We didn’t know what to expect as we headed to Lombardi’s Pizzeria. Over 5,000 reviews on Yelp and an average 4-star rating gave us hope, but we also read specific reviews like these:
“…they nickel and dimed us over everything. $8 for a cheap house wine, $10 for a pitcher of soda, $4-$6 per topping”
“Don’t settle for Lombardi’s pizza, even if it’s legendary”
It made us worry.
So Why Were We Even Thinking of Eating at Lombardi’s?
In 1887, Gennaro Lombardi, an Italian immigrant from Naples, opened a bakery in New York City’s Little Italy. In 1905, Lombardi began selling pizza to improve sales. Today, the Pizza Hall of Fame recognizes Lombardi’s Pizzeria as being the first pizzeria in the United States.
This customer couldn’t wait to get home 😉
The majority of the customers during our visit was New Yorkers.
The Best Pizza In New York
Despite a couple of poor reviews among its 5,000, the pizzeria ranks no. 6 on Yelp’s list of the best NYC pizza. But New York is very big. So if you’re visiting this section of the city, you would probably narrow your search to this area. That would push Lombardi’s to the no. 1 spot
How Good Is Lombardi’s Pizza?
Heaps of fresh chopped tomatoes with a touch of vinegar and a little salt were served on large wedges of toast with olive oil.
The dough isn’t refined. You can tell by the color of the pizza crust. The tomato sauce was minimal and the mozzarella fresh, with basil leaves and absolutely no grease at all. This felt like olden day pizza, minimalist and healthy.
We had seltzer with blood orange juice mixed in for a healthy break from sugary soft drinks, but the usual Coke and Sprite are on the menu if you really want it.
Everything was tasty and we left feeling good.
The price didn’t make us feel good, though. Our meal for three people, pizza with no extra toppings, three non-alcoholic beverages and an appetizer of bruschetta came to $52! Cash!
New York-Style Pizza
Normally, pizza in New York is very inexpensive, served in large triangular slices for just $2.50/slice. Most people can eat two slices so three people can fill themselves up with three sodas for approximately $20.
In fact, NYC-style pizza by the slice was invented for those who couldn’t afford an entire pie. Pizza today is still sold by the slice. The slices are large so people fold in half.
Final Decision on Lombardi’s Pizza
😋👍 Eat there for the thrill of being a part of history.
😋👍 Eat there for old-style pizza with healthy ingredients and without all the grease you’ll find in more common pizzerias.
☹️👎 Avoid Lombardi’s if you didn’t leave space in your budget.
Would We Return?
We love Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews for the quantity of reviews, but I prefer restaurant recommendations from people I know. When I began this blog I didn’t think I’d be including restaurants, but a recommendation from someone you know and trust is important.
So yes, we would return to Lombardi’s Pizzeria if we were in the area.