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new york style pizza in GTA

ship it May 5, 2009 03:08 PM

anyone know of a good place to get a new york style pie in the area? I am looking for a classic margarita pizza with only mozzarella cheese, basil, tomato sauce and a very thin crust

i find everywhere around has really thick crust and doesn't offer classic margarita

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  1. aser RE: ship it May 5, 2009 03:20 PM

    People will suggest places like Pizzeria Libretto, Terroni and Trio....

    If you're comparing to the the nyc standards (difara's, totonno's, lombardi's, patsy's, grimaldi's), then you will be disappointed. You won't find it in Toronto.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aser
      tjr RE: aser May 5, 2009 06:32 PM

      Yep, unfortunately accurate!

    2. duckdown RE: ship it May 5, 2009 03:20 PM

      this is my favorite pizza as well

      only places are like pizzeria libretto and a few other sit-down restauraunts... i haven't found a quick and good take-out location really anywhere at all

      oh and you'll probably get stuck with grated mozzerella too

      1 Reply
      1. re: duckdown
        morefoodplz RE: duckdown May 5, 2009 03:38 PM

        Pizzeria Libretto will do take-out if you ask for it, according to their website. It will probably taste much better if you dine-in, though, unless you live on Ossington.

      2. redearth RE: ship it May 5, 2009 03:35 PM

        Mangia & Bevi does a pretty decent thin crust pizza with buffalo mozzarella (not enough mozza on it for my liking, though), but of course it's nowhere near NYC standards...


        1 Reply
        1. re: redearth
          ship it RE: redearth May 5, 2009 03:37 PM

          thanks for the input, definitely unfortunate that no one has brought this style to Toronto yet...

        2. a
          abigllama RE: ship it May 5, 2009 06:03 PM

          Like has been said it really doesn't exist here, the closest I've found is the margarita from Massimo's. Crust is more thick than you'd like but the garlic and olive oil is spot on.

          1. e
            embee RE: ship it May 6, 2009 06:53 AM

            Almost forty years in Toronto and I've never seen an actual New York style pizza anywhere, ever.

            Closest have been the Margherita at Massimo's on a good day (they aren't consistent) and the plain cheese pizza at most Mamma's locations. Neither one nails it, though. Massimo's crust is too thick. Mamma's crust is too thin and the herbal flavours are missing. You won't do better anywhere else.

            1. s
              Sui_Mai RE: ship it May 6, 2009 06:56 AM

              Massimo's is the closest, but yeah the crust is weird (kinda tough or something). John's Classic, Baldwin St or College St, not bad, (although I haven't been in ages) but it's just not the same – maybe there's something in the water...

              7 Replies
              1. re: Sui_Mai
                embee RE: Sui_Mai May 6, 2009 07:02 AM

                It's also the cheese, the sauce, the stretching, the ovens, and the customer expectations. Possibly the water too....

                John's on Baldwin did a pesto pizza over twenty years ago that wasn't bad, but it still wasn't right. Sometime after that, they changed it.

                1. re: embee
                  abigllama RE: embee May 6, 2009 10:52 AM

                  John's on College was the other one I'd forgotten about. We had a couple of drunken late night slices from the college location after a function over that way. Not the best conditions for a taste test, but the pizza was fresh out of the oven and tasty. Crust still a bit thick but sauce and spicing was awesome. I specifically rememer thinking this reminded me of NY pizza, but it was after several drinks.

                  We got a pizza delivered from the other John's location and it was a terrible, very different product.

                  1. re: abigllama
                    Pizza Lover RE: abigllama May 6, 2009 12:33 PM

                    I just spent the weekend in New York City and ate more pizza than is healthy (can there be such a thing????) and John's on College is probably the best interpretation you will get in Toronto - especially coming out of the oven.

                    1. re: Pizza Lover
                      embee RE: Pizza Lover May 6, 2009 01:30 PM

                      I need to alter my earlier comments. I was passing Massimo's today (I'm seldom around there) and figured what the hell...so I had a slice. Yuk.

                      It's probably still okay sometimes when it's fresh from the oven, but it sure wasn't fresh today. While the toppings were still of okay quality, they had the pizza in one of those warming cabinets. (They used to reheat slices on the oven floor, which Mamma's still does.) The crust was a limp, sodden mess with no chew and a washed out taste. A truly wretched slice.

                      1. re: embee
                        duckdown RE: embee May 6, 2009 01:41 PM

                        That's how it's been for me lately, every time I go

                        1. re: duckdown
                          ship it RE: duckdown May 6, 2009 04:31 PM

                          someone needs to figure this issue out, whoever does and launches a place is going to be a very rich individual

                          1. re: duckdown
                            abigllama RE: duckdown May 6, 2009 04:56 PM

                            Massimo's slices are nasty when they sit around, need to get a whole pie on your own or keep an eye out for something that's fresh out of the oven. For whatever reason that product goes dry super fast.

                2. g
                  graydyn RE: ship it May 7, 2009 08:58 AM

                  Agreed that there is nowhere in Toronto up to the NY standard, but some great ingredients can be found. I recommend going DIY pie.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: graydyn
                    Sui_Mai RE: graydyn May 8, 2009 07:25 AM

                    While it would be nice to have the NYC style as an option here. It still pales in comparison to real Italian pizza like Terroni or Libretto or anyone who fires up a nice wood oven thin crust imho.

                    graydyn, do you know where to buy a nice pre-made dough? I'd love to DIY everything but the dough. (sorry if I'm going OT here....)

                    1. re: Sui_Mai
                      embee RE: Sui_Mai May 8, 2009 08:25 AM

                      You can get pre-made pizza dough all over the place - pretty well every supermarket has it, including many No Frills. Most Italian bakers sell raw dough, as do some non-franchise pizza shops. I don't find it useful.

                      There are some major problems with using this dough in your kitchen. One obvious one is that it tends to be very inflated. The yeast activity has usually gone far beyond what is appropriate, and punching it down doesn't rescue it. It is hard to work and has little taste. Pizza shops using fresh dough tend to store it in a very retarded state.

                      Another problem that will quickly become obvious is stretching it to the size, shape, and thickness you want. It will fight back vigorously. Stretching the inflated dough is a real skill (though tossing it in the air is merely a performance), and restos using unskilled staff run it through rollers (essentially an oversize pasta machine).

                      I'm not going to post a recipe in Home Cooking because too many variables are involved. One possibly useful existing thread is at:


                      If you belong to the Cooks Illustrated website, you will find useful information on ingredients and techniques for making dough. It's not hard to do - I find it easier to make the dough than to work with the stuff from the store. Just remember that Canadian all purpose flour has much more protein than American all purpose flour (except for King Arthur).

                      You will need a preheated pizza stone in your oven (set to it's maximum temperature). If you have an outdoor grill, use that instead. My gas BBQ will heat to 900+ F when used as an oven, which is great for making pizza.

                      Note that I'm assuming you want better pizza than you can easily buy . If that's not the case, you can get prefab pizza crusts all over the place as well. Loblaws has both Splendido and TGTBT versions. Oddly, Pizza Pizza uses a plausible dough while (I'm told) Magic Oven uses frozen prefab crusts

                      1. re: embee
                        Full tummy RE: embee May 8, 2009 12:13 PM

                        When I was looking into what I need to do at home to do a good pizza, I found a website posted by someone who had succeeded by cutting out the clean-cycle door lock on his oven and using the clean cycle to get up to a high enough temperature.

                      2. re: Sui_Mai
                        embee RE: Sui_Mai May 8, 2009 08:32 AM

                        All "real Italian" pizza does not necessarily have a thin crust and is not necessarily baked in a wood oven. It depends on the origin. For example, Neapolitan and Sicilian generic styles differ greatly from each other, and there are differences from place to place within each region.

                        Many Italian bakeries in the GTA offer a thick crust, baked in a large rectangular pan, with minimal toppings and little or no cheese.

                        1. re: embee
                          Sui_Mai RE: embee May 8, 2009 09:24 AM

                          I know, that's why I said "real Italian" bla bla bla *or* a nice thin crust wood oven one. ;)

                          I just wanted make my point that thin crust rocks the party - lets the ingredients speak! much more so than NY style where crust and cheese are more of a big deal - imo.

                        2. re: Sui_Mai
                          graydyn RE: Sui_Mai May 14, 2009 11:09 AM

                          I agree with Embee that good prefab dough probably doesn't exist. Maybe if you could find some that has been frozen you would have better luck than I have.
                          Making the dough is a lot of fun anyway, and it's way easier than what you have likely imagined. You won't need a mixer or anything.

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