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Pizza in NYC

k
kcphilbert Mar 10, 2008 11:07 AM

We are visiting Manhattan this coming weekend and want to try some of the famous pizza.
My traveling companion really wants to try Lombardi's, but I've heard from others that
this pizza spot is all hype based on their "first pizza" fame. If we were to go to only one pizza joint, would Lombardi's be a good representation of NYC pizza. If not, what would?

  1. l
    Lucia Mar 10, 2008 11:22 AM

    Check out this recent thread on Lombardi's: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/494023
    I think most would say that the best NYC pizza experience is at Di Fara. I haven't made my way out there yet. I've been to Arturo's in the city, which I really enjoyed. I wouldn't recommend a lot of toppings, though, as the dough was a little soggy in the middle.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Lucia
      rose water Mar 10, 2008 11:39 AM

      I really like Arturo's for the space, and the live music, but I don't love their pizza. I've found it pretty bland both times I've been there. Their arrugula salad is fantastic though.

      1. re: Lucia
        a_and_w Mar 10, 2008 11:48 AM

        Definitely Arturo's. And I actually think Lucia's advice about not ordering too many toppings applies to all top-notch pizza places, even DiFara.

        1. re: Lucia
          l
          Lucia Mar 18, 2008 06:31 PM

          I finally made it to DiFara tonight, and it is far and away the best pizza I've ever had in my life. Highly worth the time to get there, and the wait wasn't nearly as bad as advertised. It was a pleasure watching Dom work. Even with a broken rib, he made pizza as fantastic as I had hoped it would be.

          1. re: Lucia
            ChinoWayne Mar 18, 2008 06:50 PM

            So what was on your pie, so I can live vicariously.

            1. re: ChinoWayne
              l
              Lucia Mar 19, 2008 01:42 PM

              1 plain round, 1 artichoke round, and 1 square pepperoni. If you're interested, MMRuth wrote about our dinner on the OB board: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/500583

              1. re: Lucia
                ChinoWayne Mar 19, 2008 02:19 PM

                Mashocist that I am (since I am not in any position to make a DiFara's run), I did read MMRuth's report, this morning, on an empty stomach. Next time, post pictures, then I can really torture myself.

            2. re: Lucia
              a_and_w Mar 19, 2008 09:28 AM

              Did you try the square, too?

              1. re: a_and_w
                l
                Lucia Mar 19, 2008 01:42 PM

                YES--my favorite part of the experience. Square pie w/pepperoni. By that time we'd had 2 other pies, so I was stuffed but I couldn't resist having 2 pieces of the square.

          2. thew Mar 10, 2008 12:56 PM

            neitehr lombardi;s nor arturo's, while i like both, are what i would call " good representation of NYC pizza" - coal oven pizza is older, but not what i think of as NYC pizza and ive been eating pizza here for nearly 5 decades.

            I like italian village on 1st ave and 80th street. but there are many others. the best pizza isn't in places you've heard of, its in neighborhood joints

            12 Replies
            1. re: thew
              a_and_w Mar 10, 2008 04:48 PM

              Respectfully disagree. I only lived there for five years, not five decades, but I tried a *lot* of neighborhood slice joints. Most of them stank -- so much so that I concluded the heyday of great NY pizza on every corner was either a myth or had long since passed. Arturo's was better than any slice place I can recall, and was surpassed only by Patsy's East Harlem and DiFara, in my estimation. All that said, I will confess I never tried Italian Village...

              1. re: a_and_w
                j
                JFores Mar 10, 2008 07:44 PM

                I think Staten Island and Queens are nearly keeping the nabe pizza thing alive, but it's very nabe specific. For example, I lived in a totally Italian community in Bensonhurst/Dyker all my life and none of the pizza near me was edible unless I walked to Di Fara or L&B (but I now eat pizza in London that people here claim is amazing despite it being FAR worse than the corner pizzeria that I shunned for years.) Pizza's a special thing and you have to make special trips for it. It's God's way of keeping us skinny. Imagine having Di Fara on every corner? That's dangerous!

                1. re: JFores
                  a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 10:34 AM

                  LOL! I just meant in Manhattan -- it's possible that Brooklyn and Staten Island are keeping the flame.

                2. re: a_and_w
                  thew Mar 11, 2008 05:32 AM

                  i didn't say all neighborhood pizza joints were good, nor that there was good pizza on every corner. i said arturo's and lombardis were not representative of what NYC pizza is, but the good neighborhood pizzerias were. It quite a leap from that statement to your take on what i said.

                  Most pizza joints, like most of everything,, are sub-par. lets face it 49% of everything is, by definition, below average, and average isnt good enough either.

                  There are a dozen pizza joints around me, most closer to where I am now than italian village. But I go there, for the most part. If they were all equal i would go to the closest.

                  i repeat i like arturo's and lombardis. but they are not what i would call representative of NYC style pizza.

                  1. re: thew
                    a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 10:34 AM

                    My estimate, admittedly based on a small sample, is that 99% of neighborhood pizza joints in Manhattan are thoroughly mediocre. They do *not* offer a "good representation of NYC pizza." They don't offer a good representation of pizza, period. I'm not sure what you mean by NYC pizza, but I took many an out of towner who wanted "NYC pizza" to Arturo's. They always left satisfied...

                    1. re: a_and_w
                      thew Mar 11, 2008 11:35 AM

                      last time. arturo's is fine. delicious. no problem.

                      but i don't think that style of pizza is what most people mean when they talk about NY style pizza. that uber thin crust coal oven thing isn't the platonic ideal of NY pizza.

                      most pizza in most places suck. i agree. but it isnt relevant to what i said. I said the best representation of that kind of pizza is found in the few good corner joints, not in coal oven whole pie places like arturo's and lombardis.

                      1. re: thew
                        a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 12:00 PM

                        Then you need to clarify what you mean by "NYC pizza," because thin crust with char like that served by Arturo's is precisely what I think of as such. Slice joints like Joe's serve what I would call the "NYC street pizza." IMO, even the best street pizza slices are not on par with what you find at places like Arturo's, Patsy's, or DiFara. Regardless, both styles are quintessentially NYC.

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          thew Mar 11, 2008 01:23 PM

                          i think i was very clear, and we just do not define it the same way.
                          to me NYC street pizza = NYC pizza

                          1. re: thew
                            a_and_w Mar 12, 2008 11:34 AM

                            Then allow me to clarify further. According to you, true "NYC pizza" can *only* be "NYC street pizza" to the exclusion of all other styles. That strikes me as absurd.

                            I say "NYC pizza" includes *both* street pizza *and* the thin crust with char style. I further prefer the latter to the former, which is why I direct people who want "NYC pizza" to places like Arturo's and Patsy's. " Regardless of my preference, however, I would never deny that street pizza is a subset of "NYC pizza."

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              thew Mar 12, 2008 03:11 PM

                              you are welcome to be struck thus. to me pizza sold by the slice, with the cruncy/chewy crust, is what i, and apparently many others here, think of when i think of typical new york pizza. Just being sold in new york isnt enough. otherwise, these days, dominoes would also fall under the rubric.

                              and as i said before, i like the thin crust/char pizza to. but for someone looking to experience typical NY pizza, it isnt what i'd send them to.

                              1. re: thew
                                a_and_w Mar 12, 2008 06:54 PM

                                Whatever. I guarantee that, If you put it to a poll on chowhound whether Arturo's, Patsy's, and Lombard's are "NY Pizza," the vote would be overwhelmingly "yes." And as I said before, equating "NY Pizza" solely with street slices is a recipe for disappointment.

                                1. re: a_and_w
                                  k
                                  KTinNYC Mar 13, 2008 05:08 AM

                                  I agree that Arturo's is NYC style pizza.

              2. b
                bocce Mar 10, 2008 01:07 PM

                Arturo's is great, though it can be a bit greasy. If you're going to go there, you should head further down the street and pop into Joe's Pizza on Carmine btwn 6th Ave and Bleecker St. There are no tables, only stools but they make a fantastic slice.

                Also check out the original Patsy's on 117th and 1st ave. Its a hike, but the pizza there is thin crust and fantastic. I can just about finish a whole pie by myself.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bocce
                  thew Mar 10, 2008 02:34 PM

                  i'm going to have to give patsy's another chance. i know people swear by it but i was there twice, albeit many years ago, and i wasn't thrilled either time....

                  1. re: thew
                    j
                    JFores Mar 10, 2008 07:41 PM

                    They're about as consistent as painting blindfolded and it's getting worse. I haven't had a spot on amazing pie from them in nearly two years and I've been there quite a few times since then.

                2. m
                  mick Mar 10, 2008 01:32 PM

                  If you dont know Di Fara is in Brooklyn. Great pizza but its very small, few stools, cash only. Not a full service restaurant like the others. No beer wine etc. Usually order at the counter and try and find one of the few seats. Check hours. probably a better lunch choice if your looking for a sit down dinner.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: mick
                    j
                    JFores Mar 10, 2008 07:41 PM

                    What he means to say is it's an actual pizzeria...

                  2. p
                    psawce Mar 10, 2008 01:38 PM

                    Pizza by the slice is the only way to go in New York. I second Joe's Pizza on Bleecker and Carmine. True NY style is the regular slice, but the sicilian is the best at joes. Same thing goes for DiFara in Brkln. But if you want to keep in real and not get the sicilian at Joe's, get the fresh moz slice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: psawce
                      a_and_w Mar 10, 2008 04:51 PM

                      I disagree with Joe's and *strongly* disagree with the Sicilian suggestion. Just my preference, mind you, but I think round slices with some oily meat topping (e.g., pepperoni or sausage) is the way to go at Joe's. Otherwise the slice is too dry. For a great square slice in Manhattan, try the grandma pizza at Rocco's on 7th Ave -- greasy, garlicky, tomatoey goodness. Also, for a great round slice in the style of Joe's but better (imo) try Pizza 33.

                    2. j
                      JFores Mar 10, 2008 07:39 PM

                      Go to Di Fara in Brooklyn. Lombardi's is awful, drippy, sloppy, soggy dreadful tourist food. You can obtain occasional bliss at Patsy's in East Harlem (ONLY IN EAST HARLEM) but it's so inconsistent that it isn't worth it. Some people recc Una Pizza Napoletana, but I saw absolutely nothing in it when I tried it. If you're not going to Di Fara, Staten Island, one of 3 or so Queens pizzerias, MAYBE Totonno's, MAYBE L&B, and MAYBE San Marco's then you might as well not be eating pizza in NY because it will probably be awful.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: JFores
                        c
                        Captain Mar 11, 2008 01:41 PM

                        I agree and disagree about Lombardi's. It can be soggy and drippy, if you let it sit for the length of time it takes to delvier a pie, it WILL be soggy. Tastes pretty good, but only pretty good once soggy. There is a window during which it's better than pretty good. the clam pie is a novelty, don't have it.

                        If you want very good stuff, my favorites are Di Fara and DeNino's on Staten Island. DiFara is by reputation the best in NYC.

                      2. thew Mar 11, 2008 05:25 AM

                        i wrote a review just before tis thread started on yelp.com on italian village - so i thought i'd post it here as it's sorta relevant:

                        1526 1st Ave
                        New York, NY 10021
                        (212) 861-2286
                        Italian Village
                        Categories: Italian, Pizza
                        Neighborhood: Manhattan/Upper East Side

                        pizza in new york is so personal, and one's tastes are as much a matter of personal history as the pie itself. The sauce, the crust, how much cheese.. pizza is infinite in its subtle variations.. and to find the slice that feeds your desire, your comfort, and your (metaphorical) soul is a lifelong quest for many a new yorker. Like mother's home cooking the pizza a new yorker seeks is the pizza of hir memories and past.

                        For me, that place is italian village. This place was the first place i can remember my parents letting me go to by myself (well w/ my older brother but you get the point) - and (ok i'm dating myself - but when u date yourself you don't ever have to apologize) it was $2.00 for a pie - 25 cents a slice. The kid who was the delivery boy then, is now Tony the pizza guy who owns the place. What i'm trying to say is this place has comfort food nostalgia appeal for me.

                        But nostalgia is not enough. New York devours its past (its as old as philadelphia and boston, but no one thinks of it as a historic city - cause we gots no time for dat lookin' back shit) If all this place had to offer was nostalgia i would only need to go when i was all down and out.

                        What they do have is a damned fine slice of pizza. The crust has good bite, without being shatteringly crisp. The sauce is sweet and rich and full flavored. Good cheese, without dominating the slice (a sure sign of inferior pizza trying to buy you off w/cheese so you don't notice an insipid crust or thin sauce)

                        this is my go to pizza joint.. the one i bring out of towners to.. the one that defines a slice of pizza for me.

                        sure a slice now costs more than a pie did when i was 8.. but what doesn't?

                        and as for nostalgia.. well my 3 year old often insists we go to tony pizzeria over any of the others in the 'hood, and always looks to give a tony a big hello as soon as he walks in the door, to which tony responds "hey buddy - how ya doin?" SO all is well.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: thew
                          d
                          dg5411 Mar 11, 2008 11:29 AM

                          I'd echo the earlier comments regarding the distinction between "the best pizza in NYC" and "the best NYC pizza". I am your stereotypical born-and-bred NYer. Growing up, I'd eat pizza 4-5 times a week. Back then I had the metabolism for it. When me and my friends got pizza, we got SLICES. And we got them from little neighborhood spots where you ordered at the counter and ate your slice either standing in the store, walking back to school, or at one of the few tables. Afterward you could get an italian ice if you wanted. Now there were some of these pizza places that were better than others, but by and large the differences were not huge. A truly bad pizzeria simply would not stay in business in NYC for very long.

                          I never tried coal oven pizza until I was in college. Since then, I've been to all the famous coal oven pizzerias in NYC. I've also sampled the "best" pizza in Chicago, New Haven, and Rome. I've enjoyed all these experiences. But none of them--including Lombardi's, Grimaldi's, John's, etc.--are what I think of as NYC pizza. Maybe the coal oven places reflect an earlier period in NYC history. But for the last 50+ years pizza in NYC has meant a slice served on a paper plate that you fold in half and eat on the run. So to an out-of-towner who wants the real NYC pizza experience, I'd say try and stop by a few different random pizzerias and grab a quick slice. If you're concerned less about experiencing NY and would rather have the best pizza, then I defer to the more expert views posted on this thread and elsewhere regarding what the "best" pizza in NYC is.

                          1. re: dg5411
                            a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 12:07 PM

                            "So to an out-of-towner who wants the real NYC pizza experience, I'd say try and stop by a few different random pizzerias and grab a quick slice."

                            This is precisely the kind of advice I strongly urge the OP to reject. Chowhound is filled with posts by tourists come back from NYC with tales of "overrated pizza" because they followed suggestions like yours:

                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/443307

                            1. re: dg5411
                              NAtiveNewYorker Mar 11, 2008 03:24 PM

                              I'm with dg5411. "NY Pizza" is a slice on a paper plate (with that sheet of wax paper). Fold it in half and watch out for the grease dripping back.

                              Very few slice places stand out anymore thanks to Sysco and the loss of the old Italian guy behind the counter. Mimi's on Lex and 84th, the pizzeria of my youth (when they were much smaller and hadn't taken over the Optimo Tobacco shop to the left and the other shop to the right) is one. But the rest are hit or miss. They vary from day to day, and even pie to pie.

                              The detination NYC Slice is a myth. (Sal and Carmine's is hit or miss, Joe's of Carmine St. is too). The destination NY pizza restaurant (Harlem Patsy's, Arturos, etc) is still important, on the other hand.

                              1. re: NAtiveNewYorker
                                m
                                MikeG Mar 11, 2008 05:14 PM

                                I disagree that bad pizzerias didn't stay in business - there were plenty of them, but unlike now, you could usually find a decent slice within reasonable walking distance of most non-residential neighborhoods. Not anymore. That place that's still there on the corner of McDougal & W 3 has been awful for at least 30 years no matter who's been behind the counter, for example... I think it's no longer a pizzeria at all, but there used to be a place on the corner of 8th and Broadway that at least back in the 70s was using Bisquick - yes, and flagrantly - to make slices that tasted just like you'd expect, with bad sauce to boot. o:)

                                I'd also argue that DiFara's has become a destination slice - if there can be such a thing - but the irony there is that, back in those good old days, he made pretty ordinary neighborhood pizza. I really don't know when it was that he got religion but it wasn't like it is now, in the early 80s for sure. Funnily enough Joe's in the village did something similar, though it only went from "mostly gross" to "OK" during the same broad time frame. ;) I do sort of understand why people "rave" about them now, but think it's more sad commentary than a compliment.

                                1. re: MikeG
                                  d
                                  dg5411 Mar 14, 2008 11:04 AM

                                  I'd also echo the comments of those who have emphasized how a person's favorite pizza is a very personal thing and thus it's not really useful to make statements such as "XXX has the best pizza." Maybe you think so. I think the pizza you like has a lot to do with whatever kind of pizza your local pizzeria served growing up. If your local pizzeria had a sweet tomato sauce, then that's the kind of sauce you like. If it was heave on the cheese, then you like pizza that is heavy on the cheese. So I'm not really interested in what other people think is the best slice of pizza in NY. Some people love Joe's, others think it's just mediocre. Now reasonable people can disagree on lots of things, but I think this is especially true when it comes to slices in NY.

                                  And also, it doesn't really surprise me that out-of-towners are disappointed by the NY slice. Part of it is that they are used to papa john's and that sort of thing. And part of it is that the legend of the NY slice is a bit exaggerated. Sure, it's delicious, but I can see how without the personal connection that native NYers, it wouldn't seem so remarkable. That's kind of how I feel about philly cheesesteaks. Sure they are delicious, but I don't really get as excited about them as people from philly do.

                              2. re: dg5411
                                p
                                pizzaQTpie Mar 11, 2008 07:16 PM

                                dg5411 - I absolutely agree that the best pizza is served as a slice on a paper plate! Where do you get that now? I don't live in the city and usually don't get pizza when I visit my family. However, I would never just walk by someplace and get a slice - most the time it doesn't even "look right" when you look at the pie through the window, you know?

                                1. re: pizzaQTpie
                                  thew Mar 11, 2008 08:47 PM

                                  i repeat

                                  italian village

                                  1st ave 80th st

                                  1. re: thew
                                    p
                                    pizzaQTpie Mar 12, 2008 09:26 AM

                                    I'm there already!

                                    1. re: thew
                                      b
                                      Brian W Mar 12, 2008 09:34 AM

                                      Italian Village = amusement park pizza

                              3. a
                                ajr524 Mar 11, 2008 10:45 AM

                                Grimaldi's in downtown brooklyn. Not only can you get great pizza but the views are spectacular. You are two blocks for the water and from there you can see the Manhattan skyline and the Statute of Liberty. Also, if it is warm out walk across the brooklyn bridge. Not as good as DiFara's IMHO, but you will get a table and waiter service.
                                AJR

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: ajr524
                                  a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 10:47 AM

                                  Strongly disagree with Grimaldi's. It's crowded, the pizza is mediocre, and the service can be downright obnoxious.

                                2. f
                                  FLnow Mar 11, 2008 11:15 AM

                                  I'll be visiting Manhattan next month, after 3 decades away. The guest house where I'm staying in the W. Village recommended Joe's Pizza on Carmine St. and Two Boots at 7th Ave. & 11th St. for "by the slice" and "to go," and Arturo's on W. Houston and John's of Bleeker St. for whole pies. I used to love various "pizza stands" by the slice, but that was long ago and I barely remember the places I frequented. I'm looking forward to some decent pizza, though.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: FLnow
                                    a_and_w Mar 11, 2008 12:08 PM

                                    Skip Two Boots and Joe's. If you insist on doing slices, Pizza Box does what Joe's does better. I'd pick Arturo's over John's, though the latter is better than any of the slice joints.

                                    1. re: a_and_w
                                      j
                                      jsmitty Mar 12, 2008 03:02 PM

                                      Joe's is real deal ny pizza. sweet (not overly though) sauce, thin, not too thin crust, nicely algamated cheese with other ingredients.. on the other hand two boots has nothing to do with what makes ny pizza what it is. in my view corn meal crust should not accompany pizza... two boots feels like pizza from somewhere else...

                                    2. re: FLnow
                                      b
                                      bocce Mar 11, 2008 03:04 PM

                                      John's is waaayyyyy over rated. it stands on toppings rather than an actual good pizza

                                    3. s
                                      Stuffed Monkey Mar 11, 2008 11:22 AM

                                      It is personal so I'll input. My tops are John's for pies, but you must request garlic on the pie..it makes all the difference, Joe's for a slice,Village Pizza on 8th and 13th for classic slices and La Pala on Allen for non-traditional roman style with creative toppings.

                                      1. egit Mar 11, 2008 03:38 PM

                                        Ah, the recurring pizza thread. I love these. Most chowhounds seem to lean towards the very thin, somewhat salty and charred crust pizza that is made in ferociously hot ovens. I know I do. In manhattan the best exponents of this style are (in no particular order) Lombardi's, Patsy's, Arturos, etc. Over in that other borough, there's Di Fara, Grimaldi's and (not yet mentioned I don't think), Lucali in Carroll Gardens.

                                        Preferably you get no toppings on it, otherwise it will sog up and slide into your lap.

                                        There are also lots of the neighborhood places that thew and others mentioned. For instance, in my hood there's Ultimate (best), Angelo's (2nd best) and Daniello's. But I certainly wouldn't suggest making a special trip for it. It's good stuff, but if you had to get in a cab to go get it, you'd probably say "meh." "Representative NYC Pizza" is just not highbrow food. If you're going to make a special trip for it, it should be something special.

                                        1. swf36d Mar 11, 2008 04:00 PM

                                          I've seen so many people on here who don't like Lombardi's, but I love it. It has ruined me for all pizza I can get here in PA, and I live a hop skip and a jump from Old Forge, PA, the "pizza capital of the world" (in fact when Hillary clinton was in town yesterday, she went to Old Forge for pizza). I have never had take out from Lombardi's, but when I ate in, it was crispy and chewy at the same time and not greasy at all. I also loved the sauce which I felt was neither too sweet or too tart. I didn't however get any toppings but fresh garlic, so maybe that makes the difference.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: swf36d
                                            Miss Needle Mar 11, 2008 04:05 PM

                                            I don't like Lombardi's but know many people (including tourists) who love it. One guy from LA has to go to Lombardi's every time he's in NY. So different strokes for different folks.

                                            1. re: Miss Needle
                                              thew Mar 11, 2008 08:49 PM

                                              preferred by out of towners, like a guy from LA...

                                              nuff said

                                              ;)

                                          2. l
                                            lisettte Mar 12, 2008 02:17 AM

                                            I am a New Yorker over 50 who was brought up on slices. Who could afford a whole pie for a small family? So, I can say I hate Lomabardi was not thrilled by Grimaldis or Johns, but I hear Adrienne downtown is good and will try una pizza Napolitano but I heard it is very expensive. I will be in town next week so I am hoping for a good slice somwhere not burnt, not greasy, just tasty

                                            1. t
                                              texann Mar 12, 2008 06:22 AM

                                              Ask 50 people and you get 50 very different answers! It is true that for the REAL NY pizza experience, its a slice on a plate. It can come from one of many places but THAT is the REAL NY pizza experince. But you won't know that until you have been to all of those other places. When you have, then you will see its all about folding it in half and strolling along.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: texann
                                                p
                                                pizzaQTpie Mar 12, 2008 09:28 AM

                                                Isn't Una Pizza Napolitano actually Italian (from Italy) pizza? Not real NY pizza. But still amazing pizza nonetheless.

                                                1. re: pizzaQTpie
                                                  egit Mar 12, 2008 11:00 AM

                                                  I always forget about this place. I've never been there but it seems like the consensus is the pizza is fantastic, but *maybe* not worth the price and aggravation. YMMV. Yes, the idea is that it's true, authentic neapolitan pizza.

                                                  1. re: egit
                                                    p
                                                    pizzaQTpie Mar 12, 2008 11:16 AM

                                                    Been there for both lunch and dinner. If you are worried about waiting, etc. I would suggest going at lunch. It is a VERY laid back enjoyable meal. Pastas are good as well as the pizza.

                                                    EDIT: Opps!!! My above was actually about Una Pizza Fresca! LOL! Just realized i mixed the two up! Una Pizza Fresca has the laid back lunch and pasta NOT Una pizza Napoletana! I am still laughing. You will get a totally different experience at whichever Una pizza you decide to go to.

                                                    1. re: pizzaQTpie
                                                      a_and_w Mar 12, 2008 01:28 PM

                                                      Una Pizza Fresca or La Pizza Fresca?

                                                      1. re: a_and_w
                                                        p
                                                        pizzaQTpie Mar 12, 2008 03:59 PM

                                                        Man, i can't get it straight today! La Pizza Fresca. Thx!!!

                                              2. tablefor1 Mar 12, 2008 06:58 PM

                                                Totonno's in Brooklyn and Patsy's (locations throughout Manhattan) - absolutely. These are the best Neopolitan flat crust styles. You should also taste what Italians refer to as New Jersey-style pizza: Ben's, in Soho on Prince St does a nice greasy slice, not too hot, perfect for eating while you walk.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: tablefor1
                                                  nycdiane Mar 12, 2008 11:09 PM

                                                  I am surprised it took so long in this thread to mention Totonno's. They are pretty darn good - and there is one in Manhattan on 2nd Ave somewhere near 81st.

                                                  When you want whole pie pizza, try Al Forno on 2nd Ave. & 77th. They are consistently wonderful (and that's everything they make, not just pizza). I really think their pizza is the best I've ever had.

                                                  I have to agree however, that these brick oven superthin-crust places don't say "NYC pizza" to me. They are what I call "gourmet pizza" which you can find anywhere. It's like how it used to be that the best NYC coffee was found in your local Greek coffee shop (diner), until we were invaded by Starbuck's and all the trendy coffee bars. Anyway, sometimes I just want slice pizza from a local pizzeria (still has to be fairly thin crust), which to me shouts NYC. I'm not crazy about Italian Village, but I do enjoy Delizia over on 1st Ave. between 72nd/73rd.

                                                  Diane

                                                  1. re: nycdiane
                                                    thew Mar 13, 2008 05:27 AM

                                                    i have to say that i used to like delizia, but i find their quality has really gone down in the last 5 or 10 years. its a shame because they are actually the closest place to my house.But i found in the last few years i was disappointed more often than pleased, and finally stopped going at all.

                                                    1. re: nycdiane
                                                      a_and_w Mar 13, 2008 07:54 AM

                                                      Don't bother with Totonno's in Manhattan -- it's a pale shadow of the Coney Island branch. Also, to clarify, the paragon of the thin-crust style you describe, DiFara, uses a plain old gas oven, so I'm not sure what you mean by brick ovens. Regardless, that's the style that's difficult to find elsewhere. By contrast, street pizza, with its processed cheese and canned tomato sauce is now available at slice joints nationwide.

                                                  2. n
                                                    nyny Mar 12, 2008 09:12 PM

                                                    the best pizza i've had in NYC is by far DiFara in Brooklyn. if you can get past the long wait and dirty tables, it's heaven. but i'm wondering if DiFara is soo great and highly praised why aren't there more pizzerias like DiFara. his mix of cheeses, san marzano sauce, olive oil drizzle, freshly cut basil seems to be a hit.

                                                    1. l
                                                      lisettte Mar 12, 2008 10:24 PM

                                                      Where in Midwood is Di fara's. My aunt lives near the ave J station. Maybe I will convince her to meet me there lol she is 85 and I don't think she eats pizza

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: lisettte
                                                        a_and_w Mar 13, 2008 07:55 AM

                                                        I forget the cross street, but it's less than a block from the Ave J station.

                                                      2. l
                                                        lisettte Mar 16, 2008 01:16 AM

                                                        I was brought up on Brooklyn pizza. Jerry's wasthe place and he had a small place but expanded and stayed there for ages. It really was not that good looking back but bad NY pizza is better than any other to me. Best pizza I ate in my life was Domino's in Japan. NO kidding. They have pizza that is not salty, real Italian and is Domino's in name only. Cono Pizza in Brooklyn is good and they also have a good menu with real Southern Italian food I love. L train to Graham ave. sorry wrong thread but you can take the girl out of Brooklyn but not Brooklyn out of the girl

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: lisettte
                                                          NAtiveNewYorker Mar 17, 2008 06:58 AM

                                                          Do you mean Cono & Son O'Pescatore on 301 Graham Ave? I thought that was a sit-down restaurant...

                                                        2. p
                                                          pizzaQTpie Mar 18, 2008 02:22 PM

                                                          Since this board seems to almost be 50-50 on what is 'real' NY pizza, I thought i would pass along this link to a good article that 'defines' all the pizza out there. In particular the types of NY pizza. Although i am a huge fan of the "NY Pizza that is a slice on a paper plate, with that sheet of wax paper, folded in half with the grease dripping back". Since that is what i was brought up on, I always thought the coal oven ones were bogus (although i admit a good pie as well!) Here are the two main types of NY style pizza...

                                                          New York–Neapolitan:
                                                          Once the Italian immigrants brought their Naples-style pies to the States, it evolved a bit in the Italian neighborhoods of New York to something I've seen referred to as "New York–Neapolitan." This is basically what all the coal-oven pizzerias of New York serve. It follows the tenets of Neapolitan style in that it's thin-crusted, cooked in an ultra-hot oven, and uses a judicious amount of cheese and sauce (sauce which is typically fresh San Marzano tomatoes, as in Naples). It deviates from Naples-style in that it's typically larger, a tad thinner, and more crisp. New York–Neapolitan is rarely found outside New York City. However, I believe this style eventually evolved into ...

                                                          New York–Style
                                                          The round, thin-crust stuff that most people in the U.S. think of as "pizza." And don't anyone give me guff on this. Go ahead and think of a pizza. Nine out of ten of you thought of something round and more on the thin side than the thick side, right? Even the major chain stuff, with all their variations in crust style, I'd say that their default pizza is closer to regular NY-style than, say, deep dish or Sicilian or what not. A true New York–style pizza ideally has a crust that's at once crisp and chewy. Can be topped with whatever you want but is best with only one or two toppings applied (so crust remains crisp). New Yorkers generally fold it while eating. Also referred to in New York as a "regular" pie or a "regular" slice. The default regular slice is a "plain" slice, i.e., no toppings, only cheese.

                                                          The above excerpt was taken from this link:
                                                          http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

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