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Pizza in Monmouth County

Any recommendations for where to enjoy a good pizza in Monmouth County NJ?

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  1. http://www.deninospizzaplace.com/

    If you like thin crust pizza, THIS is the place!! Not that doughy crap with a gallon of oil on it! blah!

    I just love this place!!! BYOB, waitress service in the back dining room. It is a hike for me, but worth it! I love the shrimp scampi pie and the white clam pie when I am in the mood for a specialty pizza.


    5 Replies
    1. re: Angelina


      I'm going to disagree with you somewhat with regard to the pizza at Denino's. While the crust is certainly not thick, it is not extremely thin either. Pete & Elda's is the place for pizza with a crackingly crisp wafer-thin crust. In fact, some of those who don't like the pizza at Pete &Elda's -- including my good friend, bgut -- say that they feel the crust is much too cracker-like. I like it because, to me, it's very much like a pastry crust.

      In any case, we've been to Denino's once, and while I thought the pizza was fine, I prefer Pete & Elda's.

      1. re: RGR

        R - I'm honored that you recall my dislike for P&E's pizza. :)

        1. re: bgut1

          b., We so infrequently disagree that when we do, it sticks firmly in the old noggin. :)

          1. re: bgut1

            I agree with you bgut1... I also dislike Pete & Elders Pizza...it tastes like a Ritz cracker with ketchup on it. Papas in Trenton (Burg) is my favorite ! Worth the drive.

            1. re: Tapas52

              Thanks Tapas. My favorite is DeLorenzo's.

      2. There are several discussions on the topic. To simply name drop and give you search material, try: Pete & Elda's (Neptune), Vic's (Bradley), Maria's (Manasquan), Jimmy's(Asbury), etc.

        Newer favorites include Coal Fired Oven in Bradley Beach and Stella Marina in Asbury Park

        1 Reply
        1. re: MGZ

          2nd on the recommendation of the Stella Marina pizza. The funghi is one of my all time favorites.

        2. Where in Monmouth County are you looking and where are you from? I know many will recommned Pete a& Elda or Vic's but if you are from Hudson Co or Manhattan - these will be considered average at best. The best and most consistent I have found in Luigi's In Lincroft.

          4 Replies
          1. re: stickman731

            Thanks, stickman731, for the Luigi recommendation; I live in Manhattan and am often in Manalapan or Marlboro visiting with family

            1. re: stickman731

              Make sure you go to the correct Luigi's. They're not all the same.

              I second the opinion on Luigi's. But it's thin-ish, not truly thin like, e.g. Pete&Elda's. One thing to note about it, the pizza tends to be a little oilier than other places. That's a plus or minus, depending on your preferences. But it is always tasty.

              1. re: cantkick

                Cantkick is correct on choosing the correct Luigi's. Here is the address - it is the backend of the little strip mall behind the Subway on Rte 520 (Newman SPrings Road).

                Luigi's Famous Pizza
                650 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738 (732) 842-2122

                If you like thick pizza try Ninette's on Shrewsbury Avenue in Tinton Falls, near the A&P.

                1. re: stickman731

                  The Luigis in Hazlet is very good, moved here from NY, dont hold it agaianst me lol.

            2. a REALLY nice thin crust gluten free pizza and reasonable

              Santino's Pizza Etc
              35 Sylvania Ave, Neptune, NJ 07753

              1. Stefano`s,has one of the few `ny` style crusts that actually `snap` when you fold the pizza. Excellent if not slightly over-doughy sicilian slice,the `round` slice has good ingredients and worth teh cafeteria style-join the hs kids in line for lunch proceedure to pay.They have `salad` pizza slices which are interesting.In all,its fast paced if not almost rude service is made up for the decent slices they put out.You will need to pass 2 other pizzas on same block to get here.This is better than your avg NJ pizza but not quite `ny` 35 main st Freehold near the hall of Records

                Stefano's Pizzeria & Restaurant
                35 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728

                1. I'm really enjoying Luigi's in Little Silver near the Oceanport border (in the small center next to the Mercedes dealership) of late.

                  They make a very very good pie. Highly recommend the sausage & pepper.

                  29 Replies
                  1. re: JustJake

                    Is it just me or have others noticed that a number of regular Pizza joints have been going under recently ? I was speaking to an owner the other day and he was crying to me how the business has declined over the years.I must admit,I would eat a slice everyday if it was good,but the fact is 99% of the stuff pushed out is low quality garbage. I 've commented more about pizza than anything else on this forum and tried endless places.You can talk all you want about which is best and devour your way through the lists compiled,but were just comparing mediocre to mediocre in almost every case.

                    1. re: xny556cip

                      you got that right, my fellow CHers at least 85 to 90 per cent of the pizza in nj is flat out garbage
                      not so in the city where even the most mediocre slice joints and even the 99 centers are better
                      while i think it is awfully difficult to make a great pie it sim[ply aint that hard to make a decent one
                      i know all the costs are way up but still
                      forza pizza

                      1. re: foodismylife

                        Are we really going to go down the "There's no good pizza (Chinese, Indian, bread, cupcakes, chefs, etc.) on the west bank of the Hudson" road again??? I know, let's take the usual detour towards "taste is subjective"??? Maybe a discussion of Zen and the Art of Meatloaf Maintenance???

                        Fine. Sushi's better in Kyoto. Barbecue's better in Lexington. Cheese is better in Paris. . . . .

                        1. re: MGZ

                          Thanks MGZ. It's funny that the cup is always half full with some of our transplanted Garden Staters hemming and haw'ing as to the medicority and horror of it all.

                          Especially the 90% comment that most pie in Monmouth County is garbage. And I did see Ex New Yawkah's list. It's telling and more than anything a great deal of blowharded elitism. Fwiw, I did try Denino's last week as I delivered my paperwork for tax prep in town. I'm going to reserve decision until I eat there again.....see, it being lunch hour I scarfed a slice down here before my ride up (and not knowing that I'd come across Denino's in my day's itinerary that day).

                          It's all so subjective, but most of us 'locals' KNOW where to get better than average to excellent pie on this side of the river.

                          1. re: JustJake

                            Elitism?Possibly,but I seek out places that are that I consider have raised the bar and care.I do not frequent places to just "Scarf " a slice.That is just something i'm no longer prepared to do.That is also possibly a reason that seemingly so many of the generic slice joints are suffering.Maybe more people are voting with thier feet and really do care about quality.I am a local btw.

                            1. re: xny556cip

                              "That is also possibly a reason that seemingly so many of the generic slice joints are suffering."

                              Proof? Can you site something, anything, that bolsters your point that slice places in New Jersey are suffering more than other casual restaurants during the worst recession in over 30 years?

                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                I don't think I said they were suffering more? I would imagine that I notice them more as I have a particular interest in pizza though.Ironically ,from reading about the many new places opening (Tri-State),it would appear that pizza is one of the few sectors of the industry that seems almost recession proof ?Four in Red Bank alone,and still none so far that IMO are outstanding.
                                Having said that ,these new places are mainly wood / coal burning and are following the recent trend as opposed to the regular gas / electric places.The fact is great pizza can be produced with any fuel source if the quality of ingredient,care and knowlege are all taken into consideration.

                                1. re: xny556cip

                                  So when you said -

                                  "That is also possibly a reason that seemingly so many of the generic slice joints are suffering."

                                  You actually meant -

                                  "... it would appear that pizza is one of the few sectors of the industry that seems almost recession proof."

                                  1. re: Bob Martinez

                                    No,because many of the new places opening are bucking the traditional slice and going for the 12" personal pizzas with better quality toppings or even following the roman square slice style,again with better quality.I do think that good pizza can fair better than many in this economy,it's just my opinion that it is lacking in Monmouth Co,and also IMO pizza is probably hurting here more than some of the better pizza available in other areas.

                              2. re: xny556cip

                                Yup, Elitism and I'll stand by my comments. I'm a life long local. And I don't typically 'scarf' pies down, but in my post above, I was on the 'fly'.

                                And of all the places cited by various posters, I' ve tasted 99% of them. And most of them are pretty good. In fact just as good if not better than most places I visit when I'm in the city.

                                I suggest you leave your 'smugness' at the door. Or you could always move back to the City.

                                1. re: JustJake

                                  Jake, I'm a lifelong New Yorker, currently living in Brooklyn. I get to Monmouth county frequently and have found the pizza to be consistently better than that found in New York City. No, not *every* place is better, but on average, Monmouth county pizza is clearly superior. You folks are blessed.

                                    1. re: Bob Martinez

                                      Bob, thanks. Objective and a real post. I recently went to the Brooklyn Bowl for a show and did Grimaldi's for the first time. A memorable experience, almost holy.

                                      Then again, I worked in Manhattan for 10+ years and most of the pie was average. Some good to very good, but that wasn't every door I walked through.

                                      133 Clinton St, Hoboken, NJ 07030

                          2. re: xny556cip

                            I agree,its all mediocre.To paraphrase Larry David `yeah sure all the good chinese chefs stayed in ny`. My gut tells me anywhere in the US now you can get good pizza,but you really have to sift through many lousy ones to find it.I`m sure here & there some good pizza guys moved to the south or the west. It seems,without insulting any ethnicity,that,if you are of a certain `jersey shore` type and don`t fit the mold for 9-5 blue collar,you can borrow from your parents,or sell off your iroc/camaro get some $ together to get a used pizza oven,open some sauce and pre shredded 1/2 mozzarella cheese and call yourself a pizzeria owner.Now imho there are good-excellent pizza guys out there,but,for example,when in my small town we have 7 (plus dominos not counting) and some rocket scientist comes and opens up...you guessed it an 8th pizzeria (how bout a greek/mexican/bbq joint guys?),that tells me something..HIGH GROSS PROFIT. Pizza still has great margins so many will settle for mediocre product and never claim to be anything more than just `there` and alot of contractors/sales people passing through can accept the medicority as something better than a chain store sub or fast food etc...I blame us the consumers, who patronize mediocrity because `its convenient` or `it`s there`..When we STOP patronizing the bad or mediocre ones,then they`ll learn that quality ingredients and knowledge of the industry will succeed when they step up their game or go out of biz. But we`ll all suffer from this mediocrity if we all `accept` it..PS just because the `water` in NY is so `great` doesn`t mean no one else in the world can do pizza.

                            PS how about a poll-I bet more pizzas are in NJ than in NY.

                            1. re: rapidnj

                              Yes I vote with my feet now. As much as I crave pizza and it's convenience , I very, very rarely purchase it when i'm on the road and prefer to hold out and make it a "Destination" meal occasionally at a place I know I can trust.Unfortunately none are in the Central NJ area.

                              1. re: xny556cip

                                OK xny. Can you give us some places you trust?

                                1. re: Papa Bing

                                  Here's his list. You can decide for yourself how valuable it is.


                            1. re: JustJake

                              Luigi's does make a decent pie. I ate there a few times when I was working on Fort Monmouth. It was nice and close, right out the back gate. The sausage and pepper is indeed tasty and my go to as well.

                              There was another place on the other side of the fort too next to a karate place, kind of by the MacDonald's off of 35(?) It was out the main gate, then to the left up the hill. They had a great 3 meat pie that was tasty...sausage, pepperoni, and meat ball. I can't remember for certain what it was called. Guido's maybe? -mJ

                              1. re: njfoodies

                                For Monmouth county hands down best Pizza SCALAS in West Long Branch on Brighton Ave,,,,
                                KILLER Square, so light and airy, and the Margarita style is thin, garlicky with fresh basil & fresh Mozzarella........don't forget to try the different focaccia sandwiches also... HIGHLY RECOMENDED!


                                1. re: Tapas52

                                  Actually, Scala's is in Long Branch, not West Long Branch. West End.

                                2. re: njfoodies

                                  There are two pizza places on opposites sides of Hwy 35 there in Eatontown. Siino's on the eastern side next to the Eatontown Public Library (the old Eatontown PO) and Guido's on the western side behind the row of shops the front onto 35. While Guido's does make a good pie (their buffalo chicken pie - certainly nowhere's close to "traditional" - is none-the-less exceptional) they are my go-to place locally for subs. Good, tasty, not skimpy, surprising well-chilled (I dunno, I just like that) and perhaps most important - fairly consistent.

                                  1. re: jfedorko

                                    I've been getting pies and calzones from Siino's since forever. Yum. I've never tried Guido's. Will have to give it a try. Now I need a tuna sub bad...

                                    I'll pile on and recommend Luigi's in Little Silver sausage and pepper XL (square) pie. All of their food is good, right down to the chicken tenders for the kiddies. The subs are hearty, and their ingredients are of above-average quality.

                                    1. re: fershore

                                      We actually had Luigi's cater an office party a year or two ago for about 60 people. They did a very nice job; good food and most reasonable.

                                    2. re: jfedorko

                                      Finally tried Guido's as a result of this thread after driving by it for 20 years. Ordered a plain ol' pie with some veggies last week. Delish. Great crust, good sauce and cheese, and crisp fresh veggies. Nice folks. I would never order something nontraditional like a buffalo chicken pie (total purist), but I sit here waiting for it based on your recommendation, jfedorko.

                                      1. re: equal_Mark

                                        There is also a Luigi's on Doris Ave in Ocean - excellent square thin (not too thin) pies...the sauce is wonderful. I think it's my new favorite by far.

                                    3. re: JustJake

                                      We get Luigi's once in awhile, my kids like it, but I have to say, I'm not a fan. I find it to be very greasy. Last night we went to Oceanport Pizza, as it was right across from my daughter's softball practice. Nice and thin (but not too thin!) but it had no flavor whatsoever. Not greasy at all, though. We were at Freddie's last week, and that was excellent!

                                    4. http://www.valstavern.com/Welcome/Men...

                                      Val's Tavern in Rumson bakes a terrific pie. I just enjoyed a half sweet sausage/half eggplant pie; nice crisp crust; excellent sauce. Wonderful pizza.

                                      Val's Tavern
                                      123 E River Rd, Rumson, NJ 07760

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: HillJ

                                        Agreed - Val's makes a great pie. It's often overlooked, given the space and name, but I've never had a bad pizza there - especially, the lobster pie.

                                        1. re: MGZ

                                          Two of the people I had lunch with shared a lobster pie and raved about it. Funny, I love pizza; love lobster but can't seem to wrap my CH mind around the two together. Val's sells alot of lobster pizza, so what do I know!

                                          1. re: HillJ

                                            At the risk of digressing . . . Last time I was there I had a burger. It was on a toasted roll. Why do I remember that Val's used to use english muffins?? It's been driving me nuts for a couple weeks now.

                                            1. re: MGZ

                                              Can't say I recall either bun or muffin...never ordered a burger there.

                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                I still have to go with Frankie Fed's in Freehold. Their sausage pie is one of my favorite pizzas anywhere. And addictive house salad dressing gets me to eat my greens there too ;o)

                                                1. re: seal

                                                  Addictive house dressing leads me back to Spirito's in Elizabeth, seal. Another delicious, simply prepared bar pie joint but the garlic salad is the reason I trek back year after year. So simple but so good! Frankie Fed's in Freehold holds alot of memories for me as well. The sweet sausage is prepared so well in several dishes.

                                                  Spirito's Restaurant
                                                  714 3rd Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                    I can't believe in my half century of Monmouth County living that the first time I walked into Vic's in Bradley Beach was this past week! Having been a loyalist to Denino's in Aberdeen and Vesuvio in Belmar, Im so glad I listened to my better half saying.."let's stop there, I've heard its good". Vic's is a thorw back much like Vesuvio. Many booths and tables...mature bartender etc. On to the food. Starters included a chopped Antipasta Salad (this easily can feed 4 people)..Nicely chopped salami, ham and provolone, Sliced Olives, chopped onion over super crips and COLD iceberg lettuce. This appetizer reminded me of a Jersey Mike's sub without the bread. Nice viaigrette, I personally would have added a touch more vinegar. Kids enjoyed thier Fried Ravioli and Mozzarella Sticks..both standard quality but served hot and with a decent marinara sauce. Now for the only faux pas....the fried calamari...how can you be a food place on the jersey shore and serve a noticeably frozen prepared calamari? Its a shame because I would have given the full 5 stars had it not been for this one poor quality plate. So appetizers good but the star here was really the pizza or as Vic's neon sign says..Tomato Pies. You have a choice of their regular thin crust or thick. Vic's thick crust is what most of the pizzerias call thin. We ordered one thick with sausage and one thin plain. The dough here is on the money...crisp outside with just enough burn on the bottom and the inside is chewy and moist. Sauce and cheese both good in quality and ratio. Its been a while since I burned the roof of my mouth becuase I couldnt wait to taste! Overall I would give Vic's my best pizza in a long time accolades. With summer coming..if I were you, I'd try Vic's now. We passed on dessert and headed down the road to the Macaroon Shop in Avon...but thats another post!

                                                    Vic's Italian Restaurant & Bar
                                                    60 Main St, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

                                                    1. re: foodislove1958

                                                      Oooh, I love Vic's antipasta salad. Yum! Now I have to go on a pilgrimage before Easter Break is over! Yum.

                                      2. I absolutely love Chiafullo's. I like all kinds of pizza . Thin, thick, regular. They make it however you want it. I enjoy their specialty pizzas, but most of all i love just a plain old sausage, pepper and mushroom pizza. They make their own sausage and use fresh peppers and mushrooms. There food is amazing. I think bc they had a restaurant in Red Bank for so many years that they have the same cook. They use to be Chiafullo's Red Bank Pizza. They have a great menu. I love their salads and dinner. I was just there tonite with friends and we had a great Pear Salad and an Antipasto with Proscuitto, Buffalo Mozzarella and fresh Roasted Red Peppers. For dinner we had a Tuscany style Halibut and a great Shrimp entree. And the shrimp were huge ( what an oximoron). I do wish they had more of a dessert selection. Its not a fancy place, but its nicely decorated and very clean and the food is honestly amazing. Way too good for a pizzeria. I live in Manhattan and often come to visit my parents in NJ and I can honestly say that there food is equivalent to any great place in the city. I would highly recommend it.

                                        Chiafullos Navesink Pizza
                                        1010 State Route 36, Atlantic Highlands, NJ 07716