Umberto's of New Hyde Park

Row 1

Details
633 Jericho Tpke (at Lakeville Rd)
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
(516) 437-7698
Pizza, Italian
$ $
Hours
Mon–Sun: 11:00 AM–10:00 PM

If Staten Island is Gotham’s least heralded pizza borough, Long Island has long gone uncelebrated as the New York pizza trove it truly is. That’s OK. Let hipsters queue in Brooklyn — Long Islanders know those carless city schmucks don’t know how good Nassau and Suffolk pizza country is. Long Islanders even have a pizza style, one that has caught on over the past decade since Erica Marcus publicized it in 2003.

If there’s a Long Island pizza royalty, coronate Umberto’s Pizzeria (not King Umberto’s in Elmont — that’s another story). You can thank Italian-born founder Umberto Corteo (from Monte di Procida near Naples) and his brother Joe, who opened the Original Umberto’s of New Hyde Park in 1965.

Their humble joint turned into a self-described “majestic Tuscan architectural two-story restaurant with a full-service cafe.” Regardless, Umberto’s slings superior pizzas. Most notably, the grandma: a square, 12-slice, 16-by-16-inch thin crust pie topped with mozz and plum tomato marinara. Haven’t experienced this thin, crispy-crust satisfaction? Start here. It’s generally regarded as the originator of the grandma slice.

Why? How did the style spread? According to Pizza: A Slice of Heaven (which any pizza lover refers to as the most important pizza tome ever written), the brothers made the pizza "Mama made" for themselves and friends, but didn’t menu-item it. They opened satellite pizzeria King Umberto with another Corteo brother, Carlo, which upon his retirement was sold to two Umberto’s employees, Rosario and Sal Fuschetto (who, it should be noted, make no mention of the original Umberto’s on their own site). A Slice of Heaven author Ed Levine reports that two pizza makers Rosario and Sal hired who’d gotten their start at the original Umberto’s saw the potential of the grandma pie and put it on the menu.

So maybe you have them to thank for this light, thin, crispy-chewy pie with light crushed tomato sauce and a scattering of mozzarella that every pizza-proud Long Islander knows is better than Sicilian, better than deep-dish, heck, better than many pizzas you’ll find in Manhattan.

Whatever you believe, you’ll want to be sure to make the move of every grandma. Grab at least one corner.

Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015

 

 

Foursquare Tips

  • Rocco DiSpirito prefers the pizza at Umbertos in New Hyde Park, NY on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Find more tips at Food Network Local.
  • try the sausage Sicilian!
  • Make sure you get that Sicilian slice its the bomb!!
  • Margarita slices are the best
  • Rice balls.
  • grandma slices!
  • Talk to Joe, tell him I sent ya...
  • Ask for Carlos..great waiter!
  • I can't bring myself to order anything else other than the grandma pizza. It's really that good.
  • Forget "best pizza in NY", this place has the best pizza in the country!!
  • The best Grandma's and Sicilian pie.
  • Love their eggplant parm and chicken parm and their slices are great as well. Friendly staff.
  • Best NY Pizza!
  • Best NY pizza anywhere. Notice the people giving negative reviews didn't order pizza... Which is what Umberto's is famous for. I've ordered other things here besides pizza and everything has been A+
  • Get the Pazzo slice.. Awesome!
  • Everything. ..but famous for Sicilian and grandma's pizza..mussels...calamari. ..they originated in my home town of New Hyde Park
  • So this is the official Giants-endorsed pizza supplier and it's well deserved. Sicilian, hell yes... Grandma, not as crazy about it, but that's because I've had one slice more flavorful elsewhere.
  • Umberto is my favorite Italian restaurant of all! If you want to order a salad here, this place is not for you. Freshly baked bread is amazing! Garlic knots are to die for!
  • Tell Christian I say hello :-)
  • Try the calamari, it's phenomenal!