You’ll find two iconic pizzerias in the trendy DUMBO section of Brooklyn. As you know, I’m always recommending a visit to DUMBO, both here and on Instagram, so of course I have to help you find a place to eat while you’re there.
The two pizzerias are Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s. We’ve eaten at both so here’s our review of which one you should choose.
How Popular Are Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s?
You’ll have to stand in line, outside, to be seated at either one. The wait can be long, too. Our last visit to Juliana’s was in January, a slow month, and we waited 45 minutes. Juliana’s is rated number one on TripAdvisor, Yelp and Zagat’s.
Grimaldi’s is cash-only. The employees are very friendly and hard-working. We were there last on a hot day in September and we were lead to a table upstairs. It was very hot and we asked for another table. The employees understood completely and were happy to give us the very next table downstairs where it was much cooler.
When the pizza came, it was absolutely delicious. We ate the entire pie ourselves and then left full and happy.
So who is the owner of Juliana’s? Pasquale Grimaldi, the founder of Grimaldi’s Pizzeria. In 2011, Pasquale Grimaldi sold his pizzeria, along with the iconic name. The following year, when he and his wife, Carmella, decided to re-enter the business, they no longer had the rights to their own last name. Juliana was Paquale’s mother.
Juliana’s dining room is small. As we waited outside, we saw more and more people leaving the restaurant but no one else was being seated. The sign outside said they were “stoking the coal oven and would re-open soon… whatever that meant. Once the restaurant was empty, they let everyone in and people headed straight to whatever tables they could find. Like musical chairs, we were almost left standing, but we realized this was a free-for-all and grabbed a table. It was a poor start.
The service at Juliana’s is also very friendly. We ordered wine and were happy to wait the 25 minutes for our pizza so we could relax and talk.
The pizza arrived and it was very flavorful. The mozzarella is homemade and therefore very fresh. The pizza wasn’t oily, but fresh and healthy, just like we found at Grimaldi’s and Lombardi’s in Little Italy, Manhattan (see our review).
So Which Is Better, Grimaldi’s or Juliana’s?
There was no clear winner. You will be happy at both pizzerias. Like in our previous review of the famous Lombardi’s, this pizza is less greasy and much healthier than the typical NYC pizza. It’s also more expensive.
The typical NYC pizzeria is very informal and people ask for a slice (i.e., a piece of a large pie, cut into eight sections). Some people walk with their slices and others bring them to a table. This is how almost every New Yorker eats pizza. But eat this too often, and you’ll have to shop for larger clothing.
You’ll be happy at either one, but the next time I’m in a position to choose, I will choose….. Grimaldi’s, not for the quality, but for the atmosphere.