UWS Slice Tour: Caesar’s Palace Pizza, New Pizza Town, Bella Roma and Francesco

Date April 10, 2008

What better way to start the day than by continuing NYC Food Guy’s Upper West Side Slice Tour? Today it was 4 slices over the course of 30 blocks.

Can any spot lay claim to the best slice on the UWS? Are any really worth going back to? Only one way to find out….

1st Stop: Caesar’s Palace Pizza – Regular slice $2.50

493 Amsterdam Ave b/t 83rd St. & 84th St.
New York, NY 10024
(212) 724-7886

Big standard slices, not quite Koronet size, but bigger than every other UWS slice. Pretty much the only place that makes the $2.50 price tag worthwhile. They stay open until around 12AM weekends, the latest of all the slice joints in this story. For straight value alone, this is the best slice of the bunch. Here’s the essentials.

  • Crust – Chewy and crunchy when there’s not too much of a rush in the restaurant, it’s only downfall is that 9 out of 10 times it will collapse at the end crust due to the weight of the big slice, so be prepared for that.
  • Cheese & Sauce – a slightly skewed ratio in favor of the sauce, particularly at the end of the slice. It pools up a bit when the slice is fresh so watch out for splashage.

Grade: B

Stop #2: New Pizza Town – Regular Slice $2.50

2196 Broadway at 78th St.
New York, NY 10024
(212) 769-2323

One of two Pizza Towns in the city (the other, Pizza Town II is on 30th & 7th Ave), this spot is small and no frills. It produces every kind of slice you could want, including a quality Grandma slice. Everything else, however, is fairly standard and good only when fresh.

  • Crust – Bland and dry. It has good foldability but isn’t particularly tasty.
  • Cheese & Sauce – This place is least susceptible to poor quality pizza during busy hours. Points for that. Balanced ratio between cheese and sauce though sauce is nothing special. Generic and thin, not overpowering. Solid amount of cheese but not to the point where you’ll be chewing for a while.

Grade: B-

Stop #3: Bella Roma – Fresh Mozz & Vodka Sauce Pan Slice $3.75

2156 Broadway b/t 75th & 76th St.
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3700

Now I know breaking away from the regular slice really isn’t fair, but I love pan pie and it’s such a rarity in this city, how could I not take the plunge and drop an exorbitant $3.75 on one slice. Was it worth the price? Not really. It was tasty but nothing transcendent. They also had a buffalo chicken pan pie that looked weak but I was watching a serious Meat Lover’s pan pie being made with bacon, pepperoni, and sausage that looked pretty quality.

  • Crust – Airy and light, nice taste from the pan. Unfortunately it was pretty gummy underneath the cheese, especially towards the back of the slice. It’s nothing to run for but definitely worth a try if you’re looking to shake it up ($14.95 for a 16 inch pan pie)
  • Cheese & Sauce – For a vodka sauce slice, I could use some more vodka sauce. There were too many dry spots. And when I did find a pool of sauce, it was standard, tasty but fairly bland. Not a very flavorful slice, could probably benefit from some parmesan cheese either in the sauce or on top of the slice. Ratio is skewed towards fresh mozz and this is disappointing given the gummy crust beneath.

Grade: B-

Stop #4: Francesco – Regular Slice $2.50

186 Columbus Avenue b/t 68th & 69th St.
New York, NY 10023
(212) 721-0066

This spot has a lot of promise, a large, varied slice offering and a central location. Unfortunately, the plain slice, the barometer for everything they create is pretty weak overall. Very generic. As welcoming as the pizzaiola statue out front is, pass on this place and try Rigoletto or Traviata, both within a few blocks of Francseco.

  • Crust – This was the strongest point of the slice. It was a little undercooked during the lunchtime rush but the end crust was light, crispy, and airy, pretty much all you can ask for. It has a slightly sweet flavor.
  • Cheese & Sauce – Ratio skewed in favor of the cheese but this is a good thing considering this was the worst sauce of the bunch. It was as generic as they come, and as weird as this sounds, it almost tasted fishy. I know, strange. I don’t know how to explain it but I would steer clear of this slice.

Grade: D

20 Responses to “UWS Slice Tour: Caesar’s Palace Pizza, New Pizza Town, Bella Roma and Francesco”

  1. DDR said:

    Lawrence, you are a tough grader! I like it.

  2. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Thanks, gotta keep it real. None of this pizza is really that good. Still haven’t found the go to slice spot on the UWS. Any suggestions?

  3. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    Just stick to Big Nick’s…open really late, devliers late, has EVERY kind of food you could think of, and isn’t really overpriced. The pizza was pretty solid too. I definitely liked the size of the Ceasar’s slice, but that pie we got from Nick’s that time was definitely delicious.

  4. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Yes, but it was while we were drunk at like 4 am. What’s not delicious at that hour?

  5. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    i bet scottos would still suck….but touche

  6. Lil NYC Food Guy said:

    and cant forget big daddys/rockys…that place still manages to suck at 4am

  7. huh said:

    nobody knows what u idiots are talkinga bout wtf

  8. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Ha, Scotto’s. That’s funny shit. IT was underrated, I’m telling you. Big Daddys/Rockys in Binghamton, gets it done when you need it to, but yes that is some dogshit pizza.

  9. unprofessional said:

    what’s with all the curses nycfg?

  10. reputable said:

    what kind of reputable critic refers to something as “dogshit pizza”? get a grip food guy and have some respect for your readers

  11. TEFKADDR said:

    Wow. I stayed away for 2 whole weeks, then Zach links back to this site and I lost count just now trying to tally how many people here made fake posts under my name, including just yesterday on this very thread. I guess it’s a form of flattery.

    Anywho, Foodguy – you can’t do a UWS slice tour and only review shit pizza. Everyone who lives on the UWS knows the pizza is trash. Find me something worth eating!

    -The Eater Formerly Known as DDR

  12. Eat this said:

    TEFKADDR – I most certainly have something worth eating…… it’s in my pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. the REAL DDR said:

    NYCFG – want to do a food tour? Let’s do it at my apartment. I will cook us a 5-course meal. And guess what’s for dessert? ME!

  14. TEFKADDR said:

    I forgot to add to my post at 5:01 – let the homo-obsessive imposturing begin!

  15. the REAL DDR said:

    ok, well if you are trying to portray yourself as me, what does “DDR” stand for?

  16. TEFKADDR said:

    Dave Devours Roast Beef

  17. the REAL DDR said:


    DDR = Do Dudes Raw

  18. TEFKADDR said:

    I’m amazed that so many could be obsessed with so few for so long. But I guess you stick with what you know: keep that gay imposter machine rolling.

  19. shatraw said:

    sal and carmines. broadway & 101.

    big nicks? idiots.

  20. The NYC Food Guy said:


    You’re not the first person to recommend Sal and Carmine’s. I had it years ago and was unimpressed but it was just a reheated slice, i think it’s time for a fresh pie. Is that your top UWS slice joint? Big Nick’s has good pizza and is the only option on the UWS late night, respect is definitely due.

    What are your top pizza spots in the city?

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