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Help finding the Best Pizza at the North Jersey Shore?

j
Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 08:32 AM

From my research and reading here on chowhound I have narrowed my Pizza list down to
3 places. Maruca's, Pete & Elda's and Vic's during my trip to Spring Lake at the end of the month. If you guys only had the chance to try 2 of these pizza places which would they be?

On my return trip I plan to go to DeLorenzo's in Trenton (The Hudson Street location). Being from DC I am looking forward to tasting some real pizza.

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

  1. h
    harrison Jul 20, 2010 09:46 AM

    It gets mixed reviews here, but I still like Vics - hopefully you're here long enough to try them all!

    1 Reply
    1. re: harrison
      MGZ Jul 20, 2010 09:59 AM

      Of the three, I'd say try Maruca's and P&E. Vic's is kind of an "in between" in terms of crust thickness. As to Maruca's, you will see, the large is a mighty big pie, go hungry and bring help. As to P&E, get there early (between 2:30 and 4 maybe) or be prepared to wait - it can get ungodly crowded in summer.

      I find all three choices fine, but none are my favorites in the area. If you haven't seen it, and have any interest in bothering, my attempt to present my "try 'em" spots is contained here:

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7021...

    2. n
      newfie29 Jul 20, 2010 09:49 AM

      Exactly - why narrow it down to only two? Go for all three - they're in close enough proximity to one another...

      1. j
        Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 10:12 AM

        Good point, I can shoot to make it to all three over the weekend, if I have pizza when I arrive in Spring Lake on Friday night. Then have pizza on Saturday for lunch and pizza after the wedding on Saturday, I can make it to all three, the only issue is having pizza drunk on Saturday night wont give me an accurate measure on the quality of the pizza but it's the best I can do.
        I can make a stop at DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street on the way home.

        Is DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville the same quality as the one on Hudson Street?

        2 Replies
        1. re: Jeremy303
          t
          tom246 Jul 20, 2010 10:38 AM

          yes, plus its BYO and has restrooms :)

          1. re: tom246
            MGZ Jul 20, 2010 10:43 AM

            . . . and a pretty easy on/off from 195.

        2. a
          AStern Jul 20, 2010 10:46 AM

          My husband and I are fans of Maruca's. My husband grew up summering in Seaside Park, and Maruca's is a family favorite- no other pizza is allowed in Grandma's house. It was my first taste of Jersey shore pizza, so it's my pick. I've tried some of the other places on the boardwalk, and they were too greasy. There's just something special about Maruca's. Mmmmm, can't wait to grab a slice this weekend!

          1. JustJake Jul 20, 2010 11:33 AM

            Pete & Elda's??? We, of the board, and I'm not speaking of the Royal "We" never recommended P&E to you. It's just not worth it.

            Stop by Vesuvio's in Belmar (on 10th Ave). Go to Long Branch to Nunzio's, go anywhere but P&E's. Go to Luigi's in Little Silver or Ocean Twp (not the same owners).

            Vic's is good, and I love sitting at the bar and getting a pie with sausage & peppers, but whatever you do, pass right by P&E's. I'm doing you a favor with my recommendation to bypass it.

            And if you do the three you cite, there's no comparison to Marucca's. They make pie the way it should be made. I do miss those days when my boys played hardball in the Trenton area.....we always made a point to get pie out there....nothing like it.

            7 Replies
            1. re: JustJake
              MGZ Jul 20, 2010 12:26 PM

              No need to quibble, the guy's coming up from DC, any of these places will be a big step up.

              1. re: JustJake
                Tapas52 Jul 20, 2010 12:46 PM

                Maruca's secret is they use White Cheddar & Mozzarella mixed with a great sauce. Best pizza on the boardwalk at Seaside IMO.... although now they have bigger slices to compete with the other places where size takes over taste... you can't go wrong with Marucas Pizza. P&E & Vics left us wondering why we went there P&E taste like a thin Ritz cracker with ketchup...and Vics although a shore landmark the sauce is less then desirable for us....but some people enjoy it I guess. to each his own. enjoy

                1. re: JustJake
                  j
                  Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 01:42 PM

                  For my return trip to DC is going to DeLorenzo's on Hudson Street the right call? Or should I go to Star Pizza, Spiritos or somewhere else?

                  -----
                  Spirito's Restaurant
                  714 3rd Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

                  1. re: Jeremy303
                    seal Jul 20, 2010 01:46 PM

                    Not only is DeLorenzo's in Robbinsville more or less on your way, but they are one of the best. Don't miss it. I haven't found a difference in taste or quality between them and the Trenton location.

                    1. re: Jeremy303
                      Tapas52 Jul 20, 2010 08:09 PM

                      Papas in Chambersburg (Trenton) is my favorite for tomato pie habds down.

                      http://www.papastomatopies.com/

                      Papa's Tomato Pies was established in 1912 in Trenton, NJ. It is the second oldest continuously-run pizza restaurant in the USA, still operated by family.

                    2. re: JustJake
                      j
                      Jeremy303 Jul 23, 2010 01:41 PM

                      JustJake, Which is better Vesuvio's or Nunzio's? and which Lugi's do you prefer the one in Little Silver or the one in Ocean Twp?

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

                      1. re: Jeremy303
                        JustJake Jul 23, 2010 03:10 PM

                        JMO, but I do like Vesuvio's over Nunzio's, by just the thinnest of hairs, though both are my favorite spots where I live (both are within 10 minutes of me).

                        I'm also partial to Luigi's in OT. It's take out only and I cringe you taking it out and trying to find a place to eat it before it loses it's flavor and crispiness. That's the problem Jeremy.

                        I would 86 both Luigis and do Vesuvios and Nunzios' on your pizza trip. BTW, Vesuvio's is like stepping back in time. You'll never find another place like it once you step inside.

                    3. j
                      Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 01:22 PM

                      So which 3 pizza places should I go to? I am very confused.

                      1. j
                        Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 01:32 PM

                        Are all the Maruca's locations the same for taste? I will be closest to the one in Brick NJ, is that location any different then the one at Seaside Heights?

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Jeremy303
                          MGZ Jul 20, 2010 01:57 PM

                          Oh, God no!

                          1. re: MGZ
                            MGZ Jul 20, 2010 03:58 PM

                            Just so it is perfectly clear - do not go to the Maruca's in Brick (which may actually have gone out of business) and expect the pizza to be the same as the one in Seaside. It is not. If Seaside is too far, there are several other well thought of pies closer to Spring Lake.

                            Also, as a general rule for NJ pizza, avoid the urge to "overtop." Most pies have a pretty thin crust and the "bacon, cheddar, ham, and pineapple" sort of thing would be ill-advised.

                            1. re: MGZ
                              Tapas52 Jul 20, 2010 08:00 PM

                              mgz Marucas in Brick has been closed for a while.

                              1. re: MGZ
                                j
                                Jeremy303 Jul 21, 2010 08:29 AM

                                Maruca's is the first stop on my list. My other stops are undecided. From what I have been reading Sausage seems to be the topping to get at most of these places and the Clam Pizza is for DeLorenzo's?

                                Thanks for the tip I definitely wont overload, I never usually do more then 2 topppings on a pizza and thats when I get Hawaiian.

                                If any of you guys are ever in DC and are looking for Pizza or any other recommendations for food feel free to send me a message. I have lived in DC for about 23 years, all of my life minus college and I know the top chefs and restaurants here.

                                For Pizza in DC I highly recommend 2Amys, RedRocks and 2Amy's sister restaurant Pizzeria Paradiso. 2Amys I feel is far and away the best Pizza in this area IMO. and is on The Verace Pizza Napoletana Association list for their DOC Pizza's (they use buffalo mozzarella cheese instead of mozzarella. They are wood burnin oven pizza's and they usesoft-grain flour, fresh yeast, water, and sea salt for the dough, Italian plum tomatoes, mozzarella di bufala, extra-virgin olive oil and fresh basil or dried oregano may be used for the toppings. All of their pizzas are amazing.especially the DOC's the crust is so soft it melts in your mouth, the flavor on the cheese will blow you away. http://www.2amyspizza.com

                          2. seal Jul 20, 2010 01:42 PM

                            I won't even get into the pizza debate, but I will suggest you visit the Scone Pony while you are in town. Whatever scone is hot is worth eating, but I love the chocolate chip the best.

                            The Scone Pony
                            305 Washington Avenue
                            Spring Lake, NJ 07762-1431
                            (732) 280-8887

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: seal
                              j
                              Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 02:07 PM

                              Thank you so much for the tip, I will definitely be making a stop at the Scone Pony.

                            2. j
                              Jeremy303 Jul 20, 2010 02:53 PM

                              According to De Lorenzo's website they aren't open on Sundays until 4pm? Is this true? I am going to be very upset if I am unable to try DeLorenzo's for lunch on my drive home to DC.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Jeremy303
                                t
                                tom246 Jul 20, 2010 04:56 PM

                                The website is correct. Opens at 4:00 pm on Sundays. Its packed by 5:00 pm with a long wait by 5:30-6:00.

                              2. n
                                Nightspeaks Jul 20, 2010 04:11 PM

                                IM sorry but Pete & Eldas thats like sending someone to Burgerking for a great burger. There are so many better places named here already but Ill add a couple more to the list. Tuzzios in long branch has a good pie and the Meatball pie at Guidos in Eatontown is killer it really is a must grab a slice when heading in or away from the shore via exit 105

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

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Nightspeaks
                                  JustJake Jul 21, 2010 05:14 PM

                                  Thank you NightSpeak. For anyone to recommend P&E's as the BEST pie down here ......well, I doubt very much that I'll be 'taking any of that posters' suggestions for any restaurant, dish etc' seriously.

                                  P&E's is TERRIBLE. It isn't even remotely close to the very good to excellent pizza spots down here in Monmouth County.

                                  It's TRAGIC when I see someone 'vote or direct someone' to P&E's unless they're bringing little KIDS and they need a FUN spot (with no regard for the food).

                                  1. re: Nightspeaks
                                    0
                                    007 Aug 3, 2010 05:22 PM

                                    Pete and Elda's is history. Only a mecca for Bennies who don't know much about the area, and need to get the free tshirt after pigging out. Maybe it's a good thing that they do still exist, like flypaper for the Bennies, to keep the good secret places from overcrowding especially int he summer. : )

                                    -----
                                    Pete and Elda's
                                    96 Woodland Ave, Neptune City, NJ 07753

                                  2. b
                                    bakersma Jul 20, 2010 07:46 PM

                                    Have never been to Maruca's, although I'd definitely like to eat there now based on what I've read here.

                                    Vic's vs. Pete & Elda's (I *have* been to both of those, P&E twice and Vic's too many times to count)....no contest. Vic's by a mile. Failed on both occasions to see the big deal about P&E's but of course to each his own :-) Personally we like the whole wheat crust at Vic's the best but their regular crust is fine too.

                                    Wherever you end up, have a safe trip and a good visit.

                                    P.S. --- You'll certainly need dessert after all that pizza, of course. Suggest Hoffman's Ice Cream in Spring Lake or Point Pleasant although I'd expect ice cream evokes various & disparate opinionated responses nearly as much as pizza does. LOL. In any case, you won't be disappointed at Hoffman's.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: bakersma
                                      c
                                      cantkick Jul 21, 2010 04:30 AM

                                      As I said on another post, claiming Vic's is better, or P&E is better, is ridiculous. There are many people who prefer one, many the other. A side-by-side comparison, with details of the pros and cons of each, would be useful, but merely saying "this is great, the other stinks" is useless.

                                      Also, if you look at the post re the NJ top 25, you'll see that P&E was the pizza choice for central NJ, so a lot of people do prefer them.

                                      1. re: cantkick
                                        JustJake Jul 21, 2010 05:18 PM

                                        Yeah Can'tKick. There's no end in accounting for the bad taste that most folks have.

                                        Tell me you go to P&E's for GREAT PIE? Especially when one has Val's, Brothers, Nunzios, Tuzzios, Tony's, Luigis in LS OT or Lincroft, Vesuvios, Frankie Feds etc?

                                        Just because a lot of folks voted for it doesn't mean SQUAT to those of us WHO KNOW. And I know better than going to P&E's for great pie. That's an illusion.

                                        1. re: JustJake
                                          c
                                          cantkick Jul 21, 2010 07:32 PM

                                          Actually, I haven't been to many of them, since I don't live near there. I've had P&E a few times and didn't mind it, though it's certainly not the best. I like Luigi's in Lincroft, though it tends to be greasier than most. That could be a plus or minus, depending on your preference. I've been to Brothers in RB twice, and hated it both times. Our usual goto place is Fratelli in Middletown, with Rigoletto a second choice.

                                          My favorite one in the area unfortunately doesn't exist any more. It was next to the Jersey Mike's in Middletown on 35. That spot has had revolving pizzarias, a new one every two or three years it seems. Probably cursed by the Little Caesar (ugh) that once was there.

                                          -----
                                          Little Caesars
                                          215 N Hermitage Ave, Trenton, NJ 08618

                                    2. j
                                      Jeremy303 Jul 21, 2010 07:45 AM

                                      I will add Hoffman's to my list. Who doesn't love ice cream?

                                      I am definitely crossing Pete & Elda's off my list. I was reading on hollyeats.com about Max's Famous Hot Dogs in Long Beach, is that worth trying?

                                      I wont be able to try DeLorenzo's on the trip home due to their Sunday hours. Where should I go instead? Is DeLucia's Pizza in Raritan worth the high regard as the best Pizza in NJ awarded to them by the munchmobile? or should I try Spiritos, Star or somewhere else?

                                      -----
                                      Spirito's Restaurant
                                      714 3rd Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

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

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Jeremy303
                                        l
                                        longbranchgourmet Jul 21, 2010 08:45 AM

                                        max's is an old-school, informal place to sit down and eat an expensive, but good hot dog (get the cheese dog). they have sheet metal menu items displayed on the wall, you can grab a miller lite, and ...ah i can't get the enthusiasm up enough, it's ok, everything on the shore up here gets murdered by superlatives. nothing diners drive ins and dives-worthy. its cool. say hi to ms max, she won't say hi back haha

                                        1. re: longbranchgourmet
                                          m
                                          MichelleM131 Jul 21, 2010 11:34 AM

                                          Max's is not worth the trip. Stop instead at the Windmill in West End - the one in the building shaped like a windmill - and sit upstairs on the deck. Max's is, imho, trading solely on its name. It's an overpriced hot dog with overpriced drinks and everything else, served by people who act like they are doing you a favor. As noted above, the owners are VERY unfriendly. People like that just don't deserve my money.

                                          1. re: MichelleM131
                                            j
                                            joonjoon Jul 21, 2010 02:51 PM

                                            Amen Michelle. Don't give Max's a penny of your hard earned money - they don't deserve it.

                                        2. re: Jeremy303
                                          j
                                          jrd303 Jul 21, 2010 01:53 PM

                                          Delucia's is a good pie with a nice crust but I'm not sure I'd go far out of my way just to try it . If you go to Spirito's you can hit up Santillo's as well. There's also the water ice stand right around the corner from Spirito's which is well worth a stop.

                                          -----
                                          Spirito's Restaurant
                                          714 3rd Ave, Elizabeth, NJ 07202

                                        3. j
                                          Jeremy303 Jul 21, 2010 02:23 PM

                                          What do you guys regard as the best Pizza in NJ outside of DeLorenzo's?

                                          Pizza Patrol has high regards for Buona Pizza and Restaurant in Westfield, and Luna Restaurant, in Three Bridges are these places the real deal?

                                          Or would you recommend going to Spiritos and or Santillo's? I could make a stop at any of them on my return trip to DC.

                                          Am I overlooking any Pizza place?

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: Jeremy303
                                            seal Jul 21, 2010 03:05 PM

                                            Boy would that question open up a debate! ;o)

                                            Here's a fairly recent thread for your reading pleasure:

                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637912

                                            1. re: Jeremy303
                                              JustJake Jul 21, 2010 05:20 PM

                                              Go to Star Tavern up in Orange. That's your best bet. When my son went to school in Montclair, we'd always stop in if time allowed and it is as every bit as good as advertised.

                                              But you're staying in SL area and that's every bit of an hour ride up to the Oranges.

                                              Hell, if you're around this weekend, I'll buy a large plain at Vesuvio's as I'm itching to get down there (I avoid Belmar like the plague in summer), but again, my dime...

                                            2. j
                                              Jeremy303 Jul 22, 2010 08:17 AM

                                              I have decided that I am going to Maruca's in Seaside Heights, Luigi's Famous Pizza on Doris Avenue, and lastly either Squan Tavern, Vesuvio's or Coal Fired Oven in Bradley Beach.

                                              Where should my last stop in the Spring Lake area be for Pizza? I also hope to make it to Windmill, Hoffmans Ice Cream, and the Scone Pony

                                              Finally, hopefully I will be at De Lorenzo's on Sunday, (I have to convince my fiancee for us to stay later at the beach so we can go to De Lorenzo's (on Hudson Street) at 4pm when they open. If not I will have to settle for pizza somewhere else.

                                              I will report back my opinions on the all pizza that I try, Thanks for everyone's advice. I am excited for some NJ Pizza!!

                                              -----
                                              Squan Tavern
                                              15 Broad St, Manasquan, NJ 08736

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

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Jeremy303
                                                r
                                                RUeating Jul 23, 2010 04:48 PM

                                                Check out Al Capone's on Mantaloking Road if you're in Brick. They've been around for as long as I can remember... which is something to be said given the amount of pizza places in the area that have come and gone. They make a good pie.

                                              2. a
                                                Anne Jul 23, 2010 05:12 PM

                                                On your way from Maruca's back to Spring Lake, try Lenny's in Lavalette on Rt. 35 N. Been there for 25+ years, and it's ALWAYS our first stop when we head to the shore. Don't get anything fancy---it's just the best cheese pie you'll ever eat.
                                                http://www.lennyslavallette.com/

                                                1. 0
                                                  007 Aug 3, 2010 05:18 PM

                                                  LUIGI's in Point Pleasant Beach. A favorite of locals. Always consistent perfect thin crust. In business in the family for decades. This be the place.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: 007
                                                    MGZ Aug 17, 2010 08:39 AM

                                                    Having been thwarted in my attempt to try a new pizza in Long Branch this weekend, we sampled Luigi's in Point a couple days later. My patience was rewarded with a mighty good pie. Luigi's pizza has a fantastic crust - thin yet with a retained chewiness, slightly burned edges, and virutally no "lip." The sauce had a mild, predominately tomato taste and though it might have benefitted from some additional herb/spice flavor, it worked fine with the pie. I also found the cheese/sauce ratio to my liking. Without hesitation, I would say it was one of the best pizzas I've had on that side of the Manasquan River.

                                                    (Luigi's is a small spot apparently designed for takeout, but there are 3 or 4 tables for those, like me, who feel it is only fair to try the pia at a new place before it goes in a box.)

                                                  2. JustJake Aug 17, 2010 09:18 AM

                                                    All I really want to know is where's Jeremy's review of his little Pizza sojourn?

                                                    Are you out there kid? A little feedback froml you would be nice. Thanks in advance.

                                                    1. l
                                                      LEOFONT Aug 17, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                      P & E......how do they manage to put all those Ritz crackers as a base for the toppings ??

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: LEOFONT
                                                        c
                                                        cantkick Aug 18, 2010 03:58 AM

                                                        The same way they put the cheese in the Cheetos?

                                                        1. re: LEOFONT
                                                          m
                                                          MichelleM131 Aug 18, 2010 04:18 AM

                                                          I actually think they use matzah, which clearly would make it easier due to their larger size.

                                                        2. tuxedo Aug 18, 2010 06:33 AM

                                                          As Seal posted sometime ago...
                                                          Yesterday I sat in a pizza place on Bleeker St in NYC diagonally across from John's Pizza next to an old Italian man and we chatted while we ate our pizzas. I'm no slouch in my pursuit of great pizza, but this old man seems to have eaten pizza everywhere. I will try to paraphrase his wisdom:

                                                          Pizza is the most subjective food there is. The best pizza is what YOU think is the best pizza. When you find one you like, do everything you can to support the place who makes it. Never try to convince anyone that your best pizza should be their best pizza - you will only get frustrated.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: tuxedo
                                                            t
                                                            tom246 Aug 18, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                            So true, that is why Delorenzo's makes the best pizza :)

                                                            1. re: tuxedo
                                                              m
                                                              MichelleM131 Aug 18, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                              Well said.

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