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Is Delancey's pizza worth the time and money?

My good friend moved to Seattle in June, and at the end of this month, I will FINALLY have the time to visit her for three days! Because she knows I'm a huge fan of Molly Wizenberg's Orangette blog, she suggested we try Delancey, Molly's restaurant with her husband Brandon. However, all my friend has managed to hear about Delancey is that the wait is horrific, and that the food is overpriced.

I don't mind paying for expensive pizza, so long as it's excellent. And I'd like to treat my friend to dinner at least once. So, has anyone here eaten at Delancey? Did you like it? Did you like it enough to justify the cost and seemingly legendary wait-time? Is there anything there I really need to try? Or should we go somewhere else instead? Thanks!

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  1. First, Delancey isn't expensive or overpriced. You can see the menu and prices on their website. I would actually categorize the place as inexpensive. You can get a glass of wine and a pizza for less than $20.

    As far as the wait, that's what keeps me from going back (that and the fact Molly posted the recipe for the fabulous fennel salad on her blog, so I don't have to go there and get it). The food was quite good. But if you're a big fan of the blog and really want to eat there though, why not try it? You do need a strategy.

    You can either go and line up at 4:30 for the 5pm opening, then plan on waiting quite a while for your food while they try to accomodate the fact that the whole place just filled up at once (and that they don't seem to be able to put out food with the speed of regular restaurant kitchens). If you're ready for a leisurely evening drinking wine with your friends, and you're not starving, you'll be fine.

    OR, you can show up after 5, give the hostess your number, then go elsewhere for drinks and appetizers for a couple hours. They'll call you and give you 10 minutes to get there, so you can head to most anyplance in Ballard or Phinney Ridge. Some people go back home and wait if they don't live too far.

    OR you can find 2 more people and reserve one of the 3 6-tops in the place. These actually piss me off because allowing 3 large groups, while making everyone else fight it out for the 5 little tables, seems really dumb to me. I'm guessing their waits wouldn't be so legendary and people wouldn't grumble so much if they abandoned this policy. I also noticed the 6-tops waited forever for their food. An hour for salads, then pizzas came out at different times. But again, if you don't go starving and approach it as a leisurely evening of drinking wine and having some food at your favorite blogger's husband's restaurant, that attitude might work.

    -----
    Delancey
    1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

    4 Replies
    1. re: christy319

      I love pizza and in my opinion, it's hands-down the best pizza in Seattle right now. If you really like pizza, then it's well worth the wait. As the previous poster said, it's really not very expensive either.

      1. re: christy319

        Bumping this up a year later to ask if Christy319's guide still holds true. I have a friend coming this Thursday through Monday and I wonder what day and time is our best bet. I don't mind going elsewhere for a drink and coming back after they call us—do they still do that? But I don't want to wait outside in a line. There's just two of us and no chance of increasing to six in hopes of a reservation. Thanks!

        1. re: sweetpotater

          They do still call you when your table's ready, so feel free to stroll to the nearest bar while you're waiting. For a shorter wait, go on a Wednesday or Thursday before 6:30. The crust has changed over the years (it's quite crispy now, where as before it used to be a lot puffier), but it still tastes great.

          1. re: WikiAdam

            I prefer crispy to puffy, and Thursday is free, so all systems point to yes.

      2. Christy 319 pretty much hit the nail on the head. We're great fans of Molly and Delancy's. It's worth the trouble, and a little forward planning will get you past that without too much grief. The appetizers are great, as is the pizza. One bit of advice is to perhaps share a pizza, as the crust becomes soggy on the serving plate quite quickly.

        1. Delancy is awesome and the wait isn't always horrific. Last time we went we walked right in no problem. There was a larger group (10 or so) waiting for several tables to finish so they could all sit together but our 2-top was no problem.

          6 Replies
          1. re: akq

            Can you recall what time/day you were there? I'd love to know if there's a better time than when I've tried.

            I've been wanting to go since they opened, but the wait always stopped us. I would just bite the bullet and do it, but my partner can't be persuaded that a pizza could be worth waiting that long.

            1. re: MsMaryMc

              It was a Friday night, about 8:30pm. It's probably just hit or miss.

              1. re: akq

                Last time I dined at Delancey, I noticed that small groups (2-4) who came towards the end of service, around 8:30 PM, were all seated relatively promptly. I believe it was because most of the large groups were finishing up by then.

              2. re: MsMaryMc

                My partner and I go to Delancy all the time, and there usually seems to be a lull before seven (I think people plan on meeting at seven) and then again at 8:30, as others have said. Also, getting seats for two is MUCH easier than for a larger group. We love sitting at the bar and watching the pizzas go out...

                Also, christy319 really did make good points. The prices are very reasonable for such amazing pizza. And as good as it is, I think the salads and desserts are even better. As far as the wait, it's all about expectation. Either get there before they open, or just know that you're going to wait. If you know ahead of time, then it's much easier to handle mentally.

                Diamond, don't let the haters keep you away. This place is totally worth it!

                1. re: dottie349

                  Hmmm...do you think there's really a lull before 7? We were seated around 7 and saw countless people who came in told it would be a 2 hour wait. Most of them left their names and went elsewhere to wait, so it didn't LOOK like there was a wait, but it was 2 hours.

                  1. re: christy319

                    Looks could be deceiving, for sure, but we've had luck many times (not on the weekend) around that time. But that could have been pure chance!

            2. We like Delancey (when we can get in), but are totally blown away by the Salumi Mole and Green Onion at Veraci, in Ballard.
              To heck with New York, this is Pizza. (We hope to take our Manhattan friend there at his next visit, and will report.)

              -----
              Salumi
              309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrnelso

                Delancey destroys any other pizza in Seattle. nothing comes close. of course there will be a wait. its refreshing to read these reviews compared to the bratty pants on Yelp! hilarious stuff there.

                -----
                Delancey
                1415 NW 70th St, Seattle, WA 98117

              2. No.

                1. They wait in line for great pizza in New Haven, too! Guess it goes with the cuisine.

                  1. Absolutely worth the time and money. If you can get there at 5 or close to it, you shouldn't have to wait. No other pizza in Seattle is as close to as good as it is here.

                    1. This ex-New Yorker (FWIW) likes the pizza at Delancey very much. Do I think it's worth the wait? No. But, if you can get at least six people together, you can make a reservation. Otherwise, they will still call you on your cell phone, but personally I would go early (as others have mentioned) or better yet, later (around 8:30 or 9:00, which seems to be considered late for dinner in Seattle). It's much easier to get in quickly at that time. People do start lining up before 5:00 there!

                      I also like Flying Squirrel (the one in Seward Park) and Bambino's just as much. I think Delancey has a better crust than F.S., but F.S. has better toppings. Haven't been to Bambino's in a couple of years, so I hope it's as good as it was. (They used to have a white pie that I really liked, but it no longer seems to be on the menu. I wonder if they'd still make it if I asked?) In fact, this is making me want to go again pretty soon!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Thiebaud

                        Is the Flying Squirrel in the Sunset not as good? I saw a pizza there the other night and it looked great, but I didn't have any.

                        1. re: christy319

                          Oh, I didn't mean to imply anything bad about the Sunset. I've just never eaten the pizza there. I know they don't have as many varieties of pies as they do in Seward Park, and I personally prefer the atmosphere in the Seward Park location. They're opening one in Maple Leaf soon, too.

                          1. re: Thiebaud

                            The one thing the Ballard location of Flying Squirrel in the Sunset has that the other location doesn't: a full bar. That's definitely a plus. The Lakewood (not really Seward Park) location is beer/wine only and has a smaller beer selection. The pizza is equally good in both locations, fortunately. We usually hit the southern location as it's a lot more kid-friendly.