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NY Pizza for Chicago Visitors

carlywood Feb 22, 2007 09:42 AM

My mom and brother are coming into town in March for a long weekend.

I'd like to take them out for "authentic" New York City pizza, but don't want to be hassled with long lines/waits (Lombardi's, Grimaldi's).

I'm hoping you can mention places that are a bit more off the beaten path where they can still enjoy a good slice.

I'd prefer to stay in Manhattan (they are staying in the UES, but we're willing to take the subway) and I'd like something with a little more ambiance than your favorite take-out/delivery place.


  1. p
    piccola Feb 25, 2007 12:05 PM

    What about Cronkite? Haven't tried it, but heard good things

    1. ballulah Feb 23, 2007 07:40 AM

      I think the long line problem at Lombardi's is a myth. I've never waited more than 15 minutes, and often I haven't waited at all. I like Lombardi's because there is plenty to do in the neighborhood after you eat, and regardless of whether there are other contenders for the BEST pizza in NYC, it's still a damn good pizza. The atmosphere is great, don't order the bread sticks and head down to Spring St, I say.

      Funny story: one Sunday afternoon this past summer I had a friend from the UK staying with me, who had arrived the night before. We were driving around all over the city, and I had my dog with me. Finding ourselves hungry and downtown, I suggested we stop at Lombardi's, but I didn't know what to do with my pooch. So we ordered a pie, and ate it on the bench outside with my dog on my lap getting some choice little pieces of their excellent pepperoni.

      1. g
        grlygrl Feb 23, 2007 07:28 AM

        for a great slice or whole pie Bens on McDougal (123 McDougal) its sooooo good. Not grimaldi style but a very very good slice..

        1 Reply
        1. re: grlygrl
          jsmitty Feb 23, 2007 07:32 AM

          that was my college slice at nyu!

        2. g
          GurglingStomach Feb 22, 2007 11:17 PM

          I'd say Patsy's as well. You can sit down, enjoy decent service, and have great fresh pizza.


          1. Nikki NYC Feb 22, 2007 11:02 PM

            I highly recommend Totanno's, which really is perfect because it is on the UES in the 80's. They make their pizza's in one of the few remaining NYC coal ovens. The sauce is fresh and flavorful and the crust is perfectly chewy. It's a little pricey but well worth it. Have a great time with your family!

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nikki NYC
              jsmitty Feb 23, 2007 07:33 AM

              i hear the totonno's in coney island is head and shoulders better than the manhattan outlets on ues and the 20's. comments on that?

              1. re: jsmitty
                Nikki NYC Feb 23, 2007 08:30 PM

                I haven't been to the one in in Coney Island, although I hope to go one day. And I recall hearing or seeing a comment that the one in the 20's isn't great. All I know is I love the pizza at Totonno's on the UES.

            2. j
              jimmyjazz Feb 22, 2007 03:21 PM

              If you're willing to come to Brooklyn, head to Lucali's on Henry/1st St in Carroll Gardens. Only 4 stops into Brooklyn on the F train (closer than Franny's) and an amazing brick oven pie. Worth the trip.

              1. financialdistrictresident Feb 22, 2007 11:33 AM

                I know you prefer the city. That said, if you're open to Brooklyn, Spumoni Gardens (thick, not thin brick oven variety). I usually get take out from Lombardi's, because the service at Adrienne's downtown is poor (they are supposed to have good pizza). I also walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the pizza place (brick oven) on the other side (nice to do with out of towners when the weather is nice).

                1. j
                  jsmitty Feb 22, 2007 11:31 AM

                  Please try Posto on 1st avenue in the teens or Franny's in Brooklyn on Flatbush avenue. Posto's room is comfy, with wooden booths and a very homey feel. Franny's is a bit more NY, small hip bar and a touch bigger. I like arturo's a lot as well. I personally think grimaldi's and lombardi's are no better, perhaps even inferior to posto and franny's. Not sure why posto does not make some of the pizza lists, but they are remiss as they continue to forget this great spot. The andouille pie is great. Overall both places, creative and standard ingredients(a good idea for both more conservative and more foodie crowds), good sauce and crunchy crust.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jsmitty
                    BluPlateSpec Feb 22, 2007 03:47 PM

                    POSTO, 310 Second Ave. at 18th street. Two other places operated by the same people, GRUPPO, 186 Ave. B between 11th St. and 12th. and VEZZO, 178 Lexington Ave. at 31st. street.

                  2. u
                    ultbil Feb 22, 2007 10:43 AM

                    I second Patsy's on the UES (this location is the original and all the other Patsy's around NYC pale in comparison), however, Arturo's is also damn good and in a much better neighborhood (the edge of SOHO and the Village) for walking around.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: ultbil
                      NAtiveNewYorker Feb 22, 2007 11:18 AM

                      Patsy's is the right move. It's delicious and historic...perfect for a tourist visiting NYC. (It was the first pizzeria to sell slices. It broke away from Lombardi's, the original NYC pizza. But Lombardi's has since moved from its original location and has lost a step...so not the best place for tourists.)

                      (The cast of the Godfather ate at Patsy's to warm up for the movie. They sat in the back room according to their new roles, with Talia Shire serving all the male actors. Sinatra also loved the place.)

                      1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                        mrnyc Feb 22, 2007 01:35 PM

                        wrong place - sinatra loved the PATSY'S restaurant on w56th.

                        otoh being they are on the ues and seeking good ny pizza, i think no question they should go there for pizza too.

                        1. re: mrnyc
                          NAtiveNewYorker Feb 22, 2007 02:06 PM

                          Sinatra went to BOTH Patsy's. Just ask the pizza chef.

                          And you are right. Easy to visit from the UES.

                        2. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                          BluPlateSpec Feb 22, 2007 03:42 PM

                          Some more movie trivia. In the movie, "The Warriors," the scene where the guys go to meet the girl gang, The Lizzies, and have a shoot out was filmed in the back room at Patsy's uptown. The scene had nothing to do with Patsy's and Patsy's was never shown in the film. It was just the right sized space during a lack of regular studio facilities in the city.

                          1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                            shorts Feb 23, 2007 06:50 AM

                            Lombardi's expanded, they have not moved.

                            1. re: shorts
                              NAtiveNewYorker Feb 23, 2007 06:56 AM

                              Wrong. They started out in the middle of the block accross the street. (It's now a bar.)


                        3. bobjbkln Feb 22, 2007 10:21 AM

                          If you are on the UES, its a short bus or cab ride up to Patsy's at 1st Ave and 117th St. Arguably the best pizza in Manhattan and no long lines.

                          1. l
                            lisabnyc Feb 22, 2007 10:11 AM

                            how about arturo's? ny pizza, usually not ever too long of a wait.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: lisabnyc
                              hiddenboston Feb 22, 2007 10:39 AM

                              Arturo's is terrific. We were there on Sunday afternoon. We got there at 3:00, when they were just starting up for the evening, and by 3:30, the place was pretty packed. Definitely worth going to!

                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                a_and_w Feb 23, 2007 12:25 PM

                                Love, love, love Arturo's -- if atmosphere is a consideration then this is the place. One thing, though -- I don't believe they do slices.

                                1. re: a_and_w
                                  Pan Feb 24, 2007 03:49 PM

                                  You're right; they don't.

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