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Good pizza in Monmouth County (split from Chains board)

im in monmouth county, i dont see that many great pizza places. i live ound the corner from a place called dusals, that gets rave reviews but im not impressed. now NY has good pizza!

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  1. In Monmouth County, Squan Tavern, in Manasquan, has some of the best pizza around.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dagwood

      I Might have to give them a try. the place around from me is called dusals. they are ok, but everyone raves about them. the also never charge me consistent prices. one day a sub will be 10 dollars the next it will 5, same sub. i tried asking for a receipt when they charged me 6, but the receipts in these places are the kind that dont make sense.

      there's a decent place called angellottis over here, butt he delivery drivers arent the nicest.

      1. Federici's in Freehold and Carmen's in Neptune (in Pete & Elda's) have the best pizza in Monmouth County, although I'm more partial to Federici's since I grew up in Colts Neck, the next town over. Squan Tavern is good too. When I lived in Kentucky I learned to like Domino's and Pizza Hut because the local "pizzerias" were awful (seriously, one place used ketchup as sauce, I saw the jars of Heinz). Now I'm in Virginia and my favorite pizza place is run by a guy from Brooklyn, so no need for chains.

        9 Replies
        1. re: MandalayVA

          i live in manalapan,so federicis sounds perfect for me.

          just read the reviews. 28 dollars for a smaller pizza?

          do they serve good regular crust pizzas i dont like thin crust pizza

          seems the quality has gone down since you were there?

          1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

            That price sounds like they got everything on it. These are smaller very thin-crust pizzas so if you don't like thin crust you won't like Federici's (or Carmen's for that matter, their pizza's much the same). For "regular" pizza I can give a shout-out to my hometown favorite Orlando's. A good solid pie, and their subs are good too.

            1. re: MandalayVA

              JUST FOUND A COUPON FOR 50 percent off the purchase of one menu pie from federicis(entertainment book).

              looks like ill be heading there one of these days. even if they charge 15 for a pie, i can get it for 7.50 which is alright.

              where is orlandos?

              1. re: RCTRIPLEFRESH5

                Orlando's is in Colts Neck, off Route 34 in the shopping center close to the 34/537 interchange.

                1. re: MandalayVA

                  Orlandos is long gone. Federici's and Frankie Fed's are still the best in the Colts Neck/Freehold area. A large plain pie from either one is about $16.

                  14 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728

                  1. re: seal

                    Second vote for Frankie Feds!

                    1. re: seal

                      Orlando's is still in the Colts Neck strip mall.

            2. re: MandalayVA

              MandalayVA, what is your favorite pizza place in VA?

              1. re: Jeremy303

                I live in Richmond and I can very definitely recommend Mary Angela's in Carytown. I have a little local spot, Anna's in Midlothian, which is also very good. You'll hear about 8 1/2 but it's a little on the pretentious side. There's a pretty large population of northeast ex-pats here in the RVA--for some reason the University of Richmond is big among kids from New Jersey--so good pizza's definitely not difficult to find.

            3. Its a half hour drive from Manalapan (or Freehold where I live) but when i want pizza I drive to DelLorenzo's on Rt 33 in Robbinsville. They are way better then anything local and well worth the drive.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Bossa_Nova

                +1, nothing comes close for us. Of course "perfect" pizza has a very different meaning for everyone and thats the way it should be.

                1. re: tom246

                  +2 for DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville. Far and away the best pizza in NJ.

                  1. re: bgut1

                    I still prefer going old school to their location on Hudson, but Robbinsville is every bit as good. Who needs salads and a bathroom anyway? HA HA HA! In all seriousness, we split out time between both locations. Might actually hit Hundson Street tonight. We'll see! -mJ

                    1. re: bgut1

                      When in Trenton (burg) it's Papas Tomato Pies for Me every time...worth the short ride down I-195.... otherwise for Monmouth Co.. Deninos in Aberdeen is quite good.


                2. OK. Pizza. Simple, right? The dough is basically just flour, water, salt, and perhaps some oil. Cheese is cheese, isn't it? So, one might deduce that everything comes down to the sauce, but that's too simple. No, the best pizza is so wonderful because of the balance, because the sum is that much greater than the parts. And, if you start with the best parts . . .

                  Thus, I submit, for reasons I will share with only my priest and his cellmate, my five favorite (in no particular order) pizzas, in Monmouth County.

                  Coal Fired Oven in Bradley Beach. I like the flavor of the crust as much as any crust I have ever tasted. It's thin, but retains some chew from the short cooking time at the higher temp. Like the other pies on my list, the cheese/sauce balance is great - using larger pieces of cheese judiciously.

                  Maria's in Manasquan. Perhaps, I am biased as this is the pie I was weaned on. It was dinner on fridays during Lent if my Grandmother was going to be around. It's the place I would stop on my way home from college in the pizza challenged lands of Central Pennsylvania. The crust is thin, but not Pete & Elda's overthin. The sauce is the best of any used to make pizza and it anchors a great pie.

                  Vesuvio's in Belmar. Flaunting a thicker crust than many of the Shore classics, it's almost al dente. I admit, I love the funky place itself - "Pizza with Dino and Frank, you know?" The one shortcoming is that the pie doesn't like a lot of toppings - it tends to make the last few slices soggy by the time you get to them.

                  Stella Marina in Asbury Park. I've had a couple of their pizzas and submit that these are the best in the gourmet topping genre. The Fig and the Funghi are, I submit, at the head of the class. Stella's pies are kind of expensive; however, the happy hour prices at the bar ($6, I think) are sweet.

                  Val's Tavern in Rumson. Lobster Pie. Say no more - it's lobster on a pizza. Good stuff, indeed.

                  Yeah, I omit some favorites. Pete & Elda's crust is not only thin, but has so little flavor. Similarly, there is so little sauce it's as if they apply it with a mist-sprayer. I still don't know what it tastes like. The pizzas good, but it's not top five good.

                  Federici's is certainly worthy. I've had it and loved it. It's very much like Maria's pie, so I left them off the list.

                  Vic's is another place that's worth a nod. To me, their pizza tends to be a bit more greasy than I like.

                  Jimmy's in Asbury is another fine pie, but they've been inconsistent and that's simply lame.

                  14 E Main St, Freehold, NJ 07728

                  Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant
                  1200 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

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

                  Pete & Elda's Bar
                  Highway 35, Neptune, NJ 07753

                  725 S Main St Ste 3, Forked River, NJ 08731

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: MGZ

                    MGZ - I commend you on the excellent post. While I haven't tried all of the pizzas named, I found you to be spot on with your characterization of both the Stella Marina and Pete & Elda's pies (i.e. love the former and dislike the latter). Thanks to your report, I hope to try the others that you have recommended.

                    Stella Marina Bar & Restaurant
                    1200 Ocean Ave, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

                    Pete & Elda's Bar
                    Highway 35, Neptune, NJ 07753

                      1. re: Passadumkeg

                        Passem, if you're citing Coffero's from South River which isn't anywhere near the shore, I recently tried that place 2x (over a couple of year span).

                        That nostalgia that I also had for the place (I was born right down the street on Obert St), is nothing more than an 'abdication from reality'. Used to have it in the 60's when we visited my grandparents. Today, that productresembles a frozen pie. Not worthy of another visit ever.

                      2. re: MGZ

                        Excellent post, MGZ. Sounds like you know your pizza. I've added your suggestions to my must try list.

                      3. Here are a few that are excellent and usually not getting much attention on this board:

                        Luigi's Famous Pizza
                        3329 Doris Avenue
                        Ocean, NJ 07712-4049
                        (732) 531-7733

                        Denino's Pizza Place
                        1077 highway 34 store F
                        Aberdeen, NJ 07747
                        (732) 583-2150

                        Lugi's is take out only and Denino's is the same family that owns the joint in Staten Island.
                        I think that you will find both up to NYC standards.

                        Denino's Pizza Place
                        1077 State Route 34 Ste F, Matawan, NJ 07747

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: JerzeyShore

                          I live right around the corner from Luigis in Ocean...love their pizza!

                        2. Hey guys don't write off Vic's in Bradley Beach...see my post from earlier this month

                          Bradley Beach, Bradley Beach, NJ

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: foodislove1958

                            I like Vic's. Their pie is quite similar to Maria's, however, which I prefer and is closer to home. I find that the balance of sauce/cheese is more balanced. Vic's, to me, is a bit too cheesy and consequently a bit more greasy. Perhaps, you should try Maria's and compare yourself?

                          2. coal brick oven in bradley beach is great. and save room for dessert - the cheesecake is amazing. also try vic's in bradley.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: kosherfoodies

                              First Ave Pizza in Atlantic Highlands is making some great pizza. Just recently opened, but they are creating quite the buzz.

                              1. re: J M S

                                Just back from lunch at First Ave Pizza. As I parked and then walked up to the place I passed a gourmet Italian place next door and briefly wondered if that was the place I should be going to, but instead I had faith and went to 1st Ave Pizza.
                                I saw a few slices of sausage pizza in the for sale by the slice section and was dismayed to see sliced sausage. I firmly believe that pizza sausage should be fresh crumbled meat, hopefully made in house. But I soldiered on and ordered a half sausage pie.
                                The pizza is a typical thin crust pie, not cracker thin like P&E's or my favorite, Frankie Fed's, but normal thin crust. It was a good crust though, and cooked well so it had just a bit of char. The sauce was also very good - tasty with a good amount of herbs and not overly sweet or salty. Finally, there was the right amount of cheese. Oh yeah, the sausage was alright, but maybe next time I try what looked like homemade meatballs.
                                All in all this was a good pie, not the best pie I've had in NJ, but well above average. I'd like to try their Margherita pie next time and see how it compares to Denino's. This is a good addition to AH, as there have been more than a few times that I have driven in, gone to Flaky Tart, and turned right around for home or gone to Red Bank as there was no good local lunch options. Dinner maybe, but ...
                                I spoke with a local afterwards who told me that the gourmet place next door was terrible and that he and his wife liked the chicken in vodka sauce pie at 1st Ave.

                                1. re: seal

                                  Coming home from work last nite, I had to 'bail' to the pending heavy traffic and exited @ 120. Up thru Matawan and onto #34, but first a stop for dinner at Denino's.

                                  Had a plain and a margharita slice. It's outstanding pizza.

                                  In fact, I'll put it right up into my top 3 of Nunzio's, Vesuvio's and now Denino's. The first bite tells you that this is a place that knows what it's doing....fresh....slightly charred crust, crispy and just a bit thicker than the paper thin matzo that is served in Neptune, a delicious tomato sauce, (with peeled tomatoes on the margharita) with the home spun mozzarella (providing a wonderful ' finish).

                                  Simply outstanding and it truly puts many of the talked about favorites in the back seat. Try it if you're in the area.

                                  725 S Main St Ste 3, Forked River, NJ 08731

                                  1. re: seal

                                    This has become my new favorite. I am so glad to see a real thin crust pizza, I'm tired of the cracker crusts of Vic's, PnE's, and the Mad Hatter (not that I don't like them, just tired of them). I agree with you on the sausage, I prefer the crumbled, however there plain, pepperoni, and grandma pies are AMAZING! As I am writing this I'm craving there pie now! (Need to stop reading Chowhound after lunch.) Worth a ride to AH if only for the pizza!

                                    On a side note Seal, I did not heed the advice of others and I have tried the fancy schmancy pizza place next door and it is terrible and to make it worse the people are just plan obnoxious. Be glad you just walked by.

                                    1. re: KG81

                                      We like the thin crust pie here too...Beware though, their delivery SUCKS!! They don't give their guys GPS's. We live very close and their delivery (which was quoted as 20 minutes) took well over and hour...the pie was cold and returned. BTW, their grandma pie (eat in ONLY) was wonderful!!

                                  2. re: J M S

                                    We went to 1st Ave Pizza in Atlantich Highlands tonight. It was alright. I was close by and didn't feel like venturing over to CBO in Middletown. We had a half mushroom pizza, which was eh. Not inedible, but not fantastic. I was expecting more due to the reviews its been getting. I ordered their "Special individual thin crust whole wheat veggie pizza." I was so excited for this as I am the only one who likes whole wheat pie. I was dismayed and downright p.o.'d to find that I'd been served a whole wheat tortilla with veggies, sauce and cheese. I like pizza. Not tortillas disguising as pizza.

                                    1. re: MichelleM131

                                      The thing to order at 1st Ave Pizza is the Grandma's Pie.....I just moved down from NYC and have eaten my fairshare of Grandma's, and I'm telling you, this is the real deal at 1st Ave. Give it a try.

                                2. Went to Freddy's last night. Really good...but IMHO, Nunzio's and Vics make better pies.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: sockster

                                    Went to Tony's for lunch. It was very good. Got an eggplant pie. The eggplant itself was amazing. I think I liked Nunzio's crust better, but preferred Tony's sauce. Tony's was a tiny bit greasy, but this could have been because of the eggplant. My hubby said it was his new favorite pizza.

                                  2. Valentino's in Middletown, maybe Belford technically. As ex-NYC'ers, we enjoy this pizza more than any other local joint. Nice and crispy bottom when reheated, not over-sauced or too cheesey

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: jpmcd

                                      Just so I can get a handle on this place.....your comment was that V's is far 'better than most other local joints',

                                      Can you please tell me what other pizza shops you've tried (especially those being cited on this thread). Just would like to put into the proper context or hierarchy.....I love well made pizza.


                                    2. Guido's in Eatontown is my favorite pizza place in the entire country.