Is Piada Just a Fancy Italian Word for Quesadilla?


Last week Piada NYC opened in the basement of the Citycorp building (on 53rd and Lex), becoming the latest place to bring some sort of strange, yuppiefied version of supposedly ethnic food stuffs to Midtown.  Following in the footsteps of Kolache Mama (Czech pastries by way of Texas), Kushi Q (yakitori), and Danku (Dutch croquettes), Piada’s menu is all about the authentic “Italian flatbread sandwich” (?)  There is already a location on the LES, so some of you might have already partaken in the joy of the piada.  For me, Friday in the Citycorp building was a first (a Piada virgin if you will.)

Check out what we ordered, after the jump…

The Piada menu is pretty simple.  Chosen one of 8 already created sandwich combinations ($8 each) or create your own piada ($6 for one ingredient, $7 for 2, $8 for 3… limit one meat and one cheese per sandwich). The ingredients are very Italian, with assorted meats and cheeses being offered alongside veggies and herbs like roasted eggplant, red peppers, basil, and arugula.


#1 seemed to be the industry standard (proscuitto,  mozzarella, and arugula) so we got one of those.


I’m also a big fan of speck, so #8 made the cut (speck, fontina, and basil).


And finally, the “sandwiches” seemed to be kind of thin, so I tried to make my own- going for ingredients that I thought would make for a more hefty piada.  Chicken + Roasted Eggplant + Pecorino.  It was certainly thicker than the other two, although I was disappointed that the chicken was sliced to be more like deli meat than real grilled chicken.

None of the three tasted bad, but I couldn’t help but feel like I had been duped into eating a standard flatbread quesadilla thing that every single generic Midtown deli offers (and was charged $8 for the privilege.)  There is no question that the ingredients are a higher quality than your average deli, but in the end the piada is not really a revelation.  The bread doesn’t taste much better than your average quesadilla, and there are plenty of places to get something like this already.

Is it bad?  Not at all.  Will a lot of people who work in the area be all about this place?  No question about it.  Is it something Midtown Lunch’ers should get super excited about?  Uh… not sure.  Anybody else tried it?  Feel free to disagree in the comments.


  • I like proscuitto.  I like mozzarella.  I like quesadillas.  It’s Piada time!
  • The ingredients are nicer than what you’d get in a generic Midtown deli, and I don’t mind paying the extra $$


  • I don’t care how good the ingredients are, I’m not really that interested in a yuppie-fied, Italian quesadilla

Piada, 601 Lexington Ave. (on 53rd St. in the Citycorp Building)


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    i think piada = piadina = italian flatbread (there’s a restaurant called Piadina on lower 6th, they serve pretty good piadinas. around $9 or $10).

    Zach, are those things served hot or cold? I can’t tell in the pictures.

  • That looks like a quesadilla too me. I could buy some cheese and meats at Murray’s and make that at home for 1/4 the price.

  • Sorry… they’re served hot

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    I ate piadinas when I was in Italy and quite frankly, no matter how “authentic” they are, they are just not that special. Even if Piada used the best ingredients in the world, it’s still basically a grilled cheese sandwich on relatively boring flatbread.

  • Either those flatbreads don’t photograph well or they look like Ortega flour tortillas.

  • I think this place just got Next’d. I am glad that you reviewed this place, so that people can avoid it. This thing is $8! Do they shine your shoes and comb your hair while you eat it? I don’t mind paying a little extra for higher quality ingredients, but this thing just doesn’t translate very well to being unique. They better get cheaper ingredients or a really attractive staff. No matter how good the thing is, I bet there’s a bitter aftertaste of being hosed when your stomach is rumbling around two hours later.

  • The second pic looks like applebess Quessadillas…actually applebees might look better

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    Sadly, the place Piadina, which was on W. 22nd St. just east of Sixth Ave., closed at least two years ago. It was long empty and now has been an Ashby’s Café and Catering for over a year.

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    Thanks Zach – and thanks drew212 … actually i was referring to the place on 10th st and 6th ave … Don’t know if they are related.

  • Do you have ANY idea how many Texans would be ROFLTAS (okay, sorry, that is shorthand for ‘Rollin On The Floor Laughing Their Ass Off’ for the NYC crowd) if they were to read this post?

    Looking for a decent Quesadilla in New Yawk City is akin to pickin’ cotton in Alaska.

    I mean, come on, gays (sorry, I meant ‘guys’), — good Tex-Mex ain’t gonna happen in the Wormy Apple.

    Carry on.

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    Just be warned…if you want want a drizzle of balsamic on your $8.00 tax included sandwich, they charge you an extra $.75

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    OK, full disclosure, I’m friends with the owners, but I got to know them because I like their food.

    #a. They import all their ingredients from Italy (the owners are from Bologna) and spend a lot more on quality, so it’s a bit more expensive than your tortilla, brick mozzarella and salsa (also the flatbread they use doesn’t taste like a tortilla). Maybe the one commentator won’t get too excited over a piada no matter how good the ingredients – and while it probably wouldn’t be unique in Italy – I think it is here.

    #b. Why get prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula. Try La Dolce Vita (bresaola, parmesan and arugula) or Cassanova (prosciutto di parma, stracchino cheese and arugula).

    #c. Their coffee is my favorite: not too fancy, not too dull.

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    I’ve tried La Dolce Vita, a bit dry. Gonna try a “wet” cheese like mozzie next time. The thing that get’s me angry though is on their menue they say their flatbreads are made from some special dough and are made to order. While I appreciate it might be hard to roll out a piece of dough and make it fresh, quickly, for the lunch crowd, these flatbreads seemed like day old flour tortillas that weren’t even steam heated and tasted stale. I’ll give them one more shot and then I’m done.

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    finally a decent sandwich place. i work in midtown a few times a week, and it is so hard to find a decent place to get some real coffee and some food that is actually tasty, fresh and different. when i first found this hidden place, i entered because of the lovely orange interior.

    i lived in italy and it’s really hard to find real italian place in midtown. especially for a quick lunch. however, here, with 8 dollars you get real speck and real fontina cheese sandwich. oh yes.

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    I don’t love piadas but I do love this place. First off, the flatbread is not at all like a tortilla (ok except for being round and made of flour) — it’s thicker, spongier, tastier. Also, the ingredients are fabulous — you can tell you’re not eating crap (which is generally what’s available around lex at lunch). Next, the espresso-based coffee is perfect. Finally, try the soup! At $5, it’s usually hearty and filling and again made of ingredients your granny would approve of. Let’s keep this place around…

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