I Love Tony’s Pizza

Pizza varies widely by region.  A city with great pizza says a lot about that region, and Tony’s Pizza on Niagara Street in Buffalo certainly gives Buffalo something to be proud about.

Vincent Tortora opened the doors of Tony’s Pizza on January 5th.  About 8 years ago, Tortora moved to Buffalo from Albany after marrying his wife.  Having owned a few pizzerias with his brother back in Albany, this is not Tortora’s first experience in the business.  Tony’s Pizza is named after Tortora’s brother and former business partner, who passed away a few months ago.  “This is what I’ve always loved to do,” he says.

Tortora hand-tossed the pizza dough with ease and full control of the shape and texture.  “I make a thin crust, hand-stretched, New York style pizza.”  Tortora is a self-proclaimed ‘old school’ pizza-lover, and he is the first to stand behind his classic cheese pizza or pepperoni pizza. “I’ll put it [a cheese pizza] up against any other pizza out there!” 

Like a perfect New York style pizza, Tortora’s creation had a nice crunch on the outside, a flavorful sauce, and just enough cheese to enhance the flavor instead of trying to cover things up. All-too-often, pizzas are too doughy (from not letting it rest properly), and that is a killer in pizzas.  The three elements of a pizza can easily cancel each other out if not properly portioned to each other.  Tortora’s pizzas have the balance and the taste.  The sauce is sweet and tangy, and it really adds great flavor to the pizza.  Fold it, cut it, or eat it flat, you really can’t lose with this pizza.

The menu also covers other essentials like pizza logs, baked ziti, wings, subs and more. With great deals for every night of the week, next time you’re in the mood for pizza, call Tony’s Pizza for a delivery or pickup.

Tony’s Pizza is located at 544 Niagara Street, Buffalo.  For hours and specials, give them a call at 716-381-9044.


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About the author  ⁄ chao li

26 comments
ablejack
ablejack

For me, the best basic pie I've had made in Buffalo is the Margherita from Bistro Aroma.

/had a Tony's cheese and pepperoni last night; not bad in a pinch. I've also tried the Spinach, Tomato, and Ricotta from Tony's. I expected a bright zesty treat. It was a terrible mess, seriously. I believe he throws a cheap thawed out frozen block of chopped spinach on the thing. Spinach leaves (and all vegetables) should be fresh. Now I'm afraid to try the mushrooms for fear that rubbery brown canned mushrooms will be on it. Am I right? Then again most pizza in Buffalo is awful. I prefer a New York Style for American pizza, such as Lombardi's.

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

rb09, I agree. I worked across the street from Angelo's for years and I ate there regularly. Some think pizza is all the same or that it's just a matter of personal taste. (Funny, but no one says that about chicken wings.) Places like Angelo's make everything from scratch and turn pizza into an art form. Everyone I've ever taken there -- no matter their personal pizza preference -- is overwhelmed by the taste. You're right: their mozzarella and fresh basil take their margherita pies over the top.

Anyone who eats at any of the Famous Ray's joints that dot Manhattan and thinks they're getting real NYC pizza is wrong. There are only a handful of real pizzerias left in all the boroughs. Angelo's is one of them and it remains my favorite.

The LA Times had an article yesterday titled: 'New York-style pizza: what it means'. The last section of the article excerpted below can offend the thin-skinned.

DeMarinis, who hails from Queens, has another point he'd like to make about New York pizza. "A lot of places pop up here and there and say 'New York-style pizza' and they're from Buffalo. New York-style pizza means New York City-style pizza. You have to be working in New York City to learn to make New York-style pizza."

What if someone happens to be from Buffalo and makes it exactly the way he does?

"They're still not doing it right. Trust me. Or they might be, but it's still not 100% on."

What if they're from Jersey?

He says: "Not really. We got a thing about that."

rb09
rb09

I love Buffalo pizza, but the best I ever had was at Angelo's in NYC.

Fresh mozzarella, fresh basil. Mmmmm!

Next time you're in NYC check it out. http://www.angelospizzany.com/

buffbuff
buffbuff

Campieri's pizza was good the first month or so, I agree, it is very hit or miss these days, more miss though so no need to go anymore until they clean up the act. Plus, the service is pretty bad and has been from day one, if Dan the owner would pay half as much attention to his guests as he does to trying to get laid at the bar, things could get better.

*************************************************************Tony's. I finally tried this week as I never have. Pretty run of the mill, not bad, not stellar, just middle of the road.

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

Vincent, making great pizza is a difficult thing to do when you don't have the best ingredients. I'm glad that you make the effort to make your own dough and sauce. Most places don't even do that. (Fresh mozzarella is the key for me.) Next time I'm in Buffalo, I'll make it a point to order a stop in and order a pizza margherita.

vtortora
vtortora

Paul,

My dough is made by me, not store bought!

My sauce is made by me as well!

I do put my pizza up against anyone in the the Buffalo market!

If you think you can do it better than me make me an offer on the place and try your luck.

Here is what I will say to you My Pizza is the best in the area and you can take that to the bank.

Sincerely,

Vincent

Tony's Pizza

Buffalo NY

blueoct
blueoct

I love Tony's Pizza too. I must say I agree with some folks that almost all pizza can be good pizza. But seriously, I've been to NYC and had real NY style. Tony's gets it right, it's GREAT pizza, it's just enough crust without being too little, it's definitely not cardboard, the sauce has a very balanced flavor, and the whole milk mozzarella cheese tops it off beautifully. Other pizzerias have been mentioned, I won't get specific but I like that Tony's is different meaning- CLEAN, tastes good even sober, and I like my Italian food made by Italians, leave the Chinese food to the Chinese people etc. The wings have a great spicyness to them as well. Definitely give Tony's a shot even if you haven't been sure about the other local NY style pizza.

meanoldman
meanoldman

your pizza place sucks, my pizza place is the greatest! i think the Erie county fairs pizza in a cup is the best. face it all pizza is different, so are all your opinions! buffalo has a vast choice of places to choose, why not just pick one feed your face and quit slammin others choices. the only bad pizza is the one that gets dropped on the floor.

DMZ
DMZ

I hate to be negative, and I generally think pizza arguments are as worthless however........

I though the crust was the weakest link Campieri's. Very dry tough and tasteless. I usually give places a second try anyways, but judging from r129's comments they have had an issue being consistent.

There service was pretty slow, and there was plenty of staff and not a lot of patrons. I understand the Pizza and apps should take a while, I'm ok with that, and that wasn't the issue. Having to wait 15 minutes for my first drink, and having a waitress who's MIA is pretty bad.

If I'm dropping 50+ bones for a pie, app, and drinks plus the name "Gourmet" is in your name, you better have some good food and service. I understand getting a crappy $10 pizza from Franks or Avenue, but I was really let down at this place.

I will say that Campieri's had a good wine and beer selection and a very cool vibe.

Maybe I'll make my way back there, but for now my money will be spent trying other places.

This thread should be about Tony's and it's my fault for bringing up a different place, so I apologize. I promise you guy's I'll go try a slice at Tony's.

r129
r129

I've been to Campieri's about 5 or 6 times. The thickness, chewiness vs. crispiness, and flavor of the crust was different every time. I don't know if they're intentional changes, or just inconsistency. All I know is the best pizza I ever had was during the first couple weeks they were open, and if they could consistently deliver that pizza, I'd be back more often.

max
max

I ate at Tony's for lunch today. I did so in part b/c of the review and also b/c PaulBuffalo is wrong about everything. As I suspected, PaulBuffalo is an idiot and the pizza was excellent. Thank you PaulBuffalo for being a consistent barometer of what is good/bad in Buffalo.

sbrof
sbrof

I also have to support Campieri's. I think they have one hell of a pizza. It is full of flavor, great crust. The sauce, with onions cooked right in it... yum!

I know the service can be hit or miss, it is a startup business and maybe you went on one of those off days. Every time I have gone there I really enjoyed my pizza.

ilovemesomebuffalo
ilovemesomebuffalo

DMZ either something went very wrong that day or your just crazy. Please give campieris another try. It is the best crust i have ever had. the pizzas are awesome.

The Kettle
The Kettle

I have to agree with the less than fantastic pizza at Campieris. The service I got was pretty good though and they stock those hoppy beers I love. Wish more pizzarias served beer.

As far as Tonys, is it like NY pizza on Allen? That place is hit and miss. Sometime you get a good slice but other times you got all that flour caked on the bottom. 500 block on Niagara is by Porter right? Im going to check it out. I wish him well. As CityLiving pointed out this business is very competitive.

The Kettle
The Kettle

Imperial is great! Not too many people living north of the Buffalo River have even heard of it. Similar to Bocce but with a taste all its own. I give Lanova a second for their "papa joe" spinich with a mountain of ricotta. Mmmmmm.

NorPark
NorPark

Romeo & Juliets on Hertel does a good thin-crust pizza.

Cardiff Giant
Cardiff Giant

Campieri's is tasteless and bland? DMZ, you should go there again, as it's the best pizza in town (with the possible exception of Bocce on Bailey). Really, try it again, it's awesome.

sbrof
sbrof

Paul, its food and therefore I will never give up on it. I have been to NYC and had the pizza.. I don't remember where but I wasn't that impressed. Here I have tried Zetti's, Manhattan, NY Style, Salles and nothing really made me want to go back for a second round.

I studied in Italy for a while and the pizza was really good, it is nothing like NYC thin crust. For some reason, maybe it is lack of quality ingredients but thin crust pizza always tastes bland to me. At least the Italians have really fresh and vibrant flavors. The thin crust I have had over the years has been quite is bland.

Even after Italy though the first meal I had when I got home was a good slice of Pizza. Again brings me to the personal conclusion that you are always just going to like what you grew up with. I will keep searching but I am certainly not going to hold my breath.

DMZ
DMZ

The last time I went to a pizza place BRO suggested (Campieri's) I had one of the most tasteless, bland, over priced pizzas in my life. I know they advertise here, but I was so let down. Service was awful as well.

Bob and John's is also another place that always gets great reviews from people and it just completely blows.

I agree with Paul above, Fresh Motz is the key and it's pretty easy to make.

I like all pizza, but I prefer a medium crust if it's "airey". If places would just let their dough sit it would be much better!

Also don't under estimate the water. NYC has some of the best water in the nation, it does something to the dough, it's magic. Just try a NYC bagel.

I've had great Pizza in NYC and Buffalo, and Chicago. I've also had some of the worst Pizza's in my life in those same cities. Everyone thinks that because they're from "enter city here" they know how to make great pizza. This goes for the south with BBQ as well.

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

Sbrof, if you've had great thin-crust pizza you would understand its appeal. It's the way pizza was born. Next time you're in NYC, visit one of the remaining pizza joints -- they're aren't many left -- that know how to do it right. (Angelo's Pizza on 57th Street is my favorite and they have a coal oven that brings out the flavor.)

1. The problem with every pizza I've ever had in Buffalo is that no one uses fresh mozzarella. If the cheese has a yellow or off-white color, then it's not fresh. (The pizza photo above is a good example of packaged mozzarella that's not fresh.) Fresh mozzarella looks like white clouds on the surface of the pie.

2. Thin-crust is more than just using less dough. Was it baked in an oven that can hold a high temperature? The average steel pizza oven doesn't reach 800 degrees -- the temperature that can bring out the flavors of the dough. Is the dough made by hand? The common shortcut is to use prepackaged dough (with chemical stabilizers) from a supplier. You won't get good thin-crust dough from a package.

3. Finally, if the sauce is sweet, it's more likely that it's out of a can. Sugar is often added to camouflage the canned tomato taste.

If Tony's thinks it can put its NYC-style pizza up against competitors, he's got a lot to learn about pizza. Don't give up on thin-crust, Sbrof, just find someone who understands how to make real pizza.

NorPark
NorPark

I like Buffalo style pizza, not too thin, and not that ultra thick chicago style. We started making homemade pizzas once a week a couple years ago when we were given a pizza stone. There is nothing better than a homemade pizza made from scratch, homemade dough and all. I can hardly even stomach pizzeria pizza's these days, however when i do, Imperial it is. Tony's pizza looks good though, and if i'm ever in teh mood for a slice and passing Tony's, i will surely stop in.

sbrof
sbrof

I just gave NY style pizza another try recently... sorry not even close. I need dough and flavors. Not Cardboard soaked with sauce.

But pizza preference is based on where and what you grow up with. If you are from NYC or Chicago your ideas about Pizza are different than Buffalo. There isn't anything inherently wrong with any of them...

But you will never convince someone from Buffalo that thin crust blandness is better that Just.. Just as I can never convince people who grew up on thin crust that Buffalo pizza is better.

I would like to give Tony's a try, we shall see if it is worth it.

elderlywoman
elderlywoman

new york style is not the best. sorry, but nothing beats bocce club! (mister pizza and jacobis on kenmore avenue are a close second)

rb09
rb09

I love pizza. New York style is the best.

CityLiving
CityLiving

Semi-new Daddio's Pizza on Hertel also has delicious pizza, as well as an extremely friendly staff. I highly recommend it. There is quite a lot of competition in that area however (Bob and Johns, La Pizza Club, Zip's Wiseguys, Avenue Pizza, Just Pizza)- here's to hoping they do well.

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