The Bronx And Back Again: Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

“Where You From? Manhattan, Right?”

Although he waited to ask us as we were paying the bill on the way out, the friendly pizza maker nailed us from the moment we had walked in. It wasn’t that we had a snobby attitude or that we dressed in designer duds, we simply had that look of NYC wonder when you find a truly incredible place that you know is the real deal. No artisanal doughs, no fancy toppings, no ridiculous imported furniture from Tuscany — just perfect old-school pizza the way the New York gods intended it to be. Welcome to Louie & Ernie’s.

All lit up at night. C. Nelson, 2011.

After many years of promising ourselves to go check it out, we finally pulled together a crew to make the trek.  The long hike from the Buhre Ave 6 train station up Crosby Avenue is quite nice passing some great local shops. This is a sweet little neighborhood with butcher shops that offer “family meat plans” and cozy diners that serve coffee and donuts all night. Louie & Ernie’s fits right in to the local landscape.

Before we get to the main course, let’s start with the calzone. Oozing with ricotta and packed with spinach and prosciutto, these tasty pockets will fill you up fast. This is key, because with $8 full carafes of wine (and we mean full, to the very tippy top, thank you!) you’ll need lots of dough and cheese to keep you on track.

Spinach & ricotta and prosciutto calzones. C. Nelson, 2011.

Filled with locals and then more locals, there’s no need to worry about getting a seat at 7 o’clock on a Saturday night. Just sit yourself down and they’ll bring a couple of menus and some paper cups so you can start gulping the wine. The service is incredibly friendly with a rotating cast of young and hard working guys.

The fullest and cheapest carafe of wine in NYC. C. Nelson, 2011.

The sausage pizza at Louie & Ernie’s is what we really came for. We first read about this famed pie on Slice (by pizza expert Adam Kuban) awhile back. Luckily, it did not disappoint. A beautiful crust with a simple yet zingy tomato sauce and just the right amount of cheese — this pizza becomes a real winner when crowned with tasty hunks of porky goodness. The sausage is some of the best we’ve tasted on a New York pizza. And the reason? It’s loaded with fennel and is made fresh everyday at S & D Italian Deli just down the street. We’re going to throw Louie & Ernie’s into the bucket that includes our other favorite old-school pizza joints like Patsy’s and Arturo’s.

A classic sausage pie. C. Nelson, 2011.

Louie & Ernie’s had been on our to-do list for way too long. Don’t let yourself make the same mistake. Go and check it out soon.  It is awesome. It is real. It is the Bronx. It is New York.


About Craig Nelson

Exploring, cooking, drinking, riding the subway, bowling...a writer and editor based in New York. I'm a city lover who edits the blog for EuroCheapo, writes for, explores for Spotted By Locals and has worked at various under-the-radar companies like Google. Feel free to drop a line at or on twitter at @across106th.
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3 Responses to The Bronx And Back Again: Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

  1. That pizza looks amazing! I may try it tomorrow!

  2. Craig Nelson says:

    It’s a little bit of a trek, but totally worth it! Also, Patsy’s in East Harlem is serving up old-school coal oven pizza at its finest

  3. mike faix says:

    Louie & Ernies has always been a neighborhood favorite. As a child I had Pizza parties there and not a thing has changed as far as the food goes.In my opinion its THE BEST pizza your goona find. The owners have carried on Ernie Ottussos’ way of making pizza,simple but downright delicious. As I grew up on their pizza so will my wife and son.Louie & Ernies is a Bronx Landmark so to say. Their staff is very friendly,professional and on top of things. Whenever you visit The Bronx visit Louie & Ernies,you wont be disappointed!

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