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Mar 10, 2009 09:27 PM

Ranking every NYC pizzeria I've tried (~70)

I have to admit that these aren't the most scientific of rankings. I mostly went from memory (with only a couple of places being added after I made the list), so I could have mis-ranked a few pizzerias, especially towards the middle-to-bottom of the list.

Emphasis in my rankings is primarily on taste. Value, service, the overall experience, etc. are also important to me.

With that out of the way, here are my rankings (with some random notes):

Di Fara (Midwood) - Re-read my emphasis above. That this is still number 1 despite the poor value and atrocious service is a testament of quality.

N 28 (W Village) - I normally go for plain slices, but this place is all about the variety.

Artichoke (Union Sq) - I wasn't a believer at first. It's all in the sicilian.

Patsy's (E Harlem) - I think most would disagree. I've had Patsy's numerous times, under numerous circumstances. With that said, I might chalk it up to a small sample size.

Carmela's (FiDi) - May this place rest in peace (dept of health). I would eat off their bathroom floor if I could have one more chicken vodka slice. But alas.

Giovanna's (UES) - Barely distinguishable from Nick's (UES). I gave it a slight edge for crispier crust and more basil.

Nick's (UES) - See above; I have yet to try the original location.

John's of Bleeker (W Village) - Very good brick oven that I haven't had in several years. Who knows, I might rank this above Giovanna's if this were a more exact science.

Vinny Vincenz (Union Square) - Better regular slice than Artichoke, but I don't think the sicilian compares.

Joe's (W Village) - Still a top-notch plain slice.

Fornino (Williamsburg) - I was torn about where to rank this one. I'd have to try it again, but it might belong a few spots higher.

Gotham Pizza (UES) - They did a slice write-up on this place. At first I was kind of surprised, but I really do like this place.

Mardigras Pizza (FiDi) - Two Boots knock-off that's better than the original.

Il Fornaio (UES) - I don't know why I like this place so much. The pizza is a little doughier than I usually like, but it just tastes good. Who am I to argue with that?

The Grotto (FiDi) - My go-to pizza place at work.

Pizza Box (W Village) - I've only been once, so maybe it was on an off-evening. I was expecting this to be better than Joe's, but it was just decent.

Pintaile's Pizza (UES) - Kind of different (organic wheat dough, unique toppings), and I wasn't sure whether I liked this at first; but I do.

99 Cent Fresh Pizza (Midtown East) - Not only because it's cheap.

Crocodile Lounge (Union Sq) - Floury crust, but for some reason* it all works together.
* One possible reason might be the dozen Natural Light adult beverages I drink before heading over.

Adrienne's Pizza Bar (FiDi) - The epitome of overrated. Decent place that way-too-frequently gets nods as a top Manhattan Pizzeria.

Pizza Italia (FiDi) - Above-average slice place by work.

Tony's Famous Pizza (Downtown Brooklyn)

Libretto's (Murray Hill)

Rosa's Pizza (Murray Hill)

Pizza 33 (Murray Hill) - Pizza 33 : slightly past their prime Phi Sig girls :: Adrienne's Pizza Bar : Balding AVP's in Prime Brokerage

Underground Pizza (FiDi)

La Mia Pizza (UES)

Delizia 92 (UES)

Rocky's Number II (Murray Hill)

Mike's Pizza (UES)

Bulldog Pizza (UES)

Slice, The Perfect Food (UES) - I almost excluded this. I really like some of the food here, but I hesitate to call it "pizza". I would loosely lump this in with The Pump (which I did exclude--it's even less true to its name) as a tasty and healthy alternative, but it's just not pizza. It's also pricey.

Vezzo (Murray Hill)

Two Boots (UES)

Ben's Pizza (W Village) - I may have to re-try this one. It's been a while and I've heard a few compliments.

Francesca's (UES)

Pinch (Murray Hill)

Famous Original Ray's Pizza (UES) - Better than I expected.

La Pizzeria (Murray Hill)

Pizza Mercato (Murray Hill)

Little Vincent's (UES)

Zaytuna (FiDi)

Nina's (UES) - I am not opposed to the thicker, pan style of pizza, but something was just off about the flavor.

Mimi's Pizza Kitchen (UES)

Fat Sal's Pizza (UES)

My Daddy's Pizza (FiDi)

Francesca's (UES)

Pranzo (FiDi)

Imperial Pizza (Murray Hill)

Da Vinci (FiDi)

Luigi's (UES)

Piazza Pizza (UES)

Zesty Pizza & Deli (UES)

Zorba's Pizza (UES)

Famous Original Ray's Pizza (LES)

Roma's Pizza (UES) - Gross. Still, I often find myself hungry at 4am with nowhere else to
turn. This is roughly the cut-off line, below which I wouldn't eat a slice for free.

Cordato's (FiDi)

Abitino's Pizzeria (Midtown East)

Hot & Crusty (Multi)

Bravo Pizza (Midtown East)

Caesar's Palace (UWS)

B&T Supreme (UES)

Redstone Pizzeria (Midtown East)

Pizza Rustica (Midtown East)

Park Row Pizza (FiDi)

Caruso's (Penn Station)

Mariella Pizza (Midtown East)

Giuliano's (FiDi) - I admittedly have a vendetta against this place. 95% of it is because they serve horrible pizza, though.

Cafe Amore (Union Sq) - Puke

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  1. well. obviously numbers 43 and 44 should be reversed and....

    only kidding :)

    i just needed to chime in with my full support for your last place choice -- by far the worst pizza i have had in nyc. maybe the worst anywhere, save a place near the train station in bath, england. don't even ask.

    1. I don't see Grimaldi's or Angelo's Pizza on your list. Check them out if you've not yet been.

      1. No Lombardi's; no Grimaldi's, no Pizza Una Neopolitana, among others. This list is looking a bit lame...

        4 Replies
        1. re: bnemes3343

          Lame, perhaps. But I consider myself a pretty busy person and rarely have time to leave the borough for a meal. In UPN's case, I do plan to visit relatively soon--same with Co.

          I almost went to Grimaldi's once, but saw the line and immediately turned around. 45 minutes just to put an order in, and no individual slices? Not even Di Fara is that ridiculous.

          I plan to visit all of the top outer borough places, but it's easier said than done at this point in my life.

          1. re: Cheese Cheesely

            Quite impressive list. I do think Lombardi's should be way on top of your list, at least ahead of John;s. Arturo's should be on the list also,, A new place with excellent pizza is Inatesso Pizza Bar ( the pastas are good too). I dont think the Brooklyn places should be on this list. Aside from the fact that they arent all that good. Grimaldi's is good, not great. Di Fara i wasnt impressed and way overpriced. Spumoni Gardens is way overrated. NewPark Pizza in howard beach is really good for regular style pizza.

            1. re: Cheese Cheesely

              call ahead for Grimaldis and then just stop by to pick it up and eat by the water or something..

            2. re: bnemes3343

              You could say possibly missing some things but it is far from lame. Lame is having a Difara sicilian then biting into a grimaldi's pizza right afterwards.

            3. I disagree with your ranking of Mariella Pizza - think the one on 3rd Ave and 16th Street is great.

              1 Reply
              1. re: sunshndaydrm

                I haven't tried that one. I've given the 59th street location numerous chances and have found it to be consistently atrocious. Perhaps I'll give this other location a try (though it would be tough to not get VV or Artichoke if I'm in that neighborhood).

                1. re: misnatalie

                  Another victim of its proximity to places high up on my list. I'll try it soon enough.

                  1. re: Cheese Cheesely

                    Understood, I'ma huge Joe's fan but one day when you are craving Joe's give them a try instead.

                    1. re: misnatalie

                      Agreed -- I prefer Bleecker Street to Joe's, especially the Nana Maria.

                      For the OP, you also need to try Arturo's, which I prefer to John's,