Local Pizza Joint Ranked as One of the Best Slices in the City

Sal & Carmine’s on Broadway and 102nd Street is a neighborhood institution, and it got some recognition this week when Eater’s Robert Sietsema placed it on his list of the finest slices in New York.

Given that New York has the greatest slices in the world, this is a high honor. Here’s what Sietsema said about the pizza:

“Founded in 1959, Upper West Sider Sal & Carmine is the plainest of the plain, and thus one of the city’s foremost paragons of the neighborhood slice genre. The crust is utilitarian, devoid of flashiness but totally getting the job done, while the sauce is subtly flavorful without announcing itself, and the ample good cheese threatens to mix with the sauce so it becomes virtually one idealized entity.”

Check out the time Sal & Carmine’s dressed up for Halloween…as Domino’s!

FOOD, NEWS | 50 comments | permalink
    1. GaryGlitter says:

      I totally agree with Mr. Sietsema as he always knows where to find the best local food! Not only do they have great old school pizza at Sal & Carmine’s, but their window has a unique vintage neon sign and an authentic vintage analog mechanical paper roll cash register that is still working and in good repair!

      • rteplow says:

        Yes! I want to second GaryGlitter’s love of neon signs. So superior to those awful plastic backlit ones.

    2. Chase says:

      i guess Robert Sietsema is friends with the owners or something. that place is a shell of its former self and Mama Too’s the THE slice joint of the uWs now.

      • Honest Abe says:

        Mama’s Too is great, but:

        1. It doesn’t serve standard NY Slices
        2. It’s a tourist joint, not a neighborhood joint.

        Hence it’s not on the list. But yeah, reading is hard.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          The “house slice” at Mama’s Too tastes nothing like a classic NY slice. And I absolutely love it. The dough is a light, chewy, crunchy, airy dream. The sauce is bursting with tomato-y freshness, and the technique of shredding cheese on the slice after it is heated up makes for a great flavor experience. This is “good touristy”, not Disney store Times Square touristy. Long live Mama’s Too!

        • Chase says:

          yes it does, it’s called the house slice

          • honest Abe says:

            The article is about the bone standard NY slice you find in a neighborhood pizza joint. But reading is hard.

        • sam says:

          they do serve slices

      • Sarah says:

        Mama’s Too is great, but it’s a different kind of slice. Room for everyone!

      • JG says:

        i couldn’t agree with u more! i’ve tried Sal & Carmine’s many times, i just don’t get it. why its touted is beyond me. furthermore, i don’t find Sietsema to have ANY particular insight into anything food-related and curious who he “shills” for? as to Mama Too, like their “pizza”, but over-rated.

      • Ken says:

        Spoken like a true suburban transplant. Mamas 2 is way over rated. The crust will chip your teeth and is way too oily. Sal and Carmines is the real deal and will be there long after Mamas 2 goes bust with a failed line of frozen pizzas.

    3. Sarah says:

      It is truly an ideal cheap slice.

    4. UWSHebrew says:

      Place was sold about a year ago. New owners. Old recipe is gone. This won’t make any true pizza list, see for yourself.

      • Ya kidding? says:

        Innnnnncorrect as pretty much is the norm for everything you post here cuz

      • T says:

        Why such bias? Are you friends with Mamas Too?
        Sal & Carmine’s is a great classic slice. It hasn’t changed.
        Maybe be a little less strident in your opinions.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          No bias, no friends with MT. If you go today, this week to S + C and honestly say that is a great slice, I feel sorry for your taste buds. I would recommend two dozen Manhattan pizza joints before even thinking about S + C, including the UWS establishments Made in New York Pizza (beautiful square slice), and Fumo (their Bianca pie is an incredibly high quality ingredient work of deliciousness).

          • T says:

            I had a slice last week and many before that. Simple classic NYC slice and only 3 bucks. My taste buds are fine. Recipe hasn’t changed. As another reader points out, it’s now owned by grandson. So, you’re wrong on that too.

            • UWSHebrew says:

              A colleague told me about the supposed selling of the store, so for that, I take fault. For my judgement of the slice: spot on. Seems like there is a big “nostalgia” bias in favor of S + C. It should be on taste alone.

            • Bruce Bernstein says:

              Does Louie no longer own S+Cs? He bought it, or maybe inherited it, many years ago. i had not heard anything about him selling it.

              Louie is superb at making their pies. He isn’t always there, but when he’s there, the pizza is A+.

    5. babrarus says:

      I’d like to read the top ten, please.

    6. Ryan says:

      All NYC slice pizza is trash. Any NJ strip mall joint is 10x better.

      • stu says:

        This could be perhaps the most ludicrous statement on the Internet. (coming from someone whose lived many years in both NYC and the Jersey suburbs)…

    7. Mark Moore says:

      Boo on Eater for calling it a “cheese slice.” It’s just a slice or a plain slice. C’mon, you’re in NYC.

      I grew up in southern Bklyn and lived on the UWS for 18 years. Sal and Carmine’s most certainly is NOT the third best slice in the city, that’s ridiculous. It’s OK, nothing great. Amore in Queens which is number 5 on the list is much, much better and a place I always stop by when in the area. What about Joe’s on Carmine, or New Park in Howard Beach?

      • UWS Dad says:

        New Park in Howard Beach – That is a name from my past. As a kid, I ate many a slice from New Park. Always was the best! I may have to take my kids there this weekend and see if it still is tops!

    8. josh says:

      I found the slices to be too salty.

    9. P.T. says:

      Don’t understand all the haters. S&C is a very good basic slice. Maybe not as great as when Sal and Carmine made it themselves but then again they had 50 years of practice.

    10. Scott says:

      I have fond memories of sitting on the counter at Sal and Carmine’s when it was at 95th and Broadway. Definitely deserving of any pizza honors!

    11. Mark says:

      Sal’s grandson, Luciano, now runs S&C. It wasn’t sold.

    12. Janice says:

      I concur!! Love Sal & Carmine’s. Consistently great.

    13. Josh G says:

      I’ll be honest, my feeling is that the quality and flavor of the sal and carmine slice has seriously gone down hill. It used to be one of the great street slices, and maintained its excellence even after the death of Carmine and the soon thereafter decline of Sal. But something happened over the past few years and it’s not nearly bad good. In all fairness I no longe live in that neck of the woods, so I usually only have a slice once a year. But each time it has tasted nothing like the glory days.

    14. Jbb says:

      I’m 53 and it’s been my favorite pizza for 50 years. Used to get a slice after school and let the oil drip off for a block before we ate it. Classic New York City Pizza. They were even on Sesame Street.

    15. Doug Garr says:

      No pizza in NYC compares with Johnny’s in Mt. Vernon. Period.

    16. Sjrotts says:

      Sal & Carmine’s is hands-down one of the best slices anywhere. Those who disagree are entitled to their opinions, but they would be wrong.

    17. Via Ventana says:

      I remember when it was just “Sal’s,” before they moved to their current location. I loved it for years. Then I began to see repeatedly very ugly treatment of some neighborhood kids. Not cool at all.

    18. Guy says:

      Well deserved. I recently moved and having Sal & Carmines across the street is one of the things I miss the most.

    19. UWS Robin says:

      Hurrah for Sal’s and Carmines! I was born 3 years before they opened in their first location near what was then the Symphony House movie theatre (now the Symphony Space) and grew up on their pizza, as did my kids. When they moved to right across the street from my parents’ we knew we were blessed! We still go straight for Sal’s and Carmine’s every time we’re in NY. I think of Carmine stretching out the dough every time I make pizza at home, which I’m forced to do now that I don’t live near them, boo hoo….Bravo for Sal and Carmine!

    20. Cyn says:

      Sal and Carmine’s = Ford Pinto

      Mama’s Too = Mercedes

      It’s just silly to say S & C’s is one of the best slices. It’s awful. Mama’s Too is perfection.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Some of the posts on here that are praising S + C have not actually had a S + C slice in over a year (see “I used to live on the UWS”, etc.). Others have fond memories of decades ago. That’s why I urge those who still think that it is a “great slice” to go there this week, order a slice and eat it on the spot. Be honest. I don’t understand the blind loyalty to any food establishment: if food is good, it’s good. Great food, even better. But if food was once good, or even great, and it is no more, then face reality.

    21. Standards says:

      Don’t understand all the shade for Sal & Carmine’s on this thread! Can’t say I was around for their old locations but I’ve been going since Sal was still around and it’s pretty well the same as ever. I wouldn’t call it the #3 slice in the city — there’s just so much good pizza when you include other boros that it’s a meaningless statement — but it’s a classic, distinctive Manhattan slice worth celebrating. I miss seeing Louie more but they are worth supporting, I’ve got several pizzeries closer to me but always make the walk. They were a real institution during the Pandemic as well.

    22. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      I almost always make the 7 block walk to S&Cs, passing maybe 4 inferior pizzarias on the way there. I admit that the pies are not as good when Louie is not making them, but the guys he has there now are getting better. The main error they make is putting too many pre-made pies on the shelf and then reheating the slices. S&Cs is best when fresh out of the oven and not reheated; Louie always has pies coming out when he is working.

      I don’t knock Mama Too’s at all, it is excellent, but it is not “traditional” NYC pizza, even the “house” slice.

      I think NYC “by the slice” pizza has gone downhill; there are few traditional good places left (S&C is one of them). Most of it is crap.

    23. D-Rex says:

      Sal & Carmine’s is a classic, excellent slice…period.

      To all the pizza trolls…. blah, blah, blah… stick a slice in it!

    24. Norm Marowitz says:

      Mr. Sietsema needs to visit the Jersey Shore for pizza that is as good, or better!!! We got old country recipes too!!! Fuggettaboutit!