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Jerry & Joe’s Pizza

Overcoming dirt-floor beginnings and boom-and-bust bubbles, this South Florida staple has allowed generations of hardworking immigrants to succeed in America. Italian-born Italo “Jerry” Barone may have started as a restaurant cook and dishwasher up in New York, but by the early ’50s, he was running his own outfit in Brooklyn—and scouting a second location in…

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Secane

When Philip Bottos wanted to branch out at his hoagie operation in Secane, Pennsylvania, pizza slinging family members in Massachusetts inspired him to establish Secane Pizza with partner John Kokalis in 1966. With a dream location next to the town’s post office, the small shop (less than 1,000 square feet) introduced a simple menu of…

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Sbarro

With a recent top-to-bottom rejuvenation that’s inspiring surging sales, this mall-based megabrand shows that, even after 60 years, you can teach an old dog new tricks. When husband and wife Gennaro and Carmela Sbarro opened their eponymous Italian grocery store in Brooklyn, New York, back in 1956, they could never have imagined the icon Sbarro…

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Vince’s Italian Pizzeria

A true Pacific Northwest original, this “Garlic Gulch” upstart used TV, radio and “buy three, get one free” deals to grow into multiple locations and concepts. In 1957, South Seattle was known as “Garlic Gulch” for its influx of Italian immigrants, but pizzerias hadn’t yet infiltrated the area—until Naples native Vince Mottola Sr. and his…

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Salvatore’s Pizza

Decades before food trucks flooded the streets, an enterprising husband and wife peddled slices on the go in western New York—and, 60 years later, the tradition continues. When the eldest daughter of Italian immigrants Salvatore and Philomena “Flo” Butera suggested turning their successful grocery store into a pizzeria (predicting that the new teen-fave snack food…

John Sasso (front left) proudly mans his new pizzeria.

John’s Pizzeria

Since 1929, this decidedly old-school landmark has earned worldwide fame as one of the original—and still one of the most popular—pizzerias in New York City. After plying his trade at Lombardi’s in New York’s Little Italy, pizza maker John Sasso was ready to strike out on his own. He bought a small storefront on Sullivan…

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Tony’s Place

Employees at this Valparaiso, Indiana, restaurant have clocked decades on the payroll, while customers have included Phyllis Diller and Red Buttons. Fortunately for pizza fans in Valparaiso, Indiana, Anthony Gengo Sr. couldn’t deny his dough-bound destiny. He’d been born into the business; his mother owned a bread company in New York, delivering door-to-door. But when…

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Patsy’s Pizzeria

Once the favorite pizza haunt of Sinatra and DiMaggio, this East Harlem legend has remained unchanged while growing its empire through franchising. Even in a city known for pie-slinging royalty and decades-old pizzerias, Patsy’s Pizzeria (thepatsyspizza.com) remains a standout. Started in 1933 by Pasquale “Patsy” Lancieri and his wife, Carmella, as a simple pizzeria and clam…

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Frank the Pizza King

This modest Colorado shop earns scads of media attention for its thin-crust pies and an atmosphere where everyone feels like family. Immigrant Frank Krascek didn’t come to the United States with much, but he did have a job set up—at Scotty’s Pizzeria in Englewood, Colorado. After several years of learning the ropes, he bought the operation in 1961 and…

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Corsi’s

Since 1958, this family-owned and -operated mainstay in Livonia, Michigan, has celebrated success with top-quality Italian specialties and down-home hospitality. In 1958, Italian immigrants Rocco and Adelia Corsi moved to Livonia, Michigan, where a few family members had a pizzeria—and helped them grab their own slice of the pie. Corsi’s (corsisbanquethalls.net) opened with pasta dishes…