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NY Pizza in DC/MD/VA?

hungryhumboldt Jul 1, 2008 09:34 AM

Is NY Pizza or something similar to it even available down here? I live in DC and am familiar with all of the 'recommended' pizza places - Vace (which is amazing, but not NY pizza), 2 Amy's, Comet, Mia's (Bethesda) - but really I'm curious whether anyone has tried or seen pizza that resembles NY pizza. Any suggestions?

  1. h
    hollygolightly Jul 1, 2008 10:01 AM

    check out Church Street Pizzeria in downtown Vienna, VA. i know it's kind of a hike but it definitely bills itself as an authentic NY-style pizza. i'm not necessarily a pizza connoisseur but i liked it, and it's a nice small neighborhood-y joint. phone number is 703-938-1155

    1. n
      nickdanger Jul 1, 2008 10:06 AM

      You must define your tastes. NY Pizza such as DiFara's, or Totonno's; or the neighborhood corner slice? You can get a pretty good taste of the latter at Potomac Pizza in Chevy Chase, Potomac or Kentlands, Md, or Tony's in Fair Lakes, VA. Won't stop your yearning for NYC and its environs, however.

      3 Replies
      1. re: nickdanger
        DanielK Jul 1, 2008 11:35 AM

        IMHO, Potomac Pizza is a pretty poor excuse for NY-style pizza.

        In Rockville, Mama Lucia's (Federal Plaza location only) and Giuseppi's are much closer to the real thing, but still don't completely sate the craving.

        1. re: DanielK
          hungryhumboldt Jul 1, 2008 03:31 PM

          Actually yes, Mama Lucia's is very close ... but not quite :-). We'll check out Giuseppi's. In Rockville there is Vincent and Dominic's - good pizza, but not the thin NY style we were looking for. Thanks!

          1. re: DanielK
            biscuit Jul 6, 2008 09:28 AM

            So is Tony's (a pretty poor excuse).

        2. Mister Big Jul 1, 2008 11:45 AM

          The Corner Slice in Bethesda.

          1. hill food Jul 1, 2008 12:12 PM

            after 8 years of looking, I gave up.

            it makes it easier to enjoy what pizza we do have when not comparing it to the Holy Grail of slices...

            although I do like the greasy basement counter on the South side of P just West of Dupont Circle. and the unfortunately named NY Pizza on the Hill isn't bad (not NY, but not bad)

            my theory is that there's something in NYC's water and air that reacts with yeast in a different way. god knows there are too many talented people around the country trying their hardest to replicate NYC pizza (and failing) for it to be as simple an issue as technique.

            3 Replies
            1. re: hill food
              Ericandblueboy Jul 1, 2008 12:47 PM

              People here ask for NY pizza and NY bagel as if there is only one kind of each. I lived next to Washington Square Park for 4 years and I've had all kinds of so-called NY pizza and NY bagel, some are good and some are not. When people ask for pizza or bagel, they should really ask for pizza or bagel that's similar to a specific NY restaurant or bakery. For example, I really like John's Pizza on Bleeker. I also like Arturo's. Other people might like the nasty greasy crap from Ben's on West 3rd. So which NY pizza are you seeking?

              1. re: Ericandblueboy
                carey24 Jul 2, 2008 03:51 AM

                mmmmm....John's is the best. I drove up to NYC just to get their pizza. Got 3 and brought them home!

              2. re: hill food
                hungryhumboldt Jul 1, 2008 03:33 PM

                Interesting - we feel the same way. Something about NYC water makes pizza and bagels amazing! Although my husband mentioned something about the way it's made - I wonder if the taste is attributed to being made in coal ovens ...? I don't know if this is accurate or not - but many places here in DC are made in wood-burning ovens. Who knows!

              3. j
                Just Visiting Jul 1, 2008 01:23 PM

                Ding! Round 1,873 of this discussion! Agree with all below who said WHAT KIND OF NY PIZZA? DiFara's bears no resemblance to Ray's (which Ray's?) and I'll bet if you look hard enough, you can even find someone who thinks that the deep-dish (abomination) sold at the mall is NY pizza, simply because he bought it in NY. Now, that being said, if you hit it on a good night (a big IF), Pines of Rome in Bethesda can do the trick if by NY Pizza you mean thin, crisp crust, a modicum of cheese, and a nice, fresh tomato sauce. But it is so hit-or-miss. On busy nights, especially. I've had Mama Lucia's a couple of times - it is like Ray's in style. I thought it was OK.

                1. f
                  FoodieGrrl Jul 1, 2008 01:55 PM

                  Only places I've ever found that even come close - Tony's in Fair Lakes, and Italian Store in Arlington (not as good, but a little closer). This board is filled with threads on this topic though - lots of opinions.

                  1. chaofun Jul 1, 2008 02:17 PM

                    Here is something from last year:


                    The places I've tried that aren't bad:

                    Italian Store

                    Additionally I don't mind Washington Deli (in Foggy Bottom) for pizza by the slice. Its not to bad and its close to where I work.

                    For all gotta stick to simple (like cheese, pepperoni) or it just doesn't end up being very good. IMHO.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chaofun
                      hungryhumboldt Jul 1, 2008 03:34 PM

                      Italian Store keeps popping up - I haven't even heard of it. Is it kind of like Vace? I will definitely make the trip over the bridge ;-) Thanks so much everyone!

                      1. re: hungryhumboldt
                        Dennis S Jul 2, 2008 04:24 AM

                        Italian Store is an institution on the board, but do yourself a favor and explore the sandwiches. Do yourself another favor and go on a very off-peak time, unless you'd like to stand in line for an hour.

                        1. re: hungryhumboldt
                          Bob W Jul 2, 2008 07:16 AM

                          Yes, it's like Vace, but bigger. All kinds of Italian wines, cheeses, canned goods, etc. Plus some local favorites like Martin's potato chips and Berger cookies from Baltimore.

                          The pizza by the slice (which I am generally not a fan of, not being a New Yorker) is very good. You can eat it while driving and not worry about it flopping over and thereby depositing the toppings in your lap.

                          And remember to get your sandwich on a hard roll!

                      2. h
                        hungryhumboldt Jul 1, 2008 03:43 PM

                        For all of those foodies out there - did not mean to invoke such a strong reaction to the specific type of pizza we are looking for. Chicago is known for deep dish - there are good places and bad. NYC is known for their thin pizza, crispy, but not too hard - there are MANY places that are great and just as many in NYC that are terrible. The traditional thin style pizza that I know NYC for is what I'm trying/hoping to find down here. Simple, yummy, thin. Thank you all for your suggestions ... We'll definitely try out some of these places.

                        1. k
                          kolomya Jul 2, 2008 06:15 AM

                          From long-term ex-Noo Yawker who has lived down here for 2.5 decades: You do not get NY pizza in D.C. or suburbs. If you want NY pizza, take the Megabus up there for a day, get off, and stop by any two-bit pizza place for a slice. It's worth the price of admission. Or visit slice.com Web site for specific recommendations. Likewise, you do not get NY bagels in D.C. or surrounding areas. Take said bus up there, and get over to Ess-a-Bagel on 2nd Ave.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: kolomya
                            monkeyrotica Jul 2, 2008 09:10 AM

                            Yup. Asking for NY pizza in DC makes about as much sense as asking for DC pizza in NY. Nobody up there would want a Ledo's-style pizza. They'd probably burn the place down.

                            1. re: kolomya
                              vivinator Jul 3, 2008 02:50 PM

                              uh actually Goldberg's New York Bagels in Pikesville (majority Jewish burb bordering bmore)
                              does pretty good nyc bagels. I think people here will generally agree. although this thread is about pizza. probably the best ny style bagels in the balt/dc area.


                              1. re: vivinator
                                hungryhumboldt Jul 5, 2008 09:04 PM

                                I'm definitely checking that out. I grew up in Pikesville actually and hadn't thought to go back and check out what is still there! Thanks!

                            2. m
                              meem Jul 3, 2008 10:59 AM

                              I make do with Luciano's at either Tysons I or the restaurant in Oakton on Rt. 123/Hunter Mill Rd...but it has to be hot, right out of the oven (if you take it home, something about the cardboard box does something to the pizza and that's at any restaurant by the way...I miss those old white shiny thin boxes - they never altered the taste or texture). That NYC water comes from mountain reservoirs in upstate New York and I've read that people bottle it and use it to make crusts in L.A. that turn out well. Looking forward to Round 1,874 of the search for NY pizza :)

                              1. m
                                MizYellowRose Jul 3, 2008 02:33 PM

                                We've been here over 25 years and have yet to find anything that is like what you can get in NYC. (John's on Bleecker Street is our favorite NYC place.). No pizza baked in coal-fired ovens here. That said, the closest we've found in this area in no particular order are:
                                Luciano's (both at Tyson's and Herndon)
                                Tony's in Manassas
                                Emilio's in Sterling (although it has good crust, the sauce is on the bitter side and it's expensive plus not open on Sundays). For a place with a wood-fired oven, the crust comes out really well.
                                No doubt I'll get flamed for this but Jerry's doesn't do that bad a pizza...
                                Rubino's in Herndon (does a good crust and sauce but there was way too much Romano or Parmesan cheese on it. Also you can get it by the slice.)

                                Has anyone been to Generous George's lately? It's been many years since we've been and I recall that the pizza wasn't too bad there. Is it still the same?

                                Some places that have wood-fired ovens bake the pizza until the crust is too crisp. Much as I like the food at Esposito's, I find that the pizza crust is too crisp so I've been keeping away from the pizza. Same thing with Bertucci's--the crust is too crisp.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: MizYellowRose
                                  Ericandblueboy Jul 3, 2008 07:42 PM

                                  If you want John's type pizza, I would suggest Bertucci's, Faccia Luna, and Bebo. Church St. Pizza is also good, in the reheated pizza by the slice sense.

                                  1. re: Ericandblueboy
                                    MizYellowRose Jul 3, 2008 08:43 PM

                                    With all due respect, Bertucci's pales in comparison with John's on Bleecker Street (was that the John's you were referring to?). That said, Bertucci's isn't too bad--it would be better if the didn't let the crust get too crisp...

                                    1. re: MizYellowRose
                                      Ericandblueboy Jul 6, 2008 06:32 AM

                                      I never said Bertucci's is as good as John's, just in that style.

                                  2. re: MizYellowRose
                                    EatOrGoToYourRoom Jul 3, 2008 07:47 PM

                                    Generous George's pizza hasn't changed. I agree it's a good variation of the good ol' pizza.

                                    And I'll echo praise that someone else mentioned for Valentino on Beauregard St. in West Alexandria (near Total Wine in the area where Tower Records used to be).

                                  3. javachik Jul 6, 2008 08:53 AM

                                    OK, I'm not from NYC; but I've had NY pizza (at Totonno's), and I can offer a suggestion for the kind of pizza you're looking for.

                                    Piola in Arlington (on Wilson, about 4 blocks up from Rosslyn metro) does thin, brick oven pizza. Piola is a chain based out of Venice, Italy, so it's pretty authentic Italian-style pizza. The toppings are not your ordinary "pepperoni and cheese" either - they have something like 60 or so kinds, and you can go for something basic (like Margherita) or a bit more adventurous.

                                    I'm not purporting that this is NY-style pizza; but I do highly recommend it as something similar that you may really like.

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