Pizza Goes Underground at the Grotto. Literally.

The Grotto 002
Today was going to mark Midtown Lunch: Downtown NYC’s first foray into Chinatown, but for that occasion we wanted to make it special.  At first we thought flowers or balloons, but that seemed so cliche.  Then we thought about getting you a kitten, but buying someone an unexpected pet is never a good idea in NYC.  Finally, we decided on the perfect surprise, something we knew would make your eyes light up and maybe even cause you to shed a tear of joy.  Unfortunately, the surprise isn’t quite ready.  But it will be.  And soon.

In the mean time, let me take you on a little stroll down New Street to the aptly named Grotto.  Located in the basement at 69 New Street, the restaurant is fairly dungeon-esque with no windows, no natural light to speak of, but thankfully a pretty good ventilation system.  Not that you’ll want to inhale anything other than the heavenly aromas emanating from the ovens.  These guys are taking pizza to unseen levels as far as New York pizza is concerned, with spicy buffalo chicken, chicken parm, and bacon jalapeno pizzas.

The Grotto 004 Version 2
I made a couple of trips to this cavernous hideaway in the name of Midtown Lunch: Downtown NYC and the fruits of my first raid can be seen above.  On the right is your standard slice ($2.25), but on the left is the mighty chicken parm slice ($3.50).  The parm slice was rewarmed, but during lunch they’re constantly slinging those plain pies so you should manage to get one fresh.  The crust on both is thin and pleasantly chewy, definitely in the New York style and damn tasty.  The chicken parm tasted, well, like a sandwich but with a better balance of bread to meat to sauce than most of the sandwiches I’ve had downtown.  If you can’t decide whether to get a sandwich or a slice for lunch, this is without a doubt the perfect compromise. The only problem I ran into is the exact same one I ran into with the sammies: pockets of sauce with no meat.  Apparently it’s unavoidable when dealing with chicken parm entities.
The Grotto 009

For my second trip, I again went with the regular slice (to serve as my control in the experiment and also just ‘cuz it’s a damn good slice) and the spicy buffalo chicken slice ($3.50).  They’re using the same breaded cutlets they are on the chicken parm slice, which ain’t a bad thing.  The sauce was almost certainly Frank’s Red Hot Sauce or some derivative of that sauce.  When I worked at a pizzeria back home, we made something very similar and it flew out of our kitchen.  This one was good, but lacked a little bit of that kick I remember from the one back home, which makes me think they watered down the hot sauce they used.  Still a good slice no matter how you, er, slice it.
The Grotto 011

And the now obligatory upskirt shot for you true pizza hunters.  If pizza just isn’t your thing, there’s still no reason not to come here. The Grotto markets itself as a real ristorante with pasta, sandwiches, various Italian entrees, and daily specials.  I caught a look at a couple of guys next to me eating the sandwiches and they actually made me a little jealous.  Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to trying out the bacon jalapeno slice just yet, but mark my words, I’ll be back soon enough. That’s something you can bank on.

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

  • Awesome pizzas I’ve never really seen anywhere else in the area
  • It’s just good pizza, what more do you want?
  • For Italian food that’s not a sandwich or a slice, this is where I like to go

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

  • Spicy Buffalo Chicken pizza isn’t all that spicy
  • Toppings like this are an abomination to the pizza tradition
  • I’m claustrophobic and don’t do well with underground restaurants

The Grotto, 69 New Street, 212-809-6990 or 212-809-6991



  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    At least when I worked around the corner 8 years ago, The Grotto’s sandwiches were gigantic and awesome. Highly recommended since it sounds like the place is still kicking.

    (“sammies” ?!)

  • damn it, I was hoping you tried the bacon jalapeno after the jump.

    looking at the upskirt shot made me feel uncomfortable.

  • The Grotto has always been a good spot for a decent and its a better alternative to underground pizza that people really seem to like around here for some reason.

    I may have to get that chickparm slice today. All of that cheese is calling my name.

  • too bad you missed the “wild wednesdays” promotion last December, slices for $1! Hopefully they will bring it back.

  • You mention a bacon jalapeno slice yet neglect to order??? Thats a serious demerit.

  • @CrumbHunter & ESNY, I tried! Honest, I did! But one time the guy told me they were out and the other he said they didn’t do that pie in slices, only whole pies. I was scared and confused and didn’t know what to believe. Then came my deadline. If I manage to snag a slice of the bacon jalapeno, I’ll definitely give you guys an update.

  • Haha. No bacon jalapeno.
    Chris, Crumb, ESNY, and any one else could go try it together if they require a pie (which is ridiculous – this isn’t a Indian Saag Paneer Pizza). Hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.

    I would go with the spicy buffalo chicken slice and sprinkle on black pepper and red pepper flakes to add kick.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I get delivery from grotto all the time. Their daily chicken lunch specials are gutbusters but quite tasty and come in just under the $10 limit.

    As far as their pizza goes, I’ve tried most of their preparations and the vodka slice is the best by a HUGE margin. It’s fantastic.

    I actually found their other pizzas to be pretty mediocre.

  • Thank you guys for all the great responses.

    We are more then happy to make the best quality foods that will please our customers.
    It’s always great to hear feedback and know that our hard work is paying off.

    As for the Bacon Jalapeno slice…
    As of tomorrow being that you guys spoke so much of it..We will have it starting tomorrow.

    So come on in and enjoy…amongst other delicious foods.

    Once again Thanks so much!!

    Grotto Pizzeria

  • Awesome! I’ll be there!

  • Quick question MikeGrotto – fresh jalapenos or pickled (please say fresh, please say fresh).

  • Fresh jalapeno :)…see u guys later..Thanks again for the great reviews!!!

  • Make sure to try their Eggplant Parm slice. That thing is heavenly! As is their Margarita slice.

  • Hey guys just wanted to let you know that we played around with the bacon jalapeno slice and have come up with a very tasty slice…
    So come try it out!!

    Btw the guy who came in the other day and had the camera with him..stop on by again…next slice is on us..:)

  • I always get the eggplant parm slice. It’s so good! Mmm.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Grotto is my ALL TIME FAVORITE Place to eat! The Chicken Pinwheels & the Riceball Parm are the GREATEST!! & Lina adds a Sassy Spunk to the joint!!

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    We ordered one today. Awesome!

  • Hey guys,

    Just wanted to let you know we have made a “NEW” deliciously mouth watering…stomach filling
    BACON CHEESEBURGER SLICE….its to die for!!!
    Come on down and try it wont regret it….
    Hey Chris…your gonna want to come down and take some pics of this one..;)thanks….see ya soon!!!
    And thanks for all commments guys…You rock!!!!

  • By the way guys had to change my profile because I couldn’t remeber my old one lol.. But yes this is the Actual us at Grotto…thanks

  • Hey Guys

    Just wanted to tell you about my other location.
    Its a deli right by the west side highway.

    It’s called West bank Gourmet on 21 West street..2 blocks away from Grotto.

    We have some amazingg sandwiches there.
    We call them “Celebrity Sandwiches”
    Each has a name….there delicious and if you can come up with a reallyy good one we will add it to our daily sandwiches.
    Here’s a few we have:


    So stop on by and try one out!!…
    Thanks guys…

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