Pizzas & Falafels

Where To Go For Pizza (In New York City)


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These recommendations were compiled from numerous sources,  but everyone is also been visited by us and passed.   star rating are awarded on the following criteria: One is Excellent.  Two or three are exceptional.  (T) means there is only table service, no buy-by-the-slice and run. 





2671 Broadway (&102 St) -Salet Carmine's, "A real hoot", "2nd best classic NY pizza"

A bakery-pizzeria on 88th(?) & Broadway  - Expatriate Bea's favorite pizzeria (?)(*)


118 2nd Ave Patsy's, East Harlem  (2002 NYT state-of-the-slice: "once the hotbed of pizza activity.... cooks the curst until it's almost charred" ), has one of the original COAL ovens in NYC.  (**, and one more * for historical importance.)


1544 2nd Ave - Totonno's, 73-year landmark in Brooklyn goes Manhattan, 1998 Daily News readers choice (**);  a busy and very friendly sit down on upper east side.  Our friend Susan is obviously delighted with the Totonno's pie pictured on the left. (T)


Pintaile's Pizza  (212) 722-1967 26 East 91st Street.  Actually we have not been here yet but since it was mentioned in  the NYT at least twice (1999 and 2000) we felt it belonged here.   There is one selection known as the Greek pizza.

George M's favorite (& one of our too now that we've been there): Big Nick's Burger and Pizza Joint. 71st & Columbus. In addition to being the funkiest, friendly, funny, crammed, pizza hole-in-the-wall place it also has the LARGEST PIZZA MENU known to civilization.




Fat Sal's (*), 510 9th Ave (between 38th and 39th St.

37th and Broadway - Jerusalem, Daily News: "best kosher pizza" (**)

33rd and 3rd - Pizza "33", Emily's favorite (*)

2 on 9th (52nd-54th) discovered with help of Yelp, 2011: Merilu Pizza Al Metro 791 9th [****]; Sacco Pizza, 819 9th Ave [****]. Very different, but both 4-star.


278 Bleeker John's Original - claims Woody Allen, Mary Tyler, Jack Nicholson, Billy Crystal hangout here (* - this place is now touristy)  (T)


32 Spring - Lombardi's, COAL Oven, run by the grandson of Gennaro Lombardi who started the first NY pizzeria just down the block at 53 1/3 Spring St, 1905.  (** for historical significance, one more * for the coal oven.  But take note that this place has become a tourist attraction.) (T)



DiFara Pizza (***), 1424 Avenue J  718-258-1367, Midwood  (NYT 2002 State-of-the-pizza selection, '"uses buffalo mozzarella").  Best Worth-the-Trip Pie 2004 award.  Many other awards.   1/2 block up from the  Brighton Beach train (Q) station.   This is the genuine still-run-by-1st-generation, neighborhood, no-tourists, no-frills, no-nonsense pizzeria. Note added 12/09: while most pizza slices in NYC are $2.25-$2.50, Di Fara charges $5 per slice. Fame brings fortune.

DiFara signature buffalo Mozzarella slice (in the back).



Joe's Pizza of Bleeker Street, 137 7th Avenue (*) makes lovely slices.   This is the same as the Bleeker St Joe's.    7th Avenue "Park Slope" is also a nice place for strolling and window shopping.  Facets Fine Jewelry (on 97A 7th Avenue) has a great collection of earrings, reasonably priced.


Nearby on 7th Ave  is another good pizzeria, Famous Pino's (photo on right). La Villa, on 5th Avenue in the Park Slope district - near Joe's and reputed to be even better - but we haven't checked this out yet.


Coney Island: Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitano (**), 1524 Neptune Ave; 718-372-8606.  Brags they are the best in Brooklyn and worth the subway ride.  Best Old-School Pie 2004.  Widely acclaimed.  One reviewer said:  it's longer to get to on the Q train than a flight to Palermo, but worth it. (COAL OVEN) (T)


19 Old Fulton (under the Brooklyn Bridge) - Grimaldi's, a city landmark, also a Daily News pick (they said "try the roasted pepper topping").  (COAL OVEN) (T)  The photos on the left and right are Totonno's signature pizza.


Gina's favorite NYC pizzeria: Smiling, aka to the locales as Smiley's or smilies, 323 7th Avenue, 718-788-2137, Prospect Park area, 7th and 9th. Gina says it's good, it must be. We confirmed that on 12/09. A perfect crust and superb NYC style topping. Pizzas by the slice but also a place to grag an Itlania sandwitch or hot dish. THIS IS A MUST REPEAT.

Jill's favorite (in Emily's neighborhood): Lucali, 575 Henry St., 718-858-4086. Open for dinner. Sit down for a pie.

East Coast winner in the 2010 nation-wide best pizza competition was Brooklyn's Motorin. (The national title went to Phoenix.) The nice things the NYT reviewer says OVER AND OVER AND OVER! Can it be that good?


Mario's @ 4342 Arthur Ave.  718-584-1188.  Claimed best in Bronx since 1919. Traditional Italian pizza (not NY).   This is a fancy-schmatzy sit down Italian restaurant in Bronx version of little-Italy.  We rate it only 1 * because it's not a real pizza atmosphere, you are not comfortable just ordering a pizza, and it's not worth the long trip into the Bronx.



Nick's has been mentioned by at least three NYPAs (NY Pizza Authorities).  1814 Second Avenue  212-987-5700 & 108-26 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills 718-263-1126 Forest Hills.  Owner: Nick Angelis, the son of a Greek pizza maker who learned the art in Naples. Tried the Ascan Avenue store a second time on 12/09: Why are there are so many recommendation for this place? Not exceptional. Not worth another visit.


 Best Pie In Transit award in 2004.   Figs , Central Terminal Building, La Guardia Airport 718-446-7600"The signature prosciutto, fig, and Gorgonzola pie is the silver lining in a La Guardia layover. "  Our tasting testing in 2005 confirms its a worthwhile meal on a flight connection.    Do it if you are in La Guardia but don't make a special trip out of your way. (T)


Figs at LaGuardia Airport.  Right:  Their signature pizza.


 New Jersey


Kathy send us here and wow it's good.  POMPEII, 480 Broadway (& 23rd St), Bayonne. 


But our NJ favorite is still Joe's Pizzeria (**), on Chainbridge Road, Montville.  This is worth a side trip if you are on NJ highway 46.  P.s., Harold's, the best Delicatessen restaurant in the world  (yes here, not in New York), is on route 46 in nearby Parsippany.  The huge pastrami sandwiches can be shared by three friends.


Los Angeles (In case you are stuck there and want a NY Pizza) Lamonicas NY-Pizza, 1066 Gayley Avenue, Westwood (gets *  for bringing a consistent NY pizza to LA).

2006 R. Abileah