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best sicilian (square) pizza pie in ny/nj?

  • s

[NOTE: This thread is from 2006 and has been recently resurrected. -- The Chowhound Team]

so i've been to a bunch of places in ny and nj over the years and would like to see what others here think. fyi i think 90% of the sicilian pizza out there is below average or flat-out atrocious but generally trust the judgment of all you guys, so i'm really curious to hear what you have to say.

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  1. c

    Without a doubt the #1 sicilian slice can be had at DiFara's on Ave J in Brooklyn.

    Since this is the Tri-State board I'll add that Umberto's in New Hyde Park makes a great Grandma slice.

    Link: http://www.sliceny.com/archives/di_fara/

    3 Replies
    1. re: CornflakeGirl

      Not even close..Rosa's 69 street Maspeth

      1. re: frankie

        Rosa's is complete drek.

      2. re: CornflakeGirl

        I whole heartedly agree! DiFara's is #1. Dom is a rare interdimensional shape shifter. He is actually from another universe. They have brough precious pizza secrets here to help us. GO THERE.

      3. c

        Sorry! Flipping from bard to board this early can do that do a girl.

        So if you're ever on the island check out Umberto's.

        1. hands down: difara. it's unbelievable.

          1. L & B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn - I drive all the way from New Jersey just for their square pizza!

            1. overall, it has to be di fara's...just the most delicious piece of pizza ive ever had.

              next up is l&b...amazing but in a totally different way. i hear they use beer in their dough.

              1. j
                John-Paul Pagano

                I lived there a couple of years ago, and San Marco's near the corner of Metropolitan Ave. and Lorimer Street in Williamsburg sold DELICIOUS Sicilian slices. Well worth trying, and rarely mentioned.

                3 Replies
                1. re: John-Paul Pagano

                  thanks john-paul, i'll definitely have to check it out!

                  1. re: John-Paul Pagano

                    San Marco's would be the best pizza in a place like Scranton Penn. Here it is average. Go to the avatar: DiFara, Grimaldi, Patsy's, or Tontono's

                    1. re: NYJewboy

                      No. For regular slices San Marco's is good, but not the best; for SICILIAN slices, it's top shelf, easily peering with the likes of Grimaldi. Wait... does Grimaldi even do Sicilian, or slices for that matter? Isn't it a coal-oven pie place?

                  2. If you like waiting two hours for something with a soggy middle, then by all means, go to DiFara.

                    L&B is excellent, and I can't say enough good things about Original's on Ralph Avenue & Avenue N in Brooklyn. Their Original Supreme slice is terrific.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Offbalance

                      I second L & B and Original on Ralph Ave
                      The Original on 4th Ave and Bay Ridge Pkwy(69th St)is excellent as well

                      1. re: Offbalance

                        Yes, but if eaten RIGHT AWAY the soggy middle retains it's primordial flavor burst. If you wait more than 75 seconds it looses everything, I understand and feel your pain brother. Just eat it faster. It is not here for us, we are here for it!

                        1. re: Offbalance

                          2 hours? It almost always takes under 30 minutes to get a pie at Di Fara. I haven't waited over 20 in a long time.

                          L&B is excellent if it's 1am, you're with your friends in a car and you need cheap eats. I don't eat L$B before midnight and I probably wouldn't like it very much if I did.

                        2. I'm convinced that the sicilian at Rosa's in Maspeth is the best in any borough.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: 11jeff11
                            East Elmhurst AL

                            Every time my brother comes in from Conn we go there and he brings home 2 or 3 pies. He's nuts about it. I think it's very good as well.

                            1. re: 11jeff11

                              It's nice to see ROSA is getting some play on this board. The Rosa locations in both Maspeth (on 69st, right off of Grand Ave) and in Ridgewood (corner of Fresh Pond and Met) make one of the best sicilian slices in NYC.

                              Ironically the Rosa location in Middle Village is mediocre at best.

                              1. re: 11jeff11
                                The Chicken Tender

                                Rosa's (grand ave.) not only has the best square, but everything in that place is fanstatice. i work a few blocks away and have tried most of the menu and they blow me away each and every time. the grandma slice is tops!!!!

                              2. DiFara's, hands down. Anyone saying L&B either has never been to DiFara's, isn't strictly talking about the food (people mention wait, this is about the food) or has lost all taste in their mouth!

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Fred

                                  the answer is both DIFARAS and L&B imo. they are different styles of the square and so not 100% comparable.

                                  1. re: mrnyc

                                    I'd like to throw out a random pie that I think is very good - comparable to L&B but no so to Dom's (his is the best, but it costs nearly twice as much). I really like the "special Sicilian" at Pipitone's on Dekalb in Fort Green. Just a notch under the L&B version, it's the one with the sauce on top of the cheese. Their regular Sicilian slice is just OK. (FWIW, it's Albanian-run, and they unfortunately don't make bureks, but harass them and perhaps they may some day.)

                                2. f
                                  Foodie at Large

                                  Rizzo's Steinway St Astoria, Queens

                                  1. hey guys,

                                    thanks for the input. what you guys said pretty much coincides with my opinion--like most of you i'm a huge fan of di fara (both the regular and square pies) and think l & b is great for their square pie only.

                                    i also agree with those who say it's hard to make a fair comparison of the square pie at these two places b/c of the difference in styles.

                                    as for other places:

                                    i have NOT been to rosa's, so i will definitely have to check it out - thanks for the tip!

                                    i DO like rizzo's - i finally made it there last year and have been several times since. good stuff.

                                    but i'm a little surprised that no one here mentioned ozone pizza. IMHO that place makes awesome square pies, better than l & b on most nights (it's a similar style of pie, with a fairly similar crust and with the sauce atop the cheese. and, like l & b, it's hard to compare it w/the square pie at di fara because of the difference in styles.). in fact, i'd argue that of the sauce-atop-cheese variant of the square pie, ozone makes the best i've had in nyc.

                                    i'd love to hear if anyone else has tried this place - and if so, do you agree with my opinion? or am i just crazy?!?

                                    one other place i just thought of:
                                    mr. nino's in harrison, nj.
                                    i used to go here when i was a kid growing up in dirty jersey. i have NO idea if it's still around, but it was the first place i'd ever gone to that served square slices with the sauce atop the cheese. in fact, i thought it was something that only mr. nino's did, which was part of the reason why i loved that place (besides the fact that their slices were so good). this was back in the 80s.

                                    when i went to l & b for the first time in the late 90s, i was immediately reminded of the square slices at mr. nino's. now, i have no idea if i'd feel the same way about mr. nino's today (assuming if it even exists anymore, which is not a certainty by any means), so i'm curious if anyone here is familiar with this place and has tried it recently (or at least remembers it from back in the 80s).

                                    thanks, and don't be shy with any other tips!

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: surly

                                      oh btw, if anyone knows any places outside of the city proper - such as mr. nino's - please do share!

                                      like many of you - have car, will travel (for great food, that is).

                                      1. re: surly

                                        I love Mr. Nino's in Harrison!! It is still around, but their slices are not square anymore. Certainly a competitor for the best pizza around.

                                      2. DiFara's, there is no substitute. Pure orgasmic pizza.

                                        1. These are my current top ten choices :

                                          1.L & B - Bensonhurst
                                          2.Vic's - Gravesend
                                          3.Lazzara - Manhattan
                                          4.DiFara - Midwood
                                          5.Santillo - Elizabeth, NJ
                                          6.Rose & Joe - Astoria
                                          7.Elegante - Bay Ridge
                                          8.La Sorrentina - Dyker Heights
                                          9.Sal's - East Williamsburg
                                          10.Catania - Bronx

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: verrazanohound

                                            Coratos in Glendale on Myrtle. Was always their trademark.

                                            1. re: fcara

                                              Speaking of Mrytle and the enclave of Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and the like, Joe's on Forest just hired a new guy for their pizza. the introduced a grandma slice, their Sicilian is crunchy and flavorful and the cheese hits the spot.

                                            1. The Sicilian Pizza in NYC is best because of the water.
                                              You can get good pizza in NJ but usually it is a place that makes the dough in NYC or Brooklyn.
                                              Interesting Article

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: shabbystorm

                                                They say that about bagels, too!

                                              2. I have tried the Sicilian from L&B twice and was disappointed. It was kind of gummy. In the general vicinity is Italia Pizzia & Restaurant, 307 Kings Highway, Brooklyn (718) 339-0666‎. I order it at least once a week. Very crisp and light crust. Sweet and savory tomato topping. In fact, I'm kind of addicted to it. Their regular pepperoni pie is a winner too. They've been in business since the 1950's.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: Brklynbobby

                                                  I'm a big fan of Artichoke's Sicilian on 14th in Manhattan. In fact, besides their gloppy namesake slice, the pizza here is outstanding - my second favorite in the city. (After Dom, of course.) It should be noted that I'm generally in an inebriated state when I go here, but doesn't that heighten the senses? ;)

                                                  1. re: lambretta76

                                                    Second for Artichoke Sicilian. Don't get the namesake, unless you want a stomach ache. The sicilian is excellent, and the Margarita looked great too (didn't try it).

                                                  2. re: Brklynbobby

                                                    I'm taking the Italia challenge today Brklynbobby. I'll check back in. Your pizza posts seem to warrant it.

                                                  3. Finally went to L&B with my law partner and his wife. They are both from Italy and love pizza. Their favorite is Luzzo. Anyway, we hated just about everything we tried there. Pizzas, mussels, antipasto. I really don't understand how/why this place gets raves.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: waylook

                                                      I don't like it either. There are two things, however, I do like about the place:
                                                      1. The outside seating in nice weather
                                                      2. The spumoni is really good
                                                      Therefore, next time you're in the area, have a spumoni and sit outside

                                                      1. re: Brklynbobby

                                                        Couple of things: I agree on L&B, soggy and lacking some intensity of flavor. i eat a sicilian from there, I get full and then I think:"pizza is really not that good for you, isnt it?". Not really being well educated on sicilian pies, though, comparing L&B to Lazzara in Mahattan (which calls their pie sicilian, and it is square), but it is light and delicious with this very slight, very intriguing almost lemony flavor in it - seems so very different from L&B that I am not really sure which one is a true sicilian since they both cant be..... Maybe I am just a sicilian neophyte.
                                                        Which neighborhod is Itala in - sounds like a good one?