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42nd Street Pizza

Despite decades of neighborhood hardship—and ruthless development—owner Louie Gritsipis delights in his pizzeria remaining a familiar fixture in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Louie Gritsipis, owner of 42nd Street Pizza in New York, didn’t stay in the United States long after emigrating from Greece at 18 years old. He was soon back in his homeland, completing…

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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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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…

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Rizzo’s Fine Pizza

Legendary for its square Sicilian slices, this Astoria institution stays successful by keeping it simple. From the first moment brothers Sal and Joe Rizzo opened Rizzo’s Fine Pizza in Queens, New York, with their brother-in-law Hugo Lupi in 1959, the square Sicilian slices, known for their airy, thin crust, attracted scores of fans. “That signature…

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Aldo’s II Pizzeria & Restaurant

A slice-and-soda combo cost 25 cents and a large pie was just a buck when this beloved pizzeria opened in Ozone Park, New York, more than 50 years ago. Aldo Calore, owner of Aldo’s II Pizzeria & Restaurant in Ozone Park, New York, entered the pizza business at 16 years old, working at New Park…

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O’Scugnizzo’s Pizzeria

Eugeno Burlino rose from “street urchin” to owner of a legendary pizzeria. Eugeno Burlino came from Naples in the late 1800s and settled in Utica, New York, where he worked as a pastry chef. To supplement his income, he also attended the frequent feasts held in the predominantly Italian area and sold simple pies made…

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…

Plain cheese pie remains a top seller for the pizzeria.

Villa Italian Kitchen

From Broadway beginnings in 1964 to 400 locations today, this fast-growing pizzeria served cheese slices to Ed Sullivan in its early years. Naples, Italy, native Michele Scotto opened Villa Pizzeria (now called Villa Italian Kitchen) in 1964 with a handful of authentic old-world recipes and a commitment to hospitality and quality ingredients. Located next to…

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Totonno’s

This Coney Island favorite attracts crowds year-round—and from around the world. Zagat once claimed of Totonno Pizzeria Napolitana (totonnosconeyisland.com), “Only God makes better pizza.” And this legendary pizzeria has certainly received its share of cult-like worship since its beginnings in 1924, when Anthony “Totonno” Pero opened his own pizzeria in Brooklyn’s Coney Island (he had…

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Sal and Carmine

Founded by “the Dom DeMarco of Manhattan,” this Upper West Side pizzeria has been serving up slices and ices for more than 50 years. After immigrating to the United States from Italy in 1957, Sal Malanga worked 22 hours a day to save up for a pizza shop, and in the summer of 1959, that…