Lately around Brooklyn…

Earlier this month, I mentioned some pizzas that we’ve been enjoying around New York City. We’ve been hitting these on our lunch breaks and as after-work dinner dates. It gives us an excuse to get around the city and into areas that we haven’t otherwise been able to explore. Today, I’ll tell you about our most recent adventures around Brooklyn, which makes some of the best pizza in the city.

May 19th
Luigi’s Pizza

We went to a pizza panel at the Brooklyn Brainery last year, and Luigi (owner of Luigi’s Pizza) was one of the panelists. We knew that we had to check out his pizza, but we were deep in the middle of the Daily Meal list and so it took us until this past May to finally get around to going. We tried a variety of slices here and agreed that the fresh mozzarella slice is one of the best. These are classic slices, although we are more partial to some of the other slice joints around Brooklyn, and it wouldn’t be our first pick.

 

Also: you should note that there is ANOTHER Luigi’s Pizza on 5th Ave in Brooklyn. It is farther south than the *real* Luigi’s. Google brought us there first (thanks, Google!) and we quickly realized that we were in the wrong place. Although, that pizza didn’t look half bad either.

August 23rd
Fornino

If you are looking for a Neapolitan-style pizza, and you have already been to Roberta’s, Motorino, and Pizza Moto, you may want to check out Fornino. We went to the Williamsburg location, but they also have two other locations in Brooklyn. The feel of the restaurant is a lot like Kesté’s new Wall Street location – clean, open, and slightly rustic. The pizzas were similar also, with a nice doughy crust, interesting topping combinations, and really fresh ingredients.

We tried a Genovese pizza with pesto and fresh cherry tomatoes, and also one with sausage and artichoke. I liked these a tad more than the pizzas at Kesté, but Eric was more torn between the two.

August 16th
Best Pizza

Best Pizza has a big name to live up to. It is off the path in Williamsburg, and sells slices and whole pies. We took the opportunity to try every slice that they had available. Our favorite slices were the grandma slice (Eric LOVED the sauce on this one) and the white slice, but they make a solid cheese slice too. Smaller slices than some of the others around town, but it’s a contender for one of the best slices in Brooklyn.

 

 

August 30th
Krispy Pizza

If you find yourself all the way down in Dyker Heights, you’ve got a few options for pizza. One is J&V Pizza, as previously mentioned, but now we’ve also discovered a couple more for you. Krispy Pizza is just a little bit farther away, but serves pretty good slices. It also has a solid following of fans, and is a bit of a “hidden gem”. They have a Grandpa slice, which is like the more traditional Grandma, but in triangle form. We like it more than the Grandma because there is more of it! They also make a decent square slice. I want to go back to get their salad pizza, which had chicken and a drizzle of balsamic.

I know that salad pizza has a lot of haters, but sometimes you need a healthy(er) option.

 

DaVinci Pizzeria

We actually went to Krispy Pizza and DaVinci Pizzeria on the same day. We don’t take the N train too often, and we saw that these were within walking distance of each other.  

We got a marinara slice, another Sicilian, and a regular cheese slice here. We figured we do a real comparison for you. The Sicilian here was better than at Krispy, but the Grandpa slice at Krispy was better than the cheese slice here. So I guess it depends what you are in the mood for. The marinara slice was really good here, too. It is hard to find a good tomato pie-like slice outside of NJ/Philly, but just look at that amount of sauce! The owner here was really friendly, too, and next time we’ll have to stay longer to chat.

#87 New Park Pizza

March 30th, 2016

Howard Beach, Queens, NY

By now, you probably know what a good NY slice of pizza looks like. This week, we are going to show you a couple more. New Park Pizza is over in Queens, right near JFK. We note this because it would make the BEST stop going to or from the airport. We chose to take the subway out from Manhattan, which took about an hour.

We just ordered a couple of slices here, nothing too special or fancy. A couple of cheese slices, and a Sicilian slice. For all the time we spent on the subway to get here, the slices were gone in about 10 minutes and we were back on the subway going back to NJ. These are definitely not the best NY slices that we’ve had, but they are solid. We’ve also read that you should order the slices “well done”, which we didn’t try, but have noted for next time.

The crust here is also salty, but not overwhelmingly so. We read that this is because they throw salt into the oven as the pies bake. We’ve only had salted Neapolitan crusts, so this was a little different.

So I guess our take-home message here is, don’t go out of your way for these slices because you’ll find slices that taste the same, if not better, in Manhattan (although, you may pay a bit more for them). However, if you are anything like me and find yourself tired and hangry after any flight into JFK, you may want to consider stopping here on your way home. (Eric is making a mental note of this right now.)

To visit:

New Park Pizza
156-71 Cross Bay Blvd
Howard Beach, NY 11414

Six of our favorite NYC pizzas NOT on the list

As we’ve been tackling the Daily Meal list, we’ve been accumulating a list on the side of other NYC pizza places that have gotten good reviews, either from other “Top NYC Pizza” lists around the internet, or personal recommendations from friends and family. Currently, our “other list” has about 20 pizzerias around NYC that we still would like to hit, but here I’ll highlight a couple that we’ve been to in the past year that we feel could be on any list.

  1. Franny’s

Franny’s is out in Brooklyn, and we ended up going there one night when we had plans to head down to J&V Pizzeria. If you remember my previous post, we got frustrated with various subway delays and got off earlier in Brooklyn, not too far from Franny’s. Franny’s has gotten a lot of press since it opened in 2013, and is found on most “Best Of” NYC pizza lists that we’ve seen. We split two pizzas here, one Margherita and one white pie with garlic and hot peppers. Both were good, and we would have also tried an appetizer if everything wasn’t priced so high. Also, you get to cut your pizza here with scissors. They really make you work for your dinner.

To visit:

Franny’s
348 Flatbush Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11238

 

2. Sottocasa

Sottocasa is also in Brooklyn, although they also have a location in Harlem. We first heard about it when we went to that pizza discussion night at the Brooklyn Brainery, where the owner of Sottocasa, Luca Arrigoni, told us all about his adventures starting the Neapolitan pizzeria, including a fascinating story of how they dropped the oven in to the backyard of the restaurant using a crane originally going to be used to lift an airplane at JFK, after flying it over from Naples (the things you must do for TRUE Neapolitan pizza!). They couldn’t get it through the door. Here, we also split two pies, one Burrata and the Parmigiana, which had tomatoes, eggplant, and spicy sausage. They were both awesome. If you are huge Burrata fans (like we are), you should know they only serve that pie from Friday-Sunday, so plan accordingly. Also, this is a great date-night spot.

To visit:

Sottocasa
298 Atlantic Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11201

3. Juliana’s

Juliana’s is the third Brooklyn pizzeria we are going to mention here, and then I’ll move on to Manhattan. If you’ve ever been to Grimaldi’s, you may have noticed a second pizzeria right next door. Well, that one is Juliana’s  and if you don’t feel like waiting in line at Grimaldi’s, the pizza here is also very good (although I can’t guarantee that there won’t also be a line here). Juliana’s is named after Patsy Grimaldi’s mother, and it is a less-touristy version of Grimaldi’s. It has actually been listed as the best slice in NY before as well, but not by the Daily Meal. We went with a traditional pie here, which certainly could have been on any “Best pizza” lists.

To visit:

Juliana’s
19 Old Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

4. Marta

Moving on to a few good pizzas in Manhattan, we went up to Marta one evening after work.  This was another pizzeria that has gotten a lot of good press. It was a little difficult to find, because it is actually in the lobby of an old hotel, but the actual restaurant was very spacious. It also looked like it had a nice bar, although it wasn’t too crowded when we were there because we went a bit on the earlier side for dinner. This isn’t traditional NY-style pizza. Instead, the pizzas are very thin crust. We got the Mercato and the Carciofi, which had artichokes and garlic bread crumbs. If you like thin crust pizza, you should check this place out. And we also highly recommend the butternut fries to start.

  

To visit:

Marta
29 E. 29th Street
New York, NY 10016

5. Patrizia’s

Patrizia’s is famous on instagram for their star shaped “Stella” pies. We admit it, we went purely for the photo. But we’d go back again for the pizza, because it was really good. They have other locations in Brooklyn and around NYC, but we went to the location right in Manhattan. We got my sister to join us for pizzas (and wine), so we ordered a Margherita, one with a bunch of veggies, and Eric got one of the sausage pizzas. They were all very tasty. We were too full to eat a dessert pizza there, so they kindly made us two Nutella pizzas to go. We reheated one when we got home in the oven, and it satisfied our chocolate craving for sure.

 

To visit:

Patrizia’s of Manhattan
462 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10016

 

6. Bleecker Street Pizza

Finally, we want to mention one of our go-to slices places, Bleecker Street Pizza. We like these slices almost as much as Williamsburg Pizza, and Bleecker is ever closer to our office. It is actually right near Joe’s, and in our opinion, the slices are even better here. It is slightly different than your traditional NY slice because it has a thinner crust, but they always have a decent selection of pies to choose from for a quick lunch break. It’s tight inside, but if you go when it is nice out they also have a few small tables out front. When we just went back there for lunch, we grabbed a fresh cheese slice right from the oven, a buffalo chicken slice for  Eric, and two slices of the almost-Sicilian, the Nona Maria, which is our new favorite slice here. If you are wandering around Bleecker street, we’d recommend stopping here AND at Joe’s, just for the comparison.

To visit:

Bleecker Street Pizza
69 7th Ave S
New York, NY 10014

Let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites!

#63 Williamsburg Pizza

September 14th, 2016 and April 3rd, 2017

New York City

This is a new addition to the 2016 list, and we’ve already been here twice. Williamsburg Pizza has three locations, two in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan, and we’ve been to two of them.

      

The first time we went out to Brooklyn. We figured we should try the original location, since it is called Williamsburg Pizza. Once again, we walked there from Manhattan, and once again, we got caught in a downpour. I think I mentioned that this happens to us fairly regularly on our pizza treks. By the time we got to the pizzeria, we were drenched. And hungry.

We ordered a wide variety of slices because the selection here is amazing. We tried a regular slice of the Brooklyn and one called a Sophia Loren, which had fresh mozzarella and sliced tomatoes and basil. We also had a few Grandma slices, including one with kale and sausage (the Kale Tallegio), one with sausage, mushrooms, roasted red peppers (Paesano), and one with wild mushrooms (Tartufo).

   

This past Monday, we went to the Lower East Side location, which was a much shorter walk from our office. Both locations have the same feel to them, and both had the same great variety of slices. Here, we got another slice of the Brooklyn. We also had a margherita slice, and again tried the Tartufo and Paesano Grandma slices. We forgot to check what we got last time and ended up with almost the same exact order.

The Tartufo slice here is really good. We think it’s our second favorite mushroom slice, right after the pizza we had at Antico in Atlanta, and right before the one we had at Pizza Moto in Brooklyn. I think the Sophia Loren slice would be our next favorite, but they didn’t have that one at the LES location this time around.

We’ve found our new favorite slices place in NYC. (Sorry, Bleecker Street Pizza.) At only a 20 minute walk, it is a perfect lunch date location. The slices are everything you’d expect from a New York slice, with fresh cheese, interesting toppings, and sort-of-sweet tomato sauce, with a crispy crust. We have yet to try a slice here that we don’t like.

To visit:

Williamsburg Pizza
265 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

OR

277 Broome St
New York, NY 10002

 

#31 Lorenzo and Sons

December 19th, 2015

Philadelphia, PA

South Street, Philadelphia always reminds me of high school. It was the cool place to go and walk around and get cheesesteaks on a weekend. Actually, I don’t think I ever had any food other than Jim’s cheesesteaks when I went to South Street. I’m really not sure why I never went to Lorenzo & Sons. I probably walked right by it and didn’t notice it because it is such a small shop.

img_20151219_185106606 I also probably wouldn’t have appreciated a good slice of pizza back then, especially a plain cheese slice. But now, having spent time in NYC, we realize what a really good cheese slice is. Lorenzo & Sons makes a really good cheese slice, even if it doesn’t quite live up to the best slices in NYC.

In fact, cheese slices are the only thing you can get here. The slices are HUGE though (just look at the pictures below). They were by far the biggest slices that we had the entire trip. Also, the slices were only $3.50! Toppings are $1, but only available on Tuesdays.

We went here on a Saturday night, before a Christmas party at a friend’s place. One slice was plenty to fill us up for dinner (although not enough to keep Eric from eating plenty of party goodies).

Lorenzo & Sons is also open until 4 am – which makes this your best pizza option if you are out late downtown. I think it is too good of a slice to just be considered a drunk slice, unlike some other pizza slices we know, but either way it is worth a stop.

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If you can’t decide between a slice here and a cheesesteak at Jim’s, well, I’ve found this for you. It is called the Philly Taco, and I have not personally tried it, but it seems like many others have.

To visit:

Lorenzo & Sons
305 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147

#10 Joe’s Pizza

  November 4th, 2015

Manhattan, NYC

After our lunch at John’s of Bleecker, we walked right down the street to Joe’s for slices. We obviously were really hungry. It was pretty crowded for the lunch rush, so we took our slices outside to eat. The standing room inside was a little tight.

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We ended up getting a slice with fresh mozzarella, but also a classic cheese slice. We both liked the fresh mozzarella slice better, I think, although if you are looking for the classic NYC slice, we recommend the cheese.

Joe’s comes up regularly in lists of the “Best NY Slice”, and we do agree that it is worth listing because it is such a fixture in the NYC pizza scene. However, we have had better slices in the city, and so we can’t say that its our favorite.

 

 

 

It is safe to say that after this stop, we were definitely full. We were thankful that we got the medium pie at John’s, instead of the large!

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Our favorite location is the one on Carmine Street, although Joe’s has several locations around the city, including one on 14th Street in Manhattan and also in Williamsburg.

To visit:

Joe’s
7 Carmine Street
New York, NY 10014