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Best New York Style pizza that's not Arinell?

I heard that there's a good shop on Divisadero, - but don't know the name. Can anyone help?


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  1. I think you might mean Little Star, which has deep dish as well as thin crust. http://www.littlestarpizza.com/ As a former NYC resident, I thought their thin crust was pretty good. My DH, who is a native NY'er, liked it more than I did. Go figure. My favorite pizza in NY was Two Boots http://www.twoboots.com/frames/TwoBoo..., which some would say isn't true NY pizza either. However, Pizza Orgasmica here in SF comes close, with a nice cornmeal crust. However, I still haven't found a pizza here to-date which rivals Totonnos or Grimaldi's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: AlleyCat

      Thank you, yeah, John's of Bleeker just edged out Grimaldi's for me, with John's being the best I think that I've ever had.

      Thanks again.

      1. re: sordidman

        Nizza's "San Gennaro" combo with housemade sausage and bell peppers reminds me of my favorite pizza at John's, only with better ingredients.

        1. re: sordidman

          Really? I've been to two John's locations (Bleeker and UES in the 60s), and got burned both times. I thought Grimaldi's and Lombardi's was 1000 times better. I got a plain cheese - should I have ordered something else?

          For NY style around here try Pie in the Sky in Berkeley. I also dig Speederia in San Carlos which is really good, but not quite as close to NY style as Pie in the Sky (the first place I found around here that was foldable).

      2. We discussed that two weeks ago:


        Little Star's deep-dish is the best I've had in this area. Thin crust was not so good. Not a place to go for NY-style.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Since this old thread has popped up I have to say I quite enjoy Little Star's thin crust pizza. I've had plenty in NYC and on the East Coast and I wouldn't exactly describe it as east coast style but still quite good and not too doughy like much of the pizza here on the west coast. The crust is pleasant and crispy in my experience, what was it about the thin crust you didn't like?

          1. re: Robert Lauriston

            I have to agree with Robert. The thin crust at Little Star was just so-so but their deep dish is excellent.

          2. BEST NY STYLE IN East Bay.

            Hand's down these are the best in the East Bay and perhaps Bay Area as a whole for NY style thin crust Pizza. Trust me, just go to all of them. Lanesplitter also has excellent California micro-beer.

            Arinell Pizza



            1. second for lanesplitter at san pablo and university in berkeley. it's not so much grimaldi-esque, maybe more sal & carmine-ish??

              1. I like the pizza at Lanesplitter, at least when it comes out crispy (which seems to have become the default, used to have to specify). Doesn't remind me of anything I've had in New York, but there are a lot of different kinds of pizza there.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                  Yeah, nothing on the East Coast reminds me of Lanesplitter and it is in the East Bay and not SF.

                  I heard that Georgios is like Gaspare's which is the closest in the city I've found to certain NY pizza styles.

                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                    Its never been crispy when I've gone there...

                  2. As a former Brooklynite I would say:

                    1- Village Pizzeria on Clement has some great slices- NY Style crust is a little thin

                    2- Georgios on Clement- thicker crust, more NY style but not as good as Village.

                    ENter the fog in Richmond for a taste of Brooklyn

                    1. Little Star is definitely delicious, but there's also Amina's Pizza - 655 Divisadero @ Grove. The pizza is very good, but the place has to work out some kinks.

                      The one and only time I went there was about two months ago, when I had orderd a pizza for delivery and an hour later it hadn't arrived. I called them up and the guy on the other end informed me that their delivery guy was MIA but if we wanted to come get the pizza ourselves, it would be free.

                      We walked over to pick up the pizza and the place looked like they had just opened. There were no tables, just a counter and a couple of stools. The lone guy working there was very nice, but you could tell it had been a tough night.

                      The good news was that the pizza was very good, and not just because it was free. It's thinner than Little Star's thin crust. I definitely recommend you try the place, but I don't know if they've gotten their act together yet or not.

                      1. "The New Yorker" pizza at Haystack Pizza in Noe Valley reminds me alot of Ray's and other Mnahattan shops

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: NoeMan

                          Ray's isn't real NY pizza any more than a Pizza Hut in Times Square would be considered "real NY pizza" ;)
                          Does anyone know of any places that even compare to Totonno's or DiFara's? Any real Brooklyn pizza in SF??
                          I know this topic says "besides Arinell" but honestly, it's the closest I've found yet.

                          1. re: sparmonic

                            Isn't there a SF branch of Arinell?

                            1. re: kc72


                              Arinell Pizza
                              509 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                            2. re: sparmonic

                              Let me guess sparmonic, you're from Brooklyn................
                              Pizza Hut? come on

                              Welcome to Chowhound, no need to reply, I could write your next one for you already, Thanks for telegraphing.......

                              1. re: NoeMan

                                Link if it is still there.
                                Also adding link from last great Brooklyn Pizza Hunt.

                                Arinell Pizza
                                509 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                              2. re: sparmonic

                                I am also originally from Brooklyn, and when I visit NY I make a pilgrimage out to DiFara's and Totonno's
                                In San Francisco the closest I have found is the nicely scorched "New Yorker" at "Amicis".
                                ...but I would try Pie in the Sky if I travelled to the East Bay and craved pizza...but since I haven't tried them, I cannot comment...I do not like Arinells at all... I have gone a number of times over the years (SF), and always been disappointed... "Amicis" is a small local chain...in SF they are located on Lombard in the Marina, and on King diagonally across the street from the stadium.

                                1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                  I like Gioia in Berkeley also

                                  Gioia Pizzeria
                                  1586 Hopkins St, Berkeley, CA 94707

                                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                    A Slice of New York in San Jose is my choice of NY style pizza in the Bay Area. Opened by an ex-New Yorker ex-Cisco engineer who missed a good slice.


                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                      I make the DiFara pilgrimage regularly, too, and I echo the rec of Amici's. I actually have had some surprisingly decent pizzas at Victor's on Polk recently. You get a nice char if you specify you want the crust extra well done, plus they deliver really quickly. Tomasso's isn't NY style -- reminds me more of places in Boston -- but also worth a try.

                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                        Yes Victor's can come close as well...I have begun asking pizza places to sprinkle olive oil on the pizza before baking, it helps with the oozy/magma feeling of the cheese...and I for one like the oil...

                                      2. re: ChowFun_derek

                                        ...for those who are interested...here is a link to AMICI'S they have locations throughout the Bay Area


                                      3. re: sparmonic

                                        Depends on which Ray's your talking about sparmonic. Rays Famous Pizza, Ray's Pizza, The Original Famous Rays Pizza, Original Rays Pizza, Famous Rays Pizza, Ray's Famous Pizza, Famous Original Ray's, or one of the millions other ones. Some of them are great, many not so much.

                                        Speederia Pizzeria in San Carlos makes a good slice. It's thin crust Manhattan style. Comes closest to John's (the way it used to be before they ruined it and expanded) in the Village.

                                        Speederia Pizzeria
                                        711 Laurel St, San Carlos, CA 94070

                                    2. I'm from New York, I've had NY pizza from Dutchess county all the way to South Jersey and in every borough of NYC.

                                      As much as SFer's hate to hear it over and over, you just can't get a good slice hear(atleast not consistantly).
                                      Milano's is most consistantly good (delivery not so good),
                                      Pauline's good but not NY, Golden Boy sometimes
                                      North beach pretty good.

                                      But I say just forget it. When your in NY eat Pizza When your in SF eat PHO it's the only place in the country to get it right.

                                      15 Replies
                                      1. re: cperretti

                                        Golden Boy's pizza is like thick focaccia, very soft and doughy.

                                        1. re: cperretti

                                          There was a time when North Beach Pizza was pretty good ... that time has passed. Once they started to expand, the quality dived. I was really embarrassed when ordering a pizza for a client from North Beach. It was awful. My client said it was awful.

                                            1. re: cperretti

                                              toto's is the closest thing I've had. i work with several NY transplants and that's the only place they will get the pizza from for all our meetings. cheese or pepperoni is all you need.

                                              1. re: pumakat

                                                I have to agree that Toto's really does hit that spot. We went last night (our second time). It is always packed, but the crust has some salt to it so it is flavorful, the crust on the majority of pizzas had some char to it, and the cheese is browned well. Our pizza was less cooked than most I saw (they were very busy), but the cheese they use is sliced and not shredded and also has nice chew to it (less moisture I guess than you would get at Round Table or some place like that, where undercooking makes the pizza taste like crap and the cheese not have any chew/good gooey versus bad gooey). Toppings are flavorful- good sausage. Onions are very thinly sliced red onions (which I love on pizza). Sauce is mild but not flavorless, and is complemented by the crust. Has a clear tomato paste taste, but not a dominant one (like Tomasso's does). Sauce is not sweet. Crust on ours was a little soggy in the middle, but everywhere else had the crispy/chewy that is just great. Toto's is really good for what it is. Pizza is so hard on this board because a lot of the signpost places are in the East Bay, so I can't compare.

                                                I really do love Toto's. It is clearly a local fave, and I think they do it in the old fashioned neighborhood pizza place way. Reminds me of the pizza we used to get in Connecticut when I was a kid.

                                                It seems like there is more than one. We go to the one in San Bruno.

                                                Toto's Restaurant & Pizzeria
                                                1690 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA

                                          1. re: cperretti

                                            I too am from NY and miss NY style pizza as much as I miss a good bagel (sigh).

                                            Our favorite place for pizza in the Bay Area is Nizza la Bella in Albany. It's better than most NY pizzas I've ever had. It's right up there with the best. It compares with the best pizza I've had in Italy. And they're pretty consistent. Their crust is to die for...thin, crispy, crust with a chewy bulbous border and nicely blackened bottom. I'd never gotten into the blackened bottom thing until Italy and Nizza la Bella showed me the way. Wow!!

                                            1. re: chilihead2006

                                              I have GOT to do a pizza crawl in the East Bay! There are too many reports of good NY Pizza! Thanks for adding another to my list!
                                              Are they on or near Solano?

                                              1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                On San Pablo Ave. nr Solano.

                                                Nizza La Bella
                                                827 San Pablo Ave, Albany, CA 94706

                                                1. re: kc72

                                                  Thanks...I bring my 'Chowpup" (see photo) to "Point Isabel" occasionally...now I have another reason to go, as Nizza La Bella is so close!

                                              2. re: chilihead2006

                                                ...for those who are interested...here is a link to AMICI'S they have locations throughout the Bay Area


                                                1. re: chilihead2006

                                                  IMO, the pizza in SF is better than the bagels.

                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                    Most certainly. SF has some great pizza out there. Some of which has no equal in New York.

                                                2. re: cperretti

                                                  That said, Pizza Gourmet in Santa Rosa makes an awesome California pie....which in it's own right can be a sensational gastronomic event. I enjoy their BBQ Chicken pie almost as much as NY pie. Their crust is absolutely superb.

                                                  Oh man, this thread is really making my stomach growl!!

                                                  1. re: chilihead2006


                                                    Pizza Gourmet
                                                    1415 Fulton Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

                                                3. Cicero's Pizza, in the South Bay, serves a crisp, thin crust pie. The tomato sauce recipe is from Niagra Falls, NY, and so good I want to eat it by the bowlful.

                                                  Cicero's Pizza
                                                  6138 Bollinger Rd, San Jose, CA 95129

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: anyhow

                                                    But Cicero's is a cracker crust pizza, not what people usually mean when they say New York style pizza. They usually mean New York City, not Buffalo :).

                                                    In the Silicon Valley area, Slice of New York and Giovanni's are perhaps the best bets. Though my favorite at Slice of New York is the meatball sub!


                                                    A Slice of New York
                                                    3443 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose, CA 95117

                                                    Giovanni's New York Pizzeria
                                                    1127 Lawrence Expressway, Sunnyvale, CA

                                                    1. re: mdg

                                                      OK, no argument about what we all mean by NY style pizza. (these are all derivatives, not duplicates of NY pizza)

                                                      I've tried the spots you named, and -- since we have to give a little leeway for all the bay area pizzerias -- I'll go with a flavorful crust and tasty ingredients. If the crust crispness is off-target for you, that's OK with me. The sauce, the cheese, the meats and veggies all taste so good on that crust that it has balance.

                                                      That's what I remember about the best pizzas I had in the five boroughs, upstate, in Jersey, Philly, or Boston. It's Italian-American and that's about the sauce. If you like another better, enjoy.

                                                      1. re: anyhow


                                                        mdg was just being very specific. Cicero's thin crust is Chicago/midwest style thin crust pizza. It is a lot thinner and completely crisp (no chew).

                                                        I love CIcero's, but their pizza is a different beast. It also generally will have less cheese than a Tri-State or New England pizza- where the crust with have both crispness and chewiness, and a little bit of saltiness.

                                                        Cicero's also does finely ground sausage sprinkled over the pizza, instead of chunks or slices.

                                                        1. re: P. Punko

                                                          Hi P. Punko and mdg --

                                                          Thanks for taking the time to help out with your posts. I guess I was drifting into personal preference as a generalization -- my excuse is a long week of tough work. You guys know your stuff and I'm glad you shared.

                                                          This is another of the difficult topics like bagels, pastrami, XLB and others where regional variations are acknowledged ... then quality of product is discussed. Finally, we all have preferences on form and taste.

                                                          I will just keep on folding and eating slices -- maybe one day we can share a pie and a pitcher -- Howard

                                                      2. re: mdg

                                                        Mdg, A Slice of New York looks good, but I was shocked at how expensive their pizzas are- 28 bucks for a large combo. Just an FYI for people on the board about sticker shock. (this is about 5-6 bucks more than Toto's in San Bruno for comparison.

                                                        1. re: P. Punko

                                                          In ASofNY's defense, their most expensive "City" combo pizza has 7 toppings while Toto's has 5 toppings. Also, ASofNY's large is usually equivalent to most other places x-large size pie.

                                                          I like Toto's pizza, but I still prefer ASofNY. My major annoyance with Toto's is that their sauce/cheese and even one topping will easily slip off the crust, making for difficult one-hand eating.

                                                          Cicero's is a different animal, but I enjoy their pizza from time to time.

                                                          1. re: Cary

                                                            I cut just the first fifth of so off the Toto's piece which is the slippage danger zone, and then can one hand the rest of it, cuz I noticed the exact same thing! A reheated piece seems to behave better.

                                                    2. Since this thread got resurrected...

                                                      Really none of these suggestions are going to fill a craving for NY Style pizza, which is usually just a straight up crappy pizza by the slice - fake cheese affair, or a grandma style fresh mozz and basil old style pizza. Delfina is probably the closest. For a crap slice, you have way more options but it depends specifically what your concept of a NY pizza is. If you said Two Boots you'd get very different suggestions then if you said Lombardis, and likewise if you said John's you're not going to want the places anyone would suggest to a Lombardi fan.

                                                      The closest thing to a Nunless you're talking about a crap pizza by the slice with fake cheese. Then

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: sugartoof

                                                        Really..Delfina? Don't they serve a traditional Neapolitan pie?

                                                        1. re: a_and_w

                                                          Sure, but it's closer to a Totonno than a Luzzo's and it's one of the few options for a proper Margherita.

                                                          1. re: a_and_w

                                                            They do serve traditional Neopolitan pie, as does A16...quite good, and one can definitely see the influence of Neopolitan style on "NY Style..as many of the Italians on the East Coast came from Naples/Campagna, or Calabria and Sicily (neighbors of Campagna)

                                                            Ps. when I was in San Bruno a year back and tried Toto's I thought it was quite good, and enjoyed it, and if I'm in the neighborhood and not drawn to Asia Pearl, I'd have it again.

                                                            1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                              Gialina is also quite good for the thin crust pizza. I recently had an arugula pizza with an egg cracked in the middle, very good.


                                                              2842 Diamond St, San Francisco, CA 94131

                                                              1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                                                When it's good it's very good, but I can't think of anyone serving a similar pie in New York, can you?

                                                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                                                    The closest I've found is Speederia Pizzeria (mentioned above) for a quick, reheated slice on to go. Their pizza remind me a lot of the slices I used to get in NY.

                                                                  2. re: Shane Greenwood

                                                                    Yes, Galina is good, but I don't see it as New York Pizza....I think I call it "California Style" good but different. (wish she was open for lunch!) ...for that matter, I wish Little Star and Pauline's were open for lunch too.. at Least Amici's is (both City locations are open for lunch) i wish I liked Paxti's better than Little Star for Chicago style, but I don't (they are open for lunch)

                                                                    1. re: ChowFun_derek

                                                                      They describe their pizza as "Neapolitan-style" on their website for what it's worth. There are many pizza restaurants that claim that style in NY as well. But I think this pizza debate is a lot like the great bagel debate; if you want food just like you get in NY, you have to go to NY.

                                                                      1. re: Shane Greenwood

                                                                        Unlike bagels, I think there's a long tradition of great pizza in San Francisco though.

                                                                        Gialini is just unique. There's no duplicate in New York right now, which is a good thing. It's also not really a classic Neapolitan style in that the crust doesn't have the same chewy consistency and she doesn't rely on simple spare ingredients. It's really only the Lombardi/Grimaldi variation of pizza you'd have trouble duplicating in SF.

                                                            2. So, as long as we're reviving this conversation... there is a new kid on the block.

                                                              I think Rotten City Pizza in EV is da bomb. I love it. The plain cheese slice is a work of art. The toppings? Definitely not "crap" slices. But I think the pies are true to their roots. The real deal. But I have no NYC cred (Boston raised) so what do I know? What I want to know is, how does it measure up?

                                                              Rotten City Pizza
                                                              6613 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. It's not sold by the slice (not yet, anyway), but Tony's makes the best Ray's-style pizza I've had, period: their "Classic American" thin-crust, available in plain cheese or with pepperoni. Might even be too good to satisfy an ex-New Yorker's junk-food craving.


                                                                Their insanely long and varied menu may feature other NY styles.

                                                                14 Replies
                                                                1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                  Interesting... can you get the Classic American cooked in the wood oven?

                                                                  1. re: a_and_w

                                                                    I don't know how amenable they are to special requests, but that wouldn't really be right. Ray's-type places have flat-top gas deck ovens.

                                                                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                      Ray's-type places serve bad pizza made from inferior ingredients, so I don't much care about meeting their definition of what's "right." What I'm looking for is something like Patsy's East Harlem, which serves street pizza cooked in a coal oven. Since there are no coal ovens in SF, wood would be the next best thing.

                                                                      1. re: a_and_w

                                                                        Nizza la Bella has I think on occasion had a pizza inspired by Patsy's.

                                                                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                          Nizza la Bella is better than Patsy's, IMHO, as an ex-NY'er born and raised. :)

                                                                          1. re: chilihead2006

                                                                            I think I know why this question is always being asked?

                                                                            It's because California Chefs go out of their way to "not" make their pizza taste like "NY Style Pizza"!!

                                                                          2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                            Thanks for the tip. I haven't been to Nizza la Bella, but it looks Neapolitan from the pics. You're saying they sometimes do street pizza in the wood oven? I have to say, the blistering on the crust looks beautiful.

                                                                            1. re: a_and_w

                                                                              I don't know what you mean by street pizza, to me NY street pizza is gloppy Ray's-style slices. Here's a long topic about the pizza there:


                                                                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                Ray's is technically street pizza, but a terrible representation of the style. A better example would be Joe's of Bleecker -- that's classic street pizza minus the glop. Based on descriptions, Tony's "Classic American" sounds like street pizza. So, imagine a Classic American pie cooked in a coal oven. That's basically what Patsy's East Harlem does.

                                                                                1. re: a_and_w

                                                                                  I haven't had Patsy's to compare, but while the pies at John's of Bleeker St. may be similar to a good version of Ray's when they go in the coal oven, they come out very different. If it's possible to duplicate coal-oven crust with some other kind of oven, I haven't had it yet.

                                                                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                                    I said Joe's, not John's, which is a very different beast. Here's a blog on Patsy's East Harlem from Slice:


                                                                                    Slice actually classifies Patsy's as NY-Neapolitan, but I think that's a mistake. Really, the only thing Neapolitan about Patsy's pizza is the crust, which has some bubbling like a Neapolitan pie. That comes from quick cooking in a super hot oven. I think the wood-fired oven at Neapolitan place like Nizza la Bella or Tony's would be able to produce something similar.

                                                                                  2. re: a_and_w

                                                                                    I totally agree, and would add DiFara's in Brooklyn as well as Totonno's in Coney Island...very different pizzas from Ray's et al.

                                                                      2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                                                        I walked in to Tony's the other day to see the place and look at a menu, though I knew I couldn't stay and eat. Man did those pies look good!

                                                                        Had an Arinell's slice by chance the other day for lunch...100% disappointing. Flabby, flabby, flabby. I still don't get the fuss over that place.

                                                                        My money is still on Gioia for best local interpretation of the "NY style."

                                                                        Lanesplitter can be good, IMHO, but only on the smaller pies. The larger ones are always stretched too think, often to the point of tearing the dough.

                                                                        1. re: mightylittle

                                                                          I've had lots of random "Ray's"-style street slices in NY that were quite similar to Arinell's. Obviously some people crave that style (just look at all the 4- and 5-star raves on Yelp).

                                                                      3. What. No one posted for Za? Here's my vote for zapizzasf.com, on Hyde.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: universe

                                                                          I like Za but it's not NY style. Cornmeal = cheating, which isn't to say I don't like it. It's just not New York.

                                                                        2. There had been some raves around Emilia's Pizza. I haven't made it over there yet. Some others may be able to chime in on where it rates.


                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Scott M

                                                                            Emilia's is a contender. Note that they no longer sell slices.


                                                                            Emilia's Pizzeria
                                                                            2995 Shattuck Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705

                                                                          2. Amazonas on Telegraph (Oakland, nr.25th, not far from the hospital complex or Oasis Mkt.) has three different crust styles. Only tried the thin crust, in a Margherita, and it was an excellent interpretation of a northeast-style pizza with very good mozzarella (fresh, not too much) and fresh basil. Their menu describes their "Italian" style crust as NY-inspired, and I could only guess it probably has a slightly thicker crust (yes, I've eaten good pizza in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and southern Connecticut).