In Defense of… Famous Famiglia’s

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Its across-Broadway cousin may get all the attention, but Famiglia’s has its defenders. Local Cheese-and-Tomatoes Correspondent Liz Naiden makes the case.

Famous Famiglia’s is in a tough spot – pitiable, really. Across the street, Koronet’s catches the drunk and the indiscriminate, while other nearby restaurants often snag the sober remainders with slices that are a bit more expensive and “sophisticated.” All too often, Famiglia’s finds itself caught in between.

But for your own sake, turn away from the light of freshman year nostalgia, and take that step towards the west side of Broadway. Remember what pizza is supposed to be – not an overwhelming greasy inebriated mess, not gluten-free, not expensive, and not freshly reheated for the tenth time to achieve Pinnacle’s signature rock-hard bottom and gelatinous cheese. Pizza should be a simple thing, and Famiglia’s is your local corner pizza place. The pizza is the right size for lunch, does not require sharing, and (most importantly) is perfectly manageable with one hand. And even if you’ve never been to Famiglia’s, no one can argue that Pinnacle’s similarly average-sized slice is better than, well, anything.

And Famiglia’s slice is not to be dismissed for culinary reasons. With whiter, smoother cheese that actually looks and tastes like mozzarella, and a sauce that bears some evidence of coming from a tomato, Famiglia’s slice provides a somewhat cleaner taste than Koronet’s. Famiglia’s also uses noticeably less salt and the pizza produces napkin-provably reduced amounts of grease compared to the jumbo across the street.

Famiglia’s is a chain restaurant, and Starbucks haters may disapprove on those grounds. But you may find it hard to turn the harsh, disapproving frown of yuppie hatred onto the really remarkable kitch and faux-Italian personality of Famiglia’s. It’s trying so, so hard to be an old fashioned Italian pizza joint that it’s hard not to take it at its word.

Unfortunately for Famiglia’s, Columbia students are ill-disposed to pity anything. But then why not think of Famiglia’s as the underdog? Throw your support behind a vigilante fighting against the empire across the street, and remember that anytime you’re less than blackout drunk, the less greasy alternative might just hit the spot. Give the average slice a chance.  

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  1. what  

    what is the point of this post? did they pay you to write this?

  2. Famiglia  

    is only good when it's free at on-campus events. Otherwise, Koronet's wins on quantity and Che Bella wins on quality. Famiglia isn't cheap either--probably about the same price per square inch.

    • what?  

      Famiglia is not even good when it's free on campus. Maybe it's good in the restaurant, I wouldn't know, but whenever I have it at club meetings or something, I don't find it very appealing.

  3. Gluten-Free Zombie  

    We are taking over. First Nussbaum pizza, then the world. Your brains will be somewhere between those two steps.

  4. also

    they tried to rope me into a high interest rate high annual fee credit card freshman year in order to get a free slice...haven't gone back since

  5. Ugh....

    Famiglia is terrible. Worst. Pizza. Ever.

  6. i like  

    famiglia. consistent, and good. for $3.75, a slice and some garlic knots beats one disgusting enormous koronet slice any day of the week.

  7. well

    Pizza quality is highly variable, even in the same location. I've hate bland tasteless slices at Koronet, and I've had slices that bordered on some subjective notion of "good." Famig's is the same. If they've put enough sauce on it, it's a reasonable slice, all things considered.

    Seriously though, Che Bella? What, do you seriously expect lazy Columbia students to *actually* go over to Amsterdam Ave if they don't live there? Madness, I tell you!

    Also, what about V&T? I'm amenable to the occasional greasy pie.

  8. Harmony Hunter  

    i should probably bring famiglia's to my friend in Harmony when i find it because he might be hungry after all this time...

    • hard to imagine

      that you a friend

    • wat  

      I think I can help because your friend sounds really hungry!

      1. Go to
      2. Click on "students" on the left side of the page.
      3. Under "Services and Support" click on "Living."
      4. Under "Living" click on "Housing and Dining." Did you know that the wingspan of the largest great albatross can be 11 feet?
      5. Under "Housing (undergraduate)" click on "Housing (undergraduate) Website." Now you're at the web site for housing.
      6. On the left side of the screen, click on "Residence Halls."
      7. On the left side again, click on "Harmony Hall." There is a lot of info about Harmony Hall on this page, it seems like a cool hall but I can't find it myself so have never been.

      I am really excite about this idea so I worked on a plan for you.

      This is what you should do.

      1. Follow this Google Maps directions to go to Famous Famiglia:,+New+York,+NY+10027-6900+(Columbia+University)&daddr=2859+Broadway,+Manhattan,+New+York,+NY+10025+(Famous+Famiglia)&hl=en&geocode=FdasbgIdKWmX-yFTNfGTfecU7ik7l5u-PvbCiTECJzYv9-HuXw%3BCcuhMYGaTwg9FRyibgIdE12X-yGJTjd59Ay2Iw&mra=pe&mrcr=0&dirflg=r&date=11%2F08%2F09&time=9:33pm&ttype=dep&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=&tline=&sll=40.792509,-73.958493&sspn=0.096951,0.222988&ie=UTF8&z=17&start=0

      2. I would get a few pieces of cheese and a couple drinks. I have had their pasta dishes before and they were dope. I also had a sub from there and it was dope. So you should get those.

      3. Now you should go to the Harmony Hall with this hot food. I couldn't find how to do this section using the subway or MTA busses so you might have to walk it. Try this out:,+Manhattan,+New+York,+NY+10025+(Famous+Famiglia)&daddr=544+W+110+St,+New+York,+10025&hl=en&geocode=FRyibgIdE12X-ynT5GGFO_bCiTG-GT7x6J25DA%3BFTafbgIdkFuX-ynZtgJzO_bCiTHuHT3w-Ub-rg&mra=ls&dirflg=r&date=11%2F08%2F09&time=9:33pm&ttype=dep&noexp=0&noal=0&sort=&tline=&sll=40.80452,-73.96651&sspn=0.001515,0.003484&ie=UTF8&z=19&start=0

      We are really looking forward to hearing about your trip please tell us how it goes and what you order. Also if you see any interesting birds or bugs when you go on this trip I would think it was cool if you told us about those.

  9. Anonymous  

    I love the ambiance, I love the day-core. I spend a lot of time trying to figure out which one I like more: the ambiance, or the day-core.

    They let me pour my own drink. So much power.

  10. Harmony Hunter  

    wait whaaatttttt what's an albatross ????

    i'm so confused

    and why would there be birds or bugs??

    • Cause  

      a bird sanctuary runs through 110th street. Every day, cockatoos and purple finches and red-footed boobies land on the windowsills. It's a wonderful sight. I suggest going to the middle of the street and looking up in the sky.

  11. Famiglia Calzones  

    are the best. That is all.

  12. it's just bad

    Koronet's is at least greasy, which adds some flavor. Familgia is just incredibly bland.

    "The pizza is the right size for lunch" - is the suggestion really that you should have a single slice of normal-size pizza as your entire lunch? That's insane. I guess these are the same people who think Naked Juice is an "entire meal."

  13. famiglia's  

    sucks. Dominoes and Papa Johns are the only good pizza places around here.

  14. hold up  

    You called both Koronet and Famiglia "Koronet's" and "Famiglia's" when you have the fucking Famiglia logo to tell you how the name is actually spelled?

    What. the. fuck.

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