There are lots of pizza chains all over the city. You’ve got Ray’s, Two Boots, Famiglia. Then many of the big guys have more than one location (John’s, Nick’s, Totonno’s). I’ve already talked about the Patsy’s and Angelo’s empires and Grimaldi’s has spread out onto Long Island and New Jersey. And I’m not even mentioning Pizza Hut, Domino’s, or Sbarro. I said I wasn’t mentioning those so forget I even mentioned those.

The most unlikely pizza chain in New York are the quadruplets Posto, Gruppo, Vezzo, and Spunto. They sound like four Italian dwarves offering up their thin crust pies to their principessa. But in reality, these four places all cater to a neighborhood clientele and, in the last few years, have gained local followings.

The truth is they are practically identical – just check out their websites. The restaurant layouts are slightly different but all have the same font, all give off that relaxed, local vibe, and all end in the letter “o”. And their menus are identical.

So do I really have to visit all four? Seriously, I’m a very busy guy. In addition to searching for the best pizza in NY, I do have a day job. I gotta bring home the pepperoni somehow, you know. And if you’re going to basically clone your one restaurant three other times, you can’t expect to be treated as if you’re something other than that. I’ll only be visiting one Ray’s, one Patsy’s, etc. So, sorry, Posto/Gruppo/Vezzo/Spunto, but you only get one chance.

Posto was the most convenient to where I was meeting an old friend. And we made it in time for the lunch special. They offered two slices and a salad for a really great price. But this is all about pizza, so I got the Margherita pie, which was 9 inches and reasonably priced at $10. I’m pleased to say this is the best pizza deal I’ve encountered so far.

I’m not pleased however to report the results. The pizza looked beautiful and their promise of thin crust was fulfilled. The crust was almost cracker-like, which I really love. The problems started when I picked up a slice. I’ve never seen anything quite like this but every bit of topping (cheese, tomato, basil, etc.) quickly fell off the crust and onto my plate. This happened with every single slice I attempted to eat. I had to basically re-assemble the pizza myself. I mean, come on, this is a huge no-no in the pizza world. All the ingredients are meant to be eaten together not sloppily placed back on the slice.

I also noticed that more than a few of the fresh tomatoes were anything but and were actually yellow. And believe me, they were not yellow tomatoes by nature. Granted, tomato season is now behind us, but if you can’t get fresh good looking tomatoes, then you shouldn’t serve them on your pizza. It’s that simple.

On the other hand, the cheese was fresh and the sauce was well-seasoned. And the pizza tasted quite good. I’m still thinking about that delicious thin crust. And for the bargain I got at lunch, I really shouldn’t complain. But I’m grading the pizza here and Im not going to settle for anything less than the best.

Could it have been an off day? Could Vezzo or Gruppo have a better grasp on fresh ingredients and how to keep those ingredients on the pizza? One of my friends swears by Vezzo so maybe one day I’ll get over there too. But the Posto group-o had one chance-o and I’m sad to say, it’s a no-no.

Is Posto the best pizza in NY? The thin crust is as delicious as advertised, but the pizza as a whole is sloppy and difficult to eat. The comfortable atmosphere and affordable prices help save the place from total doom and help me rate it 6 out of 10.

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Category: Pizza

About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

3 Responses to Going Posto

  1. Matthew says:

    I just thought I’d add my quick opinion.

    I’ve been to Posto & Vezzo.
    The pizza at both is identical and absolutely delicious. Even delivered it’s probably the best pizza on the island.

    The toppings always fall off, it does get a bit annoying, but I’ve never experienced any bad, stale, or overripe toppings… maybe you were there after a missed delivery?

    The thin crust is perfect, the pizza isn’t sloppy once you learn how to eat it (you’re in new york, fold your slice man), and the comfortable atmosphere and prices should be giving the place at least an 8 or 9 out of ten.

    “Save the place from total doom” is a load of crap. It’s really quite good.

    =)

  2. Brian Hoffman says:

    Thanks for the comment, Matthew.

    I do admit that I should give the Posto/Vezzo group a second chance. I’ve heard great things about them and just had one rather blah experience.

    My “total doom” comment was a bit over the top, sure. But I had been eating lots of pizza at the time of the review and this was just mediocre – hence the 6 out of 10 rating. Maybe now that I’ve had time away from so much critical pizza eating, I might have a different opinion. I agree it deserves a second chance and I’ll report back with my findings.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.

  3. AA says:

    The key is to let the pizza cool just a touch before picking it up. The thin crust makes it more likely for the toppings to fall off. If you let it cool a bit, the toppings stay on and the flavors meld better.

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