My wife Minuk lived in the US when at primary school, and has always waxed lyrical about the merits of the New York style of pizza. I recall sampling some during our first visit to NYC in 1991, and being distinctly underwhelmed. I was not impressed with the amount of oil floating atop the slices we bought from a nameless place somewhere around Nassau Street.
So after seeing the Lombardi's restaurant featured in a recent series of 'The Amazing Race', and doing some research, I felt it was time to give the New York Pizza a chance to redeem itself.
On a hot July evening, Lombardi's was doing a roaring trade. We had a 15 minute wait for a table, which was (thankfully) not in the non-airconditioned space at the corner of Mott Street, but in an attached room a couple of doors down. With AC!
The advice I had received was to choose the basic pizza - the sauce and the crust were the prime reason the the fame of the restaurant, and addition of extra toppings served only to make the crust soggy, and to mask the taste of the special sauce. I'd also heard good things about the 'white' pizza, which eschews the tomato sauce, and supplements the mozzarella with ricotta and romano cheeses, infused with garlic and with pepper & oregano.
So we duly ordered the half and half - half 'original' pizza and half 'white' pizza. A large 18" pizza served 4 people most satisfactorily.
Favorite Dish: The white pizza was the best of the two. Not being a fan of tomato, this was not a great surprise to me.
Here's the menu
While there are many opinions about who makes the best pizza in New York City, Lombardi's gets more than its fair share of adherents. I had seen an episode on the History Channel about the inception of pizza, its progression into the United States via New York City and Lombardi's role was pivotal. While it may be a slight stretch, they claim to be the first pizzeria in the United States and with a pedigree like that it's hard to argue that they might have the best one too. Another proponent of the coal-burning oven much like Grimaldi's in nearby Brooklyn, Lombardi's has been in the business since 1905.
This was my first choice of pizza joints to visit during an all-too-short visit to The City but Grimaldi's won out due to its location across just across the Brooklyn Bridge which turned out to be our first port of call. That said and with only a couple of days to try and sample even an inkling of NYC's culinary delights, I couldn't quite get Lombardi's out of my mind. So, on my last day in The City, on my way back from taking my wife for her first ever visit to the Statue of Liberty, I insisted on stopping by Lombardi's for a quick bite.
Favorite Dish: With time waning, this visit turned into a pie to go and soon after I found myself munching on a piece of heaven while waiting for the PATH train back to Jersey City and eventual ride to the airport. Obviously, it was not under the best conditions and with that in mind, it was not quite as tasty as Grimaldi's had been a few days earlier. That said, it was a very tasty if a bit expensive (about $20 for a large cheese pie) authentic NYC pie. Hey, they've been spinning them since 1905 so it's gotta be the real deal, right? The restaurant was a pretty-cool-cum-hokey red tablecloth affair right out Goodfellas. They owner saw me waiting for my pie with a big camera around my neck and insisted I come closer for a shot of the pie men moving the pies around in the red-coal burning ovens. I only wish I had had the nerve to take out the big flash as the lighting was less than optimal for such an optimal opportunity!
Anyway, I would definitely go back to see how the Lombardi's pie holds up against the competition when eaten inside and to get a better shot of the ovens too.
Lombardi's has been making delicious oven-baked pizza for over a century. Established in 1905 as America's first pizzeria, Lombardi's has become one of the city's most famous restaurants while staying true to its roots. It has changed location, but it still offers a nice atmosphere and, most importantly, it's still all about pizza: there are a few appetizers and salad choices on the menu, but don't go there unless you feel like eating pizza. You can add the toppings you want, so we decided to go with their original pizza topped with pepperoni. Service was fast and friendly, and the pizza definitely lived up to its reputation! Another great thing was the price - our bill came to about $35, and that included two glasses of wine. It's a pretty popular spot so you might have to wait a bit before you get a table, but it's truly worth the wait!
Pizzeria's are everywhere in New York and only a few are worthy of the praise and respect given to Lombardi's. Lombardi's is the egon ronay of pizzeria's in New York.
Although the name would denote northern italian cuisine, this pizzeria is on par with those of our laid back friends in Napoli. It's fantastico! If you do not want to eat inside the restaurant, take your pizza to the park around the corner and enjoy a nice warm spring afternoon with some of the best pizza on the planet.
Since 1903 Lombardi's has created incredibly delicious pizza. Amazingly fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, and an traditional brick oven from Napoli. The restaurant is located in Soho on Spring St at Mott St. Great place for a date or even just to taste the most amazing pizza in NY. Deliciouso!!!
Favorite Dish: Pizza is all that they serve. When it is this good, why would you want anything else. I forgot to mention, the pizza is sold as a 'pie' and not by the slice. But this is ok, it's so good that you definitely want to eat the entire pie.
This place was expensive, but serves probably the best pizza that you will ever eat. We shared a large pizza that came to about $24 USD; there is something about the tomato sauce they use and the cheese and vegetables, everything is just so fresh and GOOD! This place is also really cute, reminds you exactly of a small little restaurant in Italy. This was apparently the first pizzeria to ever be opened in America so that also makes it kind of special.
You'd have read all about the history of this place so I won't bother....but the pizza is absolutely fantastic. The service is good and they'll cater for any need (Mrs SWGF is veggie and they gave us a half/half topping). Tasted just like the real thing that we've been looking for since we got back from Rome. Had to wait for 30mins or so, but if you're hankering for pizza, head down to Little Italy and join the queue. Don't go anywhere else....you won't be disappointed.
Favorite Dish: 18" with additional toppings of wild mushrooms, fresh garlic and pepperoni seemed to go down well!
This place is a must for totally delicious brick oven pizza. It is in a historic building as well with great atmosphere. I was too involved with the conversation of my companions when I went here to read the posters on the walls explaining the place. But I definitely recommend Lombardi's for simple pure delicious pizza!
Favorite Dish: The Quattro Stagione, Four seasons...,, all different kinds of veggies and cheeses
This pizzaria opened in 1897 and is one of the oldest eateries in New York. My friend took me there for supper one night, and I soon realised what a popular place Lombardi's is as we had to wait about 20 minutes for a table, which I have been told is not too bad, as the wait can sometimes be longer, this is how popular they are!!
Favorite Dish: This is where you come for good pizza. They are very very large and equally as tasty.
If you are 2 people that want their own toppings, they will happily divide the ingredients for you so that each person gets what they want on their pizza. As per usual, I had all the meats on the pizza and loads of olives, and it was very very delicious.
A large 18" pizza will cost $15,50, and then you can add your toppings from a choice of your favourites.
Toppings are 1 for $3, 2 for $5, 3 for $6 etc...
I will reccomend going there for a pizza, their food is very good. If I can advise you, I would book before so you dont need to queue (I am not sure if they take bookings but its worth asking) if you cannot book ahead of time, you can always have a drink in the bar before you have your pizza.
Lomarbi's of Little Italy has a loyal following of New York-style pizza aficionados, and it holds the honor of being the oldest enduring pizza place in the States. This was the last of my three pizza meals in New York in May 2005, and it certainly is great pizza. However, my pizza preferences lie with Grimaldi's of Brooklyn or John's of Bleeker Street, with Lombardi's as a third choice.
Lombardi's pizza differs John's or Grimaldi's. Although all are baked in a coal-fired brick oven, Lombardi's uses tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes. I would also consider it a slightly "prefab" atmosphere--more self-conscious than no-nonsense Grimaldi's or John's, and the music was played a little loudly.
Although the variety of toppings here is great (with more unusual ingredients available than the others), the service when we went was not great. In fact, we ordered two pizzas at our table--one came very quickly, but after 10 minutes, when we finally asked where the second pizza was, our server acted confused and went to check, and then took another ten minutes to bring the second pizza (with a little apology, but without explanation). This may have been a fluke, but they did not go out of their way to make up for this situation.
Lombardi's has been around for generations and their pizza is slightly different to what you'd find at John's or Joe's. The pizza is tasty (cheese) but it's so thin its hard to hold in your hand.
Favorite Dish: Large pie.
Lombardi's Pizzeria is in SoHo. They can reasonably claim to be the first pizza place in New York City. They serve pizza cooked in coal ovens with fresh mozzerlla. I'd say the pizza we had was good give it a try. It is all hand made. Herein lies the problem. Aparently our pie got burned amd 2 other tables were served ahead of us. When we finally got the pie it was good. The best thing to do is sit by the table by the window and people watch. That made up for the late food:) I think though you may find Johns pizza better.
Favorite Dish: PIZZA what else, pick toppings of your choice.
There's a lot of hype about Lombardi's, and the lines can sometimes be incredible...in ten years of living in NYC, I experienced my first Lombardi's pizza just now! (Aug. 2004!). It was AMAZING. We ordered a black olive and onion pizza and everything was delicious.
The crust is crunchy outside and soft inside; the cheese is rich, but not too rubbery; the sauce (oh! the sauce!) is fully of tomato and herb and garlic flavors; and the toppings you choose are plentiful.
Favorite Dish: I've only had the olive and onion pizza, but I saw several others go by that looked just as stunning.
I love the pizza at this small, cozy restaurant in Little Italy. It was opened in 1905. Their pizza is all thin crust & delicious! Not too greasy, not dry, & not drippy. I`ve been here a few times & I`ve never left disappointed.
Favorite Dish: Everything is delicious but try the margherita pizza!
Favorite Dish: My pizza here was a mushroom, olive, and onion thin-crust. It had a great coal-fired taste, but I prefer the crushed tomatoes on other New York pizzas to the tomato sauce spread over this pizza.
Pizza was a little less than i expected, but the service was good and the parlor itself is a piece of lower manhattan history.
Favorite Dish: I only ordered there standard pizza, it was good though.