the best reasons to eat the pizza in the restaurant.

                    That comment from 2004 about them skimping on the cheese is out of date (if it was ever correct). I've never found the cheese coverage on their pizzas lacking.

                    I asked them a couple of weeks ago where they get their mozzarella cos it's soooo good: Pecoraro's in Brooklyn. (I think they're only wholesale - somebody let me know if I'm wrong on that!)

                    1. re: racer x
                      squid kun RE: racer x Apr 23, 2008 02:33 AM

                      Apparently we civilians can score Pecoraro cheese at certain limited times at the source in Williamsburg ... http://www.chow.com/digest/4365

                      Nick's Pizza
                      108-26 Ascan Ave, Queens, NY 11375

                      Pecoraro Dairy Products
                      287 Leonard St, Brooklyn, NY 11211

                      1. re: squid kun
                        janie RE: squid kun Apr 23, 2008 09:49 AM

                        Just ate at Nick's last week for lunch, which is a very good time to go, sort of on the late side, nice and mellow there...what's great about Nick's is their consistency, and that says alot in my book, --I actually prefer the pizza margarharita without toppings so you can really taste the cheese and basil, it was simple and great, and yes, their house salad is killer. We've been eating there since they opened, and while I wish they did have other choices like a few pastas and some other apps, I do appreciate that their formula still works, and yes, they do make a superb Cappacino, and a very good brownie as well. -

                        1. re: squid kun
                          racer x RE: squid kun Apr 23, 2008 10:45 AM

                          Yeah, I read that post on Pecoraro's. But when I tried going by several times in the past few weeks, no one seemed to be there. Not sure what J Barber meant by "midday" though.

                          1. re: racer x
                            squid kun RE: racer x Apr 26, 2008 01:15 AM

                            Damn, wonder if that door has closed. I'm not over there often, but next time I am I'll call first and see what they say.

                2. g
                  Get In My Belly RE: Josh Apr 14, 2008 05:01 PM

                  while i agree that nick's in queens (never been to the one in manhatan) makes a great pie, i cannot agree that it is the best.

                  lucali is better, and difara's is still in a league of its own.

                  but, nick's might be #3.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Get In My Belly
                    TBird RE: Get In My Belly Apr 15, 2008 11:02 AM

                    strange, but it was the first time i was offered cracked pepper on my pizza.

                    1. re: Get In My Belly
                      racer x RE: Get In My Belly Apr 15, 2008 07:00 PM

                      For my money, Nick's in Forest Hills makes the best pizzas in NYC (and definitely better than the one in Manhattan, which is in my neighborhood).

                      That's not to say, however, that they don't have off days, or occasionally make pizzas that aren't fantastic.
                      Last week, for example, I had pizzas from Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, and Nick's (Forest Hills) over 3 consecutive days, just to refresh my memory of how they compare. Grimaldi's kicked Lombardi's butt, as I expected from past experience. But the Nick's pizza didn't taste like they usually do. First, it was way too salty (even for a salt-loving freak like me). On top of that, the cheese, though adequate, was missing that special something that usually distinguishes Nick's from the rest of the pack. In this little taste test, I'd have to put Nick's in second place to Grimaldi's - but it wasn't a fair trial because it wasn't a typical Nick's pizza (but the Grimaldi's and Lombardi's were typical for them).

                      1. re: racer x
                        closer53 RE: racer x Apr 16, 2008 08:11 AM

                        I love Nicks. I just did take out last night for dinner. Large pie and house salad. My one and only complaint was that when heating up any leftovers (on the odd occassion when there were any) in the oven the crust was soggy. Just discovered last night that if you heat it up in a pan on top of the stove the pizza is once again crispy and delicious. I wish I would have found out about this method years ago.

                        1. re: closer53
                          racer x RE: closer53 Apr 16, 2008 10:31 AM

                          I use a pizza pan that has dozens of holes. The crust of reheated pizzas is always very crisp.

                    2. m
                      mformato RE: Josh Apr 29, 2008 01:49 PM

                      Nick's is pretty decent however whenever I go into Forest Hills I always get pizza from Dee's, located on metropoliatan ave. Good crisp crust (well- done) and good ingredients. The only negative is the price. They are pricey and one pie isn't enough.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: mformato
                        pepper RE: mformato Apr 30, 2008 09:38 AM

                        Agree, I am not sure of the appeal of Nick's. I prefer Dee's as does my 4 yr old who is the premier critic. Although I don't think either are in the top 5-10 in the area.

                        1. re: pepper
                          SpiceJunkies RE: pepper Jun 17, 2008 07:57 AM

                          So what places are in your top five for the area? I just moved over to Astoria a month ago and was really dissapointed with Sac's pizza. ($6 per topping is crazy) And I've found some decent Sicilian style (bakery on 31st st.) but I am still looking for my go to place withing a 15 min. drive.

                          1. re: SpiceJunkies
                            pellegrino31 RE: SpiceJunkies Jun 17, 2008 10:49 AM

                            I've had Sac's pizza too and was disappointed too - and certainly not worth the price. We didn't get many toppings (I think just sausage and something else) but that was enough to make most of the crust soggy.

                            I like Nick's but the crust often is way too charred, which I know is appealing for some but it takes away from the taste of the rest of the pie. Dee's pizza is good but I sometimes find that the crust can't hold up to many toppings.

                      2. g
                        ginsbera RE: Josh Jun 17, 2008 08:48 AM

                        for all the great pizza places on this board I'm seeing a huge lack of DiFara mentions...surprising since to many (including myself) it is the best pizza in the area by far....

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ginsbera
                          pellegrino31 RE: ginsbera Jun 17, 2008 10:44 AM

                          A lack of mentions on this thread or on the Outer Borough board in general? If it's the latter - just do a search on DiFara, there are tons of postings on that place.

                          1. re: pellegrino31
                            ginsbera RE: pellegrino31 Jun 17, 2008 10:48 AM

                            this thread. not this board. I've been a part of probably too many DiFara discussions on chowhound...

                            1. re: ginsbera
                              pellegrino31 RE: ginsbera Jun 18, 2008 07:04 AM

                              Ah yeah the only thing I can think of is other than a few Brooklyn and Manhattan mentions this thread has pretty much stayed on topic about pizza at Nick's and Queens in general. I saw there was just one DiFara comment above...from 2004 when this thread was started!

                              I myself haven't been to DiFara yet - usually go to Totonno's when I go for pizza in Brooklyn. I really hope to find a good afternoon to go so I can finally try it.

                        2. g
                          Geo8rge RE: Josh Jun 17, 2008 06:28 PM

                          I went to Nick's today for the first time. The pizza style was similar if not identical to a New Haven style pizza. It was as good as the better New Haven places. I do not go to New Haven that often, I think I like Modern Pizza better. It is not worth 6 hrs and $30 train fair to go to New Haven for pizza.

                          fancy oven - Brick coal wood oven pizza is BS. It might add some ambiance, and sometimes is a sign of longevity of the establishment but building a new brick oven is basically silly IMO, sign of a tourist trap. Ingredients are all that really counts.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Geo8rge
                            NYJewboy RE: Geo8rge Jun 17, 2008 07:11 PM

                            Geo8rge: I understand how you would say that, given what's around. However it does not have to be the case. In the early '90's before Patsy Grimaldi sold his pizzeria that place did justice to a modern coal oven. Now Grimaldi's is crap, but it was AMAZING once. In my opinion, even better than DiFara, and those of you who have read my ravings know what a DiFara freakozoid I am.

                          2. Polecat RE: Josh Jun 18, 2008 07:32 AM

                            Having made 3 visits over a span of six years - the most recent having been last weekend - my experience at Nick's has been uneven, both in terms of quality visits and also within the context of a single pie. Whereas one slice can be soggy, with all of the toppings falling off on first bite, the next slice might very well be crisp, with amazing flavors of fresh mozzarrella and tangy, delicious tomato sauce geling into a pure taste explosion. Some slices, as people have mentioned here, can also be overly charred so as to obliterate the natural dough taste. The red pie, when on, is much better, to my taste, than the white. I have stated in other threads that I think Nick's is somewhat over-rated, but, after having a good slice off of the red pie, I understand the enthusiasm, and would definitely encourage those who are curious to try it.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Polecat
                              janie RE: Polecat Jun 18, 2008 01:09 PM

                              the best at Nick's pizza is just to get a margarita with no toppings. Just lots of fresh basil on top, and a house salad, and a brownie or cannoli for dessert. Very satisfying, and they also make an excellent cappacino

                              1. re: janie
                                Mike V RE: janie Jun 18, 2008 02:39 PM

                                Hi Janie. They also make a great Espresso. The Espresso comes with Complimentary Sambuca (they can't sell it). You add a few drops from a oil/vinegar type glass container. I agree with the Margarita pizza with no toppings. I love this place. First Class Pizza. I've had the fabulous house salad but not the cannoli which I plan to have next visit.

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