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Lombardi's vs Patzeria

k
kzerom Nov 8, 2011 06:22 PM

I'm a Chicagoan planning a trip to NYC for NYE.
After making several reservations, I realized that I did not have a pizza place on my list.
I did a little research and narrowed it down to Lombardi's & Patzeria.
I only have time to visit one, so I need help.

PS If you recommend Patzeria, please specify Family & Friends or Perfect Pizza.

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Lombardi's
32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

Patzeria's Perfect Pizza
231 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

Patzeria Family & Friends
311 W 48th St, New York, NY 10036

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  1. g
    gutsofsteel RE: kzerom Nov 8, 2011 06:33 PM

    Please do not go to any of the places you mention.

    1 Reply
    1. re: gutsofsteel
      k
      kzerom RE: gutsofsteel Nov 8, 2011 07:02 PM

      okay, so what do you recommend?

    2. b
      Brian W RE: kzerom Nov 8, 2011 06:48 PM

      IMHO this post is a bit off-the-wall. Does it smell fishy to anyone else?

      34 Replies
      1. re: Brian W
        k
        kzerom RE: Brian W Nov 8, 2011 06:55 PM

        Why does my post smell fishy? I want pizza when I visit New York...
        I searched the posts on Chowhound and both Patzerias have 0 reviews on this site.
        Reviews on here for Lombardi's were split 50/50.

        Patzeria is rated really high on TripAdvisor, but generally I'm seeing more positive reviews for Lombardi's.

        I just want somebody to pick one and tell me why...

        1. re: kzerom
          g
          gutsofsteel RE: kzerom Nov 8, 2011 06:56 PM

          Why have you narrowed it down to these choices? Go to NONE of them.

          1. re: gutsofsteel
            k
            kzerom RE: gutsofsteel Nov 8, 2011 07:08 PM

            okay I won't go to Patzeria's. looks like nobody is sticking up for that place, but Lombardi's says they were the first pizzeria, so is there any truth to that claim?

            1. re: kzerom
              rose water RE: kzerom Nov 9, 2011 08:35 AM

              whether or not there's truth to that claim, it certainly keeps tourists flocking to lombardi's. we enjoyed our one visit there fine, but certainly see no need/rationale for its very high regard on these boards, or its tourist pilgrimage destination status.

              patsy's in east harlem is good but not outstanding pizza, well worth enjoying if you're in the area (though i would steer you to cafe ollin for a cemita instead if you're in the area). patzeria is recommended on trip advisor but has never been mentioned here--the standard favorites are john's, joe's, keste and motorino.

              -----
              John's Pizzeria
              278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

              Joe's Pizza
              7 Carmine St, New York, NY 10014

              Patsy's Pizzeria
              2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

              Keste Pizza & Vino
              271 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

              Cafe Ollin
              339 E 108th St, New York, NY 10029

              Motorino
              349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: kzerom
                k
                kathryn RE: kzerom Nov 9, 2011 08:41 AM

                Yes and no. They were awarded the first pizzeria license in New York City...and the nation. But Lombardi's also closed down for a decade (1984-1994), and moved from its original location.

                So while it might officially be the first licensed pizzeria in city records, it is no longer in its original location, nor is it the oldest continuously operating pizzeria.

                http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                IMO, at Lombardi's under cook the pies to improve turnover, and lay a heavier hand with cheese/sauce, because of tourist demand (non-NYers are used to lots of sauce and toppings but the crust can't handle it). All of my pies there have been good but not GREAT, and they are usually too soggy/wet to hold up.

                -----
                Lombardi's
                32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                1. re: kathryn
                  f
                  FattyDumplin RE: kathryn Nov 9, 2011 10:58 AM

                  we used to eat at lombardi's, but with young children, would go for early dinners. maybe because they are less busy then, the pizzas we had were always very enjoyable. i know the place gets dinged by most on this board, but i never had a pizza there that i walked away from disappointed.

                  1. re: kathryn
                    k
                    kzerom RE: kathryn Nov 9, 2011 01:48 PM

                    thanks! that was really helpful :)

              2. re: kzerom
                b
                Brian W RE: kzerom Nov 14, 2011 08:54 AM

                I apologize, kzerom. As you see, no one here ever heard of Patzeria so it seemed as if someone at the restaurant might be trying to create some buzz.

                I also am a fan of Patsy's in East Harlem and John's of Bleeker Street. My take is that the crust at John's is not a s flavorful as at Patsy's. But then John's is what most good pizza tasted like in New York in the 1950's. In those days it was normal to discard the end crust of each slice.

              3. re: Brian W
                s
                small h RE: Brian W Nov 8, 2011 07:00 PM

                It stinks of Trip Advisor. Patzeria is the #3 recommended restaurant in Manhattan according to that site, outranked only by Eleven Madison Park (understandable) and The Capitol Grille (less understandable). I have never seen Patzeria mentioned anywhere else. Ever. And I read A LOT of restaurant reviews. For your entertainment:

                http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant...

                1. re: small h
                  TrishUntrapped RE: small h Nov 9, 2011 09:34 AM

                  On a different thread we had an in depth discussion of Trip Advisor's recommendations. I stopped being a destination expert for TA because of the outrageously bad NYC restaurant rankings. Something definitely wrong there. The rankings do NOT come from people's reviews alone. I inquired on this board a month ago or so to see if anyone had been to any of the Patzerias and got no responses.

                  Please don't pick on the OP for asking about these spots. I fully understand and appreciate the inquiry. I'd also like to know of any of you have been to a Patzeria and what you think about them.

                  I like Patsy's in East Harlem very much. It's an easy walk from the subway station so very doable.

                  1. re: TrishUntrapped
                    s
                    small h RE: TrishUntrapped Nov 9, 2011 10:30 AM

                    Yes, I recall reading that thread. I've had good experiences with Trip Advisor for hotel and sight-seeing information; that's its strength since it's geared to tourists. But I don't think very many natives bother to add their own picks, or critique the picks of others, which is why the restaurant recommendations on Trip Advisor are not very valuable. One might be forced to rely on it, as I was on Oahu earlier this year, because I couldn't find any information at all about some of the towns I visited - not on Chowhound, not on Yelp, not anywhere. But in Manhattan, there are plenty of reliable ways to get recommendations.

                    And if you're accusing me in particular of "picking on" anyone, note that my post was a reply to Brian W.

                    1. re: small h
                      TrishUntrapped RE: small h Nov 9, 2011 02:24 PM

                      Sorry smallh! Even though I posted under you, I wasn't referring to you about picking on the OP. New Yorkers are definitely in the know when it comes to restaurants in town. Unfortunately many visitors do rely on sites like TripAdvisor for restaurant rankings. We know they shouldn't but they don't.

                      I'm still waiting for someone to take one for the team and grab a pie at Patzeria...

                      1. re: TrishUntrapped
                        s
                        small h RE: TrishUntrapped Nov 9, 2011 02:52 PM

                        I solemnly swear to get a slice at Patzeria if I ever pass by it, just to see.

                        1. re: small h
                          s
                          small h RE: small h Jan 3, 2012 08:32 PM

                          I am starting the new year off by making good on my promises, so I did indeed visit Patzeria Perfect Pizza earlier this evening. It's tragically fallen to #21 (out of 7,043) in the Trip Advisor rankings, but it still has mostly 5 star ratings on Yelp. Could all those people be wrong? Yeah, pretty much.

                          I had a grandma slice and a plain slice. Both had the same overcooked, slightly too sweet (but still acceptable) sauce, although the sauce on the grandma slice was punched up with a fair amount of cayenne pepper. The crust for both was dry-ish and crunchy, with no chewiness at all. I'm sure this appeals to some folks, but I'm not one of them. Both slices were cooked properly, neither too raw nor too well-done, and served hot but not volcanic. The plain slice did not suffer from too much oil. But if I wasn't able to see the cheese on the plain slice, I might have thought it was cheese-less, as the cheese had no discernible flavor. This is pizza that is, overall, neither good nor bad. It is fine for what it is: a decent street slice.

                          So what's the appeal? Well, Patzeria looks the part. It's tiny, and run-down, and seems like it's been there forever. It also has a lot of police patches stuck on the wall. In other words, it's obviously no Sbarro's. The fellas working there are friendly, and if your hearing and eyesight are poor, you might even mistake them for Italians.

                          I will leave it to a Yelp reviewer from the beautiful state of Rhode Island to nail it with this last word: "This is a great stop if you want something before a bus tour."

                          -----
                          Patzeria's Perfect Pizza
                          231 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

                          1. re: small h
                            TrishUntrapped RE: small h Jan 4, 2012 05:44 AM

                            Wow, small h, Thank you!!! Although I strongly suspected Patzeria's had been greatly overhyped, part of me secretly hoped it would be awesome. Unfortunately this is why I just had to leave Trip Advisor. Their restaurant rankings make no sense.

                            Their top 10 restaurants in NYC as of this morning include: #10 Patzeria Family and Friends, #9 Tony's DiNapoli, #6 The Capital Grille.

                            Thank you for taking one for the team!

                            1. re: TrishUntrapped
                              s
                              small h RE: TrishUntrapped Jan 4, 2012 09:12 AM

                              Happy to contribute to the Patzeria canon. I was hopeful and fearful in equal measure, and I was over there anyway, en route to Relatively Speaking (about which the less said, the better). And $7 - the price of the two slices- is not so very much to gamble. I've also finally come up with a way to describe that crust: oily Twix bar.

                              1. re: small h
                                TrishUntrapped RE: small h Jan 4, 2012 03:16 PM

                                Oily Twix Bar, love it! ;-)

                              2. re: TrishUntrapped
                                s
                                smilingal RE: TrishUntrapped Feb 15, 2012 12:59 PM

                                Smallh (as you noted this above) and any others --- I am wondering about the surprise of Capital Grille being on a top favorite list?? I just made reservations there for next month and came on here to reinforce my decision but am now questioning this.

                                1. re: smilingal
                                  s
                                  small h RE: smilingal Feb 15, 2012 01:28 PM

                                  I can't speak to the wisdom of eating at Capital Grille since I've never been there, but I can tell you that other steakhouses (Keens in particular) get a LOT more love on Chowhound. A quick search of the Manhattan board will provide you with all the information you need about steakhouses, I promise.

                                  TripAdvisor is a resource for tourists, and tourists tend to hang out in tourist areas, like Times Square. Thus, restaurants in those areas are the ones that TripAdvisor readers go to and post about. The Manhattan board certainly has its share of nonresident contributors, but we natives are pretty well represented, too.

                                  The only time I use TripAdvisor for restaurant recommendations is when all else - Chowhound, Yelp, the local newspapers, driving around aimlessly - fails.

                                  1. re: small h
                                    s
                                    smilingal RE: small h Feb 16, 2012 06:14 AM

                                    I am a NYer as well. I made the reservation for Capital Grille using Savored so our party of four will save 30% on our meal (AND DRINKS!). I figured that is a great reason to try what seems to be a well thought of restaurant in Zagats. I was wondering why the off comments here - but I realize that it probably is because it is not necessarily native.
                                    Keens is on my wish list.

                                    1. re: smilingal
                                      TrishUntrapped RE: smilingal Feb 16, 2012 06:38 AM

                                      Enjoy! Let us know how it goes!

                                      1. re: smilingal
                                        s
                                        small h RE: smilingal Feb 16, 2012 03:05 PM

                                        I think you've hit the nail on the head: not necessarily native. This OP of thread (which we have sadly OT'd nearly to death) is a visitor seeking good pizza in a known-for-its-pizza town, and is also coming from another known-for-its-pizza town. Thus, recommending something that's easy to find elsewhere, or simply adequate, would be wrong. But we live here. We can eat here any ol' time. There's no need to make every meal "count," so why not take advantage of a nice discount? I hope you have a fine dinner.

                                    2. re: smilingal
                                      TrishUntrapped RE: smilingal Feb 16, 2012 02:07 AM

                                      Smilingal,

                                      I'll just speak for myself. I've never been to The Capital Grille. The reason I shake my head about it being in the NYC Top Ten list on TA is because it is a chain restaurant. You can find this place all over. There is nothing special about it being in New York.

                                      I am not anti-chain per se, they have their place. However, New York is a Foodie town. There is a mind boggling embarrassment of riches of restaurants here. Many fine quality restaurants that are special and not chains.

                                      I would highly recommend Keens to you for a wonderful NYC steak experience. Not only is the quality of the food first rate and delicious, but the service and atmosphere is old school New York and unique.

                      2. re: Brian W
                        k
                        kzerom RE: Brian W Nov 8, 2011 07:02 PM

                        I'm staying in Harlem and thought about Patsy's (which is what led me to Patzeria [I kept thinking I was spelling it wrong]) but I don't like very thin pizza crust. I'm from Chicago so I'm looking for pizza with a little weight to it (not coming to NY for deep dish tho).

                        1. re: kzerom
                          k
                          kathryn RE: kzerom Nov 8, 2011 07:14 PM

                          > I'm from Chicago so I'm looking for pizza with a little weight to it (not coming to NY for deep dish tho).

                          Are you OK with Naples style or something inspired by Naples style? If so, I would go to Motorino.

                          How thin is thin? Maybe you should be looking into Sicilian slices/square slices.

                          -----
                          Motorino
                          349 E 12th St, New York, NY 10003

                          1. re: kathryn
                            k
                            kzerom RE: kathryn Nov 8, 2011 07:33 PM

                            Never had it before.

                            I don't want a thin crust that's similar to crackers. That'd be terrible in my

                            1. re: kzerom
                              k
                              kathryn RE: kzerom Nov 8, 2011 08:03 PM

                              The cracker-thin, crispy crust (cut into squares even though it's a round pie aka "party cut") is MUCH more of a Midwestern thing.

                              http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                              In NY, the style is more crisp-chewy. It is definitely thicker than, say, St. Louis style, but not NY style isn't "thick crust" per se. So still thinner than what you might find at home.

                              http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...
                              http://slice.seriouseats.com/assets_c...

                              There are a few distinct styles of round pizza found in NYC: New York gas-oven style, Neopolitan style, and a hybrid style of the two that is also unique to New York (usually coal oven). None of these are typically cracker-y.

                              Really, for pizza, if you have never had true NY style before, I would send you to John's of Bleecker (coal oven, whole pies only).

                              More on NY pizza styles (of which there are many!):
                              http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                              -----
                              John's Pizzeria
                              278 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

                              1. re: kathryn
                                k
                                kzerom RE: kathryn Nov 8, 2011 08:18 PM

                                Okay. John's of Bleecker St it is. I'll leave Patsy's as back up/Plan B.

                                1. re: kzerom
                                  iluvcookies RE: kzerom Nov 9, 2011 11:17 AM

                                  You could also try Arturo's... it's also coal oven like Lombardi's and John's but less crowded. I happen to like Arturo's pie a little better.

                                  -----
                                  Arturo's
                                  106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                                  1. re: iluvcookies
                                    k
                                    kzerom RE: iluvcookies Nov 9, 2011 01:43 PM

                                    cool. I'll add that to the list.

                                2. re: kathryn
                                  k
                                  kzerom RE: kathryn Nov 8, 2011 08:19 PM

                                  thanks for being helpful, unlike some of the other commenters on this post...

                                  1. re: kathryn
                                    k
                                    kzerom RE: kathryn Nov 9, 2011 01:52 PM

                                    cool - and very informative!

                                    1. re: kzerom
                                      b
                                      BellaDonna RE: kzerom Nov 9, 2011 02:41 PM

                                      I've been to Lombardi's and it's ok. It's cool to eat at the "first pizzeria." Pizzas are good (I had the pepperoni and also the sausage and mushroom), ingredients are fresh. The place is a bit outdated (I'm assuming original dining room and all). I got there 30 minutes prior to opening within sitting down not more than 10 minutes, the place was packed.

                                      If you are going for the food, I would skip it as there are better pizza places in NYC. If you are going for the history of it, then you should go.

                                      -----
                                      Lombardi's
                                      32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                      1. re: BellaDonna
                                        k
                                        kzerom RE: BellaDonna Nov 9, 2011 03:02 PM

                                        thanks! its seems so iconic that I just had to add it to my list of places to dine at while in NY. honestly, I think I'm going to save myself the trouble and go to Patsy's in East Harlem and then just wait until the next time I come to NY to check out their pizza. I saw a website that offered pizza tours so next time I come, I'll do that instead.

                          2. d
                            dining with doc RE: kzerom Nov 9, 2011 03:55 PM

                            I hear all of you but the freshly shucked white clam pizza at Lombardi's is fantastic!

                            -----
                            Lombardi's
                            32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: dining with doc
                              p
                              Pan RE: dining with doc Jan 4, 2012 03:10 AM

                              How recently did you try it? When I had it several years ago, it was dried out and not good at all. On the other hand, I've had it at Arturo's within the last couple of years and thought theirs was great - like really good clam sauce on pizza instead of pasta.

                              -----
                              Arturo's
                              106 W Houston St, New York, NY 10012

                            2. h
                              hon RE: kzerom Nov 10, 2011 10:43 AM

                              Rubirosa

                              http://rubirosanyc.com/

                              http://newyork.seriouseats.com/2011/0...

                              -----
                              Rubirosa
                              235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: hon
                                k
                                kzerom RE: hon Nov 10, 2011 11:10 AM

                                oh wow great recommendation!
                                I have another thread asking about Italian restaurants in Manhattan and I was looking for places that specifically had lasagna or chicken parmigiana.

                                1. re: kzerom
                                  TrishUntrapped RE: kzerom Nov 10, 2011 11:34 AM

                                  Kzerom,

                                  Patsy's in East Harlem also serves chicken parm. My gang usually orders a mix of pizza and entrees like the chicken parm.

                                  Now, I'm not saying this is the best chicken parm in Manhattan. Others in the know can respond better.

                                  -----
                                  Patsy's Pizzeria
                                  2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

                                  1. re: TrishUntrapped
                                    k
                                    kzerom RE: TrishUntrapped Nov 10, 2011 11:55 AM

                                    I need the Italian restaurant to be in Hells Kitchen or the Theater District on 8th or 9th Ave between 45th & 55th St.

                                    Here's the thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/816847

                                  2. re: kzerom
                                    s
                                    stuartlafonda RE: kzerom Nov 10, 2011 01:31 PM

                                    Hey Kzerom, I love Rubirosa but I love super thin crust. On most days their pizza slice cracks when you give it the NYC fold. Food is solid but based in what you wrote above, not your best choice for pizza. I also love Patsy's in East Harlem because it is so thin and light though rarely crisp. Only when I sit in the restaurant, as opposed to grabbing slices at the counter, and request it well done does it come crisp. Stay away from Lombardi's. Long lines, lousy service,fake pedigree and most importantly, lousy pizza. Patsy's East Harlem is the same joint since1933, that should be good enough for history buff's. Enjoy.

                                    -----
                                    Lombardi's
                                    32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012

                                    Patsy's Pizzeria
                                    2287 1st Ave, New York, NY 10035

                                    Rubirosa
                                    235 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012

                                    1. re: stuartlafonda
                                      k
                                      kzerom RE: stuartlafonda Nov 10, 2011 01:53 PM

                                      thanks!

                                2. p
                                  Pan RE: kzerom Jan 4, 2012 03:12 AM

                                  Are you still here? If you happen to be in the vicinity of 7th St. and 1st Av., South Brooklyn Pizza also serves an excellent margherita slice.

                                  -----
                                  South Brooklyn Pizza
                                  122 1st Ave, New York, NY 10009

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