Flatiron Lunch: There is a Reason Bravo Pizza Isn’t Called Bravo Pasta

Every Friday we go south of the ML boundaries in search of a delicious lunch. Sometimes it’s Murray Hill south or the Flatiron District, sometimes Gramercy and everything in between- but we just like to call it Flatiron Lunch.

While browsing the comments section of a very old FL post, I noticed a reader recommended the pasta bar in the back of Bravo Pizza. It was not an easy feat to walk by stuffed pizzas, Chicago and NY style pizzas, Grandma slices. But I was on a mission.

I was disappointed when I saw it was a generic looking pasta bar, but was hopeful that the reader recommendation and good looking pizza upfront would equal above average pasta.

I also hoped I could add the right combo of ingredients to the pasta to ensure a great dish. So I ordered a large penne with bolognese sauce and broccoli and red onion. As my dish was being heated up, I realized I also needed cheese so I added ricotta.

Unfortunately, I fell into the classic trap that happens at this type of bar…my $7.95 meal (with bread and small salad) was suddenly over $12 with $1 or $2 for each additional topping. Beyond the cost that got away from me, the bigger problem was the general lack of flavor and soggy pasta.

Thankfully, I had a feeling on my way out that the pasta wasn’t going to cut it, so I ordered a slice of what another customer called the signature pie. It looked like what other pizzerias call margarita. Thank goodness I made that decision, because it was a great slice. Worth getting again. And I learned that Bravo Pizza offers a free drink with the purchase of two slices of pizza.

THE + (What people who like this place will say)

  • Pizza. It is about the Pizza.
  • If you like soggy pasta, you can get a huge portion of it.
  • In an increasingly fancy neighborhood, this basic pizza spot is appreciated.

THE – (What people who don’t like this place will say)

  • The pasta bar is ill-conceived and needs an update.
  • And ugh, the salad bar is also terrible.
  • Bravo Pizza benefits unfairly from passing tourists.

Bravo Pizza, 146 Fifth Avenue btwn 19th and 20th Streets, (212) 523-0300


  • Used to go here weekly when I was a FLer. I never got past the stuffed meat slice. The pasta, you let others attempt and then complain about.

    Much better Italian place between 5th and 6th on… 18th, I think, for pasta. Pizza for sure, but lots of pastas-of-the-day, nice guys behind the counter.

  • I hope it wasn’t a comment by me that inspired this. if it was, I will claim I was drunk at the time, and ask for forgiveness. :)

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    Have to disagree, I think the pizza is awful but the pasta is good. I would get a small bowl of fusilli with vodka sauce then add sun dried tomatoes and either chicken or sausage which would put me at just about 10. That would fill me up as one big lunch or two small ones

  • I think this is the joint our office orders pizza from on Mondays, as we are a few doors down in the EMI building. The pizza has always seemed acceptable, particularly as I wasn’t paying for it. I believe our office stretched out, and tried getting pasta and hot subs from them as well. Neither seemed particularly bad or good. Not a place that deserves reviewing.

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