Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >
Feb 4, 2010 03:56 PM

Coal oven pizza near Penn Station

I have a 3 hour layover at Penn station and would like to get some good, sooty coal fired burnt crust pizza.
I have recomendations of Patsy's in East Harlem and John's on Bleecker.
Any comments on these or others are welcome.
Manhattan only please.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I would recommend Co. - 9th Ave/24th St.

    John's is nothing special, and Patsy's is quite erratic.

    1 Reply
    1. There are very few coal ovens left in the city much less near Penn Station. Totonno's, Lombardi's, Artutro's are coal ovens but most of the new pizzerias are wood fired.

      3 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        I think Angelo's on 57th St. has a coal oven.

        Co has a gas-fired stone oven into which they put wood also. Gets a nice char. But it's not coal, if that's the most important thing.

          1. re: KTinNYC

            Ah, good to know. The pizza there is really good.

      2. Would say that Co is excellent, though not coal fired. Another good option that's close is Lazzarra's on 37th or 38th just off 7th. Close to Penn Station and a sort of "only in NY" place. It's also not coal-fired, but the square pizza there is quite good.

        1. John's of Bleecker St. makes an excellent old-school New York coal oven pizza. It is the oldest continually operating pizzeria in NYC and the pizza is still quite good. The new wave of pizzerias in NYC like Co., Keste, Motorino are all wood-fired, and make pizza that is probably technically "better" than John's. But they are not old-school New York coal oven joints, which seems to be what you are looking for.

          John's is a just 10 minute subway ride from Penn Station on the 1 or A,C,E trains, so no problem getting there and back on your layover. Peak times will have a bit of a wait for a table at John's though.

          7 Replies
          1. re: boccalupo

            Lombardi's and Totonno's are both older.

            1. re: gutsofsteel

              Lombardi's opened in 1994. I think Totonno's is the oldest but they've been closed for a long time since the fire so I don't know if you can claim they are the longest continuous running pizzeria in NYC.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                Lombardi's opened in 1905, closed in 84 re-opened in 94. Totonno's opened in 1924. John's opened in 1929.

                I'm sure John's for example closed for renovations at some point in its history. i don't think temporary closings like that, or like a fire, change the fact that its as old as it is and still operating. Now if Totonno's never re-opens, that's another story.

                Personally I think Lombardi's is lousy. When did Patsy's open?

                  1. re: gutsofsteel

                    Should have added "oldest that is open at the moment." Totonno's is older, but it isn't open now. (BTW - Slice has the owner saying he will reopen on Feb. 10th).

                    Lombardi's is a different entity from the original. The current Lombardi's opened one block down and across the street from the place that closed in 1984. The original Lombardi's had morphed into a restaurant and had long since ceased to be a pizzeria by the time of its closing in 1984.

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      This iteration of Lombardi's has no association with the original except the name. Different location, different owner, different oven. I do not consider Lombardi's a 100 year old business, it's a 16 year old one.

                1. re: boccalupo

                  "But they are not old-school New York coal oven joints, which seems to be what you are looking for."

                  Yes, that's right. I am from Providence and we have NO shortage of good pizza. I am looking for coal-fired only.

                2. If you specifically want coal oven pizza and are willing to travel for it, in the East Village there is Luzzo's Pizza (it's on 1st ave, I think somewhere around 10th st) They have traditional pies (ie with basil, bufalo) as well as others with more creative toppings. I have always enjoyed the pies there. They have one of the oldest ovens in the city.