Reservoir Restaurant Winner of NJM’s 2018 Pizza Poll

The votes are in in our 2018 Pizza Poll, sponsored by Reno’s Appliance. And the winner is...

Fresh out of the oven, we have a winner in New Jersey Monthly’s 2018 Pizza poll, sponsored by Reno’s Appliance. Reservoir Restaurant in South Orange has come out on top and can officially claim to be New Jersey’s favorite pizza.

The original Reservoir Restaurant was opened in 1935 in Newark by Vincenza Agnellino, a widow with six children. Vincenza would be proud of her grandchildren, siblings Bill Agnellino and Barbara Camarata, who run the restaurant their family moved to South Orange in 1965. Quality ingredients, their own sauce recipe and the black steel pans in which dough crisps make Reservoir pizza special. Designing your own? Meatballs, made in house, and fresh-fried eggplant make one of the simplest and best pies.

Some 4,774 votes were cast in the Championship Round, the most votes of any round in the four-week competition. We started with 50 pizza restaurants from throughout the state, and reduced the field to 30 for the second week, 10 for the third week, and 4for the Championship Round. In addition to Reservoir Restaurant, the final four were Patsy’s in Paterson, Tony D’s in Caldwell and Star Tavern in Orange.

Congratulations to the winner, and thank you for participating in our 2018 Pizza Poll!

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Comments (35)

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  1. LiliVonShtuppIsTired

    Dan Richer, chef/owner of Razza’s in Jersey City is consistently nominated for James Beard awards. The pizza makes “Best Of…” lists for New York City, despite being in another state. I find this list of finalists quite hard to believe.

    • Ken Schlager

      Indeed, New Jersey Monthly agrees that Razza in Jersey City is among the best in the state. Razza was on the original list of 50 contenders in the Pizza Poll but did not receive enough votes in the early rounds to advance to the Final Four.

  2. Linda Tuccillo

    DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pies Robbinsville…..absolutely the best

    • Warren Flicker

      Now you know what you’re talking about.

  3. debika65

    Vics in Bradley Beach serves the best thin crust pizza you will find on the shore…. too bad they weren’t in the list.

    • Ken Schlager

      Actually, Vic’s was on the original list of 50 contenders but did not
      receive enough votes in the early rounds to advance to the Final Four.

  4. Jill Mercandino Barbarulo

    Patsy’s Tavern in Paterson has been around since 1931. Started by the Barbarulo grandfather, it’s now run by the 2 grandsons. Not only is their pizza the BEST, so is the rest of their food. To be going for 87 years should tell you something. Thin crust, brick oven….enough said. 🍕

    • Larry Korn

      You got that rite!.

  5. Sue Drybread

    angelas in Hazlet,N.J.

  6. GarageRock

    Except for Star and Reservoir this list is pretty bad

    • Jacqueline Murphy

      Why not try a restaurant that uses fresh products before deciding the rest are “bad”? Artisan Pizza type restaurants generally use only fresh ingredients, are partnered with local farmers and support sustainability within communities. An open mind has great rewards!

  7. Gator Neil

    This list is silly. While I would contend that Talula’s in Asbury Park is indeed the best pizza in NJ, the fact that Razza in Jersey City, rated the best pizza in New York City (though in NJ) by the NY Times, isn’t on the list is farcical. Also conspicuous by its absence are Arturo’s in Maplewood and The Reservoir Tavern in Parsippany.

    • Ken Schlager

      Indeed, New Jersey Monthly agrees that Razza in Jersey City is among the best in the state. Razza was on the original list of 50 contenders in the Pizza Poll but did not receive enough votes in the early rounds to advance to the Final Four.

  8. DebDiGregorio

    NOT FAIR! The Village Trattoria in Maplewood is hands down the best place in the state! REALLY GUYS? I did not vote for any because “The Tratt” wasn’t listed — have you seen that place on a Friday night? OMG its the town kitchen!

    • Jacqueline Murphy

      Having raised my children in Maplewood and lived there over 30 years and still eating and shopping there, it’s not hard to understand why someone might believe the pizza is best at Trattoria. Unfortunately, there is little real competition in town. Any wonder its crowded on Friday night. Comparing with other towns of NJ though is very different.

    • Sharon

      Ditto for “The Tratt”!

    • Sanford Josephson

      I used to live in West Orange and used the Tratt for takeout, but I hated eating there — both in South Orange and Maplewood. The service is the worst!

  9. RJHNJ001

    This list totally misses the mark. How ever did it get created!?!? How about Big Apple Pizza in Cranford? or Roma Pizza in Garwood? Or another two in Cranford 1- Il Giardino’s Restaurant 2- Vinny’s Pizza? They all deserve to be on the list. These competitions do not give credit to those restaurants that belong on the “best” lists.

    • Jacqueline Murphy

      I doubt Vinny’s uses fresh products Or, maybe they do! Educate us!

    • Anthony Della Sala

      I live in Cranford and have been to each place that you mentioned and honestly none of them are anywhere near the top places in NJ! In fact – Mama’s in Garwood and Scaturro’s in Cranford are better than any that you mentioned!

      • RJHNJ001

        I agree that Scaturro’s does belong on the list. Also living in Cranford, our town deserves to be represented.

  10. Michael Scapp

    I really like the pizza at Moore’s Tavern. Their pies are incredible, their toppings are all top quality, it’s my fav.

  11. Dave T

    No Deninos Pizza Place of Aberdeen? Heresy!

  12. J Christiano

    I’ll wait for Pete Genovese to do his annual Pizza poll. This one has none of the real Pizza joints in Jersey.

  13. Warren Flicker

    You must not have many subscribers in the Central part of state, Mercer, where the BEST Pizzas(Tomatoes Pies) are?

    • Ken Schlager

      The original list of 40 contenders in the Pizza Poll included DeLorenzo’s in Hamilton, and De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies and Papa’s Tomato Pies, both in Robbinsville. But none of those Mercer County purveyors of tomato pies received enough votes in the early rounds to advance to the Final Four.

      • Warren Flicker

        How sad. If you haven’t tried a real TOMATO PIE then you can’t know what good is.

  14. Eric Schechter

    End of discussion.

  15. Roy T

    We all have our favorite styles and places. I prefer thin crust, crisp so that it can stand out straight when held by the edge. Good sauce, quality cheese, and FLAVOR FROM THE OVEN all add up to a great pizza. I travel miles and miles to get a good pizza. I even go to Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, Ct. when passing through and bring a pie back to NJ. Micheal Angelo’s in Fairfield, Bevaqua’s Reservoir Tavern in Boonton, all provide the above mentioned qualities that result in a great pie. But Patsy’s in Paterson is my favorite, hands down. Even their pepperoni is a higher quality. It is smaller and cut thick. The dough is completely different than any other. It isn’t hand tossed, it is rolled out by hand. Traveling through Paterson’s rough and tumble neighborhoods with their pot hole filled streets is never a pleasant experience. But the pizza at Patsy’s is well worth the drive. If you can, you should get there and try it.

  16. Anthony Della Sala

    Does anyone know if Ralph’s in Nutley and/or Santillo’s in Elizabeth were on the original list and if so at which point they were voted out? Thanks.

  17. Gene Kelsey

    Given all the amazing pizza options in the state of NJ and the originals on this list, the group of finalists, while they have their merits, are very disappointing.

  18. Sanford Josephson

    Here is who would be on my finalists’ list: Kinchley’s in Ramsey, Emma’s in Cranford, and Emilio’s in Manchester.

  19. Rand Simon

    Back in the ’90’s it was Casa Di Pizza on Bloomfield Ave. in Bloomfield. It was not a thin crust, but it was the lightest, airiest crust ever, and the best plain pizza I’ve ever had. Their ingredients were always top notch, and they made a potato and egg pizza to die for! I wish I knew where the moved, if they even moved or just gave it up when they closed.

  20. Ken

    There are too many great pizza joints in NJ to crown a single winner. The results should be based on region. That way I can guarantee a good pizza wherever I travel in NJ!