Lazzara’s Pizza to Get a Second Location; Original Still Hoppin’
Big news out of the Midtown pizza front: Lazzara’s, the relatively old school sit down pizza place on 38th btw. 7+8th is getting a second location on 9th Ave. btw. 43+44th. Opened 23 years ago, the original Lazzara’s has been mentioned a few times on this site in the comments, usually when the discussion of best chicken parm is raised. Unlike the original, which is opened Monday through Friday and only until 9 p.m., the new location will be opened 24 hours, and according to Tony Lazzara will be standing room only, delivery and take out. Slightly out of bounds for Midtown Lunch’ing purposes, the 9th Ave. location will hopefully lighten the lunchtime load on the original, which has some pretty long wait times between Noon and 2pm. They expect the new place to be up and running in the next 2-3 months.
With so many cheap, order-at-a-counter-and-take-it-to-a-table pizza and chicken parm places in Midtown, Lazzara’s isn’t really a prototypical Midtown Lunch. But with food this fresh and good, and a fairly busy take out business, it’s tough to ignore. Check out what they’ve got, after the jump…
Lazzara’s is Midtown old school at its finest. Pretty well hidden on 38th btw. 7+8th, it’s about as close to a “real deal” pizza place that we’ve got in this area. There are no tourists to be found in the small, dimly lit dining room with white brick walls, but there’s a steady flow of freshly baked square pies that come flying out of the kitchen. They have a counter where you can order takeout, and a small waiting area- but wait times during lunch can be long, so I would strongly recommend ordering in advance. It’s not cheap, especially for the amount of food you get, but everything is made fresh, the pizza is better than average, and you can definitely leave full for under $10.
Finding the best chicken parm in Midtown has been a pretty tough task, but there are those who have awarded Lazzara’s with that distinction. The sandwich is $8 and there is no arguing with the fact that it is one of the better chicken parms in Midtown. But with Labelecaso close (40th & 7th) you could argue it isn’t worth the extra money. Even so, it’s huge, they make it fresh… it’s a damn good chicken parm.
But the pizzas are what this place is known for, and if you’re looking for fresh baked, not too thick, sicilian style pies, you’d be hard pressed to find a better version than Lazzara’s. Sold as a half or whole, their pizza is square, but with a thin crust that kicks up a little bit at the end, and has a really nice char. Unlike the Jiannetto’s Pizza Truck, which does a cheese-less grandma slice, Lazzara’s piles on the white stuff.
The downside of the pies is pretty clear the first time you get one. A whole pie will run you anywhere from $11.50 to $18, and it doesn’t really feed more than 2 people. With 6 smallish slices, it measures only 10 inches by 12 inches, and only the most conservative of eaters would be full after two slices (and I would imagine some Midtown Lunch readers would need 3+). They also offer half pies (three smallish slices), which range from $5.75 to $9 depending on your choice of toppings- clearly falling into the Midtown Lunch price range, but it’s hard not to feel like maybe pizza at lunchtime should be a little bit cheaper.
That being said, if you are a pizza aficionado, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more serious pie in Midtown, and when looked at from that perspective, the prices are a little easier to swallow. They also offer free delivery, but it’s unclear exactly what their range is. I once called and asked if they would deliver to 48th St. and 6th Ave., and they said “sure, but you’ll have to pay for the taxi the delivery guy will take.” Hopefully that problem will be solved by the new 9th Ave. location.
- Old school Italian, for under $10
- Everything is made fresh to order
- The pizza is the real deal
- They have a lot of interesting combo pies
- It’s a sit down restaurant, so for it to be Midtown Lunch’ish you have to take the food to go
- It’s pricey, especially for the size of the pies.
- Wait times for take out can be long during lunch time, so it’s best to order your food ahead
Lazzara’s, 221 W. 38th St. (btw. 7+8th), 212-944-7792
new location coming soon to 617 9th Ave (btw. 43+44th)