New York City in 60 Seconds

DUMBO (Grimaldi’s Pizza and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory) | April 7, 2010

Our quest to find good restaurants brought us to DUMBO, a neighborhood in northwestern Brooklyn along the waterfront. Surprisingly, its familiar name doesn’t have any connection with the flying elephant of Disney fame. It stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

According to, “Dumbo was named by residents and artist loft tenants in the late 1970s who were looking for an uncool, anti-marketing name to protect their turf from developers who they thought were going to ruin the character of the neighborhood.” It didn’t seem to work too well, as now it’s quite touristy and offers expensive living.

One of the famous places to eat in Dumbo is Grimaldi’s Pizza, which is considered by many to be the best pizza in the 5 Boroughs (i.e. NYC) and one of the best in the USA. Grimaldi’s is located right at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and just up the street from the waterfront. We went to Grimaldi’s on a rainy day — the same rainy day on which we captured The Dead Umbrellas — but we still thought it was a magical setting.

Inside Grimaldi’s was impressive, as well. Autographed photos of famous and not-so-famous celebrities adorned the walls, including a photo of Frank Sinatra, and rock ‘n roll music filled the air — they played a lot of Led Zeppelin and U2 while we were there.

Since we got there in the mid-afternoon on a rainy Saturday in March, we immediately got a table, despite the fact that they don’t take reservations. We didn’t have to wait long for our pizza, either — a steamy masterpiece baked in a coal-fired brick oven was delivered right to our table.

Since they make a thin-crusted pizza (and we were hungry), it didn’t take long for us to scarf it down.

To prove that we actually ate it, here’s a photo from during the eating process (Mark prefers eating pizza with a fork):

So, how was the pizza? EJ said it tasted like the pizza she had in Rome last summer, so it seemed pretty authentic. Mark liked how there were burned sections on the pizza, so it seemed pretty rugged and manly. We both liked the fresh ingredients — the ham and cheese were both top notch. Two thumbs up.

After we finished our pizza at Grimaldi’s we walked through the rain down to the waterfront to have a creamy sample from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, another famous food landmark in Dumbo.

As we approached this white-with-green-trim wooden building on the edge of the water we wondered if it was closed, since we were the only people around and its windows were dark. The screen door was unlocked, though, so we knocked and walked inside. As we approached the counter, three aproned employees appeared and greeted us. As one took our order, Mark asked him what made their ice cream so special. “Because we make it here,” the guy behind the counter replied.  That must be why they call it a factory. Smart.

We thought their ice cream was very tasty and refreshing.

The wrapper around the sugar cone pretty much summed it up:

After brief deliberation, we decided that their excellent location combined with their excellent eating made Grimaldi’s and the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory ideal places to bring our family and friends.

Plus, with the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, this area will be even more ideal and touristy. We’re excited. Stay tuned for further posts.



  1. Mark…so cool…I’ve always wanted to eat at Grimaldi’s but never make it over there when we visit NYC…and the ice cream factory looks delicious!


    Comment by tvmom — April 7, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    • Thanks, Joni! Yes, DUMBO is a great part of Brooklyn and well worth visiting. For the “full” experience: walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan, eat at Grimaldi’s, get dessert at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, and walk along the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park. We haven’t done all that yet, but we will and it will be awesome. 🙂


      Comment by phillyoscar — April 8, 2010 @ 8:25 am

  2. Take me! Take me! I love good pizza and ice cream.


    Comment by Venna — April 7, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

  3. Is this THE waterfront in On the Waterfront (famous movie from the 50s starring Marlin Brando)? It looks like it is. I highly recommend this movie. In my film class at BYU, we watched the scene where he walks the blond woman home and he plays with her gloves. The teacher used it as a sample of excellent improvisational acting.

    I like that the pizza was “manly”. It sounds fantastic.


    Comment by Emily A Sanderson — April 8, 2010 @ 9:04 pm

    • On The Waterfront takes place in Hoboken, NJ — but you’re close! It’s only a few of miles away.


      Comment by phillyoscar — April 9, 2010 @ 8:43 am

  4. That pizza looks really good. I’ve been experimenting with making grilled flat bread pizza. I think I’m onto something good.


    Comment by Scerinda — April 22, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

  5. […] Mark, on the other hand, actually favored Grimaldi’s pizza (located up by the Brooklyn Bridge) because it’s less messy and just as fresh. (To check out our blog post about our visit to Grimaldi’s click here.) […]


    Pingback by Lucali’s (the Second Best Pizza in the U.S.) « New York City in 60 Seconds — February 17, 2011 @ 10:12 pm

  6. I did the same exact thing the other day! what incredible pizza, and the ice cream!!!!! OMG!!!!!

    it’s a great double header, with unbelievable views!

    I have a picture of a sign inside the ice cream place that says “ice cream is the new health food”. I could send it to you if you like.


    Comment by carol — March 21, 2011 @ 3:16 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

%d bloggers like this: