Nino’s Is a Hidden Chicken Parm Gem (Only To Me)


After almost 3 years of doing Midtown Lunch, I feel like I’ve walked down every single block of Midtown (multiple times.)  And while the site would be nothing without your recommendations, and tips about new places, I thought there weren’t very many older places I didn’t know about. So imagine my surprise last week, when (based on a recommendation in the comments) I walked into Nino’s to discover a pretty cool, old school Italian place that I somehow managed to avoid in over 1000 days of Midtown Lunch’ing.  So embarrassing.  Even my wife was like “oh… you went to Nino’s?  I’ve been to that place a million times.” How did I miss this? Aside from the obvious… it’s not Asian food. 

I can’t even blame it on the location somehow being a random hidden block… it’s on 46th btw. 5+6th (!!!) the same block as Cafe Cello, Kim’s Aunt Kitchen Cart, Moshe’s Falafel, Kosher Deluxe, Ranch 1, and (at one time) Rangole & House of Pita. I’ve walked down this street one or two times…  



Nino’s is a take out, fast food Italian place, masquerading as a sit down restaurant.  I say “masquerading” because they have a take out area in the front, and their prices are low enough that even if you sit down and eat in the back, you’ll probably end up spending less than $10. Oh, in case you haven’t figured it out, Nino’s is far from being a hidden gem.  The place was packed.  We would have had to wait for a table (you line up along the wall) but there were seats at the counter- so we sat down right away.


Since the comment was on the 2008 Readers Poll Chicken Parm post, I ordered their chicken parm sandwich, but with two other friends in tow- we also tried the lasagna, and one of their pizzas.


The lasagna was not bad at all… a good size portion, and it came with bread.  For $9, it was a good value for a sit down restaurant- but one of the more expensive items on the Nino’s menu.  The sauce was nice an tangy (if you’re into that) and there was a lot of it (if you’re into that.)  Good for a little bread dipping action.


Their pizza is served in individual sized portions… probably around 7 or 8 inches, and while they are plenty big for one, they are probably not big enough for two (unless you are a lightweight, or supplement the lunch with a *gasp* salad or something.)  But at $6.50 to $8 it doesn’t really matter if you share or not.  The pizza is described as “pan” pizza, and while it’s slightly thicker than normal pizza, it is not a Pizzeria Uno monstrosity.  It was ok, but the crust was a little too cakey (does that make sense?) for my taste… the flavor and toppings were good (I got the fresh tomato sauce, ricotta & basil topped with mozzarella) but if I’m going to do pizza for lunch, I much prefer the thin, standard New York slice (which is also cheaper.)


Finally the chicken parm… easily the highlight of the lunch- I’m not sure if it was made fresh to order, but it certainly tasted like it was.  The bread was nice and warm (perfectly balance between soft and crunch), the chicken was well seasoned, and most importantly the bread to meat to cheese to sauce ratio was absolutely perfect.  I think crowning it best in Midtown would be going out on a limb, but it is certainly better than the other two options in the vicinity (Little Italy & Park Italian).

So hopefully I’ve redeemed myself by adding Nino’s into the Midtown Lunch canon. For those who have never been… definitely check it out.  For those who have known about it forever? Sorry I exposed your “hidden” gem. 

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Sit down Italian restaurant with take out prices
  • Good solid Italian food
  • A huge, great looking sandwich menu. I might have to go back for a few of those…
  • A solid chicken parm, with the perfect meat to bread to cheese to sauce ratio
  • Their red sauce is tangy

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • It’s not exceptional Italian food, just good
  • If you want to eat in, there is often a wait (and it gets pretty cramped in there)
  • Their red sauce is tangy
  • I don’t like “pan pizza”
  • Apparently their pastas are not good, and usually overcooked (probably because they pre cook the pasta, hold it in giant bowls, and then “re-cook” it in the sauce when the particular dish is ordered)

Nino’s Trattoria, 39 w. 46th Street (btw. 5+6th),      212-719-4015


  • i love the texan sandwich from nino’s…yum

  • Definitely awesome sandwich selection. Thanks for exposing our secret.

  • Just ate and that was a pretty awesome chicken parm for 7 bucks. The toasties by me costs 9 and sucks!! Thank you for the tip!!

  • Oh, there’s lasagna!! And I don’t have to go to Grand Central for pasta. Now this is good news.

  • vindication! glad you enjoyed it Zach…

  • Nino’s is great for plain old pasta. I haven’t been impressed with anything else on the menu. But it’s my go-to pasta place. Too bad you didn’t order any!

  • i dont’t think this nino’s is related to the nino’s positano and nino’s bellissima pizza (2nd/47-48), nino’s tuscany (58th/6-7), osso buco (univ. place and 3rd/93) and nino’s ristorante (1st/72-73). all owned by nino selimaj and better than fabulous, but can be expensive. this nino has been in the newspapers for good publicity: chelsa clinton photo in the restaurant, the 1,000 pizza, derek jeter dining at nino’s positano and regis eating at nino’s restorante. this guy knows food and the media.

    go enjoy at any or all of his locations. you will not be disappointed!!!!

  • Also overlooked on this block is Akdeniz – Turkish Mediterranean. While the prices for eating in are off ML charts, there is a gyro sandwich for $8 that is huge and delicious and only for take out. The bread is unique (I Have no idea what its called , but assume it is Turkish) in that it acts like a full burrito, instead of standard pita bread. Helps if you are eating at your desk as it minimizes the mess and acts as a serious white/red sauce trap. Call ahead and they have it ready for you when you get there. Takes 5 minutes. That’s it, I am ordering one today.

  • I was able to buy a lasagna dinner, chicken parm dinner, 3 slices, 4 drinks, and mozzarella sticks for less than 50 USD. With the quality of the food there combined with the EXCELLENT service, this is a serious bargain!

  • Akdeniz is very good. I think the lunch menu is within ML pricing, but it’s been a while.

  • I used to go there all the time with a co-worker, but havent been in a while. A good sit down place that is cheap and quick…

  • they do great italian sandwiches with sliced meat or chicken breast

  • BEST PIZZA ever!!! I discovered this place on my first visit to New York in April of ’08 and i have been there two other times…i always go back for the prosciutto and the pizza…the salad is great too…and the last time i was there i had the meat balls with red sauce….that was AMAZING!!!

  • Great, I changed my name from ‘adam’ to ‘arp’ and now theres an ‘arps’. This internet thing is too crowded!

  • ques te fe

  • I love the bruschetta sandwich and baked ziti with sausage. The owners and staff are all really nice, too.

  • They have this new thin crust pizza that is absolutely to die for…get it next time you’re there… its better than the ticker crust…but its not on the menu…you have to tell them…

  • I went into Nino’s again yesterday for another Chicken parm and let me tell you I am quickly loving this place more and more. They remembered who I was and what I ordered before and they were very friendly. They told me I should try they’re pasta and I replied that I would during my next visit. They quietly placed a sample of there penne/vodka sauce in my bag. It was delicious and will be returning today to get some more. I love great service and even better prices!!!

  • My colleague and I order from Nino’s delivery to our office at least twice a week. Always pleasing, timely, and a good experience. Recommended for corporate lunch deliveries. Ask for Frank, very cordial.

  • PS- Penne w/ vodka sauce+meatballs is terrific. The Texan is very good, and Justin always order The Slob sandwich. Great pizza too.

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