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Top Pizza in Capital Region?

I have been eating my way through the Capital Region. Discovered Chinese and sushi and am now on a quest for good, chow-ish pizza. Greek food and bagels are not something I'd look for in the Capital Region. Pizza might be challenging too. Based on my preliminary research these are some of the pizza places I've identified (in no particular order):

*DeFazio's (Troy)
*Marisa's Place (Guilderland)
*I Love NY Pizza (various locations)
*? (Guilderland Avenue, Rotterdam)
*Highbridge Pizza (Rotterdam)
*Villa Valenti (Troy)
*Sovrano's (Albany)
*Marino's Pizza (Saratoga Springs)
*Smith's Tavern (Voorheesville)
*Fresco's (New Lebanon)
*Fireside (Schenectady)
*Homestyle Pizza (Schenectady)
*Capo De Pizza (Schenectady)
*Our Original Pizza (Schenectady)
*Pizza King (Schenectady)
*Marino's Flying Pizza (Schenectady?)
*Paesan's (?)

Please help me save time and money by selecting the top 3 to try. Let me know if I've missed any places. Thanks in advance. I'll report back on my experiences.

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  1. Pizza Works in Burn Hills or Balson Spa. Especially good is the triple bypass (not for the faint of heart).

    1 Reply
    1. re: skipjack01

      Tried some Pizza Works pies at a party. So different from a slice (thin and greasy) which I sometime grab when I'm over there. I tasted a roasted pepper and anchovy pie and tried their margherita (similar to Pasta Pane's margherita, Village Pizzeria's is the best margherita I've had). There was also a pie w/out sauce. Don't remember what was on it but I liked it.

    2. Depends what you are looking for. NY Style? Slices? Pies? Toppings? Will you be eating in or taking away?

      Regardless, I'd rule out Homestyle, Smith's, and Sovrano's off the bat.

      I would add Pasquale's on New Scotland Ave in Albany.
      If you are looking for a NY Style slice shop, I'd also consider the hole in the wall that is DC on Western Ave across from SUNY.
      The DeFazio's pies for eat-in are very good, if not in the NY stlye.

      Best of luck.

      1. Try Pizza King. They have wide variety of toppings and they warm it up right in the oven. Also if they have it, try the veggie pizza it is amazing a huge slice loaded with fresh vegetables.

        1. If you are around Saratoga I would recommend Harvest & Hearth The pizza is wood fired with top notch ingredients such as nitrate free sausage. I have eaten here 3 times and enjoyed it each time. ( I would go more often but it is expensive for pizza). The pizza is also good at the Village Pizzeria in East Galway, on Rte 29 west of Saratoga. Both places have web sites with menus. From your list I have had pizza from the Fireside in Schenectadty and Smith's Tavern in Voorheesville and would rate the places I mentioned above as definitely worthy of being included on your list.

          6 Replies
          1. re: yellowlablover

            DeFazio's are really excellent, in a wood-fired sort of way (also great fresh pasta and sauces in the family shop next door). Village Pizzeria in E. Galway is the best NY-style pizza anywhere.

            1. re: PSZaas

              Thanks, everyone. I'll report back on my experiences.

            2. re: yellowlablover

              Tried Harvest Hearth. Ironically it's easier to get to by boat from Saratoga Lake then driving. They only take reservations for parties of 6 or more. We were told it would be a 30 minute wait for a table. We opted for the bar where they told us it would be a 40 minute wait for our pizzas. We had a beer (the ? organic stout I had was very good), tried the corn chowder, enjoyed the lake view. Our server was very good. The servers seemed stretched, maybe someone was out. Now on to the food:

              *Olivia's organic with whole milk mozzarella and asiago cheeses, fresh organic herbs, garlic EVOO, added tomato sauce - individual brick oven/thin crust pizza. Very good. My favorite Capital Region pizza so far (many more to try). Marisa's Place crust was excellent but lacked the quality of toppings at Harvest and Hearth.

              *SO had "your creation." their pizza base/toppings. Added goat cheese, carmelized onions and ? Very good.

              Not a good place if you're in a hurry. After all it's artisanal pizza, crafted and made to order. Looking forward to when they are open for lunch.

              I'm thinking I'll try DeFazio's (Troy), Village Pizzeria (East Galway) or Pope's (Saratoga Springs) next. . .

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                I tried Pope's today. Posted my report on the Saratoga Springs pizza thread EllieLA started in late 2007.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                  Went back to Harvest & Hearth again. Really good individual pizzas. Got there right before it got crazy busy. Can't beat the view of Saratoga Lake.

                  Also tried Pizza Works. Decent. Frsh mushrooms a big plus. Nice guy behind the counter.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Just returned to Harvest & Hearth. Crowded now that the weather is nice. Started with some tomato soup. Had individual pizzas. I had the mushroom. Forgot what SO had but I think it had pesto and ? Reasonable wine prices. Still delicious and one of my favorite thin crust, brick oven pizzas.

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    Went to Marisa's Place today. It's on New Karner Road/Route 155 close to Western Ave./Route 20 in the 5 Schuyler Corners Mall. Had a grandma's slice and a sicilian slice. The crust was very good (Sicilian could have been more well done for my taste). I was looking for flavor like Lombardi's or Underground Pizza (delivery isn't as good as eat in) but it just wasn't there. The pizza at 4 Corners on Guilderland Ave. in Rotterdam had better flavor. Also I was hoping they had a pie with fresh mozzarella and some basil . . .

                    Which pizza should I try next?

                  2. You must try Kay's on Burden Lake, it is the best!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kailin

                      Thanks, kailin. I'll add it to the list.

                      http://www.timesunion.com/entertainme...

                      Will probably try Village Pizzeria in E. Galway next.

                    2. Since Fresco's made the list (they just opened in Pittsfield as well) I'll add a couple of Columbia County slices - LaGonia's in Philmont - great garlicy sauce and JoJo's in Ancram - incredibly crispy crust.

                      I also have fond memories of a place in Clifton Park - Venzia's maybe? - huge calzones

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: timwhoeatsalot

                        thanks, tim whoeatsalot. Have you read any spendsrentonfood posts? :)

                        I'm not sure where Pittsfield is, but if I'm in the area can check Fresco's out.

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          Pittsfield MA is about 20 minutes further east on Rt. 20 than the Fresco's in New Lebanon. Haven't eaten at the Pittsfield Fresco's, but wouldn't bother with Fresco's as a destination. Pizza is adequate, sometimes very good, and sometimes not worth it. The rest of the food is unremarkable to worse. Am not a huge pizza fan, but if I were craving it I'd head out to the tray/albany area.

                      2. i personally love Marino's in saratoga and Kay's in burden lake (thicker "homestyle" pizza if that is such a thing)

                        but Bacchus opened up in troy and it's very tasty thin crust wood fired pizza in a cool rathskeller....

                        http://www.yelp.com/biz/bacchus-troy

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: nighthawk

                          Thanks for seconding some on the list and the Bacchus rec. More pizza to try :)

                        2. I went to college in Albany and our favorite place back then was Paesan's. The other popular place was Sovrano's however it tasted much better after a night of drinking then it did during daylight hours. Sorvano's has a very dough crust which was great for absorbing the damage of a night out. However in both cases it's been 10 years since I've had either so not sure if things have changed.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                            Totally with you on Sorvano's. It was THE place after a night out at SUNYA. The key was asking for a handful of cold cheese on top after it came out of the oven. I wonder if it would taste as good now as it did back then...

                            1. re: L_W

                              No. It wouldn't. It doesn't.

                              Tried it on some strong recommendations.
                              Glad I did. But I see no reason to return.

                              1. re: Daniel B.

                                Daniel B. thanks for saving me calories and $$$ . . .sounds similar to Fireside in Schenectady . . .

                              2. re: L_W

                                No it wouldn't taste as good. Even when I was still in school I tried it once during the day and it wasn't good at all. But when you are wasted it's fantastic. I remember waiting in lines for that pizza.

                            2. Not mentioned yet but very good also - Bellini's in Slingerlands Price Chopper plaza. Really like their woodfired oven pizza.
                              Best in Albany? Well - pizza is one of those things that people seem to have strong feelings about. Not sure there will ever be agreement but everyone has their favorite pie or pies.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: LJNew

                                LJNew, agreed pizza is a very personal thing (brick oven, slice vs. pie, etc.). This thread certainly demonstrates it. . .

                                Thanks for the recs.

                              2. We like Little Anthony's on Central in Albany/Colonie.

                                1. ? (Guilderland Avenue, Rotterdam) is 4 Corners Pizza. Grandma slice, good flavor.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                    There was a fire and I believe 4 Corners Pizza on Guilderland Avenue may be temporarily closed. . .

                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      4 Corners Pizza building on Guilderland has been torn down.

                                  2. Today I tried a sicilian slice at Big Guy's (in the shopping center/strip mall off Rosa Road not far from Cella Bistro). I discovered Big Guys thanks to a post somewhere in the long "TOP NY Capital Region . . ." thread. Very good and only $2.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                      These pizza providers give new meaning re: "pizza to go:"

                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/627631

                                      Hope I can find an event and try their pizza in 2010!

                                    2. Dear god get marino's off that list.

                                      Replace with Pope's and you're on the right track.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Mauceri

                                        Mauceri, I tried Pope's last summer and it was okay (got a slice, not a fresh pie). Why do you like it and do you get a pie made?

                                      2. Tell me again why Village Pizzeria (E. Galway) isn't on this list?

                                        -----
                                        Village Pizzeria
                                        2727 Route 29, Middle Grove, NY 12850

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: PSZaas

                                          PSZaas, I believe it appears somewhere in this thread . . .it's next on my try list :)

                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                            VP's cheese pie is nothing special. The Greek is really good. Oh yeah, Pope's is way better than Marino's. Pizza on Broadway is my current favorite in the SS area along with Caputo's and d'Andrea's BBQ chicken.

                                            1. re: jedd63

                                              Marino's cannot be compared with Pope's or any other because it is totally unique.

                                        2. Paesans was my favorite when I lived in Albany. There veggie pizza was awesome, so was the plain cheese. I think the Ontario location has the best pie, but I would avoid eating in on a Friday or Saturday night, it is a favorite spot with the student crowd.

                                          Pasquales is just not my thing. A former coworker raved about it, but I just didn't like the sauce.

                                          Pizza DaVinci in Troy is worth the trip on 15th and Hoosick. I love there sauce and variety. Their eggplant parm pizza is a favorite at my house and beyond, despite its unconventionality. I actually like their pizza much more than the newish wood-fired place in downtown Troy under Daisy Bakers.

                                          1. Has anyone tried JG Roman Villa in Rotterdam? Great sicilan style pizza. No slices though, you have to order a whole pie.

                                            -----
                                            Roman Villa Restaurant
                                            273 Duanesburg Rd, Schenectady, NY 12306

                                            1. new yorker pizzeria opened last year in the hannaford plaza on wolf road. it's on the side facing sand creek road. he's an ex-long islander and is about the closest i've had to being back there. my wife is very picky on her pizza and she hasn't found any place she likes as much as where we used to live on long island.

                                              1. General opinion of my Guilderland/Schenectady/Glenville friends is Smitty's (aka Smith's Tavern in Voorheesville). Hope you got there! Also why are all these people eating slices??? It is NOT the upstate NY way...maybe in the city, but not here. You gotta order a pie.

                                                -----
                                                Smith's Tavern
                                                112 Maple Ave, Voorheesville, NY 12186

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Anniebird

                                                  Recently on the Tablehopping blog, several people mentioned that Smitty's has gone downhill. They recommend Paesan's.

                                                2. In a hurry and grabbed a quick slice at Double D's in Malta . . .might need to switch my pizza delivery place now . . . still so many places to try including Smith's, Paesan's and Troy. Also spoiled because I had Carmine's (followed by pastry at Fortunato's) in Brooklyn last week.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                    Went back to Double D's again. My favorite square in the area, though Grandma slices in Schenectady can't be beat. Made the first trip of the season to Harvest and Hearth. Still excellent. Village Pizzeria will be next. Especially since they are supposed to have an amazing wine list.

                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                      Finally got to Village Pizzeria. So much more than pizza here! Amazing wine list. Friendly owners. Excellent service. Only 12 miles from S. Springs. We will definitely go back. Also need to check out their wine events. Now on to the food:

                                                      APPS

                                                      *Baked clams - small and sweet
                                                      *figs with prosciutto and bleu cheese - delicious
                                                      *Stuffed zucchni blossoms - a surprise from the kitchen. We decided not to order because they were stuffed with cheese and prosciutto. Many thanks to Jessica who sent out two for us - one made without meat for me.

                                                      PIZZA

                                                      We ordered a 4 slice margherita. Delicious. Along with Harvest and Hearth my favorite thin crust pizza in the Capital Region so far. We had to restrain ourselves, shared 1 slice and took the rest home.

                                                      MAINS

                                                      We decided against pizza because the extensive menu looked so good. SO had the veal piccata and a side of pasta. He was very happy with the veal.

                                                      I had the chicken stuffed with cheeses and spinach on a bed of cappelini with fried spinach on top. Loved the fried spinach. Stuffing was good. Chicken was a little overcooked. Would probably not get again.

                                                      DESSERT

                                                      We shared a tiramisu and had some espresso.

                                                      http://www.villagepizzeria.com/ordere...

                                                      -----
                                                      Village Pizzeria
                                                      2727 Route 29, Middle Grove, NY 12850

                                                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                        sounds worth checking out. we are still hunting for good pizza in the area.

                                                      2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                        Double D's is now CLOSED. SaraBella now.

                                                        I tried a few slices. Thin crust. Meh. Not sure if it's better if you order a fresh, whole pie.

                                                    2. I hope you get a chance to try Defazio's!! Fantastic pizza!! They also have the option of a whole wheat crust! yummy!! and be sure to try their homemade pasta! There is also their shop next door, you can pick up their pasta and sauce.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: csilla

                                                        We ate at DeFazio's on Friday evening. You're absolutely right on that it's fantastic pizza! Wow! We hada white clam pizza, a puttanesca pizza, a buffalo chicken pizza (I know, not traditional at all, but really, really good), and we took home a pepperoni and sausage calzone for one son who couldn't join us. We at outside on the sidewalk and it was so pleasant. Good thing that table was available because inside the store it was HOT. The crust was so good. Perfect texture, thickness and taste. Oh, one of the kids had spaghetti and meatballs and she loved it. Homemade noodles, meatballs and sauce. We took home a tomato pie and some turkey meatballs from the store. What a great place. We'll definitely be going back. And maybe next time we'll have room to follow it up with some gelato from Gelateria Lisa.

                                                      2. More Perreca's in Schenectady Little Italy is now serving pizza. I had the eggplant. Thin crust. Crispy. They also had a cheese pie and an anchovy pie.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                          MARINO'S FLYING PIZZA STATE STREET SCHENECTADY #1

                                                          MORE PERRECAS IS A NICE NEW OPTION FOR COAL FIRED PIZZA

                                                          1. re: netmover

                                                            FYI . . .Marino's on State and Elm is only open after 4 PM.

                                                          2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                            Tried More Perreca's cheese pizza. Not as good as the eggplant, except for the crust. Almost ordered the margherita. Luckily saw one someone had ordered and the tomatoes looked sad. You know the pale, flavorless, wintery kind of tomato that should not be served . . .

                                                          3. The fig, carmelized onion and arugula pizza at Creo' (Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany). Thin crust, very fresh and delicious.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                              New World Bistro Bar also makes fig, caramelized onion and arugula pizza. Really tasty!

                                                              -----
                                                              New World Bistro Bar
                                                              300 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY

                                                            2. Tried a few slices at Caputo's today. They've been open in CP for a few months. Thin crust was pretty good. I had a plain cheese slice (not fresh mozzarella) and a slice with artichokes, fresh mushrooms, roasted red peppers and sun dried tomatoes. The cheese slice was bland. The artichoke slice was really good. Didn't miss the Inferno Pizza cafeteria atmosphere.

                                                              The Gazette gave Caputo's a lot of love:

                                                              http://www.dailygazette.com/news/2010...

                                                              32 Replies
                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                Is Our Original Pizza in Mt Pleasant still open? That used to be the best way back when...

                                                                1. re: netmover

                                                                  netmover, is it on Crane Street, not far from Ferrari's? I'll be in Schdy on Friday. Might have to check it out . . .

                                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                    Ok please lmk...it's been +/- 30 years since I went. It was always a little dive, but the grease was always good!

                                                                      1. re: markabauman

                                                                        thx! seeing that menu again sent me back down memory lane! grazi...

                                                                        1. re: markabauman

                                                                          Thanks for the link, markabauman.

                                                                          I had a slice with grated cheese, a broccoli square (don't know if I'll ever be able to eat a broccoli slice from Jimmy's in Malta again . . .). Got garlic knot and some breadsticks to go.

                                                                          By far, the best crust and pizza I've had. Especially the slice with grated cheese.

                                                                          PS netmover, they still make their own bread.

                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                            Stumbled across a post on Times Union blog circa late 2010 re: food in Malta . . .These are the posts on pizza:

                                                                            Publik House "best pizza in Malta"
                                                                            Jimmy's "excellent," "never been"
                                                                            Double D's "eh"
                                                                            Sonny's no comments

                                                                            What's your favorite pizza in Malta?

                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                              Sonny's white broccoli pizza is famous, and truly delicious; their other pies are good. I think it's the only place on this list that even bears mentioning, frankly. Ferretti's, at Exit 10, is passable, although not quite in Malta. Publik House has decent bar food but very mediocre pizza. There's some Ballston Spa pizza that's no worse than any of these Malta choices; Village Pizzeria is close enough to us (in Ballston Spa) to make it worth the drive for takeout pizza.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Publik House
                                                                              State Route 9, Ballston Spa, NY 12020

                                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                Can't find Sonny's and 899-7799 and 664-7799 numbers are not in service. . .

                                                                                Closed or moved?

                                                                              2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                Tried Inferno (Malta) recently. I think they're a local chain because I've seen more than one. Eggplant and a broccoli w/ricotta. We ordered whole pies. Crust was pretty good. I think their broccoli pizza is better than Jimmy's (their broccoli seems like it's frozen?). The broccoli looks and tastes fresh. The broccoli pizza at My Original on Crane Street (Schenectady) is the best broccoli slice I've had.

                                                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                  Yes, a local chain. Started in Troy, maybe on Ferry Street, and maybe as long ago as the late '40's, but burgeoned into a half-dozen outlets in the last few years.

                                                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                    Double D's (B. Spa) and Jimmy's Pizza & Pasta (B. Spa). Have not been back to Double D's since their parking/traffic situation continues to get worse. Sometimes grab a slice at Jimmy's when I'm desperate. Okay. There's also an Inferno heading South on Rt 9.

                                                                                    Forgot to mention Brooke's Pizza in B. Lake (near Stewarts at end of Usher's Road). Pizza is okay (not the brick oven variety) and their grilled chicken caesar salad is decent. The people are so nice. Not much else in BL except Stewart's and The Jonesville Store which will be closing on Jan. 1.

                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                      Waddaya mean, not much else in BL? Ballston Lake itself has at least two notable restaurants, Carney's Tavern, as close to downtown Ballston Lake as you can get, notable for a very home-y atmosphere and quite decent grub, and The Good Times, notable for its location on Ballston Lake, its antiquity, and its being extremely quirky as regards service and cuisine. (It can be a lot of fun.) In the season, the Lakeside Cider Mill is the best lunch around, the season being something like Memorial Day to Thanksgiving. Around the corner in Burnt Hills, there's Focastle Farms, year 'round, always excellent at morning and noon.

                                                                                      Carney's Tavern: http://carneystavern.net/Default.htm
                                                                                      Good Times Restaurant: http://www.goodtimesrestaurant.com/la...
                                                                                      Lakeside Cider Mill: http://www.lakesidefarmscidermill.com
                                                                                      Focastle Farms: http://www.focastlefarm.com/

                                                                                      1. re: PSZaas

                                                                                        PSZaas, this thread is about pizza. Do the restaurants you mention serve pizza?

                                                                                        Lakeside is now closed for the season. It's a good traditional sandwich place when it's open. Not sure I'd call it "the best lunch around."

                                                                                        The best thing about Good Times is that it's on the water. I've been once (food was bland and mediocre) and would not go back. The only thing "good" is the view.

                                                                                        Carney's is okay. Pub food in a pub atmosphere. Owner is very nice.

                                                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                          You mentioned two places near Ballston Lake, Stewart's and the Jonesville Store, neither of which make pizza, so I thought you were being more global in your comment. Lakeside Farms, when it's open, is the best lunch around Ballston Lake. I guess if I lived in Ballston Lake and needed pizza, I'd still drive to Village Pizzeria, now that Sonny's has closed. There's Pizza Perfetta in Burnt Hills, not far away, that I keep meaning to try.

                                                                                          1. re: PSZaas

                                                                                            PSZaas, I wish I always had time to drive to Village Pizzeria for their pizza :)

                                                                                            Thanks for the Pizza Perfetta suggestion:

                                                                                            http://www.pizzaperfetta.net/

                                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                              Stopped by Pizza Perfetta. It is IN the Rolling Stone Pub & Grill. You need to place your pizza order at the bar. They were very friendly and nice but I opted to return another time.

                                                                                              Had a quick slice at Pizza Works. Two Pizza Works in one day. The Burnt Hills location was better. Maybe it was a fresher pie. In both cases I just got a slice, not a whole pie.

                                                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                Coincidentally, I had a pizza emergency while making pizza at home, which required me to jettison a recipe-full of pizza dough that was about to become a homemade pizza. I asked Pizza Works (Ballston Spa) for help and they sold me a pound-and-a-half of really excellent dough, which save the day. If you need dough, but not pizza, they might be your go-to place; they've certainly become mine.

                                                                                                1. re: PSZaas

                                                                                                  Thanks so much, PSZaas.

                                                                                                  Really nice people at both locations :)

                                                                            2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                              I think I need to head to Troy next:

                                                                              *DeFazio's
                                                                              *Bacchus
                                                                              *Villa Valenti
                                                                              *Pizza DaVinci

                                                                              Any additions or deletions to this list?

                                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                Finally got to DeFazio's . . .for those not familiar with Troy just follow the Little Italy banners and it's on 4th (one way street) between Adams and Washington. Parking can be challenging but there were spaces around the corner. No slices. CASH ONLY. Now on to the food.

                                                                                Since I had never been I asked for suggestions. I had the smoked mozzarella pizza with fresh tomatoes, red roasted peppers, red onions, smoked mozzarella, mozzarella, romano cheese and spices.

                                                                                Delicious.

                                                                                They were making homemade pasta for dinner while I was there. Very nice people. I also learned they serve dinner. Restaurant only has 3 tables and 3 booths and is very casual just like a pizza place should be. I also discovered that they set up tables in their pork store next door for dinner and reservations are recommended. It's also BYOW.

                                                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                  I've only had their stromboli at a Wed farmer's market in Troy. Very tasty.

                                                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                    The "pork store" next door is a pasta store. You can buy a variety of excellent storemade pastas and sauces; it's the original business, the pizza store came later.

                                                                                    1. re: PSZaas

                                                                                      Thanks PSZaas. We called these "pork stores" when I lived on LI.

                                                                                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                        Locally, there seems to be a distinction between "pasta stores," like DeFazio's, "import stores," like Romas, and "pork stores," like Rolf's, which sells almost nothing except (excellent) sausages and meat. One apparent difference is that the former two are Italian, the latter German.

                                                                                        http://rolfsporkstore.com/

                                                                                        1. re: PSZaas

                                                                                          Thanks, PSZaas. Still learning the local lingo :)

                                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                            Until a year or two ago there was a great pork store just up the street from DeFazio's, Troy Pork Store, but no longer. Rolf's is fun; great selection of German cookies to go with your wurst.

                                                                                  2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                    Born & raised in Troy (Wynantskill)- I am surprised no one on this thread mentioned Purple Pub (http://www.purple-pub.com/) across the river in Maplewood/Cohoes. I've lived all over the country over the past decade, but when I go back to Troy to visit family, this little dive is where I want to eat pizza. I dream about it all year.

                                                                                    I'm surprised to see Villa Valenti on your pizza list- great upstate NYer grandma Italian food, but I can't imagine ever "wasting" a meal there on pizza. The entrees and homemade pastas are just too good. So, keep it on your list, but explore the whole menu.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Villa Valenti
                                                                                    369 West Sand Lake Rd, Wynantskill, NY 12198

                                                                                    Purple Pub
                                                                                    2 Cohoes Rd, Watervliet, NY 12189

                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                      Pizza DaVinci on route 7 & 15. They have great pizza and a good selection. It is popular with the RPI crowd and more of a take out place, so you might want to get it to go or go on the early side.

                                                                                      We eat a lot of their eggplant parm pizza (not traditional but really tasty) and their margarita pizza is also good. I find it unusual for a take out place to do a pizza with fresh mozzarella and basil, but they do it really well.

                                                                                2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                  Tried a square at Caputo's. Wouldn't get it again. Double D's (Malta), Our Original's, Civitello's, Perreca's and Big Guy's squares were all better. Can you say Schenectady?

                                                                                3. Smith's Tavern pizza is a 2 out of 10

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: jberqs

                                                                                    Big time. They just don't get it, and the fact that it gets a lot of business makes me crazy. I admit, we don't have a lot of choice out here so that's why I'm glad I make my own.

                                                                                  2. Has anyone tried the pizza at Antipasto's Vegetarian Bistro & Wine Bar?

                                                                                    http://www.antipastos.com/

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                      I've had it a number of times. Quite good; a bit distinct in its own right. Not like a conventional NY pizza. Possibly a bit of a short crust. Being a vegetarian restaurant-any of the specialty pizzas with veggies, beans, etc. as toppings are quite good. I like your list below.

                                                                                    2. Favorites so far (in no special order):

                                                                                      Our Original Pizza (Schenectady)
                                                                                      Perreca's & Civitello's - squares with grated cheese (Schenectady)
                                                                                      More Perreca's - brick oven, thin crust (Schenectady)
                                                                                      Creo' - brick oven, thin crust with fig, carmelized onions, arugula (Albany)
                                                                                      Harvest & Hearth - brick oven, thin crust, artisanal/organic with fresh mozzarella, etc. (Saratoga)
                                                                                      Villa Pizzeria (Galway) - brick oven, thin crust, margherita (Galway)

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                        Perreca's squares are better than Civitello's. My recent square at Civitello's was a bit thinner and a little dry. So get your square at Perreca's and your Gelato at Civitello's :)

                                                                                      2. For slices or takeout I'd second the recommendation of DC's, on Western Ave near SUNY.
                                                                                        Great crust, a perfectly spiced homemade sauce, and plenty of cheese where some places tend to skimp nowadays. The cheese flavor is wonderful and buttery, I believe because it's shredded fresh every day. Definitely not an eat-in kind of place. But they make some really good hot sandwiches too; a good egglant parm and chicken parm that just have to be homemade, and a great Philly cheesesteak made with real ribeye- I asked...

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                                                          Nice review of Marino's Flying Pizza in the Sunday Gazette. I don't subscribe, so I don't have access to the online link; just read the print copy today.

                                                                                          1. re: markabauman

                                                                                            May have to try Marino's Flying Pizza based on your post and netmover's rec. The Gazette also gave Caputo's in CP a lot of love . . .

                                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                              Good to see Our Originals made your list! You never know after so many years...

                                                                                              You should love Marino's, they got the best nod by all my buddies who live in the area, and I'd say it's right up there with the best of them.

                                                                                              The Fountain in Albany is another one you should check out.

                                                                                        2. Got to add Sapienza to that list. Excellent pizza with really good crust

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. the other day we tried parma italia on the corner of rt.9 and grroms rd in clifton park/half moon. it was quite good and we will be going back. i think it's only been there a couple of years. aside from the tasty pizza, i had a shrimp entree consisting of lightly battered shrimp sauteed with broccoli, mushrooms and onions with melted mozzarella and a marinara cream sauce. they were very nice and accommodating. as it's only a few miles away, they will even deliver to us. i couldn't ask for more.

                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: davmar77

                                                                                              Has anyone been to La Cucina in Amsterdam? A spinoff of Parillo's Armory Grill- an old standby there. It's been recommended to me and will be passing through there later this week and thought about giving it a try. Their website is under construction, so no menu to check out ahead of time; wanted to see if anyone had any recommendations. Thanks.

                                                                                              -----
                                                                                              Parillo's Armory Grill
                                                                                              67 Bridge St, Amsterdam, NY 12010

                                                                                              1. re: markabauman

                                                                                                @mark, I went to LaCucina a few years ago and was dissapointed. It has been disputed whether the crust is bought or fresh. I can't say for sure but what I will say was it was quite bland. Armory Grill is a staple in the area and always puts out great Italian dishes though. If you are looking for good pizza in that area check out either Crystal Bar or Bottisti's.

                                                                                                1. re: ropush

                                                                                                  Thanks; am familiar with Crystal Bar and their pizza, which is excellent, though apparently different in style from La Cucina's wood-fired thin crust. Don't know Bottisti's and will check it out. Thanks.

                                                                                                  1. re: ropush

                                                                                                    Despite being advised to go to La Cucina by a number of Amsterdam natives, I should have listened to you, as CH-ers usually seem to know best. We didn't want a regular full dinner as we might have had at Armory, where we've been. Also have been to Crystal, so we thought we'd try something new upon recommendation. La Cucina was very comfortable and cozy, and despite being in a place where everyone else seemed to know each other, they made us feel welcome and comfortable. The pizza was "okay" and I agree with your comments about the crust. Decent antipasto. Had a wine "special" of a "pizza-wine" Montepulciano d' Abruzzo for $10/bottle. When I went home and looked online, the wine can be bought for $5-6. Anyway, it was a convenient stop on the way back from Rochester, timing was good, was adequate and comfortable, but next time will follow your other recommendations. Thanks again.

                                                                                                    1. re: markabauman

                                                                                                      People rave about La Cucina. I think it 's more about the love of the Parillo family or they really have nothing to compare it to. Glad you enjoyed yourself anyway.

                                                                                              2. Just tried the pizza at Panza's. Thin crust.

                                                                                                7 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                  Metroland's Best of 2010 on the pizza front:

                                                                                                  Fireside Pizzeria (Schenectady)
                                                                                                  Smith's Tavern (Voorheesville)
                                                                                                  Red Front Restaurant (Troy)
                                                                                                  Jack's (Albany)
                                                                                                  Pasquale's (Albany)
                                                                                                  Antipasto's (Clifton Park)

                                                                                                  http://www.metroland.net/guides/2010_...

                                                                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                    Anyone been to Red Front?

                                                                                                    Not much on this Board except a name mention by AmyH on a gelato thread . . .

                                                                                                    http://www.redfrontrestaurant.com/

                                                                                                    Found this on Yelp:

                                                                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/red-front-res...

                                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                      Red Front was in my childhood rotation for Friday family night pizza, and I think it's pretty good. It's typically going to be a rectangular tray style pizza with a somewhat thicker crust, in my opinion best when you ask for it light on sauce and extra crispy. But, for a similar pizza style/taste in the same general location, I would choose Carol's Place Pizza in Troy/Albia instead. However, I'll still stick to my pick of Purple Pub being the best in that general area.

                                                                                                      -----
                                                                                                      Purple Pub
                                                                                                      2 Cohoes Rd, Watervliet, NY 12189

                                                                                                      1. re: erin_grogan

                                                                                                        Ditto on Purple Pub. My brother lives in Troy and I have been trying recs on this thread.Red Front is second and Defazios is not even in the conversation(despite what Ms. Clinton thinks).,

                                                                                                      2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                        Red Front is traditional American style pizza. A lot of people go for the nostalgia and "sauce on top option"

                                                                                                        My old job was right down the street from Pasquales. I didn't like the sauce.

                                                                                                      3. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                        Metroland's list featuring Fireside and Smitty's tells me that the capitalland taste is still with a nice thick crust, lots of grease, and a hearty northern Italian sauce. The usual toppings are pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, sausage. and cheese, LOTS of cheese. If it doesn't ooze and the toppings don't tend to slide off the crust, it ain't Schenectady! My personal favorites are just like metroland, Fireside and Smitty's. My local choices are more limited, Joe's (in Rotterdam) -- can't be beat for pure slide -- and Highbridge Pizza. Of course you thin crispy lovers aren't happy up here, go back to Long Island where you came from (just kidding, I'm from Brooklyn originally). May I repeat tho, DO NOT BUY SLICES in the capital district. It's just not our way....and you'll always be disappointed.

                                                                                                        1. re: Anniebird

                                                                                                          Anniebird, there are several places with very good thin crust pizza: Harvest and Hearth (Saratoga), More Perreca (Schenectady), Creo' (Albany), Village Pizzeria (Galway). Pizza's always better in Brooklyn. No Spumoni Gardens (thick) in the Capital Region :)

                                                                                                    2. Tried pizza at two Clifton Park eateries:

                                                                                                      *Parma Italia (near Green Grocer in strip mall on Route 9)
                                                                                                      *Ferretti's (9 and Usher's Rd.) - no delivery

                                                                                                      Eggplant slice at Parma was very good. Went back another day for a mushroom slice (fresh mushrooms). Thin crust.

                                                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/parma-italia-...

                                                                                                      At Ferretti's got a plain slice. Thin crust. Good flavor. Liked crust too. Might need to go back and try a pie.

                                                                                                      http://www.yelp.com/biz/ferrettis-cli...

                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                          Went back to Parma Italia again. Really like their thin crust pizza. Had a slice with mushrooms today. They served it on a regular plate (vs. paper), how nice! Sadly no eggplant slices . . .

                                                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                            Davmar77, thanks for your post on Parma Italia way back when. I just tried takeout there. Pasta isn't the best to go dish. Forgot what else I had, it was pretty good. I think they may have the best pizza in CP.

                                                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                              Parma Italia is my favorite pizza in CP. And that's by the slice. Haven't even tried a fresh pie yet . . .What's your favorite pizza in the CP "food wasteland"?

                                                                                                              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                Just tried Pasta Pane pizza. Arugula, bleu cheese and ? Delicious! Also, margherita. Both thin crust. Margherita not as good as Village Pizzeria's.

                                                                                                                Also revisited Perreca's and Civitello's (Schenectady Little Italy). Both were grandma squares. Civitello's was a little thinner and drier. Perreca's was thick and delicious. Like Civitello's for gelato and pastries. Not a go to place for pizza IMHO.

                                                                                                        2. Thin crust, brick oven . . .Capriccio Saratoga and Cafe Capriccio (Albany)!

                                                                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/795633

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                            Hah! Great thread...thank you. I would run up there if it wasn't for Baba Louie's in Hudson...but I'm taking notes.

                                                                                                          2. Well for me growing up and still in the Capitol Region the following have always topped my list.

                                                                                                            Vintage Pizza (Latham) - They're actually a greek family. I love the mix of cheese they use.
                                                                                                            Purple Pub (Maplewood) - Saw it noted a few times already. Great place for a pizza and a brew.
                                                                                                            Spinner's Pizza (Albany) - I love the garlic blend of their crusts.

                                                                                                            At the moment my current normal place is Peasan's. They have decent pizza (not great), but their garlic knots are pretty good and I just haven't had a chance to look around for others that deliver to my current house (East Greenbush)

                                                                                                            I'm actually amazed that there have always been the chain stores around here, with so many options to get a decent pizza I always wondered how they stay in business.

                                                                                                            -----
                                                                                                            Vintage Pizza
                                                                                                            654 Watervliet Shaker Rd, Latham, NY 12110

                                                                                                            Purple Pub
                                                                                                            2 Cohoes Rd, Watervliet, NY 12189

                                                                                                            1. Ya know living in albany has a few good points ,cheap housing and easy commutes ,no traffic but as far as food goes it sucks . And I dont mean to be insulting but it is what it is and there isnt any pizza up here . I mean Ive eaten at all these places and they all suck . It baffels me why only two hrs from the city and its so bad . I wont even eat it here any more . Food in general is bad here . Its always been and always will be cow town food . Its laughable
                                                                                                              If you dont have a coal oven you cant have pizza

                                                                                                              1. Finally tried Clifton Park Pizza on Route 9. A non-descript place with a few benches inside. Pizza was pretty good! I had a broccoli slice. Better than Jimmy's (Malta) but not as good as Our Original Pizza on Crane Street (Schenectady). Also had a regular slice. Crust was good. My red slice was a little soggy. Flavor was good.

                                                                                                                1. Tried the new pizza place, Giavano's. Ordered a fresh pie. They use fresh (not canned) mushrooms. Very good crust. Perfect for those who like their crust thinner.

                                                                                                                  http://www.giavanos.com/#!map/c1fj9

                                                                                                                  In the B. Lake, B. Spa, Clifton Park, Malta area I think my current favorites are:

                                                                                                                  Clifton Park Pizza (no seating except for a bench and no delivery

                                                                                                                  )

                                                                                                                  Giavano's

                                                                                                                  Parma
                                                                                                                  Pasta Pane

                                                                                                                  I have tried:

                                                                                                                  Brooke's
                                                                                                                  Caputo
                                                                                                                  Inferno
                                                                                                                  Jimmy's
                                                                                                                  New York Pizza
                                                                                                                  Panza's
                                                                                                                  Pizza Works
                                                                                                                  Publik House
                                                                                                                  SaraBella (formerly DD)

                                                                                                                  Looking forward to pizza at Villago when they open.

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                    Thanks to fisher's post on another thread I learned Villago opened last night:

                                                                                                                    http://www.villagepizzeria.com/ordere...

                                                                                                                    https://www.facebook.com/VillagoPizzeria

                                                                                                                    Closed Tuesdays.

                                                                                                                    Can't wait to go!

                                                                                                                    1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                      Villago:

                                                                                                                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/919338

                                                                                                                      Thinner, brick oven crust so better for eating in.

                                                                                                                      They just opened March 10, still in "soft open" phase. You might want to bring a little patience with your appetite.

                                                                                                                    2. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                      Tried Giavano's again. Thin crust, my current Malta favorite. I've only ordered a fresh pie, so not sure how it is by the slice. They use fresh, NOT canned mushrooms.

                                                                                                                    3. when I was in school (lived in the downtown dorms), we found lou-bea's was closest to nyc thin crust, oily (in a good way) pizza. There are recent reviews on yelp, so it's still alive and kicking.

                                                                                                                      we would also occasionally head to fountain pizza where they rubbed the pizza pan with garlic which made for a flavorful crust.

                                                                                                                      I'm sure there's better pizza but through the lense of a student, these were our best bets.

                                                                                                                      1. #1 DeFazios
                                                                                                                        I havent come across any in the area that id even rank other than them.
                                                                                                                        i just cant understand why the albany area has to be so pizza challenged . I used to think it was the water but Im leaning more towards the coal ovens they use in the city that makes such a difference because they cook so hot and fast that they let a thin crust bake but its not dry . Ive eaten Marinos before and they work the dough to much its like eating flat cardboard .Coal not wood gives a distinctive flavor and crust . Frank pepes in New Haven is prob the best I have had .they also make a clam pie that is just the most delicious thing I have ever ate . The good news is their pizza freezes great so i go there and get 5 to go take them home and freeze the pieces separately . Pop them in the oven or on the gas grill and I'm eatin a pizza that almost as good the minute it comes out of their oven

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: rtk88

                                                                                                                          rtk88, that clam pie sounds so good on a rainy, snowy day. Also looks good:

                                                                                                                          http://www.yelp.com/biz/frank-pepe-pi...

                                                                                                                          The crust in the photo looks like my crust from Giovano's. One of the better crusts I've had here in some time. I ordered a whole pie so it wasn't a slice that had been sitting around.

                                                                                                                          For the record, I prefer a thinner crust. Brick oven style. Though I enjoy a Grandma's slice from time to time. Love the bakery squares at Perreca's in Schenectady.

                                                                                                                          Might have to take a little trip to New Haven :)

                                                                                                                          1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                            years ago when i lived down state my favorite clam pizza was at a place in nyc that since burned down. so now my wife will make it for me. YUM!

                                                                                                                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                                                                                                                              Its worth the trip trust me you will be a happy camper