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Conte's pizza in Princeton...any current reviews?

I've passed Conte's many times on Witherspoon St in Princeton many times...never realizing it was a Pizza place until recently. Anyone familiar with it?

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  1. Been around forever, always always busy and serves an OK thin crust pizza. We go about once a month for the convenience. Place looks like a 1950's VFW hall on the inside. Has a full bar and a good selection of beers with a poor selection of wines by the glass. Never seen anything served other than pizza and an iceberg side salad. Toppings are the standard's. Waits for tables will be out the door on most weekend nights. Can call ahead and order to go and they'll give you a when it'll be done time... usually within an hour for busy nights.

    Better pizza in the area would be Nomad in Hopewell for woodfired pizza's and DeLorenzo's for central NJ's best.

    1. I have a review on my blog (http://jerseyfoodies.blogspot.com/) from about a month ago. Unfortunately, our server keeps me from accessing it here, but I will cut and paste the review from home tonight.

      Foody4Life hit the nail on the head with the '50's VFW and wines by the glass, but it is a decent pie. Delorenzo's blows it out of the water in my opinion, but it's my favorite, so I might be a bit biased. -mJ

      2 Replies
      1. re: njfoodies

        Yep, decent pizza but it's a shame that with one of the few liquor licenses in town, they choose to serve five jug wines - merlot, chianti, chardonnay, pinot grigio & white zin. Owner was quoted in a 2006 NY Times review saying if it's not broke, don't fix it and chianti goes good with pizza ... so I don't think we'll see any changes soon.

        Oh what I'd do for a selection of vapolicella, bardolino or even a rosso di montalcino here.

        1. re: Foody4life

          Well I suppose that would be nice. I must admit, however, while I was there, I did not think "fine wine."

      2. In our on again off again quest to sample all of Jersey's famous pizzas, we found ourselves at Conte's a couple of weeks ago. The space is great, funky, vintage, decorated with years worth of accumulated disposables (like the 1996 Olympics Budweiser poster).

        It's a very good pie. The crust is thin, but not as thin as Pete & Elda's or Maria's. In fact, it was possibly the most dense thin crust I've tried. The sauce is savory and applied in proportion to the crust and the quantity of cheese.

        Food Geek note: they make their own sausage!

        1. Conte's is good, plus they have bar service which is convenient. But I agree with the other comments DeLorenzo's and Nomad blows Conte's out of the water.

          I also enjoy the Tomato Pies at Antimo and Gennaro's Brothers Pizzeria on Rte 33 in Hamilton (next to a tire place and an acupuncture place). I recommend giving them a try. But make sure you as for the tomato pie, not pizza (two different things). But their pizza is great too :-)

          1 Reply
          1. re: pm_fan

            We recently tried Conte's after living around the area for 5 years. Me, wife & 2 kids. They take your name and your order (yet no one gave us a menu to look at!). We waited a while, finally got a table, then waited 40 minutes for our large, plain pizza. Having read about Conte's, and being a foodie, I went into it with a clear mind. Overall, it was ok, just didn't blow me out of the water. No hig chairs or booster seats for kids, the bathrooms are made for 1 person at a time (although it was pretty crowded the night we went), We'll go to Federici's for our thin crust pizza;; this just left us wondering what was the allure of Conte's.

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            Federici's
            14 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728

          2. Time moves on, but Contes stays locked in 1960, 1970 or maybe 1980!

            J and I went to Conte's last night because we craved pizza and didn't want to chance the inevitable wait at the preferred Nomad or Osteria Procaccini.

            Overall, Conte's never changes. Serviceable thin crust pie. OK traditional toppings. Tables always full - even on a Tues, so we ate at the aircraft carrier length bar.

            J orders a glass of cabernet. They were out the cab so she ordered a glass of merlot instead - poured from a jug of California's non finest. I ordered a glass of Bass on tap. As she's sipping her glass of red, we again comment that with a huge bar and one of the few liquor licenses in town, it's a shame they serve such swill. About the same time, we notice a huge dark sign above the bar promoting "Conte's select wines". The sign lists Banfi, Kendall Jackson and two others for $10 a glass or $30 a bottle. Oh happy days - our wishes have been heard and granted, all in one night!

            J asks the bartender for a glass of the Banfi and he looks perplexed? We point to the sign and his reply is that they no longer carry it? Evidently the sign, like the rest of Conte's decorations, is a hold over from days gone by. To quote a favorite line from Stripes, ".. and then depression set in!"

            It's amazing that Conte's can use nearly half of the shelving on the mile long back bar (in view of the patrons) for stocking cases of Libby's glasses, boxes of paper products and accumulating years of dust, but couldn't stock a couple of bottles of drinkable wine other than the 3 red juggies and 2 white jugs that they choose to pour.

            Also, looking around at tables, there were plenty of wine drinkers and more than a few carafes of one of the two reds available last night, being sold.

            Things take time to change in Princeton, unfortunately, the vino clock at Conte's hasn't moved in years! Pizza was good though...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Foody4life

              Just a short review here because there is not much to say about the place. We had gone there many years ago and decided to try it again this summer. The crust is great imo but the sauce and cheese leaves something to be desired. Maybe we're too spoiled with DeLorenzos and Osteria Procaccini.

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              Osteria Procaccini
              4428 Route 27 North, Kingston, NJ 08528

            2. I went to Conte's for the first time a few months ago. The sausage pizza was very good and I enjoyed it, but it's not the best pizza in the area. When our check came, I was surprised to see that the glass of chianti that I ordered was about $8! I actually don't mind cheap wine sometimes but was expecting it to be maybe $5. Pizza was pricey too -- bill for 2 of us (with a couple of salads, a beer and a wine) was over $40. I found the atmosphere amusing but not for those prices.