Cincinnati, OH

Goodfellas Pizzeria in OTR - Cincinnati, Ohio

Rachel Yerks
Goodfellas "New York Style" Pizza SlicesPhoto by author

Goodfellas Pizzeria wasn't on our list when we decided to go bar crawling in Over the Rhine (OTR), but we needed some more food to pad our stomachs. We were tempted by their New York Style pizza, and as someone who has been to NYC nearly 100 times, I know what New York pizza should taste like.

We got two slices of cheese pizza, as they were out of nearly everything else and we didn't want to wait, and pesto bread. The pesto bread was not ready yet, so we had to wait for that anyways, but we brought it with us to the next bar so it worked out. Including a fountain soda and a dine-in charge, our price came to $17.25, which is quite high for 2 slices of pizza, a small pesto bread, and a drink.

Atmosphere and Food Experience

It did feel like a dark and moody mafia restaurant. They had many photographs of the mafia adorning the walls, the lighting was very dim, and the first floor was quite small. However, we were surprised to find they had both a second and third floor hidden away upstairs which were much more spacious, though still dark. You would never guess how large this restaurant is based on the downstairs entrance area.

They also have a lovely and bright outdoor courtyard, where we sat on the second-level porch. As long as you didn't stay and eat in the tiny, first-floor downstairs section, there was plenty of room to socially distance.
Photo by author

The pizza was very good. It was a bit thicker than the traditional NYC style, and it was certainly far more expensive than we expected. It was not greasy at all, which is my usual qualm with NYC style, and the crust was slightly thicker. I would say for a restaurant in Cincinnati, they got pretty close to NYC-style pizza. I actually think their version is the better pizza (this is a crime to say, I know).

Our pesto bread was brought to us in a box nearly fifteen minutes later, fresh and ten minutes ahead of schedule. We brought it with us to the nearby bowling bar, Pins Mechanical Company, as a snack. (Pins doesn't offer snacks, only drinks, so they encourage guests to bring food with them.) We were incredibly stuffed after having already eaten our slices of pizza, tacos, macarons, and boozy ice cream earlier, so we waited to enjoy pesto bread an hour later.

The pesto bread wasn't as good as the pizza, not even close. It was similar to what you would expect garlic bread to be, but with pesto instead. It was a bit bland for us, but it was certainly snackable along with a couple of drinks. When I go back to Goodfellas, I want to try their garlic bread instead.

Final thoughts

Goodfellas has some quality NYC-style pizza! It's not a perfect NYC-style slice, but it's pretty close. We enjoyed our food very much and the beautiful courtyard was an unexpected surprise. We'll definitely be bringing our friends there in the future to enjoy the fresh air and some great pizza.

If you want more options, go earlier in the day. The staff would've made whatever pizza or bread we wanted to order fresh, but we wanted to eat quickly and only cheese slices were left. I'm sure their other styles are equally as good. They had some fresh bread pop out of the oven as we were heading out that I wish was there when we originally walked in! I think we missed out on quite a few other options by going so late in the day.

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