Little Italy Pizza and the Futile Search for a good Chicken Parm

The search for a good Chicken Parm sub in Midtown trucks on.  This week’s stop is Little Italy Pizza on 45th btw. 5+6th.  If you spend any time reading the comments posted to Midtown Lunch, then you know about Little Italy Pizza, and its neighbor across the street, Park Italian.  Both places have their fans, and detractors, serving up what amounts to two pretty mediocre chicken parm subs.

I’m not saying they are inedible.  I’m just saying mediocre.  A Chicken Parm Sub is going to taste good by default.  Any sandwich that consists of fried chicken topped with sauce and cheese is going to have its redeeming qualities.  Sure the sauce may be too sweet, the cheese may be no good, the bread may be soggy, or not toasted- but in the end it’s still a fried chicken sandwich.  It’s going to taste good enough to eat.  That being said, I’m not going to to tell you to go to Little Italy Pizza for the chicken parm.  It’s just ok.  The pizza on the other hand… now that’s a different story!

Awesome pizza porn, and a +/- after the jump…

The chicken parm by itself was eh.  Take the same chicken and put it on top of a slice… jackpot!

There was also buffalo chicken

Baked Ziti pizza

Eggplant Parm Pizza

A tomato, mozzarella & pesto pizza

And a larger than normal array of grandma style Sicilian pizzas

The selection is overwhelming (the photos aren’t even half of the slices they offer), and everything looks amazing.  The tough part is deciding which slices to choose.  I’m not a pizza connoisseur, so I can’t comment on the sauce, or the elasticity and crunch of the crust- but I really enjoyed both slices I got.  The only downside- we’re in Midtown and the slices with stuff on top of them range from $3-4, meaning two slices and a soda is going to cost you over $8.  Ridiculous.

You can’t beat 2 regular slices of plain cheese NY pizza (costing you under $5 at most places), and I’m still a huge fan of the the various 99 Cent Pizza places- but every once in a while a pizza splurge is in order.  If that’s what you are looking for, Little Italy Pizza will work just fine.

THE +

  • Amazing selection of delicious looking pizzas
  • Much larger selection of Sicilian slices than I’ve ever seen, with a thin crust, and  great toppings like large slices of mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.  Good stuff. 

THE -

  • Too expensive.  Slices are $3-4, making your bill for two slices and a soda over $8 sometimes.
  • Mediocre chicken parm sub.  The bread is better than the Park Italian version across the street, but overall not a great sub.

Little Italy Pizza, 55 W. 45th St. (btw. 5+6th), 212-730-7575

32 Comments

  • Someone already mentioned Manganaro’s Hero Boy on 9th…they also do the best eggplant parm hero I’ve ever had. I prefer it over the chicken parm. The fresh mozzarella makes all the difference in the world.

  • Lazzarra’s on 38th b/w 7th & 8th has a great and relatively cheap chicken parm that is only available at lunch but not sure. For under 6 bucks you get a hero-sized chicken parm with their sauce, which is great. Can’t beat it.

  • baked ziti pizza is a travesty of justice

  • I second those who mentioned Manganaro’s. It is by far among the best chicken parm heros around. A little out of the way over on 9th, but worth the trip if you have time.

  • It’s nearly Liv Tyler tuesday.

  • What about 9th avenue pizzeria? Their penne vodka is out of this world and I bet their chix parm is very good

  • Zach – you might have to check this place out “La Bellezza Pizzeria” – people are claiming it’s the best Chicken Parm Sub in midtown. It’s on 49th between Lex & 3rd – have you been?

    Dude: “The guy packs a ton of chicken, extra sauce, and cheese on to a bun and fires it in the oven. $6.00 later I return to my office and open it up. Its way too much food for a light lunch. Half is sufficient for the average Joe. As I take a bite, this thing is f%c@!g amazing. The break isn’t too hard that it rips the roof of your mouth. The sauce to chix to bread ratio must have been hammered out by a team of math majors. The seasoning is like a hot blond in a Ferrari…perfect. Just get one…NOW!”

  • Tried the chicken parm at Mondello’s on 37th and 5th. Looked real good…large portion, extra sauce, a bit of parmesan on top. But alas, the cheese and sauce were tasteless and the chicken cutlet had a black pepper flavor that was a little too strong.

    I’m still sticking by Bravo for now. Too bad its insanely crowded in there and its usually a long wait.

  • I thought all of the “Little Italy Pizza” places were the same and had the same owner. It is not true. While this pizza is ok, the Little Italy Pizza on 1 East 43rd Street definitely has a better tasting pizza.

  • Mariela’s on 3rd and 13th… I absolutely LOVE their meatball and chicken parms. The pizza used to be delicious as well, but i found that it’s been slipping in recent years. The meatball parm is as good as La Bellezza Pizzeria on 49th though, if not better. Those two are the best in town.

  • Little Italy Pizza is right across the street from what could be the best chicken parm in midtown — Park Italian Gourmet on 45th.

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