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Best NYC Pizza pie in Chicago

Best NYC Pizza pie in Chicago
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  • Post #151 - May 8th, 2010, 9:50 am
    Post #151 - May 8th, 2010, 9:50 am Post #151 - May 8th, 2010, 9:50 am
    Kennyz wrote:
    stevez wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:I'm tempted to try the new and improved Noli, but a peek in the window this morning has me scared. I saw one of those rotating heat lamp contraptions, frequently used with dire consequences to keep the day's slices warm. Please tell me that this torture device is just a show piece at Noli. No self-respecting place claiming to serve NYC-style pizza would dream of using one of those.


    I thought that was pretty much standard equipment at a NYC slice place.


    Oh god no! Standard is to keep a bunch of pies on the counter at room temperature and blast them to order for a minute in a scorching hot oven. I don't think I had ever seen one of those things before I moved to the midwest.


    I don't think I've ever seen a heat lamp over pizza in NYC. They do it as Kenny says.
  • Post #152 - May 8th, 2010, 10:27 am
    Post #152 - May 8th, 2010, 10:27 am Post #152 - May 8th, 2010, 10:27 am
    I don't think I would call Coalfire New Haven style pizza. At least it does not bear much semblance to Pepe's, Sally's, or Modern (or Naples or Harry's) for that matter. Piece is probably the closest attempt but they don't have the proper ovens. New Haven pizza is larger than Coalfire's and has both crunch on the bottom and chew in the middle of each bite, crust and center. It is NOT folding pizza. The crust shouldn't be floppy enough to fold.
  • Post #153 - May 8th, 2010, 11:20 am
    Post #153 - May 8th, 2010, 11:20 am Post #153 - May 8th, 2010, 11:20 am
    To me, Coalfire is very NYC style.....very similar to John's on Bleeker.
  • Post #154 - May 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm
    Post #154 - May 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm Post #154 - May 8th, 2010, 3:41 pm
    DutchMuse wrote:To me, Coalfire is very NYC style.....very similar to John's on Bleeker.


    In that case, Coalfire is the "best NYC Pizza pie in Chicago" to my admittedly Chicago-centric taste.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #155 - May 8th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    Post #155 - May 8th, 2010, 4:12 pm Post #155 - May 8th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    DutchMuse wrote:
    To me, Coalfire is very NYC style.....very similar to John's on Bleeker.

    Steve Z added:
    In that case, Coalfire is the "best NYC Pizza pie in Chicago" to my admittedly Chicago-centric taste.


    You're both correct. We had a John's/Bleeker St. pizza during my b-day trip to NY in early 2007, and nearly licked the table. Our first visit to Coalfire was also in 2007, IIRC, and I had a vivid taste memory flashback that I loved.

    Good to have found Best of Breed in the thin crust (Candlelite), NY style (Coalfire), and deep-dish (Burt's) here at LTH over the past few years; neither CDC nor I has ever met a pizza we didn't like, irrespective of crust thickness, and we feel blessed to always have a pizza go-to, no matter what the style of craving might be. :)
  • Post #156 - May 9th, 2010, 7:02 am
    Post #156 - May 9th, 2010, 7:02 am Post #156 - May 9th, 2010, 7:02 am
    stevez wrote:In that case, Coalfire is the "best NYC Pizza pie in Chicago" to my admittedly Chicago-centric taste.


    If you like Coalfire (as I do), you should also try Pizzerio Serio (1708 W Belmont Ave).
  • Post #157 - May 10th, 2010, 11:19 am
    Post #157 - May 10th, 2010, 11:19 am Post #157 - May 10th, 2010, 11:19 am
    I guess, for me, the NYC Style pizza that I grew up with was just cooked in one of those standard pizza ovens. Not the ones that are operated on coal. And, while Jon's on Bleeker may be 'the best pie in NYC.' To me, they do it a little differently than the norm. Most NYC Pizza places don't have the luxury of working with coal ovens.

    That's probably why I'm so partial to Noli's because it literally evokes those memories of eating slices of pizza when I was little. It's almost exactly like that scene in Ratatouille, when the food critic has his first bite of Lemmie's Ratatouille and he flashes back to eating it at home as a little child.

    I also agree with everyone's dislike for their sausage pizza. I have gotten their sausage once, years ago and found it inedible. For me, I've always been a plain cheese kind of of guy. And, if you stick to that, they do a pretty good job of it.

    But, if you're looking for more a of a charred crust, cooked in a coalfire oven, I would see why Noli's wouldn't be your favorite.
  • Post #158 - May 10th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    Post #158 - May 10th, 2010, 12:38 pm Post #158 - May 10th, 2010, 12:38 pm
    After all the discussion here on Noli's I decided to give it a try. My wife is from the Bronx so any time I can get her a little taste of home big points for me. I ordered a Medium 16 inch half white and half pepperoni. Glad after reading SteveZ's review of sausage that we made this choice! Also got a meat and onion Byrek. Got there at a little past 6 on friday and definitely nothing going on at all. The heat lamp thing had a slice of pepperoni and a basket of bread but the light was not on.
    The special for the medium pie I think was like 6.99 or something. My total was $14.07 for both! My wife loved both the Pizza and the Byrek. After a minute the grease dripped a little down her hand and she claimed just like home. So sticking with the plain cheese, white or just anything but sausage I think you will be ok. The price alone for carryout should make you give it a shot! We will be back.
    Last edited by jhawk1 on October 19th, 2010, 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong
  • Post #159 - October 19th, 2010, 11:55 am
    Post #159 - October 19th, 2010, 11:55 am Post #159 - October 19th, 2010, 11:55 am
    Has anyone been back to Noli's as they have yet another new owner now. The last time I went I asked for extra well done for the pizza but it left a lot to be desired.
    I'm not picky, I just have more tastebuds than you... ; )
  • Post #160 - October 19th, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Post #160 - October 19th, 2010, 12:05 pm Post #160 - October 19th, 2010, 12:05 pm
    Also, for those of you who think you live outside of Cafe Lugi's delivery range you should double check. I live in streeterville past the gold coast and they deliver to me from LP. Although I'm not sold on Cafe Lugi being the undisputed closest thing to a NYC slice opinion, the fact that they deliver will have me trying them again to make sure.
    I'm not picky, I just have more tastebuds than you... ; )
  • Post #161 - November 1st, 2010, 1:53 am
    Post #161 - November 1st, 2010, 1:53 am Post #161 - November 1st, 2010, 1:53 am
    I think I've given up on ever finding a nyc pizza here in Chicago. Maybe it's their water but what makes me angry is that I've had amazing nyc style pizza in Detroit of all places, (supino's in the eastern market) and also in providence R.I. (nice slice). Why we don't even have one decent imitation of nyc pizza really drives me nuts.

    Cafe Lugi- Close but no cigar. Too much cheese and forget about going into the storefront and ordering a slice that's been sitting around.

    Noli's-now La Mama's Pizza- was decent but new owners again, went in recently and ordered a large pepperoni well done as instructed to do so, the pie came out too thick and too much cheese. I'll give them one more chance but was severely disspointed.

    Gigio's- what's maddening is that the evanston location is more consistent than the original location on broadway. Cheap and greasy, but again, not quite there since the crust gets very cardboardish after awhile and lacks that certain flavor.

    Chi Town pizza- Someone told me this was a great nyc style pizza, so I ordered from them.. and no...just no!

    Santullos- Sadly, this is my favorite out of the bunch thus far, because I have yet to tire of it, big slices, some actual kick in the tomato sauce and great hours for a slice. But not quite on par with nyc pizza.

    Anyhow, is there anyplace I've missed? Or is the above list the closest I'll ever find here? If so please respond! Thanks!
    I'm not picky, I just have more tastebuds than you... ; )
  • Post #162 - November 1st, 2010, 6:39 am
    Post #162 - November 1st, 2010, 6:39 am Post #162 - November 1st, 2010, 6:39 am
    Anyhow, is there anyplace I've missed?


    5 Boroughs Pizza
    1543 North Sedgwick Street
    Chicago, IL 60610-2875
    (312) 988-9009

    To be honest, I have no idea what "New York pizza" is supposed to be, there's good Neapolitan pizza in New York and then I've had the Ray's slice pizza for whose equivalent in Chicago I'd look at, say, Jewel. What this good, non-Neapolitan pizza you speak of is supposed to be like, I don't know, but I believe all you transplants that you have something in mind.

    Anyway, so I don't know if 5 Boroughs, which has never come up here so far as I can find, is actually like NY pizza, but given the normally lamentable state of reheated slices of pizza, I was surprised at how decent a slice here was. Check it out.
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  • Post #163 - November 1st, 2010, 8:33 am
    Post #163 - November 1st, 2010, 8:33 am Post #163 - November 1st, 2010, 8:33 am
    Have not eaten here yet, but passed by it before and saw a NY Style Pizza sign in the window... Reviews on other sites seem very favorable...

    Pizzaco's Italian Eatery
    3605 N Ashland Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613
  • Post #164 - November 1st, 2010, 8:42 am
    Post #164 - November 1st, 2010, 8:42 am Post #164 - November 1st, 2010, 8:42 am
    I've ordered from Pizzaco, as it's close by me. If that's New York pizza, then New York has no more of an indigenous style than Iowa or Kansas-- this is the kind of pizza with puffy crust and lots of cheese you can find anywhere, including chains and big box retailers. That's not to say it's bad, but it's pretty all-American to me.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #165 - November 1st, 2010, 8:47 am
    Post #165 - November 1st, 2010, 8:47 am Post #165 - November 1st, 2010, 8:47 am
    Mike G wrote:To be honest, I have no idea what "New York pizza" is supposed to be, there's good Neapolitan pizza in New York and then I've had the Ray's slice pizza for whose equivalent in Chicago I'd look at, say, Jewel. What this good, non-Neapolitan pizza you speak of is supposed to be like, I don't know, but I believe all you transplants that you have something in mind.


    A good NY style slice should be foldable, with a bit more structural integrity in the center than Neapolitan (there really shouldn't be any wetness other than the grease from the cheese). I would say you're also looking for a little less char and a little bit more chew in the crust. Cheese should also be "stretchier". For me, Cafe Luigi is close but not quite right (the crust is too heavy/thick and there's something not quite right about the cheese).

    Throwing a pre-made slide into an insanely hot oven is part of the experience. If the oven is hot enough and the slice is left in for long enough it should be good to go. Cafe Luigi, in my experience, tends to take slice out of the oven a bit to quickly.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #166 - November 1st, 2010, 8:58 am
    Post #166 - November 1st, 2010, 8:58 am Post #166 - November 1st, 2010, 8:58 am
    Well, I'll be curious which of the two I mentioned above seems closer to what you describe, Josh; Five Boroughs sounds more likely to me. I do think the insanely hot oven may be in play there, and why a reheated slice came out so much better than average there.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #167 - November 1st, 2010, 9:13 am
    Post #167 - November 1st, 2010, 9:13 am Post #167 - November 1st, 2010, 9:13 am
    jesteinf did a good job of describing what the pizza should be like. Santullos to me is the best NY Style pizza in the area from what I've had... Cafe Luigi, I have had mixed reactions while eating there, but I would take Santullos over it any day.

    Good to know Pizzaco isn't very good, now I don't have to be disappointed...
  • Post #168 - November 1st, 2010, 9:22 am
    Post #168 - November 1st, 2010, 9:22 am Post #168 - November 1st, 2010, 9:22 am
    I didn't say it was bad, I just don't think there's much New York-specific about it. There are plenty of places in America where a pizza just like it is the best pizza in town.

    Another one that might be a possibility-- or not:

    Jersey's Sports Bar & Pinocchio's Pizza
    2554 W Diversey Ave
    Chicago, IL 60647
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #169 - November 1st, 2010, 9:25 am
    Post #169 - November 1st, 2010, 9:25 am Post #169 - November 1st, 2010, 9:25 am
    Mike G wrote:I didn't say it was bad, I just don't think there's much New York-specific about it. There are plenty of places in America where a pizza just like it is the best pizza in town.


    This is how I would describe it too. Standard, American-style pizza. Nothing NY-style about it all in my opinion. I'll add that while it's not bad pizza, it's not something I'd ever choose over all the other pizza options in town, and I live very close by.
  • Post #170 - November 1st, 2010, 9:48 pm
    Post #170 - November 1st, 2010, 9:48 pm Post #170 - November 1st, 2010, 9:48 pm
    Gigio’s (on Broadway in Uptown) and Santullo's are the real deal - good exponents of New York "slice shop" pizza - while Coalfire mimics the better coal oven pizza parlors (John's on Bleeker Street), these two places are reminicent of the typical place with gas ovens you find in every NYC neighborhood.
  • Post #171 - November 1st, 2010, 10:31 pm
    Post #171 - November 1st, 2010, 10:31 pm Post #171 - November 1st, 2010, 10:31 pm
    The only NY style pizza I can recall having in Chicago (a trip to Pizzaco doesn't count - that stuff hardly qualifies as pizza) was at a place near Western and Taylor. Unfortunately that's all I know of the place as I have only ever been there after long nights of debauchery. Damn good pizza though.

    My general thoughts regarding NY style pizza - it's easy to lament the lack thereof when you live in Chicago. Move to New York, eat two or three slices during the course of a week at the average pizza parlor, and you may never want to eat it again (no hyperbole). Even at the latest hour, my gut aching for food from a 12 hour workday and a few hours spent at a bar, I'd rather grab a cuchifrito, or some fried chicken, than cardboard pizza (cardboard can be folded) covered with sargento mozzarella.

    Good pizza in NY seems as hard to come by as in Chicago (OK OK, maybe I can walk down 1st Ave. and get an excellent slice from South Brooklyn Pizzeria's new branch in the E. Village - but its the only good walk-in-get-a-slice option I know of).

    I don't say this to diminish the love of fast food pizza that native New Yorkers have, merely to offer some perspective on the whole New York pizza/Chicago pizza/New York pizza in Chicago!! thang.
    "By the fig, the olive..." Surat Al-Teen, Mecca 95:1"
  • Post #172 - November 2nd, 2010, 1:21 am
    Post #172 - November 2nd, 2010, 1:21 am Post #172 - November 2nd, 2010, 1:21 am
    Tried the Five Buroughs place on Sedgewick when they opened (this place seems to rotate names and owners frequently) and it was not a NY slice ... which was very disappointing since it's on my way home.

    sigh

    and don't even get me started on New Haven pizza - which is really only available at Sally's or Pepe's ... Modern et al just can't measure up to Sally's with only parm on top.
  • Post #173 - November 2nd, 2010, 5:51 am
    Post #173 - November 2nd, 2010, 5:51 am Post #173 - November 2nd, 2010, 5:51 am
    Habibi wrote:The only NY style pizza I can recall having in Chicago (a trip to Pizzaco doesn't count - that stuff hardly qualifies as pizza) was at a place near Western and Taylor. Unfortunately that's all I know of the place as I have only ever been there after long nights of debauchery. Damn good pizza though.


    Damenzo's? I admit to a soft spot for Damenzo's though my recollection is that it's a little too doughy for true NY style. It's been years, though, and like you, my visits were usually late at night.
  • Post #174 - November 2nd, 2010, 11:16 am
    Post #174 - November 2nd, 2010, 11:16 am Post #174 - November 2nd, 2010, 11:16 am
    No Man's Land at Plazo del Lago in Wilmette serves a surprisingly authentic version of the real thing.

    http://www.nomanslandpizza.com
  • Post #175 - May 28th, 2011, 11:15 pm
    Post #175 - May 28th, 2011, 11:15 pm Post #175 - May 28th, 2011, 11:15 pm
    ld111134 wrote:Gigio’s (on Broadway in Uptown) and Santullo's are the real deal - good exponents of New York "slice shop" pizza - while Coalfire mimics the better coal oven pizza parlors (John's on Bleeker Street), these two places are reminicent of the typical place with gas ovens you find in every NYC neighborhood.



    Just on a whim I got a slice from Gigio's today and it struck me immediately as being very similar to the slices I've had in NY. Foldable, greasy, nice slightly puffy and charred crust. $2.70 with tax for a good sized slice. I've never been before, but I will go back. And a nice urban kind of atmosphere, talk about your no-nonsense hole in the wall.
    trpt2345
  • Post #176 - June 3rd, 2011, 3:15 am
    Post #176 - June 3rd, 2011, 3:15 am Post #176 - June 3rd, 2011, 3:15 am
    Advice from John Stewart on the ins and outs of New York Pizza:

    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #177 - June 3rd, 2011, 8:54 am
    Post #177 - June 3rd, 2011, 8:54 am Post #177 - June 3rd, 2011, 8:54 am
    stevez wrote:Advice from John Stewart on the ins and outs of New York Pizza:




    Hilarious.
    trpt2345
  • Post #178 - June 3rd, 2011, 10:48 am
    Post #178 - June 3rd, 2011, 10:48 am Post #178 - June 3rd, 2011, 10:48 am
    trpt2345 wrote:
    stevez wrote:Advice from John Stewart on the ins and outs of New York Pizza:




    Hilarious.

    Yes...caught this the other night and L'dMAO. :D

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #179 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:52 pm
    Post #179 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:52 pm Post #179 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:52 pm
    Had another exemplary slice from Gigio's tonight. Went down smooth, one handed all the way.
    trpt2345
  • Post #180 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:53 pm
    Post #180 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:53 pm Post #180 - June 3rd, 2011, 11:53 pm
    The Jon Stewart video has gone from 4,000 views this morning to over 11,000 this evening.
    trpt2345

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