Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Outer Boroughs >
Apr 18, 2012 07:01 PM

brooklyn heights, carrol gardens, cobble hill area pizza crawl


lived in the heights for 15 years, visit with our kids 3-4 times a year, we invited another family to a brooklyn pizza crawl. Thinking about six pizzerias, a slice at each one. Here's what I've got:

- grimaldis - not willing to wait more than 10-15 mins,haven't been to the new location, stopped going when we lived there when the lines got silly.
- sams - maybe not the best pizza but an unforgettable venue for the kids
- luna rossa
- Fascati
- Savoia
- lucali - will wait on line as I haven't been

and, if we can manage it, end up at court st pastry. this leaves out:

- my little pizzeria
- ninos, now francescos (across from where Cammareri's was) - haven't been as much since it changed hands.
- montes on montague

any other suggestions? I think there's an old-style pizza on smith st. that's supposed to be pretty good?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If you start at Grimaldi's and end at Luna Rossa, that's a lot of walking to do. Not sure if you have a special reason to go to Luna Rossa or Savoia, but I wouldn't put those onto a pizza crawl schedule. If you mean Monty Q's (on Montague Street), I think they've got one of the worst slices in the neighborhood, but that's just my opinion.

    I think My Little Pizzeria has a great neighborhood slice, and you should consider a sicilian from the relatively new Catania right around the corner on Atlantic between Court + Clinton. Sam's and Lucali are both great choices for the neighborhood, though don't forget both are pies only so you'll have some down time.

    1. Honestly, Grimaldi's is probably a skip. It's a significant walk (uphill!) from there even to Montague St, and even further to Carroll Gardens.

      I would throw in a vote for Sottocasa on Atlantic just east of Smith St. It's fairly new, so you may not have heard of it. They do fancy neapolitan pies, and they're very good. I'm also a fan of Savoia, but their pies are similar to Sottocasa, so if you only do one, I'd say sottocasa is the place. Pies only, but they're small--10"-12," four slices each. You'll probably need at least two pies if you have 8 people.

      I like the Catania suggestion because it's a different style. And they do slices, right?

      3 Replies
      1. re: egit

        Yeah, you're looking at about 7 miles round-trip. Though, you could just skip Luna Rossa, end the crawl at Lucali and it is quite easy to hail a yellow cab on Clinton Street.

        IMO - Lucali is the star on that crawl. End on a high note.

        1. re: thegforceny

          Agreed that Lucali is the cream of this crop... I'm only concerned you'll be too full to properly enjoy it.

        2. re: egit

          I second the motion for Sottocasa. their pizza is great, although sometimes a little undercooked, so you might want toask them to cook it " well done ."

        3. thanks for all the suggestions. Maybe pizza crawl is the wrong phrase as we won't just be eating pizza. We'll walk over to the promenade, up montague, through some of the nicer streets, grab some middle eastern baked goods on atlantic and generally introduce them to the neighborhood. along the way, we'll eat six or so slices of pizza :)

          ok, I;ll try to take out grimaldi but that the only place they've heard about. So now we've got:

          - sams
          - luna rossa
          - Fascati
          - Catania
          - lucali

          thinking about taking fascati out in favor of middle eastern pizza. Also, last summer I had a pretty good pie from enoteca. Little too upscale for our purposes but it was pretty good.

          still have a nagging thought that there's an old style place on smith close to atlantic that was good. maybe I'm thinking the arancini was good.

          20 Replies
          1. re: vinouspleasure

            You realize that many of these don't serve 'slices'? Of course you'll be a large enough group for an entire pie; I'm just sayin' you will have to sit down and order a pie, drinks, what have you. Can't just grab one and be on your way.

            No Slices
            Luna Rossa

            Not sure about the others.

            1. re: vinouspleasure

              Not sure where you're planning to get Middle Eastern pizza--if by this you mean the lamb filled flatbread lahmajun, or some spiced za'atar bread. Or meat or spinach pies. Damascus Bakery is the only full-service Arab bakery left on Atlantic, and a few spinach or meat pies (as well as a sweet or 2, like their date filled rings or the semolina cake basbousa) make a nice walk around snack. Also, a bit off topic, my deepest thanks for not using that abominable acronym "BoCoCa" to mark your walk.

              1. re: bob96

                bob: Both Fatoosh and Waterfalls have "pitzas", though I wouldn't personally go out of the way to include them in a pizza tour.

                I also like the Sottocasa recommendation, had a great pie there a few weeks ago, Diavola with hot soppresata, black olives and basil.

                Back to the OP: 6 pizza stops plus Middle Eastern food does sound like a bit much if you've got kids and as mentioned, most of your spots are sit-down and order a pie kind of places, just something to keep in mind as not sure if your kids are the type to get antsy after what will be a few hours of sitting down, ordering, eating and repeating. You might want to break up the routine a bit by eating your Fascati slices on the promenade, or taking your Sams pie to go and eating in Cobble Hill Park. The only pizza places by Smith + Atlantic are Sottocasa, which is fairly new, and Caruso, which is fairly terrible. Joe's Superette further down Smith had great rice balls but it recently closed and wasn't a pizza joint. The extended space of Pacifico which has frontage on Smith was a pizzeria for about 6-10 months some time back in 2008 or so. Can't think of anything else.

                1. re: fishermb

                  yes, I was thinking about fatoush, the kids have eaten there and like it. As for the kids, we're not talking about toddlers, everyone is 14-17, so it shouldn't be too bad but maybe we'll throw out one of the sit downs for My Little Pizzeria. That will give us three NY pizza, two Neapolitan and whatever Catania is.

                  thanks for the clarification on smith, I'll stop thinking about it.

                2. re: bob96

                  Bedouin Tent on Atlantic & Bond has phenomenal lambajin,but may be too far east for your purposes. If you make it an Atlantic Ave. crawl, you could hit Catania, Sottocase & Bedouin Tent and then take a long walk to Lucali's in order to get hungry again.

                3. re: vinouspleasure

                  I like the pizza at Enoteca, but if it was too upscale for you, then Luna Rossa might be as well. Though I think the pies at Luna Rossa are better (marginally) the two places seem very similar to me (believe both owners have connection to Marco Polo restaurant). So if you aren't hitting the far end of court street for any other reason, then you could Enoteca instead of Luna Rossa.

                  There's also south brooklyn pizza, which does (expensive) slices. Different from the others, but if you're doing a pizza crawl, maybe worth a stop.

                  1. re: missmasala

                    OP: Then you'll be fine with that age, and Catania is a Sicilian shop, everything I've had there (pizza and not) has been great, you can read more here:

                    I'd also second missmasala's South Brooklyn Pizza recommendation, not sure how I completely forgot about it. It's nearby Lucali and I actually often go and grab a slice there while I'm waiting for a table at Lucali. I'm not sure what time this is all going down, but do note that Lucali is not open lunchtime, they open at 6PM, I think all others are OK for lunch, and keep in mind that some of these places are cash only as well.

                    1. re: fishermb

                      I guess I'm mystified by the popularity of South Brooklyn Pizza. Several years ago (4?) their pizza was more Neapolitan style, and I remember a fantastic clam pie a la Pepe's in New Haven. More recently, like in the last two years, they changed their style to be more of a traditional slice shop.

                      Here is specifically what I don't like about SBP: their dough has such a high oil content that it "air fries" in the oven. It doesn't have that gorgeous puffy char that many other places in this discussion have. It's crunchy and golden, as if it had been in the deep frier. And it's a little dense, IMO. Their sauce and cheese are of high quality, to be sure. But I just can't get beyond the crust that reminds me too much of Pizza Hut. Also it's a little pricey at about $4 a slice.

                      IT OFFENDS ME.
                      (not really... but a little) :-)

                      1. re: fishermb

                        thanks, actually I ended up at enoteca after making that mistake at lucalis. walked all the way from borough hall with son and niece only to arrive 3 hours before they opened.

                        There's been so many hit or miss restaurants in the Cantania space, nice to see there's something great there and looking forward to trying it.

                        btw, assuming a lot of you are in the area, we saw a show at st. anne's warehouse 3 weeks ago and had the "drunch" at luluc on smith st. What a ridiculously great deal, the hanger steak was very good, great fries, decent wine for $3/glass, everything we tried was great...and we still have to get back to try the pancakes. I think it was $20 for three very generous, well-prepared courses.

                        1. re: vinouspleasure

                          egit: I understand your frustration with SBP, I too did like their original slices better than the current incarnation, but when you consider all of the slice options in our neighborhood, I still think it's one of the better ones.

                          vinous: luluc's pancakes are one of my favorite breakfast foods in all of NYC, the trick is that they bake them after they're cooked, glad you enjoyed your meal there.

                          1. re: fishermb

                            For a break in the action, check out SBP's fantastic-looking PRETZELS...they're usually served as accompaniment to the Buschenshank brew options. Dough, salt...almost pizza.

                    2. re: vinouspleasure

                      arancini... could you be thinking of Ferdinando's Focceria on Union just West of Hicks?

                      1. re: Peter

                        And there's always the House of Pizza and Calzones across the street for a classic slice and fried calzone.

                        1. re: Peter

                          nah, maybe I conflated a pizza shop on smith with Joe's Superette. back in the day, smith st. wasn't a great place to hang out so I wasn't there much.

                          I do want to have at least one rice ball on our crawl, any suggestions from our list? Also, it would take a crazy great suggestion to not finish the day at court st. pastry but if something comes to mind...

                          1. re: vinouspleasure

                            depends on what you want. the lobster tails and other cream filled italian pastries and cannoli are best at court st pastry, but the cookies are better at monteleone's a couple of blocks down court, on the other side of the street. it's next to esposito's, the pork store, which has rice balls, but they are huge and no replacement for joe's, an establishment that is sorely missed around here.

                            1. re: missmasala

                              we like monteleone too but it's really canoli and sfogi we're after. I accidentally backed into the car of one of the guys at espositos and haven't been in since, but that's a story for another day.

                              1. re: vinouspleasure

                                Not speaking from first hand experience here, but I've read that Caputo's (the Italian specialty deli, not the bakery) on Court Street fills their canoli at time of purchase--and that they are fabulous. Haven't dared to try them, for fear they really are fabulous :)!

                                1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                                  They have canoli at Caputo's? Never knew that. Where do they get the shells and cream from, do you know? i don't think they are equipped to bake themselves. Or are they?

                                  1. re: Marion Morgenthal

                                    if you ask nicely and it's not too crowded, court pastry will do this for you too.

                        2. We did a pizza tour for my 60th birthday. Grimaldi was the first stop. We ordered take out to eat in the nearby park. We still waited over an hour. Good pizza, not worth the wait.
                          Sam's is exactly as described. Been going there sice the 50's.
                          We missed Lucali because they don't do lunch and we were too early for dinner. I gotta get myself there.

                          1. What do people think of Fornino? It's in Park Slope, but close enough to the area you're covering.

                            I haven't had a chance to try their pizza yet, but I buy their bread exclusively, and I have to assume it's some indication of quality...can anyone chime in?

                            Fornino (Park Slope) 256 Fifth Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
                            nr. Garfield Pl.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: treestonerivershrub

                              Don't bother with Fornino's pizza, it's not very good, very thin and crispy and not very tasty. You're better off at Campo de Fiori nearby, or even La Villa across the street.

                              1. re: sadarami

                                I agree, Fornino's pizza in Park Slope is not very good. (Nothing like the Fornino's in Williamsburg.)

                                1. re: parkslopemama

                                  OK, it's official...I guess the Fornino's in Park Slope had better be skipped...but I am still going to buy their bread :)

                                2. re: sadarami

                                  That's too bad. Thanks for the insight though and the tips about better places, I look forward to checking those out!

                                  1. re: treestonerivershrub

                                    vinous: when are you doing this? curious to hear your comments on where you wind up going

                                    1. re: fishermb

                                      towards the end of may. I'm going to try to structure some sort of score card for the group with a background on each restaurant and style of pizza.