La Piazza: The Best Pizza in New Jersey?

by Cate on July 19, 2011

Grandma Pie
“Have you ever had Grandma Pie before?” Mystic asked me a few weeks ago.

Um, no. What is it?

He didn’t tell me.

“Ok, that’s what we’ll do on Friday night then.”

I didn’t even Google it, figuring the element of surprise was way more fun, and being a somewhat adventurous eater, I figured it wasn’t code for fried bugs or cow tongue, so I was safe.

I love when he’s all decisive like that, even if it’s something small like making a decision about dinner. I hate the whole “what do you want to eat?” “I don’t know. What do you want to eat?” “I don’t know. Whatever you want is fine.” Once in awhile when you just can’t hone in on what you’re needing is fine. On a regular basis, it is not. Although I might be a bit of a *cough*control freak*cough, I am also an all-or-nothing kind of girl. Take 100% of the control and run with it so I don’t have to give it a second thought. Or let me do it all.  None of this in between stuff.

Even when it comes to a decision about what’s for dinner.

Grandma Pie it was.

When I found out what it is, I felt like more of a lousy Italian than I usually feel like. I mean, how had I never even heard of it before?


Baked in a square Sicilian-pizza style pan, it features a scant amount of mozzarella, topped with dollops of crushed tomatoes (you can track down a few more specifics here). We ended up at La Piazza in Florham Park for my maiden voyage.  A small restaurant, it features a few bar stools on a side counter, which oddly just face the wall, and about a dozen or so tables.  The tables are a bit of a tight squeeze, as in you’re sitting very close to your neighbors, so it’s not the place to go if you want a private conversation or to break up with your girlfriend or discuss your upcoming bankruptcy proceedings.  Just sayin’.

“We’d like to start with the stuffed mushrooms, please.”

You do know they take a really long time to make, right?

“That’s ok, we’d still like them.”

Certainly an interesting way to sell an appetizer, eh?

Of course had she said “oh by the way, they’re mushrooms stuffed with, um, mushrooms and in a really weird sauce,” we might have been appropriately disuaded.  But alas, she didn’t, so we weren’t.  Note to you: skip the stuffed mushrooms.

Close-Up - Stuffed Mushrooms

Pizza - Side View

Now for the pizza. Strong, slightly crispy crust and less doughy than a more traditional Sicilian slice. I wish the basil was sliced slightly bigger so you could taste it more (nothing like fresh basil!). The crushed tomatoes were very crushed tomatoes. As in, nothing else. No other taste of herbs, seasonings or salt coming through. Not terrible as an overall slice, but not especially memorable either.

  • Plenty of parking available.
  • Service is reasonable, although a bit slow on a Friday night
  • Credit cards accepted and web site available

Pizza Man



La Piazza Cafe Ristorante & Pizzeria
184 Columbia Turnpike
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone: 973-301-9660

Open Daily: 10am – 10pm

Was it New Jersey’s best?  No.  The search continues.

Miss our other pizza reviews?

Luigi’s in Succasunna
Reservoir Tavern in Boonton
Margherita’s Pizza & Cafe in Hoboken
Star Tavern in Orange
Grimaldi’s in Hoboken
Annabella’s Pizzeria in Parsippany
Fenicci’s Restaurant & Tavern in Hershey, PA
M&S II Pizza in Rockaway, NJ
Patsy’s Tavern in Paterson, NJ

July 19, 2011 – Bonus Photo
Namesake Chips
When The Neighbor Husband texted me a picture of this bag of chips yesterday, you know I had to go buy a bag. Haven’t tasted them yet, figured I should wait and do it with Mystic. You know, since they’re named after him, and all. ;)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah Caron July 19, 2011 at 9:34 pm

Eh. That pizza (and mushrooms) sound like they were a bummer. Too bad. And *cough*thereisawholetowninctnamedforhimandtheyhavepizza*cough*


Cate O'Malley July 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

dude, where do you think the big event is going to happen? ;) j/k


Megan July 19, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Try Rusillo’s in West Caldwell or Frank Anthonys in Verona for awesome Grandmas pie. That’s one of our favorites, you need to try a good one!


Cate O'Malley July 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Thanks for the recommendations! Will definitely try Rusillo’s next.


Joanne July 20, 2011 at 6:21 am

I’m so sorry your first grandma’s pie wasn’t memorable! If you can find a good slice…it’s GOOD.

I’m with you on the decisiveness thing. Control freak, I may be, but it’s still nice to have someone else take charge every once in a while.


Michele July 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm

You’ve got to try the Grandma’s Pie at Nonna’s in Florham Park. It’s right there in the Trader Joe’s shopping plaza. I recently discovered it and i’m in love!


Kris #40 July 20, 2011 at 10:54 pm

My father would have called that a “tomato pie”.

Just had the best pizza last week – jalepeno from Lucianos. Mmm mmm


Ramona July 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

That conversation sounds like one we have every nite.

I get so tired of him asking me “what’s for supper”


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