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Grimaldi’s Under the Brooklyn Bridge: The History and the Pizza

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If you’ve been on our Pizza Tour then you know about Grimaldi’s. It’s located right under the Brooklyn Bridge at 1 Front Street. And if you haven’t been on our Pizza Tour then you probably still might know Grimaldi’s. Zagat named it the #1 pizzeria in New York and the Food Network named it one of the five best in the United States. But here’s what you might not know about the legendary pizzeria.

Grimaldi’s serves Neapolitan style pizza which originated in, you guessed it, Naples, Italy. How can you tell a Neapolitan style pizza? It’s round, has a thin crust, tomatoes, mozzarella and a raised border. And, of course, it can have toppings as well.

neapolitan pizza brooklyn

Grimaldi’s was opened in 1990 by Patsy Grimaldi who learned to make pizza in 1941, when he was 12 years old, at his Uncle Patsy’s restaurant in Harlem called Patsy’s. Uncle Patsy was a pizzaiolo at Lombardi’s in Manhattan, the very first licensed pizzeria in the country. Patsy Grimaldi worked for his Uncle Patsy in Manhattan and in 1990 branched out on his own to the DUMBO section of Brooklyn under the Brooklyn Bridge. In 1998, Patsy Grimaldi sold Grimaldi’s to Frank Ciolli who owns it to this day.

original grimaldis

In 2000, the original Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge moved to their new location just next door to the original spot. The white building that it currently sits in has columns on the inside, is made out of cast iron and has bars on the windows. That’s because it was originally built in 1869 and was the bank that helped fund the building of the Brooklyn Bridge above it!


By the way, don’t show up at Grimaldi’s expecting to buy a slice or two. They don’t sell slices, only whole pies. And don’t try and use a credit card to pay either. They only take cash!

no slices cash only

Photo: New York City Inspired

What makes the pizza so amazing at Grimaldi’s is their coal-fired, brick oven which creates a unique flavor and crisp crust that is impossible to get any other way. The coal, know as “anthracite”, comes from Pennsylvania and allows the oven to reach up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. At that temperature it only take about 4 minutes to cook a pie to perfection!

grimaldis oven

The line to get in can be so long that you will often see people lining up down the block. It’s that good! But don’t worry, there’s no waiting on line on our Pizza Tour. Our tables are waiting for us and you’re treated as VIPs as you get to skip the line!

grimaldis pizza brooklyn

Photo: Dylan Hachey

Everyone loves Grimaldi’s from locals, tourists and even celebrities including Rod Stewart…

Rod stewart grimaldis

Hugh Jackman…

and Andrew Zimmern.

Grimaldi’s now has many locations all over the country such as Arizona, Tennessee and Florida, but we’re bias toward the Grimaldi’s under the Brooklyn Bridge where we take you on our Pizza Tour of course.

Speaking of our Pizza Tour, have you been on it yet? If not, what are you waiting for! You’ll get to experience the one and only Grimaldi’s Under the Brooklyn Bridge…and you won’t have to wait in line!

Book Your Pizza Tour Today!
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