Author Topic: NYC suggestions?  (Read 3600 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
NYC suggestions?
« on: August 04, 2007, 06:21:03 AM »
I may be going to NYC later this week. I've been to about 14 pizza restaurants in search of the best pizza in NYC. I'm basically looking for pizza thats as good or better than Luzzo's (my favorite). I definitely plan to stop at A Mano, Il Brigante, La Pizza Fresca and maybe Patsy's in Harlem. Would anyone recommend going to Da Ciro or Isabella's Oven??  Any other suggestions?  Here is a list of where I've been listed from favorite to least favorite.

1-Luzzo's
2-Grimaldi's
3-DiFara
4-DeMarco's
5-Lombardi's
6-Angelo's
7-Naples 45
8-Nick's
9-Ray's (Prince Street)
10-Bleeker Street Pizza
12-Totonno's
13-UPN
14-John's Times Square


Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2007, 10:05:26 AM »
That's really interesting how you have ranked them Sacs? It appears that you don't have a definitive preference for NY over Neapolitan.If you haven't been to Da Ciro,then maybe you should try it? I was dissapointed,but you may feel different ( as would my ranking be ! ) Seeing DeMarco's at the #4 spot and UPN at #13 doesn't help me either........Staten Island might be worth a side trip as well as Edgewater NJ  if you are planning to leave Manhattan.Have a good trip.
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline frankiedahamma

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 13
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2007, 10:31:15 AM »
A Mano is on the other side of the river, in Jersey.  The train to Manhattan is only about 1 block from A Mano.  I can tell you its definitely worth the trip.  Not only is their pizza excellent, but the atmosphere in that place is off the charts.  Ridgewood is a nice town with upscale nightlife to check out while you're there too.
 Pizza, beer, and some nice hiney.  Doesn't get any better than that. >:D
« Last Edit: August 04, 2007, 10:33:08 AM by frankiedahamma »

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2007, 11:19:35 PM »
At first glance my rankings might seem strange. Totonno's was ranked low because the entire crust was black, and UPN used so much olive oil that I had no idea what the tomatoes and cheese tasted like. I like neapolitan pizza more than the typical NYC slice, but I'll take a slice of DiFara's over an olive oil soaked pie any day. Like I said in past posts though, its always possible that I just got a bad pie and I plan to try UPN again simply because so many people like it.

Offline tonyp0387

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 41
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 05:01:50 AM »
Difara's is a olive oil soaked pie.

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2007, 07:17:24 AM »
I know DiFara uses olive oil,I just meant that on the day I went, I thought UPN used too much olive oil.

Frankiedahamma- thanks for the tips on A Mano- we are going to stop there first on the way to NYC from Syracuse.

Has anyone else tried Da Ciro??


Offline BenLee

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 176
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2007, 05:11:49 PM »
UPN's pie is a breadbowl filled with olive oil.  Way too much.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2007, 02:25:21 PM »
sacks, I just returned from a month long job in NYC.  I am not proud to admit (because of the 8 pounds I gained), But I had pizza 28 days in a row!  In addition to hitting all the normal places I usually try, I hit a bunch of new ones and two of those were my absolute favorite of the whole trip.  Definitely go to Franny's and Isabellas Oven.   The latter is very simlar to luzzo's, but with a cooler oven and a longer bake time, so it is a bit more charred and sturdy.  I was lucky enough to dine there with Ed Lavine (serious eats), Adam Kuban (slice), and Jeff Varasano, and we all agreed that this newcomer to the scene is right up there with the best of the best.   I had actually hit Isabellas a week earlier without the rest of the guys and had a far less exciting pie, so I think they are still working on getting their consistency together. 

I would have to rate Franny's as being in my top 10 pizzerias in the US, so make sure you go there as well!  This is a non soupy neapolitan style pizza that far exceeded my expectations.  I had heard that they use an american high gluten flour that I am not usually a big fan of, so I was very happy to find that they made one of the best balanced and lightest pizzas of the whole trip.  The toppings were out of this world good.  I Now consider franny's to be my standard by which all other neapolitan/ny hybrid pizzerias will be judged.

The runners up were a killer pie at luzzo's (I have to admit that two out of the three visits I made were not as good because they were a bit limp), a calzone/pizza hybrid creation at Amano, and a Knock'em out of the park margherita at UPN.  It was the best I have ever had there, and was not soaked with too much olive oil or overcooked.  Defara's was good as well, but the sicillian slice I had there was actually so soaked with olive oil (it penetrated a quarter of an inch up from the bottom) that it almost made me sick while I was eating it.  I won't go into detials, but I then did have a terrible stomach ache about two hours later.  Not that I care, but even after two board of health closings Dom was not wearing a hat, gloves, and the place didn't look much cleaner.  The only thing I noticed different was that he had painted the walls, raised the prices, and minimized the menu.  Having said all this negative stuff, the thin slice I had (very small slice and $4) was by far the best pizza at any slice joint I could find in NYC.  Joes and Bens were just no big deal next to this place.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 05:23:02 PM by scott r »

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2007, 03:39:13 PM »
Scott- WOW! It sounds like you took my dream vacation. Sampling NY pizza for 28 days, and with those guys must have been awesome. I guess I'll definitely stop at Franny's and Isabella's oven, Il Brigante, and A Mano. Would you recommend La Pizza Fresca or Da Ciro? I'm only going to be able to go for a day or two (a three year old and twin babies at home) so I'll probably only be able to get to around 5 places.
Thanks for responding Scott, I was hoping you would. Also, any more info on the other places you went to would be great, I'm obsessed with finding the best pizza in NYC.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2007, 04:07:19 PM »
Sacs, There are so many pizzerias in the NY area that even with all those days to eat I did not make it to La Pizza Fresca or Da Ciro.  I did research both of those places, and thought that they would not be what I was looking for.  I actually thought the same thing of Franny's, and boy was I wrong, so don't let me discourage you from experimenting.  Here is my current thoughts on NYC pizza

Luzzo's  A must, but also somewhat interchangeable with Isabellas, so on a schedule I would just pick one.

UPN, A must since it is the only place in NYC where you can find a dough made with a wild yeast starter.  Just tell him light on the OO if you are worried.

Franny's a must since they are just doing everything right.

Amano a must, but really really for the Roberto himself, the Gelato and the calzones (love the pizza, but it can be a bit thick for neapolitan and it also can be soupy).  Also one of the only two places I know of where you can get a fried calzone. The best toppings I have found anywhere, especially the artichokes, ricotta, and mushrooms. Next time I go I am going to tell Roberto to stretch the dough out into a larger pie, and use less sauce.   I think when I do that it will be the best Pizza in the NYC area. Again, GET THE GELATO!

Sezz Medi,  Holds it's own with all of the above, and the other fried calzone spot.  If you can't make it all the way into Jersey for Amano this is my final must have pizza in NY.

That's it for my must try places, now there are hundreds of others that are amazing as well. Here are a few of my favorites and two dogs.

Grimalde's (two locations), Brooklyn coal oven (three locations), or the patsy's chain (not harlem but any other location) are also somewhat interchangable.  All use a bit too sweet of a sauce for me, but make pretty much the same pizza, and great if you get their amazing pepperoni to balance out the sweetness. 

Patsy's harlem,  this pizza is much thinner than the Paty's chain (I liket this), the sauce is much better (no sugar added), but they use a sub par cheese, and cheap toppings.  This place is good, but I am not sure that with all the new amazing pizzerias in NYC it is worth the drive uptown (like sezz medi is).  The pies are consisitently good again, no more "Jose only makes the pies good here" comments ok?  They other guys made the same pizza as Jose on the 6 times I stopped here this month.  Still, I think the cheese and the toppings are really holding this place back.

Fornino,  This pizzeria has toppings as good as Amano, and can make you an amazing pizza, unfortunately they are a bit inconsistent.  On a good day they would make it into my must have list.

John's,  This pizzeria is really good and consistent.  Lots of bad press, but I don't get it.  I always get a good solid NY coal oven pie here.

De Fara's.  I think this place is worth the trip, quality goes up and down, but always the best place you can buy a slice in the NY area.

Totono's.  The NY locations are similar to John's, but the Coney Island original location seems to be a step up.  I would go here every day if it was closer to the city.

LOMBARDIS supposedly just bought a dough sheeter...... DO NOT GO!
Brick oven gallery is also on my do not go list,  tasted like frozen pizza.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2007, 04:08:55 PM by scott r »


Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2007, 11:24:54 PM »
I've come up with a list of the 10 places I want to try the most listed from most important:

A Mano
Franny's
Isabella's Oven
Sezz Medi
La Pizza Fresca
Brio Forno
Da Ciro
Il Brigante
Patsy's (again)
Totonno's (again)

I'm going to try to hit at least half on Thursday and Friday, and the rest next time I go.

Does anybody have any tips on getting from midtown to Franny's?

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2007, 01:57:30 AM »
sacs, I don't know anything about the subway system in NYC (thank god), but I do know that it is not that far from NYC.  I am sure there is a better way, but I don't think it would cost you too much if you had to take a cab from the eastern parts of chinatown or the financial district. You basically just want to get over the Manhattan bridge and then it's only about 10 blocks (or so) into brooklyn.

Please report back, and don't worry about hurting my feelings if you don't agree with my findings!

Offline Sacs

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 44
  • Location: Syracuse, NY
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2007, 06:12:02 AM »
Thanks Scott. Hopefully I'll have time for at least 5-6 of the places on my list. I'll report back how the pizzas were, but I'm always a little hesitant to post reviews simply because most places don't consistently make the same pizza day in and day out. Some examples: The first time I had Lombardi's it was the best I ever had. A year later it was just average at best. Everyone seems to love totonno's, but the time I tried it, the pizza just did not taste good. Most people including yourself love UPN, but my pie was completely puddled with olive oil to the point were I couldn't taste anything else. My favorite right now is still Luzzo's, but that may change this week. I'll let you know!

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2007, 02:21:46 AM »
Adam posted a bunch of pictures from our visit to isabellas oven.  They were as good as they look!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/slice/sets/72157601080311425/

Offline BenLee

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 176
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: August 24, 2007, 02:39:49 PM »
Sacs, There are so many pizzerias in the NY area that even with all those days to eat I did not make it to La Pizza Fresca or Da Ciro.  I did research both of those places, and thought that they would not be what I was looking for.  I actually thought the same thing of Franny's, and boy was I wrong, so don't let me discourage you from experimenting.  Here is my current thoughts on NYC pizza

Luzzo's  A must, but also somewhat interchangeable with Isabellas, so on a schedule I would just pick one.

UPN, A must since it is the only place in NYC where you can find a dough made with a wild yeast starter.  Just tell him light on the OO if you are worried.

Franny's a must since they are just doing everything right.

Amano a must, but really really for the Roberto himself, the Gelato and the calzones (love the pizza, but it can be a bit thick for neapolitan and it also can be soupy).  Also one of the only two places I know of where you can get a fried calzone. The best toppings I have found anywhere, especially the artichokes, ricotta, and mushrooms. Next time I go I am going to tell Roberto to stretch the dough out into a larger pie, and use less sauce.   I think when I do that it will be the best Pizza in the NYC area. Again, GET THE GELATO!

Sezz Medi,  Holds it's own with all of the above, and the other fried calzone spot.  If you can't make it all the way into Jersey for Amano this is my final must have pizza in NY.

That's it for my must try places, now there are hundreds of others that are amazing as well. Here are a few of my favorites and two dogs.

Grimalde's (two locations), Brooklyn coal oven (three locations), or the patsy's chain (not harlem but any other location) are also somewhat interchangable.  All use a bit too sweet of a sauce for me, but make pretty much the same pizza, and great if you get their amazing pepperoni to balance out the sweetness. 

Patsy's harlem,  this pizza is much thinner than the Paty's chain (I liket this), the sauce is much better (no sugar added), but they use a sub par cheese, and cheap toppings.  This place is good, but I am not sure that with all the new amazing pizzerias in NYC it is worth the drive uptown (like sezz medi is).  The pies are consisitently good again, no more "Jose only makes the pies good here" comments ok?  They other guys made the same pizza as Jose on the 6 times I stopped here this month.  Still, I think the cheese and the toppings are really holding this place back.

Fornino,  This pizzeria has toppings as good as Amano, and can make you an amazing pizza, unfortunately they are a bit inconsistent.  On a good day they would make it into my must have list.

John's,  This pizzeria is really good and consistent.  Lots of bad press, but I don't get it.  I always get a good solid NY coal oven pie here.

De Fara's.  I think this place is worth the trip, quality goes up and down, but always the best place you can buy a slice in the NY area.

Totono's.  The NY locations are similar to John's, but the Coney Island original location seems to be a step up.  I would go here every day if it was closer to the city.

LOMBARDIS supposedly just bought a dough sheeter...... DO NOT GO!
Brick oven gallery is also on my do not go list,  tasted like frozen pizza.


Scott, I'm convinced the only time Mangieri decides to make a good pie is when Ed Levine visits.  This place gets nothing but complaints from nearly everyone that goes there. 


Every site you go to, users do nothing but badmouth Una Pizza Napoletana.  See for yourself

http://newyork.citysearch.com/review/41430602

I don't blame them.  When I went there, the waiter moved his friends' orders ahead of ours and two other tables.  We waited about 45 minutes for the pies.  They came out and were very mediocre in quality and taste.  The margherita had bland sauce and had more olive oil than cheese and tomatoes.  The Filetti had 1.5 cherry tomatoes on it.  2 pies and 2 sodas, 40 bucks.  This seems to be the norm for this place.  The only time Mangieri ever seems to impress anyone is when a food critic is around.

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: August 24, 2007, 09:23:02 PM »
Anthony does indeed make a very inconsistent pizza.  I have had both good and bad there, but on my last visit to NY Anthony at UPN made the best pizza of the whole trip.  There is a reason why he is one of only two pizzerias in the entire US that uses wild yeast, it is harder to work with. 

I have been put off, and feel like many others are with anthony's tiny pizzas and huge prices.  Still, I think UPN is worth a try since the pizza there can be flavorful, tender, and addictive if you get him on a good day.

Offline ratana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 35
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2007, 11:30:51 AM »
The pizza at UPN seems to have increased in price every time I had been there.  When I first went it was around 18 for a pie, and the last time it was 21!!  Being cheaper than a plane ticket to Naples, to me it is worth it to have once a year, but really, it is going to polarize anyone who goes there. 

Rent in Manhattan can't be cheap, but the uncompromising approach, incredibly high prices, coupled with strange hours (5pm until sold out of dough (maybe 9, or 10pm sometimes) Thursday through Sunday, can't be a recipe for continuing success. 

As far as Franny's, take the subway to Bergen St (2,3) and you can walk there.  In NYC, a new site that can help tourists (and residents alike) is hopstop.com .. so check the route on there.  It will provide subway AND walking directions, AND integrates all the subway schedule changes and closures that will almost always affect you.  I was not incredibly impressed by Franny's, the crust was dry and flaky when I went there. 

Some other places I feel one must try eventually if in NYC:

Sullivan St Bakery (Pizza Bianca and room temperature roman pizzas)
Fornino (mentioned, it really was a fantastic mix of Neopolitan and neo-Neopolitan)
Lazzara's (excellent grandma pie. not Neopolitan style)

Offline David

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 966
  • What’s So Funny ‘Bout Pizza Love and Understanding
Re: NYC suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2007, 12:33:01 PM »
I thought it was interesting to compare  of random images from  customers to see both the style and consistency of some of the most highly regarded pizzerias mentioned in this thread.

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=una+pizza+napoletana

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=amano+pizza+ridgewood&m=text

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=luzzos&m=text

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=fornino+pizza

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=Franny%27s+Pizza
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market