[New York | Brooklyn] Juliana's Pizza

Categories: American (Traditional), Pizza
Address: 19 Old Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Date Visited: March 2017
Price: $$
Hours: Monday – Sunday 11:30am–3:15pm, 4:00–10:00pm
Verdict/Summary: Just an ok pizzeria. Disappointing given its reputation. Sure - fresh ingredients, not too greasy and coal oven-roasted. But really - just ok pizza, ok appetizers, ok service. I honestly don’t get the hype here. Will probably try the original Grimald’s right next door next time when I’m back in the area.

http://julianaspizza.com/

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Outside of Juliana's Pizza. Luckily, only a short 5-10 minute wait on a Saturday afternoon (5pm)

Outside of Juliana's Pizza. Luckily, only a short 5-10 minute wait on a Saturday afternoon (5pm)

In 2015, TripAdvisor dubbed Juliana’s Pizza as the best pizzeria in the United States after having analyzed tens of thousands of reviews based on both quantity and quality (qualifying restaurants must have had 500+ reviews & at least 10% of the reviews stating the phrase “best pizza”). New York City/Brooklyn based Juliana’s proudly topped the list.  

My brother, visiting town for a week, hankered to check off “authentic New York-style pizza” off his been-there-done-that bucket list. Where else to go but Juliana’s, I guess? So off to Brooklyn we went on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. At 5pm wait was minimal for a party of 3. We waited for only about 5 minutes outside the door before being ushered in to a table inside.

 

 

 

 

 

Juliana's interior. Cozy, casual, homey. Not too loud but ain't quiet either.

Juliana's interior. Cozy, casual, homey. Not too loud but ain't quiet either.

Open kitchen showing the chefs at work kneading pizza dough

Open kitchen showing the chefs at work kneading pizza dough

Freshly made, hot sizzling homemade meatballs with tomato sauce

Freshly made, hot sizzling homemade meatballs with tomato sauce

We were just stopping by for an afternoon snack so we didn’t order too much, though we did custom make a dank toppings-filled pizza:

  • Housemade meatballs with tomato sauce ($12)
  • A large classic Margherita Pizza with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil ($21)  + toppings:
    • Anchovies ($3)
    • Pitted Kalamata olives ($2)
    • Pepperoni ($4)
    • Prosciutto ($6)

The meatballs came out in 10 minutes but the pizza took a little longer (~20-25 mins.). The meatballs were hot, moist and in a bath of fresh tomato sauce. But they were a little boring and flavorless. A pass for me.

 

 

julianas-pizza-meatballs

And the pizza….  

julianas-pizza-parma-pepperoni-cheese
julianas-pizza-parma-ham-cheese-olives-pepperoni-sardines
julianas-pizza-brooklyn-close-up

To be honest: I’ve had much better pizzas in most places elsewhere. Your neighborhood Italian restaurant probably can make better ones or at least ones on par. Toppings were sparse (for what we paid for) and slightly bland even after adding so many savory supplementary toppings. I can see why many people who straight up just ordered the Margherita pizza without toppings found the pizza flavorless. The mozzarella was thin and tomatoes skimpy. Thought not soggy, the crust was NOT crispy. For a thin, fresh-out-of-the-oven NY-style pizza, this definitely could’ve been a lot crispier. 

In short, the experience was disappointing. The pizza looks better than it tastes (thank you camera). I don’t think the prices justify for the quality and definitely not a wait if there is one.


PS:

For good pizzas, go to:

  • New York: haven’t found a decent place I liked yet :D
  • Melbourne: +39 Pizzeria
  • Shanghai: Mercato by Jean Georges, Scarpetta and D.O.C. Gastronomia
  • Los Angeles: Jon & Vinny’s Pizza Mozza, Bestia