Current Brooklyn Pizza Situation

It been awhile since out of town family has asked me to conduct a short but fabulous pizza crawl in a Borough (Brooklyn)I used to call home.
Obviously L&B & DiFara’s Midwood locales are fan favorites.
My 3 rd choice inspite of questionable sanitary issues was Totonno’s in Coney Island but it appears that they are closed.
I am asking about slice joints that this group feels are worthy of coming close to my 2 top stops.
We prefer avoiding Williamsburg & Red Hook… Park Slope area, Flatbush, Bensonhurst & Coney Island are areas of choice.
Please no trendy hipster places or fake old school palaces
Should be enough really old school places to visit, it’s just since pandemic & me being a bit out of the scene for awhile I would appreciate some great advice.
Thanks in advance.


Ignoring your “really old school” rule, because I don’t think that’s a marker of quality. These two are my current favorites.

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Sometimes it’s about the atmosphere so that’s what counts for 50% of the “tour”
Thanks anyway

Oh, I didn’t realize you were mostly interested in what the place looks like. That’s not typically one of my criteria, especially for pizza. I’m mostly interested in how good the pizza is.


Sorry not about your criteria just mine but it’s okay

Ok, restricting myself to your criteria of Brooklyn (but no Williamsburg or Red Hook), no trendy places & slice places only, here’s what I can offer:

First, look at this pretty thorough review from Ed Levine, who I know knows his stuff on this topic ( Scroll down to his “classics” section. It includes the 2 you’re already going to & 3 places that I know about but have never been to:

As I’ve mentioned here maybe a million times, I’m a 69 year old Bklynite who grew up 3 blocks from DiFara and know Dom since he opened (I was 14). So, let me just say that he’s gotten older & isn’t even there all the time any longer. I’ll also add that DiFara’s square slices are great. And that I don’t love L&B’s square slices, as they remind me of focaccia (good focaccia, that I’d be happy to have with a meal, but not my idea of pizza). And, lastly, Fascati’s, in my Bklyn Hts neighborhood is a solid, old school, slice worth getting. Enough?


Perfect thanks, yeah I have been to Difara more times than I can remember
Had a cousin who lived off ave M & Bedford Ave & he &I have gotten older & slower but he’s still the Yankees of Pizza, L&B was my college haunt back before the wheel was invented. Gotta go for the Spumoni as well. Really appreciate your help.

Wow that article was a perfect roadmap, cannot tell you how much I appreciate it.


What happened to Totonno’s? Were they closed for health violations recently?

I don’t know why , it’s been closed for awhile.

I feel like Juliana’s should be on your list. While it’s only been around since 2012, it’s in the original Grimaldi’s space in Dumbo and it was opened by Patsy Grimaldi. (Juliana was Patsy’s mother.)

As for the atmosphere, it’s cleaner than Grimaldi’s ever was, the service is great (Grimaldi’s staff was ornery for the sake of being ornery), and despite being touristy it still has an old school vibe at off peak times.

And last, but not least, the pizza. Classic, coal-fired pies. No slices, but they do personal-sized pizzas. Is there better in the city? Sure. By much? No.

EDIT: There’s a branch of L&B Spumoni Gardens opening across the street.


Thanks for your input

What’s wrong with trendy hipsters? I used to be one then got married and had children. Now my son who sports a trendy beard and wears flannel says I knew dirt when dirt was young. Better than being older than dirt I suppose.

I echo Julianna rec. I recall I wrote the first review of it on CH.

I don’t think they do slices but as old school a pizza as you can get is at Sam’s on court street in cobble hill.

The Lucali guy also opened a slice joint further south on Court I think.


What used to be considered “NY Pizza” (gas fired ovens, etc – like DiFara) is now only a small fraction of the “pizza” available in NYC. So, when someone says they want places that are from that style and serve slices, I get it. If steve_kutlin had not specified slice joints, I would’ve definitely have added some other places &, if he was open to different styles, then Lucali, Juliana’s, Paulee Gee’s, Table 87, Roberta’s, etc immediately come to mind. And, if Manhattan or Williamsburg were added in… well, you get the idea. We even have Chicago and Detroit styles around… lots to choose from these days. Some I wouldn’t call pizza, but like whatever they are. We’re lucky that way. Too bad I’m cutting down carbs.

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The Lucali slice joint – Baby Luc’s – has had mixed reviews. I’ve gone at 6:30 on a Friday evening and they’ve already been sold out of pizza so I’ve yet to try it.

That said, nearby I’m a fan of F&F from the Frankie’s … well … Franks. It’s a bit hit or miss – it can be quite inconsistent – but when it’s on I feel it’s one of the better slice joints in town. Really, really loved the red Sicilian I had recently – a square slice that was absolutely covered in sliced castelvetrano olives.

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Since learning of the demise of Dom not only am I saddened by his loss and since my scheduled “ tour” isn’t until early May I eagerly await a review in a few weeks of this pizza palace not expecting a big change but ya never know.

Thanks but I am not opposed to different styles just not for this outing.
Thanks for your input.

I’m far from an expert on pizza, so my opinion should perhaps be taken with a grain of salt, but Luigi’s is an excellent slice IMHO and seems genuinely old-school.

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Where’s Luigi’s

steve linked to luigi’s above:

back in the day, used to stop there after softball in central park. it’s very good, old school pizza.

Not to speak ill of the dead, but I don’t think diFaras has been very good for quite a while. In the area, I’d rather go to fascati’s.

Pizza Wagon and Nino’s in bay ridge are excellent. Davinci’s on 18th ave is also excellent.