NJ Dining: Lodi Pizza (UPDATED)

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Lodi Pizza
19 US Highway 46 W, Lodi, NJ
(973) 478-3306

The search for the best pizza in New Jersey never ends. Recently I received two separate recommendations to try the Sicilian-style pies at Lodi Pizza from both Carlo Bartolomeo and Paulie Vitamia, two hardcore Italian foodies who I seriously respect. This alone is enough to pique my interest in a place, and I had to try the pizza immediately. Firstly, because both these guys are seriously quality oriented and know their food, and secondly, because I hadn’t tried a Sicilian pie I liked on this side of the Hudson yet. Until now.

The Lodi Pizza sign on Rt 46 in Lodi cannot be missed, even in crappy weather. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.

Lodi Pizza opened in 1969 and is a complete throw-back to another time. The building and interior looks like it hasn’t changed a bit since its very first day in business.

Lodi is not a modern Pizza place by any means, trying to pretend it makes old school Pizza. It -IS- old school Pizza.

The Bari steel decks at Lodi operate between 565 and 600 degrees. One thing they do differently here is that both the round and Sicilian pizzas are cooked in pans rather than touch the ovens directly because raw ingredients such as fresh sausage are used as toppings and must cook thoroughly. All the pies come out well-done, which is how it should be for this type of a pizza.

A pepperoni pie straight from the oven.

Lodi Pizza was used as a film location for Season 3 of The Sopranos where the character “Ralphie Cifaretto” (Played by actor and native Jersey Boy Joe Pantoliano) was introduced. Remember Ralphie and his pet horsie? That didn’t end too well.

Lodi Pizza is also endorsed by the Chairman of the Board himself.

Slicing up some Sicilians.

Sicilian pies are the specialty of Lodi Pizza. Here a Pizza Bianca (no sauce) with onions and olive oil is being prepared.

Pizza Bianca

Pizza Bianca closeup

Sauce simmering in the pot.

Meatballs awaiting their fate.

Antipasto salad

At a lot of Pizza places bread is an afterthought — but not at Lodi. The bread is fresh, nice and crusty, and went great with the antipasto salad. We liked it so much we left most of it over and took it home so we could make sandwiches with it the next day.

The calzones at Lodi are truly awesome, and are similar to the kind you can get at Pizza Town in Elmwood Park.

Per Carlo and Paulie’s recommendations, we ordered the Sicilian pie, with fresh sausage.

Edge close-up.

Sausage Close-Up.

Overhead view.

Slice view.

Side profile. Lodi’s Sicilian pie is considerably thinner than most other square pies sold in the NY/NJ metro area. Because it is cooked in a pan, the crust is more reminiscent of a focaccia than a traditional NY-style Sicilian pizza, but it is still excellent nonetheless. The sausage was wonderful and its juices really permeated the flavor of the sauce and cheese. A top quality pizza that I recommend heartily.

28 Responses to NJ Dining: Lodi Pizza (UPDATED)

  1. The 2 Witches says:

    I am much more a fan of thin-crust pizza personally, having grown up in Staten Island, but the pics of these Sicilian pies have my mouth watering. Thank you for another great review.

    Mama Kelly

  2. Clumsy says:

    Hey, have you tried DeLorenzo’s in Trenton? There’s two—one on Hudson Street and one on Hamilton Ave. Both are sooo good, but the Hudson Street one is the best when they are having a good night. I’d suggest trying the Hamilton Ave one first though, they are always on point. It’s a thin crust kind, but I think the best pizza in NJ. I’d be interested to hear what you think.


  3. Dominick Durante says:

    In an area where there are more pizza restaurants than churches, Lodi Pizza is head and shoulders above them all. The sauce has a special flavor to it and the crust is cooked perfect. How much easier can it be to get to that right on Rt. 46 west? Take the ride. It’s worth it.


  4. Kobi says:

    This place looks great,Jason. Can’t wait to check it out. Thanks, as always, for sharing.

    – KOBI

  5. bman says:

    great pizza! You should try Rose Pizza in Garfield. They just moved to a new space and I actuallt like their Sicilian better. Ask Paulie, he’ll tell you!

  6. francine miller says:

    I likd lodi pizza alot, but for the best thin crust pizza in nj is cassies pizzeria in englewood nj, i would put
    them up agianst any of the top pizzerias in america, that is how much i love their pizza.

  7. Muki D. says:

    I live in NYC, and my pal Tony took me to Lodi’s one afternoon while I was in his neck of the woods. I had a plain slice, and a slice of sausage. First of all, this I have to say – I’ve eaten at dozens of Pizzarias in New York – Ray’s. Famous Ray’s. Original Ray’s. Original Famous Ray’s. Famous Original Ray’s. Original Famous Famous Original Super Jesus Ray’s – It’s been an ebb & flow of mediocrity at best. But when I had these slices at Lodi’s, I knew I was eating something at a whole ‘nother level, baby. The sauce is amazing – I start drooling whenever I think about it – and you can tell that they don’t skimp on the quality of cheese, neither. And they’ve got the cooking down to a science. Decades of family tradition have proven to be a key ingredient in the quality and amazing taste in their food. The presentation of the food as well as the decor of the location is very low-key, unassuming. Lodi’s doesn’t use a lot of hype or fancy advertising. No BS – just great food. And that’s the way it ought to be.

  8. […] York City for that matter. Sure, in Jersey, we have some really good Italian-American places like Lodi Pizza, Pizza Town USA in Clifton, Santillo’s in Elizabeth, Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany, Star […]

  9. Fred says:

    OK, here are some impressions of Lodi Pizza:

    – dough was nice and crispy, with plenty of lightness (I suspect they oil the bottom of the cooking trays on the Sicilian)

    – overload on the cheese and the sauce is typical buying my pizza sauce from the Pizzeria supply place (generic and burnt tasting)

    – overall the pizza kind of reminded me of what you used to get at Chuck-E-Cheese (the arcade/pizza/kid’s party place). Also, the store environment could use some cleaning (the place looks kind of unkempt, but if you like that kind of thing then I suppose it could be romantic)

  10. Larry says:

    Growing up in NYC always eating great pizza – moving to NJ decades ago never finding a consistantly good pizza place till recently – Lodi pizza I find to be a true NJ pizza in a class by itself, just outstanding – I am happy to say in my humble opinion in recent years, the pizza in NJ in general (still not happy to go to a pizza place whree ordering a slice is a third party transaction, not the case with Lodi Pizza) has become better and more consistant than NYC – Kudos to Lodi Pizza

  11. Anthony from Lodi says:

    While I agree that Lodi Pizza is great my favorite is still T & J’s Pizza on Kipp Avenue in Lodi. These former Lodi Pizza employees make the best pie in Northern NJ. Try them out and I’m sure you’ll agree.

  12. tony calimari says:

    Last time I was there (a few years ago).. it was kind of bland and average.. smallish pies.

    As a kid, I used to remember the owner (and his cousin, or younger brother?) making the dough *from* scratch.. did that while I was waiting for my pepper and egg sandwich (which was the best). They made the BEST mussels too… but that was back in the day I guess. Meatballs sandwich was good.. but man, those pepper and egg sandwiches and mussels (plus the pizza).

    Their dough was so good my grandmother would buy some from them to make pitza fritl (pisa frites) and zuchinni flowers.

    sheesh.. I remember when it was a deserted farm house, the jolly giant, and before the addition. So I know what I’m talking about.
    Before Lodi Pizza opened.. Barrel’s on Main Street was Lodi’s best.

  13. tony calimari says:

    btw.. anyone remember the juke box? heh…

    also.. is vitamia the same from palisades ave.. was ok ravioli.. my aunts in newark used to make homemade ravioli.. from scratch.. I never cared for vitamia’s cheese though.. the semolina bread was pretty good (calaundra’s french from the newark bakery is still the best in jersey)

  14. tony calimari says:

    btw.. lodi pizza *never* used pans (at least for the round pizza.. matter of fact.. not for the sicilian either… the sicialian was “formed” in the pan, but cooked directly on the grill in the original ovens.. the round pizzas were made and formed (no twirlin).. it was the way they worked the dough (I watched it MANY times as a kid in the 60’s). The sauce was homemade I think, and cheese was pretty good. They made good meatballs too (not as good as my grandmother’s), but ok.

    Their mussels were out of this world.. second to none. Only place I ever had mussels in sauce that came close to it was Don Giavonni’s in Chelsea, NY 5 or 6 years ago (although they’ve gone downhill, like most pizza places in NY).

    Barrell’s (on main street in lodi).. was amazing. Lido’s pretty good on a thin crust.. mushroom pie..good steak sandwiches too. Best calimari was Rosario’s Roost in Garfield.

    I don’t know what the guy was talking about with Pizza Town.. that was a semi-chain (there was one on 46 in east paterson, and another on 17 in paramus).. the WORSE pizza in the world (haha.. that’s if you could call that garbage pizza).

    Best ravioli??? Before it became a bar, Goodwin’s in East Paterson.

  15. NJ Pizza says:

    it’s a great pizzeria. When we are creating our pizza directory 1800njpizza.com, we visited Lodi Pizza. it was delicioussss!!!

  16. Susan J. Finkenberg says:

    I love Lodi Pizza. The owners told me that a relative is now bringing or making the pizza at a Deli in Englewood. If you can tell me what the name of the Deli is, I’d appreciate it. I forgot. By far the best Pizza I have ever had in NJ and I’m a native New Yorker.

  17. Christine Vazquez-Reiter says:

    I’m from Lodi and always loved Lodi Pizza…Best sicilian pizza you can get…And Frankie and Anthony are great guys. You won’t be disappointed. Trust Me.

  18. John Bitondo says:

    Stopped at Lodi Pizza based on the buzz but I found this place to be sub-par at best. the Pie was way over cooked and the sauce was way too sweet. The crust has that fried in oil taste you get at chain places. The place is also a real mess, dirty counters,shakers and tables. A far better Pie is mad at Rose Pizza on 73 River Dr in Garfield. The Pies are well balanced with the best crust in NJ. The best choice at Rose is the Sicilian, not to thick, crunch on the outside and soft on the inside.

    • Angelo says:

      You know what i would tell you. Get some new taste buds you jagaloon. Dirty? I dont know what place you went to, but i can assure you its as clean as it gets there buddy. Try T & J ‘s as well, both are great and both are family owned and related brothers to be exact. I had rose pizza believe me its not sumthn to drool over, if you want a greasy crust you found the place and if you want a sauce that has an acidity taste and tastes like it hasnt been cooked all the way though and missing some seasonings, you right’ Rose is the place for that. Good luck dont posted comments like your some kind of food critic, cuz you dont your pizza from your brosciole.

    • gee i thought it sounded like he was going to sugest a different place that probably sucks.
      Best Pizza Around.

      • Donny Ba Da Bing says:

        I agree completely, I think Angelo must be the owner or a family member, damn you pissed him off lol. And overseasoning a pizza is another sign of using cheap ingreients by the way ANGELO

  19. Kerim says:

    ive eaten at lodi pizza my entire life for 16 years now, to this day, i still eat their pizza at least twice a month
    my family and i just can’t get enough of it

  20. Ray Romano (301) 399-8125 says:

    Originally from Lodi. Currently residing in Maryland. We make the drive to NJ just for the pizza from Lodi Pizza. We spend about $150 round-trip in tolls, but it is definitley worth it! When we go, we buy over $150 in pizza just to bring home. What are the chances of ordering the mozzarella, tomato, basil pizza and having it over-nighted??

  21. Julia says:

    We live in Lodi. Once in while we have pizza from them. It’s really tasty,BUT: they don’t deliver -at least they could do it for Lodi area -they are expensive ($15 for a half plain half ricotta) the place is not clean,and the other important thing: the staff should learn some manners,meaning: saying hello and goodbye at phone orders and also if you’re there by person.

  22. Carmine Bassano says:

    Excellent Pizza . . . and I remember this very well.

  23. This is by far the Best Pizza in NJ Try the Sasuage or Pepperoni and the Staff are all very friendly and attentive to your needs.
    Please don’t compare anything to pizzatown not even in the same league this place is the best!!!!
    Keep up the Great Pizza Louie.

  24. Only the best Pizza shops don’t deliver.
    Pick up only see you there.

  25. Donny Ba Da Bing says:

    Ok, I consider myself a true pizza conuseur. I got a pizza at Lodi pizza shortly after moving to Lodi last year, and I honestly have to say that it was AVERAGE at best. Very bland, they overloaded it with cheese, This to me is usually a sign that they’re trying to take your attention off blandess, or cheap ingredients. I have not tried the Sicilian, but if I do I would only buy 1 slice so the rest of the pie doesn’t go in the trash if it’s as bad as I thought the regular pie was. This is my OPINION if you don’t agree that’s ok too, but there’s always the chance I was there on an off day, but it had to be way off if tht’s the case. The Pizza is not cheap either.

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