The Chicken Parm Search Continues at El Mondello

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant
Mondello Pizzeria & RestaurantThere will probably never be consensus on the best chicken parm sub in Midtown, but the search will continue on. I had a enjoyable one at Tuscany Catering (on 55th btw. 5+6th), but was surprisingly disappointed by Little Italy Pizza (on 46th btw. 5+6th) and Park Italian across the street. The best I’ve had so far is probably at Labeleca on 40th btw. 7+8th (and their sister location La Bellezza on 49th btw. Lex+3rd.) In order to keep up with lunchtime demand, none of these places fries their chicken cutlets to order- and while they’re all fine, none will end the search.

So on Friday after I walked by the still plywooded Washoku Cafe (the new Cafe Zaiya’ish Japanese place that is opening soon on 37th btw. Mad+5th), I decided against my better judgement to check out Mondello’s, a standard take out pizza and subs place right next door. I say “against my better judgement” because I pride myself on my strange sense for good Midtown Lunch’ish food. There is a vibe a place gives off that lets you know it’s going to be good, and this place didn’t have it.  But there were alot of people in there, and sometimes you just feel like a chicken parm.  

Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant 

Most places will buy cheap Italian sub rolls, and attempt to cover their crappiness by adding tons of sauce and popping the whole sandwich in the oven before serving it. Mondello is no exception. The chicken parm is pre-made, but benefits from being the thinly sliced kind- so it wasn’t dried out.  The massive amount of shredded cheese they added was good, but the sauce was slightly sweet and nothing to write home about.  For the price ($7.25) they don’t add nearly enough meat, and should probably use a good fresh mozzarella.  This was more like a $5-6 deli chicken parm. Satisfying, but nothing to get excited about.

 Mondello Pizzeria & Restaurant

The pizza on the other hand looked good enough to be intriguing. At $2.75 you’re not getting any kind of bargain- but the slices are a decent size, and if you love that super thin slice of incredibly oily pizza than this is your spot. Nice and salty, I wouldn’t go out of my way for it- but if you work in the area, I’m sure you could do a lot worse.

I don’t normally like writing about generic Midtown places (there are so many, and if I did they would litter the site) but in this case I figured I’d throw up a quick review just in case there are those of you who had walked by and wondered about this place.


  • Decent place, always crowded for lunch
  • If you like the super thin crusted, very oily pizza that New York is known for- Mondello’s has got it
  • Thinly pounded meat on the chix parm sub, so it doesn’t get dried out

THE - 

  • A little expensive for what you’re getting
  • Everything about the sandwich was pretty middle of the road.  Bread, cheese, sauce… just your typical Italian pizza deli in Midtown

    Mondello’s Pizzeria & Restaurant, 3 East 37th (btw. Mad+5th), 212-684-2411


    • Ninos on 46th btw. 5th and 6th is a decent chicken parm. Check it out.

    • Bella Napoli (49th betw. 6th and 7th) makes a mitey fine chicken parm. Great bread. Around $8.

    • elitist. that chicken parm is awesome…

    • where do you eat on the weekends? I can’t believe how low your standards are, Zach.

    • Rocky you’ve just insulted us all. I hope DocChucks hamster bites your nuts off.

    • Mondello’s makes a mediocre chicken parm. You’re better off getting the sausage and peppers or meatballs from them.

    • Toasties on 48th and Madison is a fine chicken parm.

    • I’m a big buyer of the chicken parm platter (never tried it as a sandwich) at Blarney Stone on 3rd btw/44-54th. The chicken itself is a large portion that is consistently moist with a better-than-you’d expect sauce. Its like $8 incl two sides — but the only one that makes sense is the penne [which tends to be overcooked]).

    • i was inspired by this thread to go back to Labeleca yesterday even though it’s a bit of a walk from my office. very solid chicken parm as usual for $6.50.

      interesting that somebody recommended toasties. they do make some fine sandwiches.

    • The chicken parm wrap made with homemade flatbread at Scotto’s Fresco on the Go is top-notch, if slightly expensive at $9.95. There, the flatbread — a chewey, tortilla-like grilled bread — is the main attraction. The chicken is pre-made, but the sauce is tangy and rich and there is no dearth of cheese. Good stuff, if you can stomach the price.

    • Lazzara’s on 38th between 7th and 8th avenues. The best chicken parm.

    • I don’t understand this comment: “Thinly pounded meat on the chix parm sub, so it doesn’t get dried out. ” Thinner meat=less juicy. Have you ever seen a thick piece of beef jerky or heard anyone talk about a “thin, juicy steak?”

    • Are you crazy? Mondello’s has THE BEST chicken parm. And if you think that’s expensive then I think I need to not read your site anymore because you just lost all credibility. Theres a reason theres a line out the door every day pal!

    • labellezzas on 49th st has the best chicken parm in midtown …its actually the best ive ever had ….u gatta try the other sandwiches on the steamtable they r all delicious!!!!

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