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Yetty’s Pizza & Pasta

At just 21 years old, a sole female proprietor boldly earned her nickname as the “pizza queen” of the Mohawk Valley, transforming a six-table hangout into a thriving two-story empire. Felicia Netti, owner of Yetty’s Pizza & Pasta in Herkimer, New York, isn’t 100% sure when the business opened—though some old timers estimate 1952, the…

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Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

Third time was a charm for the founder of this Bronx basement hangout—and, 60 years later, two brothers who joined the team as teenagers keep the pared-down pizzeria hopping. In the 1950s, Patsy Ottuso tried his hand at pizzeria ownership in Harlem and Florida before returning to New York and opening up Louie & Ernie’s…

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Mario’s Restaurant

This Little Italy institution in The Bronx, now run by 4th- and 5th-generation family members, celebrates its centennial anniversary this year. Mario’s Restaurant has its 100-year-old roots planted firmly in pizza. After Scolastica Migliucci and her son, Giuseppe, moved from Italy to New York City, they opened up a pizzeria in lower Manhattan. But when…

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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…