Epolito’s New York Style Pizzeria

Epolito’s has been on our list of “must visits” for some time. It has received many positive reviews and has a loyal following amongst pizza cognoscenti.

So just what is New York style pizza? It’s known for its large, thin, wide and foldable shape. The dough is traditionally hand-tossed and it is usually light on the sauce. In New York it is often eaten by the slice, which is folded over due to its size and flexibility. This goes some way to explain the consistency of our pizzas. But I am getting ahead of myself.

Epolito’s is the real deal – owned and run by former New Yorker Chicklena Rose. She has been tossing pizza dough for over 30 years and prepares the toppings every morning. These even include the homemade meatballs and Sicilian-style sausage made to a family recipe.

We decided to order several small pizzas so that we could taste a variety of toppings. We ordered 10” Sausage and Meatball ($18), 10” On Madison (green olive, feta and roast garlic $18) and 10” Aloha (American streaky bacon and pineapple $16). We watched Chick toss the pizza dough and prepare our order. There was a steady stream of regulars who came to pick up their order and a threesome who decided to eat in.

The pizza was great but it was a bit hard for us to get used to the floppy consistency of this style. The flavours were great, particularly the vegetarian On Madison pizza with lots of green olive pieces (the pimento stuffed type) and feta cubes. The Sausage and Meatball pizza was very hearty and the sausage had a real heat to it. The Aloha was only a partial hit with our 10 year-old – the streaky bacon was soft not crispy.

All up it was a good experience but I think we just need to get used to New York pizza. We are so used to Italian-style with super-thin crust and a minimum of toppings, cooked so that the crust is crispy. The contrast of the hand-tossed base with generous amounts of toppings, cooked in a super-hot oven took some getting used to and in some cases made us feel like the toppings were slightly undercooked.

I do recommend Epolito’s. The three small pizzas were tasty and were more than enough for two adults and one child, with leftovers for the next day. Chick and her staff are friendly and helpful, the atmosphere is homely and the pizza is definitely homemade. Go judge for yourself.


Location: 34 Oranga Ave (cnr Rawhiti Rd), One Tree Hill
Phone: (09)  589-1999
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5pm onwards
Licensed: No
Prices:  Small pizzas (10”) $12-$20, the majority being $18.  Within Cheapeats budget if shared:  Large (14”) and extra-large (18”) pizzas $16-$40
Credit Cards:  Cash and EFTPOS only
Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes
Takeaways: Yes
Bathrooms: None
Wheelchair Accessible:Yes
Get Directions

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9 Responses

  1. Susan says:

    Have you tried Sal’s? There are three, one on K’Rd, one in the CBD and one in Takapuna, a fourth coming but they haven’t announced a location yet. I have not been to Epolito’s but I am originally from NYC, and Sal’s the real deal. The slices are not floppy or overloaded with toppings, and in fact, they are purists in that they only offer the traditional New York style toppings. The crust is crispy enough to stay firm, but soft enough to fold. And since their large pizza will serve 4 or more for $32, I would say it qualifies as a cheap eat.

    • Lynn says:

      Many thanks for that recommendation. I have heard about Sal’s and will now make it a priority to visit. The large pizza sounds very – well, large!! Looking forward to your feedback if you visit Epolito’s.

  2. Rachael says:

    Thank you for this post, we’ve been recommended Sal’s (as mentioned above) and plan to go this weekend. I didn’t really know what NY style pizza meant, but do know, thanks, also have another NY pizza option to try.

    • Lynn says:

      Hi Rachael. We will visit Sal’s sometime soon, thanks to the recommendation from Susan. Let us know how you enjoy it if you try it this weekend.

  3. Rachael says:

    Enjoyed Sal’s pizza, it was a new pizza experience and the pizza didn’t look that appealing compared to pizzas I’m used to seeing, but the flavours were delicious. I’m not a big meat eater but tried my partner’s meat ball slice and I’d order it myself. Good sized slices and at $5 for the first slice and $4 additional slices, it’s good value.

  4. Lynn says:

    Thanks for that feedback on Sal’s. Sounds as though we need to get used to the NY style of pizza.

    Any other favourite pizza places that we should know about?

  5. Kat says:

    Sal’s definitely grew on me. At first, after hearing so much about it, I felt like it was really overrated, but it was more that I, too, had to get my head around the minimalistic approach – so used to leaning towards getting more bang for my buck haha! But now I love the fact that not cheapening the pizza with a mess of toppings allows you to enjoy the basic things like their great dough. That base is amazing – in fact I now usually go for the plain cheese or vege. And how about those pepperoni wheels for people who love their chewy doughs?? (so full of carbs but so good…)

  6. Nicola says:

    Hey! Have you heard what has happened to these guys?! I went to go get pizza from here the other day and looks like they are on the move… I miss their pizza!

    • chicklena says:

      Epolito’s is looking to relocate to something more central. Trying also to find a place so people can eat in with a beer and or a wine! Keep an eye on the website or FB. I recommend people try the cheese or pepperoni for the first time…most Americans do!!!!!

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