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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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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…

Robert Leucht was the first in town to offer a pizza buffet

PizzAroma

This Kentucky pizzeria went from humble beginnings to 50-plus years of success, thanks to innovation, attention to quality and a can-do attitude. Robert Leucht didn’t know much about the pizza business when he opened PizzAroma (pizzaroma.com) in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1963. What’s more, the locals didn’t really know pizza either. But with a recipe and…

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Pasquale’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

Since 1954, this pizzeria has thrived on historic Woodward Avenue with authentic, one-of-a-kind pies. We couldn’t tell it any better ourselves, so, for a change of pace, we’ll let the Del Giudice family, owners of Pasquale’s Restaurant and Pizzeria, tell their own story after 55 years of family-style service: “At the height of the pizza…

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Home Run Inn

This pizzeria, named after an errant baseball, has hit home runs in the frozen-food and family markets. Home Run Inn began in 1923 as a small tavern on Chicago’s South Side. Founded by Mary and Vincent Grittani, the tavern received its name when a baseball from the neighborhood park smashed through one of the windows….

Ken Petti, with his wife, Almeda, introduced Master Pizza in 1955.

Master Pizza

After nearly 60 years in business, this Cleveland-area pizzeria keeps up with the times through aggressive marketing and social media strategies. Not long after opening Master Pizza (masterpizza.com) in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, in 1955, founder Ken Petti was primed for impressive growth. By 1960, he took on four partners to start franchising—the first business to…

Lombardi’s, opened in 1905, is credited as the country’s first pizzeria

Lombardi’s Pizzeria

Credited as the first pizzeria in the country, this Little Italy institution has been churning out coal-fired pies—and inspiring young pizzaiolos—for nearly 110 years. When Gennaro Lombardi, a bread baker from Naples, Italy, set up shop in New York’s Little Italy in 1905, he forever changed the course of American eating habits. Serving the then-predominantly…