Great NYC pizza places for kids
Your brood thinks it's the perfect food, and we sure won't argue with that.
Wed May 19 2010
Sausage pie at Franny's
All restaurant information is correct as of press time. However, since hours, prices and other details are subject to change, it's wise to call ahead.
230 Ninth Ave at 24th St (212-243-1105, co-pane.com). Subway: C, E to 23rd St. 11-inch pie: $13. High chairs.
This unassuming pizzeria arrives courtesy of Jim Lahey (Sullivan Street Bakery). The famous no-knead dough produces a firm-chewy crust blistered in a searing 900-degree oven. Although the classics are on offer, parents may be interested in the more creative pies: The Flamb is topped with mellow onions, Gruyre, bchamel and chewy lardons, and the Popeye features three cheeses under a blitz of fresh spinach.
Denino's Pizzeria & Tavern
524 Port Richmond Ave between Hooker Pl and Walker St, Staten Island (718-442-9401, deninos.com).Travel: From the Staten Island Ferry, take the S44, S59 or S94 bus to Hooker Place/Carlo Denino Way. Large plain pie: $12.50. High chairs, booster seats.
If there's pizza worth taking a ferry for, this is it. Connoisseurs should focus on two menu items: the lightly sauced cheese pizza and the distinctive white pie, topped with a layer of onions, fresh garlic and gooey mozzarella.
Di Fara Pizzeria
1424 Ave J at E 15th St, Midwood, Brooklyn (718-258-1367, difara.com). Subway: Q to Ave J. Plain round pie: $25. Cash only.
The painstakingly crafted Neapolitan pies—cracker-thin crust with a pleasing char and a subtle Parmesan zing—are widely considered among the city's best; dough is made fresh several times a day. To keep kids occupied during what feels like an interminable wait, point out the window boxes full of herbs used to flavor the sauce.
*187 Bedford Ave between North 6th and 7th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-384-6004, forninopizza.com). Subway: L to Bedford Ave. Large pie: $15. High chairs.
*254 Fifth Ave between Carroll St and Garfield Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-399-8800, forninoparkslope.com). Subway: M, R to Union St. Large pie: $15. High chairs.
Chef Michael Ayoub sprinkles his wood-fired brick-oven pies with herbs and vegetables (the Williamsburg location uses greens grown in its very own greenhouse). He'll combine freshly picked arugula, for example, with eggplant, bresaola and Parmesan, and locally grown figs with prosciutto and Gorgonzola. Too esoteric for your family? No worries: Try the basic marinara or one of three variations on Margherita.
295 Flatbush Ave between Prospect Pl and St. Marks Ave, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-230-0221, frannysbrooklyn.com). Subway: B, Q to Seventh Ave; 2, 3 to Bergen St. Individual pie: $16. High chairs, booster seats.
Husband-and-wife team—and parents of two—Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens met while working at the organic-minded Savoy restaurant, and have successfully combined a progressive food philosophy (locally sourced, sustainable ingredients, like organic eggs from Tello's Green Farm in upstate Red Hook) with old-world equipment (a wood-fired oven) to delicious effect.
Hell's Kitchen Pizza
691 Tenth Ave between 47th and 48th Sts (212-765-8565, hellskitchenpizzanyc.com). Subway: C, E to 50th St. Large pie: $16.
Behold, the kid-friendliest slice in town: mac and cheese pizza. At HKP, they put pasta bits right on top of the pie, with a layer of Parmesan, mozzarella and American cheese in between. Apparently the carbo-dairy bomb has Wisconsin roots, making the eatery's mid(town)western location all the more appropriate.
*7 Carmine St between Bleecker St and Sixth Ave (212-366-1182, joespizza.com). Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, V to W 4th St.
*1621 Kings Highway at E 17th St, Midwood, Brooklyn (718-339-4525, joespizza.com). Subway: B, Q to Kings Highway. Large plain pie: $20.
At this classic slice joint, the crust is just stretchy-chewy enough for folding, and the slightly sweet sauce is overlaid with a perfect web of drippy cheese. Two caveats: Slices are burn-your-tongue fresh (but good luck getting the kids to slow down), and there's limited seating, so takeout may be your best bet.
Lil' Frankie's Pizza
19 First Ave between 1st and 2nd Sts (212-420-4900, lilfrankies.com). Subway: F, V to Lower East Side--Second Ave. 12-inch pie: $12. High chairs. Cash only.
After the success of Frank's on Second Avenue, Frank Prisinzano opened this smaller pizza-oriented offshoot with a garden out back. But none of Prisinzano's enterprises stay small for long; this one expanded into the next-door space, so now there's more room for neighborhood regulars to enjoy the thin-crust, wood-oven-baked personal pies. Classic marinara is lavishly sauced, while the cheeseless Bianca is liberally brushed with truffle oil and flecked with rosemary.
*349 E 12th St between First and Second Aves (212-777-2644, motorinopizza.com). Subway: L to First Ave.
*319 Graham Ave at Devoe St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-599-8899, motorinopizza.com). Subway: L to Graham Ave. Lunch, dinner. Average pie: $12. High chairs, booster seats.
Head to either branch of this well-regarded hangout for a true Neapolitan wood-fired pie. Fussy eaters might gravitate toward the simple Margherita, while adventurous adults can sample the brussels-sprout-and-speck topping.
Otto Enoteca Pizzeria
1 Fifth Ave at 8th St (212-995-9559, ottopizzeria.com). Subway: A, C, E, B, D, F, V to W 4th St; N, R, W to 8th St--NYU. Individual pie: $12. High chairs, booster seats, changing tables.
If you're not seated immediately, your family will be assigned a city like Pisa or Rome—and then wait for it to be posted on a board imported from an Italian train station. It's a cute idea, but the constant crush of Mario Batali fans means that your kids may be watching that board for 40 minutes or more. The Otto team can get away with this, because the pizzas live up to their reputation.
*1814 Second Ave at 94st St (212-987-5700, nicksnyc.com). Subway: 6 to 96th St.
*108-26 Ascan Ave between Austin and Burns Sts, Forest Hills, Queens (718-263-1126, nicksnyc.com). Subway: E, F, V, G, R to Forest Hills--71st Ave. Large pie: $14. High chairs.
Though the pizza here isn't fired in a brick or coal oven, the crust comes out beautifully charred. The pies are quaint: The small plain cheese is slathered with a deliciously zesty tomato sauce and covered with melted rounds of locally sourced fresh mozzarella and torn basil. You can also order pies half red and half white (with ricotta cheese).
*1524 Neptune Island between W 15th and W 16th Sts, Coney Island, Brooklyn (718-372-8606, totonnos.com). Subway: D, F, N, Q to Coney Island--Stillwell Ave.
*1544 Second Ave between 80th and 81st Sts (212-327-2800, totonnos.com). Subway: 6 to 77th St.
*462 Second Ave between 26th and 27th Sts (212-213-8800, totonnos.com. Subway: 6 to 28th St. Large plain pie: $16.50. High chairs.
A fire felled Totonno's in 2009, but the famous, ancient Coney Island pizzeria got back on its feet. The space has been renewed, but the menu remains the same: large or small pies (no slices) with very few toppings. The signature white pizza—fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano, garlic and olive oil—is still the way to go. There also are two Manhattan outposts, but we suggest sticking with the Brooklyn original.