New York: Lombardi’s Pizzeria Nepoletana

New York is considered the birth place of the American Pizza. It is so much so that many of existing Neapolitan pizzas are also known as New York-style pizza. I made it one of my quest to seek out the grand daddy of pizzeria when I was in New York … and that is the Lombardi’s Pizzeria Nepoletana.

There had always been a dispute whether if Lombardi’s is really the first pizzeria in America but at least they have the proof that no one ever had. Lombardi was licensed by the City of New York in 1905 and no one else had ever had proof that they are opened earlier.

I am not sure what Zagat Survey is but I guess it must have been a big deal to be voted as “Best on the Planet” for pizzas. They claimed to have started the pizza culture in the US and is still at the top even after 100 years.


I guess they know that I am a tourist. It’s because they brought me on a little tour through their kitchen. I can see that their coal fired oven is emblazoned with the words “1906 Lombardi’s”. It looked really old … I do wonder if this is the same oven that they had used for the past 102 years.


I was shown a quiet corner of the restaurant. As a matter of fact, I was the only one there.

I ordered their house made Sangria, which is a Spanish wine punch of sorts. It was sweet and fruity.


I tried to be a bit adventurous and ordered from their specialty pizza section of the menu. I ordered the Clam Pie. I reckon that for $26 for a 6-slice, 14″ pizza, it had to be somewhat special. It is described as follows … “more than 2 dozen hand shicked clams, oregano, garlic infused oil, Pecorino Romano cheese, virgin olive oil and black pepper, topped with fresh parsley, served with fresh lemon on the side … and does NOT come with tomato sauce”.


On hindsight, I should have just stayed with their “Gennaros original Margarita Pizza”. This one, well, is too dry for my liking. It is not bad and I like the thin crusted bread but I guess I had already tuned myself for a New York-style pizza … and this is not NY-style pizza. Shoot! I came all the way here and wanted to try NY-style Pizza and I ended up with a specialty pizza.

The 6 slices were too much for me. They don’t have anything smaller. I had only three slices and then asked them to pack the remaining to go.


The entire bill came up to $41 including tips and taxes. Kind of expensive for pizzas, huh? Well, the Sangria is $7 and the Clam Pie is $26. One thing … they only accept CASH. For an establishment like this, I find it strange that they only accept cash.

Sigh … I guess I cannot scratch off “New York-Style Pizza” from my list of “Food to Eat Before I Die”. Note to self: Stick to the basics … don’t try to be fancy.

Lombardi's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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  1. Jessica

    WOW that’s expensive pizza!

  2. Pete

    I agree that one should stay with traditional pizza when trying a new place.

    Some of the best pizza is actually in Brooklyn. Grimaldi’s (right under the Brooklyn Bridge) makes a very nice pie but is a bit touristy. Further into Bklyn. are Difara’s which makes a great “old world” Neopolitan (round) pie and L&B Spumoni Gardens which makes a wonderful Sicilian (square) in a unique manner that places the sauce on top of the cheese. Try them if you ever get a chance.

  3. Karina

    You should definitely try some Chicago deep dish pizza. Such as Zachary’s or Cheeseboard. Zachary’s and Cheeseboard are both in Berkeley, Calif. Check for reviews.

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