Lucali opened in 2006, formerly as a candy store in Carroll Gardens, one of the Northwest Neighborhoods of Brooklyn. Flash forward sixteen years and now, you’ll be walking into New York City’s number one spot for pizza and the world’s number five.
A small restaurant with a big pizza game, Lucali is known for its legendary queues with everyone wanting a slice of the action.
The restaurant has even seen the likes of hip hop legends Beyonce and Jay Z enjoying a date night at the restaurant, with Jay Z even calling it one of his favorite pizza spots.
As a BYOB and no fuss service, the restaurant is straightforward with no frills. Lucali is also cash only, so make sure to take enough out before arriving at the restaurant, you don’t want to miss out on all the amazing pizzas that they have to offer.
Not only one of the best pizza spots in Brooklyn but also marked as one of the best restaurants in Carroll Gardens. Lucali is owned by legendary pizza chef, Mark Iacono, who also founded the restaurant.
The success of the restaurant has made him shoot to fame, but this hasn’t stopped him from still finding time for the restaurant and even now you can expect to find him by the brick oven creating his customer’s pizzas – and maybe even your pizza!
Lucali is a quiet and cozy restaurant. As you step in, ready to dine, expect to be greeted by dim lighting, wooden furnishings, and a huge brick oven in the corner.
You really feel like you’re walking straight into a traditional Italian kitchen when you enter. The walls are washed, with dozens of trinkets on shelves, boxing gloves hanging from cupboards, and framed photos on the walls.
The homely feel is also reflected in the staff, who are always happy to help with orders and any queries.
What to order at Lucali
The restaurant has kept it simple with two options: pizza or calzone when it comes to the menu. There’s only one pizza size available, and that’s large, so if you feel like it may be too big, there’s always the option to share.
On the menu, the pizzas are described as a “large pie with basil” and as soon as the pizza is placed in front of you, it’s easy to see why.
The thick crust creates a circular pool of stringy, melted mozzarella and a mouth-watering tomato sauce, it will, by far, be the best pizza you’ve ever tasted.
If you order the calzone, you can choose from either the small or large option. Just like the pizza it will be served with cheese and mozzarella, only this time wrapped up in a doughy meal.
All toppings are the same, whether you decide to go for a pizza or a calzone, and you can choose from options such as pepperoni, garlic, onion, hot pepper, or mushroom, and that’s just to name a few.
As a BYOB, there isn’t a drinks menu, so make sure you don’t get caught out on this as you’re going to want some form of liquid to wash down your pizza.
How to get into Lucali
There is no option to make reservations, and due to the restaurant’s popularity, expect to queue for hours to have your name put onto the list for a table.
Orders and table service start at five pm, but there can be queues from as early as three pm.
This is entirely normal for Lucali, and you’ll realize that the queue was worth the wait as soon as you take your first bite.
How to get a table at Lucali
Lucali is open Wednesday to Monday from 5 pm to 11 pm and closed on Tuesdays. But if you’re hoping to get a reservation for a table, you’re going to want to get down there anywhere from 3 pm to ensure you get a spot, being a world-famous restaurant, it can become particularly busy and they do not take reservations online or by phone.
You’ll find the restaurant at 575 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY, 11231.
Phone: (718) 858-4086
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1. How much cash should I take with me?
Depending on how many of you are heading out to Lucali, a large pizza is going to cost you $28, while a small calzone is $16 and a large $26.
Toppings and sauces are also extra, with a side of hot pepper sauce costing $7 and the most expensive topping of artichoke hearts costing $8. So, if you’re going for a large artichoke hearts pizza with a hot pepper sauce side then expect to pay $43 for your meal.
2. Do Lucali have takeout?
Yes, they do! You can place your takeout order either over the phone or in-person from 4 pm on the day you wish to order. Take out is still cash only and all food is made to order.
3. How long will I have to queue?
This will depend entirely on how busy the day is. You can obviously expect to queue for longer on weekends and holidays, but most people suggest arriving at Lucali at 3 pm if you’re looking to grab a prime time dinner reservation.
Serving starts at five, but you can be sure the food will be well worth the wait.
4. Is there vegan or vegetarian options?
Unfortunately, there are no vegan options, but there are plenty of veggie options you can choose from on the menu.
At the moment, Lucali does not cater to vegans, and it is best to avoid it if you are on a vegan diet so that there aren’t any disappointments.
If you’re veggie then you can choose from a variety of toppings for your pizza such as garlic, hot pepper, sweet pepper, and mushrooms. Lucali also does not cater to gluten-free or lactose-free diets.
5. Can we come as a large party?
Lucali is a small restaurant and may struggle to accommodate a larger party. If you’re looking to come in a group of around six to eight, they may look at asking if it would be ok to split you on separate tables.