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Market Street Pizzeria – Camden, NJ

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Picks up where La Riveria left off.

Market Street Pizzeria – Camden, NJ
1 Market Street (the Victor Building)
Website: They got one!
Meal: Weekend / Lunch / 12pm
Price: $16 (For Two – Excludes Tip)

We were thoroughly disappointed last year when La Riveria closed it doors. It was one of our favorite lunch spots and we were always kind of left scrambling without a ‘go-to’ spot in the Camden waterfront area. Fortunately for everyone that appreciated the homemade pizzas, subs, and sandwiches of La Riveria, Market Street Pizzeria picks up right where they left off and hopefully has made some business improvements along the way to stabilize the pizzeria at that location for many years to come.

If you were a frequent visitor of La Riveria, you’d think nothing has changed. The set up is nearly identical to its predecessor. We think, strategically, this was a terrific move to keep things familiar to gain the patronage of those (like us) who were formerly big fans of La Riveria. Our very first visit, prior to the official grand opening, was a little bit rocky. Our sandwiches took forever to come out, and were, quite frankly, not up to par with what we were expecting. We didn’t review the establishment at that time because we hoped things would improve as the management and staff got a little wind under their wings. A few visits later we saw marked improvements in the quality of their offerings. We think it’s now a fair time to evaluate the restaurant as it stands.

In our last few visits, we’ve had various slices of pizza, sandwiches, and a basket of fries; we’re happy to say that everything is very good. Expect to pay $2-$4 a slice for their gourmet pizzas and $6-$8 for a sandwich that comes with a bag of chips. We recommend asking if they have focaccia bread available for the sandwiches, as it is a significant upgrade over their deli-style Italian rolls (they shouldn’t charge you anything additional). We do miss the free salad and french fries that used to accompany our favorites at La Riveria (which are still the Tuscan Chicken and the Vegetarian), but Market Street Pizzeria’s offering of a bag of chips is fairly standard practice nowadays. Drinks are self-serve at a fountain with a typical selection (Diet Coke, Coke, etc.).

The staff is very friendly, and we love that they’ll still deliver to the table instead of forcing you to walk up to the counter to pick up your food. We’re very interested in trying their dinner entrees, and they’ve just recently announced a full breakfast menu. We think that adding breakfast is an excellent idea .. one that may signal the end of the dinner offerings. We just don’t think there are enough people left in the area after 5pm to try to sell dinner, but there’s plenty of commuters and students heading into the Rutgers campus or a few of the larger businesses and attractions that may very well be interested in a hot breakfast.

Overall, Market Street Pizzeria is a place that, in our eyes, had big shoes to fill. After a shaky start, they’ve done a marvelous job to really get up to speed and you can see it with the volume of people moving through the doors at lunchtime. It’s important for not only the proprietors, but the city as a whole, for these establishments to succeed. Based on the feedback from our tastebuds, they’re off to a good start.

Pros:

– Good selection of pizzas
– Focaccia goodness!
– Polite, friendly service

Cons:

– The Victor building hasn’t been friendly to restaurant tenants. We’re weary of becoming attached!

Guru’s Score: 3.8 Chews
Autumn’s Score: 3.4 Chews
Combined Score: 3.6 Chews
★★★½☆
Subjective rating: A frequent lunch hangout.

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Market Street Pizzeria - Camden, NJ, 4.8 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

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