TikTok influencer Keith Lee famously turned the struggling Frankensons Pizzeria, located in Las Vegas, into an overnight success—quite literally—in January 2023 with a single rave review. About 11 months later, the MMA fighter and restaurant reviewer tried out the pies at some of New York’s better-known pizza joints. And he wasn’t quite as impressed.

Lee chose three shops based on recommendations from friends and tried out the plain cheese pie and the most popular signature pizza at each one. The pizzerias were Joe’s Pizza in Greenwich Village, Prince Street Pizza and Bleecker Street Pizza.

Lee picked up the pies to go and reviewed them, with his customary dry wit and down-to-earth candor, while seated in his car.

Related: How TikTok’s Keith Lee Made a Struggling Pizzeria World-Famous

Scrutinizing the cheese slice from Joe’s Pizza, he noted, “It looks really sauce-dominant.” After a bite or two, he added, “It’s OK. The cheese doesn’t have a lot of flavor, and it is a lot of sauce. I do taste onion and garlic, but it’s very faint…I’m not a huge fan.” He finally rated it a 6.8 out of 10.

Moving onto a slice of Joe’s Supreme pie, he noted, “I love mushrooms, but these mushrooms are really slimy. Like overly slimy.” Finally, he concluded, “The rest of the pizza had a lot of flavor, and I like the toppings, and I like how crispy it is, but the mushrooms personally took me out. They were super-slimy. They were really, like, moist. I’m not a huge fan. 2 out of 10.”

That left Joe’s Pizza with a final score, averaged out for the two different pies, of 4.4–a dismal rating for such a venerable pizza institution. Celebrities and actors like Joe Jonas, the Kardashian sisters and Dua Lipa might see it differently, but, hey, Lee calls ’em like he sees ’em.


New York Pizza taste test 💕 would you try it ? 💕 #foodcritic

♬ original sound – Keith Lee

Lee’s next stop: Prince Street Pizza. Digging into the cheese slice, he said, “I taste the cheese a lot more in this. The sauce isn’t as prominent. It’s crispy, it’s thin—super thin. It’s still not an amazing slice of pizza, in my opinion, but it is pretty good. 7.5 out of 10.”

Prince Street’s Naughty Pizza fared a little better, scoring an 8 out of 10. “It’s thick, it’s spicy, it’s crispy,” Lee said. “I love these pepperonis. This is the highest [score] so far.”

That averaged out to a final score of 7.7 for Prince Street Pizza.

Last on Lee’s list was John’s of Bleecker Street Pizza, but, as any pizza-savvy New Yorker will tell you, John’s of Bleecker Street and Bleecker Street Pizza are two different operations. Lee, a visitor to the Big Apple, got confused and ended up at Bleecker Street Pizza—a mistake he acknowledged in a dubbed voice-over before he rated the pies.

But Bleecker Street Pizza didn’t disappoint the fast-talking TikTok wizard, even though he deemed the cheese slice’s crust “a little too crispy,” adding, “It’s almost, like, stale.”

A bite or two quickly changed his mind. “Best flavor for sure,” he mused. “I like this sauce a lot. It’s obviously tomato-based, but it’s not super-tomato-forward. I taste a lot more than just tomatoes, and, in this case, onions and garlic are front and center. It’s got a little bit of spice to it. And the cheese has flavor. This is the cheesiest, the crunchiest, and the best cheese pizza in my opinion. 7.8 out of 10.”

Bleecker Street’s signature pie was a Margherita, although Lee couldn’t remember its exact name. “But it’s booming in there, and we ain’t going back in to ask,” he said. “I ain’t about bothering people or being cussed out—not for no name of no pizza.”

After a couple of bites, he said, “It’s OK. It’s very basil-forward. You get punched in the face with the tomato. It does taste fresh, and I do like the basil. But it’s kind of underwhelming in my opinion. 6.5 out of 10.”

Bleecker Street Pizza’s final score: 7.4. So Prince Street Pizza emerged as the winner with a score of 7.7.

In his January review of Frankensons Pizzeria, Lee, who has more than 14.5 million followers on TikTok, pronounced the pepperoni pizza a 9.8. He had visited the shop after getting an email from a Frankensons employee who felt the restaurant was an undiscovered gem and needed a boost. “We really can’t afford rent,” the employee wrote. “It’s a family-owned business, the food is delicious, but we don’t have any marketing behind us. That’s the only reason we don’t really get that much business.”

Lee’s review changed all that. After biting into the pepperoni slice, he said, “I swear, this is why I started making videos like these. Places like this, that don’t nobody know of.” Addressing the owner, he added, “Frank, from me to you, this is my opinion: There’s no way you should be behind on rent or struggling to pay rent. [The problem] is marketing. That’s 100% what I feel like. That food is delicious. The service is amazing.”

Just hours after the review posted on TikTok, Frankensons started getting slammed, with lines snaking out the door and down the sidewalk. The pizzeria frequently sold out entirely for days afterwards. Today, it has more than 35,700 followers and continues to thrive.

For operations like Joe’s Pizza and Prince Street Pizza, one review won’t make any real difference in business–even if the mushrooms are too slimy.

Food & Ingredients