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Bruno’s Pizza

Pizza’s just one item on the menu at this Indiana mainstay founded in 1955. Anyone up for Wiener schnitzel and Swiss fondue? Bruno Itin moved from Switzerland to Indiana in 1951 and, after a few years as a restaurant worker, decided to open his own venture in 1955: Bruno’s Pizza in West Lafayette. “My dad…

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Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria

From humble beginnings in a Chicago saloon, this South Side pizzeria continues, now in its fifth generation, as a family affair. Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria (vitoandnick.com) has its roots in a saloon, Vito’s Tavern, that Sicilian immigrant Vito Barraco started in the early 1920s. He added food to the menu—sandwiches and spaghetti at first—in 1939….

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Rosati’s Pizza

Starting with a family patriarch who served flatbreads to Al Capone in the 1920s, this Illinois-based pizzeria has grown to nearly 200 locations in 14 states. As with many Italian families, the Rosati clan’s roots run deep. In the 1920s, Italian emigrant Silvario Rosati served Pizza A’Olia—a flatbread with garlic and oil—as a pre-meal treat…

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Connie’s Pizza

Jim Stolfe offered up his 1962 Oldsmobile Starfire to buy the first freestanding Connie’s Pizza shop in Chicago—and went on to become an accidental pioneer in pizza delivery. On June 1, 1963, Jim Stolfe purchased a little food stand from Connie DeGrazia on Chicago’s South Side. He left the Connie’s name on the storefront and…

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The Enchanted Inn/Drag’s

After a bumpy start in 1951—locals thought pizza was a type of beer—the Draganowski family has expanded its enterprise to four unique locations spanning three generations. In 1951, Kas and Clara Draganowski moved their family from the citified streets of Chicago to bucolic northern Wisconsin, ready to realize their dream of starting a restaurant. After…

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Straw Hat Pizza

Who knew that old-fashioned could be so cutting-edge? In the summer of 1959, most California kids were listening to their favorite tunes and cruising the beaches with their surfboards. Little did they know their lives would soon be changed forever with the opening of the first Straw Hat Pizza (www.strawhatpizza.com) location in San Leandro, California….

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Pizzi Café

The pizzeria that helped introduce round pies to Ohio also offers overnight shipping across the U.S. Tony Pizzi, a mason by trade, ventured to America from Italy and settled in Conneaut, Ohio, where he opened a beer garden in 1934. He bricked together two old fish-drying houses and lived above the business with his wife,…

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Nicolosi’s Italian Restaurant

Motorcycle delivery didn’t fly and a freeway nearly shut everything down, but this San Diego survivor keeps rolling with the punches. After operating a bakery in Massachusetts in the 1940s, Sicilian emigrant Salvatore Nicolosi brought his family to Southern California in 1952 and opened Nicolosi’s Italian Restaurant (nicolosis.com), serving Old-World recipes handed down in his…

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Coletta’s

This Memphis institution was Elvis Presley’s favorite pizzeria—‘nuff said! In 1922, Emil Coletta opened the Suburban Ice Cream Company, selling ice cream and Italian dishes. But when his son Horest took over the business in the early 1950s, he decided to focus more on food and added pizza to the menu. Largely unfamiliar to Memphis…

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Alongi’s

This small-town Illinois pizzeria has hosted the likes of Willie Nelson, Bob Hope, Stan Musial and Sonny & Cher. In the small mining community of DuQuoin, Illinois, Alongi’s is a true survivor: Sicilian immigrant Guy Alongi started his business in 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, and his family has continued to weather…