Little Italy Pizza Proves You Can Get Good Pizza in K-Town
I don’t know if 33rd Street and 5th Ave. is technically considered Koreatown, but if it is- than the Little Italy Pizza situated on that corner is the best pizza in Koreatown. I found it very difficult to travel down to that neck of the Midtown Lunch’ing woods for something other than bi bim bap and bulgogi, but after reading Ultraclay’s report on Little Italy Pizza- I knew I’d eventually have to give it a try.
I’ll admit I know next to nothing about pizza. Oh sure, I love the stuff… but I couldn’t tell you what makes a truly great slice of pizza. I know what I don’t like. I don’t like a crunchy crust, and I don’t like canned mushrooms. I prefer the thin, giant slices of what people tend to call “New York Style” pizza, more than deep dish pizza. I really liked Una Pizza Napoletana (a Slice favorite), but don’t think I appreciated it enough to spend the money on it more than once. Eventually I will make the trip to DiFara’s (who wouldn’t like fresh basil put on their pizza by some old Italian dude?) but I thought the pizza at John’s on Bleecker Street was great too. Oh, and I don’t mind 99 Cent Fresh Pizza (two locations). A pizza snob, I am not.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, when I write about pizza in Midtown it tends to be more about value than taste. Sure, even I know that the 99 cent pizza at 99 Cent Fresh pizza is better than the 99 cent pizza at Z Deli (on 8th Ave. btw. 47+48th). But I still eat (and enjoy) 99 cent pizza. So if you are a pizza “aficionado” you shouldn’t really care about my thoughts on pizza (and I won’t care about your thoughts on Chinese food.) Even so, I do like pizza- and for the sake of being thorough… here is the official Midtown Lunch post on the Little Italy Pizza on 33rd & 5th Ave.
The best deal is by far the $5 special. Two slices and a fountain soda. It’s not the pizza that Ultraclay raved about (that one had fresh mozzarella, and basil on it) but it was still better than average. And at this point in time (2009) the price is about as good as you are going to get for this style of pizza in NYC.
Being a fat man/non-pizza-purist, I am often drawn to pizza loaded with toppings (like I was at the Little Italy Pizza on 45th, no relation) but the canned mushrooms (my pet peeve) steered me away from that option. Instead, it’s pretty clear just from looking at it that the square and round margharita pizzas are clearly where it’s at. Tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil. Looks good. Tastes good. A little pricey (for me, even thought it’s the going rate) at $3.25 but the square slice I had was pretty damn good.
I can’t tell you if the sauce was tangy, or homemade, or whether or not the char on the bottom was adequate (does it sound like I know what I’m talking about, because I don’t) but I can tell you this much more important fact: I put it in my mouth… then chewed… then swallowed… then thought “this tastes good enough for me to come back.”
Would I travel far out of my way for this pizza? Not in New York I probably wouldn’t. But, if you’re in the area, and for some unknown reason would rather have pizza than Korean food (never happens to me), then this is clearly your best option. Then again, what do I know? (Next time I’m draggin Adam Kuban along with me…)
- Best pizza option in the area
- Their fresh mozzarella slices (with tomato and basil) are really tasty
- Two slices of cheese and a fountain soda are $5
- My cheese slices they put back into the oven (to reheat) for just a tad bit too long
- For the most part, it’s pretty standard New York City pizza
- If I’m on 33rd & 5th, I’m walking one more block for Korean food!
Little Italy Pizza, 333 5th Ave (actual location is on 33rd just East of 5th Ave.), 212-481-5200