Grimaldi’s is an institution in a crowded landscape of Brooklyn pizzerias. The famous Dumbo location was rated by Zagat as the number one pizzeria in New York and was chosen as one of the five best pizzerias in United States by Food Network. The growing empire has expanded and added a new location in Coney Island in 2012. Loyal customers flocked and the lines for signature thin-crust began. Only a few months later, Hurricane Sandy hit and the pizzeria shut down. The rebuilding began less than six months after they first launched and the restaurant reopened just in time for the summer of 2013.
Grimaldi’s keeps the coal-fueled brick ovens fired up near the beachside boardwalk. Black and white vintage photos of the beach and attractions from the area line the brick walls. The “Dreamland Bell”, which survived the Dreamland Fire of 1911, was decided on by the owners while they were rebuilding after the hurricane as a focal point and a symbol of the city’s strength and perseverance. The dining area features rows of clean, black wooden tables each with a metal pizza stand. The vibe is genuine and welcomes in the beach crowd.
The pizza has a unique flavor and crisp crust because it’s baked in coal-fired brick ovens. That one-of-a-kind taste is not possible from traditional gas pizza ovens. Piping hot pizza is delivered to the table looking beautiful topped with gooey, melted fresh mozzarella, crisped leaves of basil and just the right amount of dark char on the crust. There are plenty of varied toppings to choose from like Italian sausage, oven roasted sweet red peppers, sundried tomatoes, cured black olives, and capers to pack on an extra punch of flavor. Although the crust is thin, it’s hearty enough to stand up to the weight of toppings. An important note, the restaurant is cash only but they have an ATM on site and they exclusively sell whole pies with no individual pizza slices available.