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Pizza Recommendations?

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Hi there,

I'll be visiting New York for the first time next week. I understand that New York is known for their pizza and I was hoping to get some recommendations on where to go.

I appreciate the help.

klutchman

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  1. Many people will say that you should head out to Brooklyn and try DiFara, Grimaldi's or Totonno's.

    In manhattan, I really like Patsy's, Angelo's and John's on Bleecker St. Other's like Una Pizza Napoletana, Arturo's or Adrienne's.

    You might want to check out the Slice NY website for more info. http://www.sliceny.com

    1 Reply
    1. re: BackyardChef

      Brooklyn's Difaras is by far the best pizza you can possibly find any where on the east cost. conv. oven at 750 f, 3. cheeses, basil loaded sauce, and he douses it with olive oil right before it goes into the oven.
      E.15 and ave J. in Brooklyn. between ocean ave and coney island ave.
      his salad is great to. red leaf lettuce, tomato, fresh mozzarella, prosciutto, olive oil and a really good balsamic vinegar
      so get a pie and a salad and your set.
      The only thing is you'll have to
      go to Brooklyn
      get lucky or wait online for an hour
      and then spend 20 bucks for a pie. but that's not a problem for me"i give ma pinky "
      chow :)

    2. You have to decide between a whole pie (in a sit down restaurant setting) and a slice. The sit down places I like are: Arturo's and Patsy's in Harlem.

      As for slices, here's a dirty little secret. Most pizzerias that serve slices (NOT delis that also have a pizza counter) are good. People will swear by their local pizzeria (I love Mimi's on Lexington Ave, Rivoli on Hudson Street, Naples 45 at lunch time) but it's tough to go wrong anywhere. I feel there's more variance within a single day at one place than between places.

      There will be adamant disagreement within a few hours of my post. But I stick by this assertion. Save your tourist time for sight seeing, not trecking to a certain pizzeria for a special slice. The whole point of New York pizza is that it's good everywhere, like BBQ in the South or tacos in SF.

      3 Replies
      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

        You expected an adamant disagreement, and you're getting it. The average slice is not very good at all.

        1. re: Pan

          absolutely!

        2. re: NAtiveNewYorker

          if you want something representative of the typical ny slice I would take nativenewyorker's suggestion and get a local slice somewhere. Yes definitely avoid deli pizzas :( . And avoid famous rays, sbarros and most other chains except famiglia (famiglia has decent and average slices in my opnion). The average new york slice is not that bad.

        3. My favorite is Lombardi's on Spring Street--as a bonus, it makes a good story because it's allegedly the first pizzeria in the United States. I love their clam pie, but that's a matter of personal taste (the clams are a bit chewy, which turns some people off).

          Another great idea is to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge, and, once in Brooklyn, head to Grimaldi's in DUMBO. From the bridge, it's about a 10-15 minute walk. After pizza, be sure to stop by the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, on the Fulton Ferry Landing.

          Sarah
          http://www.avenuefood.blogspot.com

          2 Replies
          1. re: slynnkiino

            Lombardi's is the first licensed in the US - 1905

            And, I was at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory last weekend and though the product was the least distinquished I have eaten recently - I thought it average at best.

            At 4:00 PM in the afternoon on a Saturday Grimaldi's had over 30 people on line!

            1. re: slynnkiino

              If you're going to walk the Bridge, it's probably better to walk from Brooklyn into Manhattan. There's a better view. Take the train to Brooklyn for lunch and walk back over the bridge.

            2. I finally picked up a copy of Ed Levine's book "Pizza: A Slice of Heaven." It's based on his sampling about 1,000 different slices from around the country.

              He lists 13 pizzerias in the USA that he says make "a transcendent pizza that could cause grown men and women to moan with pleasure in public without embarrassment."

              From that list he lists 6 that are "Keepers of the Flame" who have "mastered Neapolitan and Neapolitan-American pizza-making traditions and techniques, and in some cases improved upon them."

              Four of those 6 are in NYC - I have tried the first two and agree that they are a little bit of heaven!

              • Una Pizza Napoletana, New York; 212-477-9950.
              • Di Fara Pizza, Brooklyn, N.Y.; 718-258-1367.
              • Nick's Pizza, Manhattan; 212-987-5700.
              • Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano, Brooklyn, 718-372-8606.

              4 Replies
              1. re: livetotravel

                I thought Nick's Pizzeria was in Forest Hills. Is the Manhattan branch (?) considered the best now?

                1. re: Pan

                  I'll have to file this under rumor because I haven't walked past in the last week or two, but I heard Nick's on 94th recently closed.

                  Tipsy

                  1. re: TipsyMcStagger

                    WHAT??
                    Is that true?? I consider Nick's as one of the best pizzas you can get in Manhattan.
                    The last time I had their pizza was probably about a month ago.
                    Can someone confirm this rumor??? I will be very very disappointed if that is true...

                    1. re: Muffin

                      No Way! Nasty rumor. Nick's is alive and well at 1814 2nd Ave at 94th St! 212-987-5700

              2. A new good place has opened on Second Ave between 52-51, eastside of the street: Krunch Pizza.
                I think the pizza issue has a lot to do with one's earliest experience. Mine was Sicilian, upstate NY, 50s.
                Does anyone remember the Pizza Den in Forest Hills?
                My earliest road trip in Italy was a pizza eye opener.

                1 Reply
                1. re: serious

                  I ate at pizza den in Forest Hills with my father in the late 60's or early 70's about once a month. I loved it, but barely remember it.

                2. I have to agree with Lombardi's on Spring Street and with the clam pizza. If you add a little bacon to that, it's heaven on a plate.

                  I also tend to agree with the poster who said pizza by the slice is pretty good anywhere. What's that old saying..."Pizza is like sex. Even when it's bad, it's still pretty good."

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Jill

                    And I strongly disagree with Lombardi's or the clam pizza there and suggest Arturo's clam pizza. That is, unless Lombardi's actually went "uphill" in the last couple of years or so.

                    1. re: Pan

                      I live a few blocks away from Lombardi's, which means that I also have a fairly easy walk to Arturo's. It took me a long time to finally get there though, because I was consistently incapable of adding to my long-term memory the fact that they're not open for lunch. However, I finally had a pie at Arturo's about a week or so ago.

                      There were some good points to Arturo's offering, but during a good day on Spring Street, Lombardi picks up Arturo, smacks his ass red, then throws him down a flight of stairs.

                      1. re: big o

                        I guess in three trips, I've never been to Lombardi's on a good day? Did you try the clam pizza at Arturo's? When I went there with a large group and tried a bunch of different pizzas, I thought that was by far their best.

                        1. re: Pan

                          It's possible that I've had really good luck at Lombardi's, or maybe I've just figured out how to order properly (small pies only, one topping at most, and asking for it slightly well done doesn't hurt).

                          I was only with one other pizza-eater during my visit to Arturo's, so just one pie was ordered. And, while I typically prefer plain pizza to topped anyway, a first visit is always a plain pie affair.

                          I appreciate that they never seem to pull a pie out of the oven before it's properly done. Every pizza -- from mine, to my neighbors', to the hundreds I've seen while walking by on Houston -- has been browned up perfectly.

                          That said, I think their crust is twice as thick as it should be, and the sauce and cheese were good, but not particularly remarkable. What I really missed, though, was the basil that Lombardi's sprinkles over their pies. It would have made a really big difference.

                        2. re: big o

                          Okay, Big-O...Lombardi's smacking Arturo's ass red and tossing him down the steps is pretty funny. Thanks for the laugh.

                    2. For one of the best slices (don't expect ambiance) - Sal and Carmine's on Bway and 102nd street.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LJW

                        I also LOVE Sal and Carmines...worth the trip uptown. You gotta love the guys behind the counter...

                        Funny story, my hubby took my brother to order a take out pie and when my brother tried to ask for this and that regarding crust etc. (he always has to special order) one of them replied with a thick Italian accent "We make it a like we make it"...

                        We still get a good laugh when someone brings it up...

                      2. Some favorite slices of mine are Rosario's on Stanton and Orchard (Their pepperoni rolls and cheesy dogs are awesome too!), the chicken and tomato slice at Luigi's on 88th and 1st, and the well kept secret that the East Harlem Patsy's has slices!

                        1. Recently I tried Lombardi's Pizza at Spring St & Mott St. I had heard so many praises about this place.

                          The pizza sause and cheese tasted very good, but the crust was soggy and chewy and ruined the whole experience.

                          What did I miss.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: stevec418

                            Not sure if this was the problem in your case, but with thin-crusted New York pies in general, it's a good idea to keep toppings to a minimum. Piling them on can result in heaviness and a soggy crust.

                            --Sarah

                            http://www.avenuefood.com

                          2. stevec418,

                            I've had a couple pizzas from Lomabrdi's like that and unfortunately I don't think it's that uncommon. Other posters have recommended ordering the pizzas "well done" at Lombardi's, which is what I plan on trying next time ..

                            1. Definitely Luigi's on 88th and 1st avenue. Also, Patsy's on the Upper East Side. And Pugsley's in the Bronx near Fordham University.

                              1. we just had a mushroom pizza w/ our 15 y.o. neice at LOMBARDIS and with the caveat we were hungry i must say it was insanely delicious.

                                1. By this time, Klutchman - the original poster - has long come and gone.
                                  Klutchman, dare I ask...which pizza did you sample? Do us all a favor and put
                                  an end to this, the quintillionth pizza thread on this board.

                                  1. Had an AWFUL slice at Sal & Carmine's last week. Bad sauce. Congealed cheese. Terrible. Something has definitely gone wrong up there. I guess the first thing is that they often don't serve anything fresh, only reheated pies.

                                    There's a place on Amsterdam/74th that I like when it's fresh-Vinnie and Peppers?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: TMW

                                      I like the place at 74th and Amsterdam too - down a few steps from the street.

                                      I think there are two very different types of NY pizza - the type with the softer crust that you can get at most corner pizza places and with the crisper crust like Grimaldi's (someone more eloquent than me can better distinguish the two). I personally can't stand the crispy crust but love the basic pizza by the slice. Part of this may be because I prefer plain cheese pizza. I think Ben's in the Village is excellent for a quick slice.

                                      1. re: TMW

                                        Too bad about Sal and Carmine's... We left the UWS about a year ago and have not been back to S & C since. Perhaps it was an off day? Mostly we ordered and picked up whole pies but I have had quite a few single slices up there that were unbelievable...

                                        As for Vinnie and Peppers, I like them too but I have had a few really bad ones there as well.

                                        I think you need to catch these places during busy times, at least in my experience (or order whole fresh pies). I have had great slices from both during busier times of the day, re-heated so-so slices at other times. Much better usually at S & C, though.

                                        1. re: TMW

                                          that was my one experience at sal and carmine's. congealed cheese, very greasy feel. based on that slice, i was surprised that they are regarded so highly. but if that's a big departure from their usual, it makes much more sense.

                                        2. Gramaldis (don't know if it is the right spelling) but located in Brooklyn Heights is pretty good for their brick oven pizza.

                                          1. I think Ben's in the village is inedible.

                                            Joe's pizza right around the corner has one of the better non-brick oven slices around...

                                            1. DeMArco's on Houston has risen recently to one of the best slices of all time. It is NOT a basic NY slice. Instead it has a unique mixture of cheeses and an oily crust.

                                              Best basic slice is Mimi's on Lex and 84th.

                                              Best Pie is Arturo's.

                                              (This is all just Manhattan only)

                                              1. my vote is for una pizza napoletana. the non-descript place on the northwest corner of st. marks and 2nd ave. is surprisingly good too.

                                                1. I had dinner tonight at Patsy's on 117th and 1st Ave. and I think it's still the best pizza in Manhattan, although for the second time in a row, the pizza was undercooked. The taste was the same (as great) as ever, but alas, an undercooked pizza is not a perfect one. The house salad is as good as any as I've ever had at a pizza place -- the ingredients are nice, but nothing special -- the salad dressing, a simple vinaigrette, is superb.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Dave Feldman

                                                    Dave, I had a similar experience too with a slightly undercooked pizza. Fortunately for me,
                                                    I just ordered two slices. The first was perfect, and the second (from another pie) was undercooked with almost no char. To be honest, it was still good IMO.

                                                    The first slice was *great*. But isn't the key, "consistency"? I attributed it to them being very busy at the time I went. I wonder if I could have asked them to put the slice in for a minute more. HHmm. Maybe next time.

                                                  2. i agree with the best pie at Arturo's and best slice at Mimi's

                                                    I also like mariella on 3rd and 16th for a slice

                                                    1. I'm also a big fan of Sal and Carmines and while every once in a while you get a slice thats not as good as usual, it is generally consistent. I grew up on their pizza whne they were on Broadway between 94th and 95th years ago and they still make it the same way at their "new" location.

                                                      If by chance you go in and see they are giving you the last slice on the table and it looks like its sat out for a few, ask for one from the next pie. They always make fresh ones and will accomodate. By far it is the best on the UWS and among the best in the city.

                                                      1. Famous Ben's on Spring St., about a few blocks east of 6th Avenue, has a sicilian-style slice with tomatoes, onions and garlic that is absolutely heaven. I can't comment about their neopolitan, or anything else on the menu, but that slice is absolutely sublime.

                                                        In the Bronx, Pepino's at 241st and White Plains Road is the best in the borough

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: wiessner1

                                                          Pepino's .... the spinach pizza was their allure for a while. Delicious.

                                                        2. Sal and Carmines does have off days. Ask for a fresh slice when you order, they will give it to you. When it is on, sorry for the pun, it is a slice of heaven. Sal and Carmines and Jerusalm Falafal are the 2 things I miss most about living uptown.

                                                          1. Bleccker Street Pizza is the only place you need to go.

                                                            1. I like the slices (not the one with fresh cheese) at Bleecker Street Pizza (on 7th Ave. South) and also really like the margarita pizza at Grano Trattoria (a restaurant with a pizza oven but sauce and dough are fabulous). It's on Greenwich Ave. & W. 10th St.

                                                              1. Thank you for the overwhelming advice and opinions on the ever so popular Italian flat bread. I dare say that this thread is officially ended. that's right, put a nail in this coffin. We ended up going to Lombardi's at the recommendation of some local folks who gave us the run down. We did not eat the clam pizza as so many of you had recommended (sorry). We are just a little bit more traditional.. hopefully on our next try, we may be a little more adventurous. =)

                                                                1. The infamous Patsy's near University place is now my wife's first of choice to eat. I've just brought my beloved mother in law and sister in law for a little family gathering, the pizza there is absolutely delicious with a draft samuel adams.

                                                                  I would like to suggest to get the family's portion of the salad. ABsoLUTEly the best salad i've ate.

                                                                  1. italian village on 80th and first