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Lombardi's Pizza a Bust

I am tired of all the good reviews Lombardi's Pizza receives. I ate a very ordinary cardboard like example last night. I think there is little quality control and the Owner see the long lines and popularity and is complacent. Further more, the assembly line of young Mexican chefs show no pride or expertise in their product. No wonder it rates nowhere near the best NYC Pizza Restaurants.
Its time to tell the thruth.

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  1. This was my same response the year it opened. My jaw hurt from chewing the cardboard crust! I always thought "emperor's new clothes".

    8 Replies
    1. re: Nancy S.

      um, Lombardi's opened in 1897..... it gets very very few good reviews here....

      1. re: Cpalms

        The original opened in 1905 on 53 1/2 Spring. It closed in 1986. The current owner opened the new Lombardi's in 1994 at 32 Spring.

        Lombardi's get mixed reviews at best.


        1. re: Cpalms

          I should have written "reopened"

          1. re: Nancy S.

            Make that 1905 not 1897 as noted above. (edit)

            1. re: Nancy S.

              Here's a shocker. Go to the Restaurant Upstairs at Fairway Market on Broadway at 74 Street and order a personal size Margherita pie. Not the absolute best in NY but it puts Lombardi's to shame.

              1. re: Brian W

                OP is right, places like this suck because they try to get as many people in and out. John's (on 64th) which i like serves up the worst pizza in manhattan at its Times Square location because of the same reason.

                1. re: smokeandapancake

                  They're laughing all the way to the bank.

                2. re: Brian W

                  Update on the pizza at Fairway Cafe. I had one last week and it was not very good. The crust was as good as usual, as was the mozzarella, but the sauce tasted somewhat like Ragu from a bottle.

          2. Lombardi's hasn't gotten good reviews in a long while. Mediocre ingredients, soggy pies. A friend's theory is that to maximize turnover, they pull the pies out of the oven too early and they don't maintain a hot enough temperature because enough out of towners complained that their pies were "burnt."

            Combine that with the mentality that you need more (not fewer) toppings and cheese and sauce (he also thinks they over-sauce and over-cheese due to trying to please tourist palettes) and you get soggy pizza.

            1. Hi:

              Just a reminder to please keep the discussion on the merits of the chow. We've removed a subthread about the ethnicity of the chefs at Lombardi's and other NYC restaurants, as that discussion is beyond the scope of this board. We've also removed various posts that attacked other posters. Such personal attacks are not acceptable.


              1. While Lombardi's might not be the best, it's definitely a NY staple or a must-go for first time NYC visitors. I mean, it's the "first" pizza shop ever in the US. And I'd still be more than happy to eat their pizza than a slice from Sbarros or a 99 cent slice (which aren't that bad, surprisingly).


                6 Replies
                1. re: CantStopEating

                  No it's not a "must-go" because the pizza is lousy.

                  1. re: CantStopEating

                    How is Lombardi's the first pizzeria in the states? I can change my name to George Washington but that wouldn't make me the first president.

                    1. re: KTinNYC

                      Even if you weigh in their importance just from their contributions from the 90's, they along with Grimaldi's, were the first to bring back, and popularize the minimalist, fresh mozz pizzas that are everywhere today.

                      Few people were traveling from Manhattan to the outer reaches of Staten Island or Brooklyn for pizza. Patsy's rediscovery contributed a little too. Arturo's and John's are throwbacks to a different era. The question back then was still which Ray's to visit, and few corner slice shops were offering fresh mozz as a variation at all. The Lombardi contribution to recent history alone is an important one that brought us to where we are today.

                      1. re: KTinNYC

                        As discussed earlier on this thread...Lombardi's was the first pizzeria in the US, opened in 1905. It also closed in 1984 and in 1994 was reopened in another location by someone not related to the family. So the Lombardi's that exists today has nothing to do with the original Lombardi's which closed in 1984.

                        And the pizza is not good.

                        1. re: gutsofsteel

                          Hi folks, please pardon the interruption. We removed some posts that were either rehashing points from earlier in the thread, getting a little heated, or both. We know (and love!) that pizza is a near-religious topic here, but please keep the discussion civil, and please avoid restating points that have already been made. Thanks!

                          1. re: gutsofsteel

                            As comments were deleted, I'll add ....
                            Lombardi's was reopened with the participation of the original families grandson.

                      2. When it's good, it's really good. I haven't been back in a while, but the last time I went, it was back to form after a couple letdowns that had me pretty much ready to give up on the place. It is a quality control thing that started just before they expanded to the corner dining room.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: sugartoof

                          I think Lombardi's has a decent pie... Way too harsh, much better than an average pizzeria... Right?

                          1. re: wojiparu

                            i agree. i don't think lombardi's is as bad as is being portrayed above. i've had mostly pretty good pizza there. i do usually have to tell them to make it well done however to get a nice char on the base.

                            1. re: shane

                              Yes, exactly to both comments...and asking for it well done really helps.
                              I learned that tip here on CH.

                        2. the regular is good not mind blowing. i thought the white pizza with spinach was mind blowing. i also didn't love motorino though.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: fein

                            lombardi's was getting destroyed, I had to step in... Smiles

                          2. Lived in NYC and I loved Lombardi's enough to go there a couple times a month. Yes, it occasionally had a lesser quality pie than the previous visit, but it kills all the cheese-to-please junk pizza spots.

                            I'm not saying there are not better pizzerias, but I always really enjoyed the late 90's Spring St. Lombardi's traditional plain pie with a little fresh garlic.

                            Has it changed even since then? I saw they had an expansion.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: stevearrowood

                              The plastic plates with pictures of pizza on them, followed by the expansion, and heavy tourism did see some temporary quality hits. Mostly the pizzas weren't cooked enough.

                              Just ask for it well done. It'll taste very similar to how you remember.