Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck

What can I write about Pizza that hasn’t already been written? 

1.  The history? Pizza is not Italian.  At least not originally.  Started in Greece… no tomatoes… Queen Margherita… colors of the Italian flag… WWII… Italian Immigrants… Pizza Hut… 30 minutes or your pizza is free… Mexican Pizza at Taco Bell.  I covered everything right?

2.  The best pizza in New York?  I don’t even want to start that argument…

3.  Tourists visiting New York eat at the worst pizza places.  How else do you explain the existence of a Sbarro’s in Times Square?  (It still amazes me every time I walk by that place and there are people eating in there)

The list could go on and on.  The simple fact is, I’m not a pizza aficionado.  Don’t misunderstand this for pizza hate… I love pizza just as much as the next guy- I’m just not a connoisseur.  I guess some places are better then others, but I can’t really pinpoint exactly what I love and hate about each slice.  If you’re into that sort of thing, there are plenty of blogs that talk about pizza… and only pizza.

But the truth is, pizza is one of those things that has so many different varieties that trying to determine the “best pizza” is futile… because everyone likes something different.  You’ve got deep dish, thin “New York” style pizza, Sicilian, pizza with tons of toppings, pizza with no toppings, crunchy crust, floppy crust… it’s no wonder people love to argue about this crap.

Anyway, when talking about great pizza in Midtown, one name comes up all the time:   Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck.  I finally went last week to check it out, and found an amazing slice of “pizza” that will find just as many haters, as lovers.

The pictures, +/- and more… after the jump.

I hate reviewing places.  I could easily say “The pizza at Jiannetto’s sucks!  It’s got no cheese!  What kind of pizza has got no cheese???”  Of course that would not only be a disservice to Jiannetto’s, but also to people who enjoy what I have come to learn is “authentic Sicilian pizza”. That’s right.  Sicilian pizza is not just square pizza.  It’s square pizza with little to no cheese.  Bread, sauce, basil, and a sprinkling of parmesan… and if that type of pizza doesn’t make you go “Hey Goober!  Where’s the cheese?”, then Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck is your new favorite spot.

Even if you love cheese (which I do), and can’t imagine a pizza without cheese- it’s still worth checking out Jiannetto’s.  First, they have a pizza oven built into the truck.  A pretty sweet sight in and of itself.  Second, no cheese means you can fully appreciate the sauce.  It may be too sweet for some, but the sauce at Jiannetto’s is meant to be the real star… and even if you don’t want a slice of their pizza, there are other things to order that get covered in sauce.

One of the most popular is the Sicilian Rice Ball (or arancini as it is called in Italian).  I’m a big fan of the rice ball.  Ever since having them in Rome, I fell in love with these balls of rice (about the size of a tennis ball), usually stuffed with cheese and a little sauce, rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried.  So delicious.  I can’t be sure, but if Jiannetto’s is any indication- the Sicilian version comes stuffed with cheese, ground beef and peas (almost like the Italian version of Shepherd’s Pie). They serve it broken already, in a tin container with a side order of garlic knots.  For $4, it is the steal of the century.  Unfortunately, they only have a limited amount and they always run out early.  If you want to guarantee a rice ball, call ahead and have them set one aside for you (the guy on the truck said he’ll do it).  The garlic knots were not fresh (or garlicky) but they can be salvaged with a quick dunk in sauce and parmesan.

They also have daily pasta specials, and all the parmigiana sandwiches you would expect from a place like this.  There’s two locations, but like I reported on Friday, the truck normally on Park and 51st got into an accident and is out of commission… which only means the one on 47th is just going to be that much more crowded.


  • It’s from a truck, but it’s made fresh, thanks to their built in pizza oven!
  • If you like thin crust Sicilian Pizza (bread, sauce, sprinkle of parmesan) then this is one of the best slices in Midtown
  • The crust is delicious.  And so is the sauce… (but some may find it too sweet)
  • The rice balls… if you like ground beef and peas!


  • Where’s the cheese, goober?
  • The parmesan they do sprinkle is powdered.  This is something you might be able to overlook if your pizza is already covered in Mozzarella… but with no cheese, it’s a little harder to ignore the fact that the stuff is powder.
  • The lines.  This place is really popular, and if you don’t go early, you will have to wait.  Call in your order to save a little time… especially for the rice balls and sandwiches.

Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck, 47th St. btw. Madison & Park (on Vanderbilt Ave.), 917-287-7241

(There’s also one on the corner of Front & Wall St. downtown for those of you work around there)


  • glad to discover there’s one in midtown. thought when i left my job near wall street, i left the truck too. will be heading to get my slice of tomato heaven this week. thanks for the post!

  • pizza….from a truck??!? SAYY WHAAAAAAT! i needs to gets me one of deez!

  • Trying it right now – the pizza is great!

    This article on the web says the cheese is between the tomato and the crust. Maybe that’s where the cheese went?


  • ate at the location on 51st and park today. i know this may sound like sacrilegious to all of you new yorkers out there, but my girlfriend and i just moved here from san francisco in september and have struggled to find a decent slice of pizza. part of this may be due to the fact that we live in greenpoint brooklyn, which is not exactly known for it’s great food (pizza or otherwise) and work in midtown which i have quickly found is not exactly a food mecca itself. but we have tried many of the places that people suggest to us, including all of those places that are on best of lists all the time (grimaldi’s, bleeker street pizza, john’s, lombardi’s, etc) and have been less than impressed. the great pizza places in san francisco (victor’s, arinell’s) have beaten the tar out of the places in new york…so far. i am keeping an open mind.

    that said, for pizza out of a truck, jianetto’s was pretty good. the guy was pretty nice, in that no nonsense way i am slowly getting used to from new yorkers. i ordered 3 slices (i am a fairly big eater) and trucked them back up to my office on 57th/5th). my thoughts…great sauce (sweet, chunky, ample). there was mozzarella but it was between the crust and the sauce and very little of it. the crust was nice and crunchy. i think it suffered a little from the time between purchasing it and trucking it 8 blocks as the packaging (3 slices on a paper plate in a paper bag) was not built for travel. i will definitely try it again when it warms up and i can sit on those steps on 51st and park and eat it.

    also, the guys in front of me ordered the baked ziti and it looked really good…plus it was packaged better. may try that while i am waiting for it to warm up.

  • I went there today for the first time since their return. They raised the price to $2.25 a slice. I really love this pizza. I usually refuse to pay that price for a slice for lunch, especially since there is not any good pizza in thr surrounding neighborhood. My only complaints are is the pizza is a bit messy, difficult to tranport in the paper bag. Unless you get a corner it is tough to carry and eat.

  • tried the ziti. stick with the pizza. also, the calzone was a big cheesy mess (not in a good way).

  • wow, the rice balls are delicious! The wait wasn’t that long (got there early) and the guys were super friendly.
    thanks for the tip, what a find!

  • I´m really interested in having a pizza truck just as yours, I live in Mexico, so I don´t know if you sell the trucks and then I can import it.
    Thank you very much,
    Alicia Rubio

  • Message from the Owner: Happy New Year to all of our customers. Thanks for all of your support and comments that I assure you never go unnoticed. Special thanks to our customers on 51st St. who have driven with us down a bumpy road and appologies to those on 6th Ave. where we were unable to maintain a steady business location. Here are my predictions for the new year…………….
    A grand re-opening on 51st Street will jump start the new year. I have been busy this previous year replacing each truck one at a time with newer more reliable trucks that run better, look better, and most importantly will serve our customers better. I have added an extra “spare” truck to try to cover the spots when primary trucks fail us. Anyone knowing anybody seeking full time employment or interested in a small business venture should email Joe at JJ070780@aol.com
    The 3 locations are Wall St., 47th St. b/tween Park/Mad, and 51st St. b/tween Park/Lex (sometimes on Park)…. Phone Orders for all 3 trucks, Pick-ups or Deliveries should call Joe at 917-287-7241. This is our main line and always ask for Joe for questions on catering or even renting our pizza trucks for your next corporate or charity fund raising event. Thankyou again for all of your comments and support. Sincerely, Joe Jiannetto

  • Joe
    Keep getting. Ilive in Lynchburg VA,and have 5 mobile pizza trucks.I built all of them myself 10 years ago and were still rolling. Email me vitospies@msn.com I’ send ya some pictures.
    AL Vassallo 434-401-8486

  • I just went to the one on 51st and Park and got one of the Sicilian Rice Balls, yummy! It didn’t come broken up and the garlic knots I got were piping hot and super garlicky! It was huge though! Delish, thanks again!

  • joe no cave duda que tus pizzas son esquisitas, las que has hecho en frutillar estaban muy ricas te deceo que te siga yendo estupendamente bien espero que podamos volvernos a ver y me hagas unas pizzas tan ricas como las del verano 2007 te extraño. yaneth de chile

  • I have’t seen that for pizza before. Nice!

  • I walked by the Wall St. location today – I was like, that name sounds so familiar… I think I’ll check it out one day soon. :)

  • Has anyone anywhere been to the “Pizza Box” in Greenwich/ Manhattan on Bleeker? I went there 3 times when on vacation in NYC 2 years ago. I was staying in mid-town and was asking different people where a good pizza place was so I’d follow their direction, get to their suggested place and each and every place I’d hit, the pizza wasn’t all that good, in fact as a native New Yorker I was stunned to find how the Pizza tasted, looked and quality has changed over the years. But alas – I found the “Pizza Box” a little hole in the wall and talk about bringing back memories of huge cheese slices with that, that, that, that….familiar smell and taste I had as a kid in Brooklyn – I thought I hit nirvana. What’s strange is that nobody seems to know about this place. There was a nice old Italian man with an asst making the Pizzas. I hope he’s still there and the quality is just as good – so if you dont mind the trek, beatfeet it to his wonderful no-frills place. If you go in spring and summer they have a patio out back. I watched as these teenagers all came in ordered two large pies and commenced snarfing them down with reckless abandon!! I saved a couple pieces for later and took the train back up to mid-town. I gave the pizza to my husband and he flipped! We went back 2 more times. It was the best!! If you go to the YELP site you will see alot of reviews for the PIZZA BOX and they are mostly positive. I hope the Italian man is still there making his pizza’s.

  • hmm. interesting pizza. i really didnt know what to expect when i ventured here. first thought is that it not the normal slice of pie. once i readjusted my expectations i was satisfied with the taste but thought 2.75 is too much for this slice of pie. i would MUCH rather go over to Two Brothers for a $1 slice.

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