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Great Pizza in Philadelphia

I am looking for great NYC style pizza in Philadelphia. Nothing gourmet, no fuss toppings - just plain or maybe pepperoni - but just a good 'ol pizza!

I have had Mama Palma's, which is more gourmet-style pizza and price. I live close, so I have had it a lot and I have found it to be slightly inconsistent, but I would say it's good overall.

I've also had Gusto, which I think is terrible - doughy crust, mediocre sauce.

Any suggestions on good, plain, no-fuss pizza in Center City??

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  1. Dolce Carini, 1900 block of Chestnut, or order delivery from Franco Luigi's in South Philly. Great basic pies available from both.

    2 Replies
    1. re: barryg

      Zavino has a great Margherita pie. But I still miss Lombardi's!

      1. re: bluehensfan

        You are so right about Lombardi's. That was my favorite.

    2. Here for 12 years and still looking....

      1. I second Dolce Carini!!

        1. Timing is everything, well almost. This months issue of Philadelphia Magazine has "The Very Best Pizza" in Philly. Picks after tasting 1000 pies may lead you in the right direction to find that which you seek. I have had some mentioned and find my ideal pie is not found in many represented here: But that is to be expected. I am sure one can decode the reviews and find some direction toward your " Perfect Pie".

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bacchus101

            That feature is a bad joke. I realize pizza is a very personal preference but for tasting 1000 pies they seemed to like some real crap (Lorenzo's on South) and didn't even try institutions like Franco Luigi's which people in South Philly have been enjoying for years.

            1. re: barryg

              Yes exactly pizza pie is "a very personal preference". I have not sampled 1,000 pies at 500 different restaurants (really did they?). And as previously noted some that are listed that I have subjected to my own personal tastes don't get close to my good pie and some I do like do not even break into the review. But I credit the Mag. with making an attempt at being informative by adding comments on each selected and giving a point of reference for Philly pies. The supporting test results relative to the "water" are also quite interesting. Easy to disagree with the results but a bad joke? Well I suppose that is also quite subjective.

          2. Good luck! I have a hard time with pizza in Philly..

            I really love Luigi's Pizza Fresca (it's in Fairmount, not CC - but it's close/good/worth traveling. I would recommend a place in CC if I knew of ANY). I think they are a chain from Jersey. Fresh ingredients and great crust. Sweet sauce. Fold-able. The Margherita pizza is fab.

            1. Ah, the endless quest for NYC style pizza in Philly. I have lived here for 26 years and am still searching. If you are out to the suburbs sometime Volare Pizza at the Ambler train station is the closest I have come. The owner is from Naples and his wife is from Brooklyn. It's a hole-in-the-wall place.

              I too disagreed with many of the selections in the Philly mag article. But I have liked the pizza at Zavino's. It's not NYC style like you are looking for though.

              I like the Sicilian at Little Italy behind the South Street Whole Foods. Their regular pizza is ok but the Sicilian is the best I have found around here. The owners are from Palermo as was my grandfather who had a pizzeria in NYC.

              1. SOHO Pizza on Market & 2nd in Old City is my personal fave.

                1. FrancoLuigi's is the best I've had as far as NY style goes - large slices, thin crust, not too much sauce as many philly places do. I'm mainly commenting to say that no self-respecting NYer would go to SOHO pizza, however.