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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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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…

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Pizza Inn

Through booms and busts, Pizza Inn has continued to innovate, even as its parent company has expanded into the fast-casual segment. Pizza Inn has come a long way since Joe Spillman opened his first location in 1958 across from the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. But the road has been a pretty rough…

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Zaffiro’s Pizza & Bar

For a small pizza joint with “no ambience,” this shop ranks among Milwaukee’s most popular pizza spots. Liborio “Bobby” Zaffiro owned a tavern in the Italian section of Milwaukee in 1951—until a road trip to the East with friends revealed pizza’s popularity. “At the time, there was only one other pizza place in Milwaukee,” recalls…

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Sammy’s Pizza

Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet in 1954 on Minnesota’s Iron Range—until they discovered the seductive power of pizza. Sammy’s Pizza (mysammys.com), like many other pizzerias, was born of hardship. In 1954, husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Sam and Louise Perrella couldn’t make ends meet with typical jobs, so they decided to open a pizza shop….

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Pizza Hut

As co-founders of the world’s no. 1 pizza chain, Frank and Dan Carney forever altered the pizza industry. Then, Frank veered off in a direction that no one was expecting. When Pizza Hut started in 1958, its name aptly fit the 600-square-foot space into which it was crammed. Two brothers, Frank and Dan Carney, started…

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HUNT BROTHERS PIZZA

Over 50-plus years, Hunt Brothers Pizza has grown from a wholesale pizza route to a c-store powerhouse. In 1962, having grown up working in the restaurant of their father, four brothers—Don, Lonnie, Jim and Charlie Hunt—began a local wholesale food route they named Pepe’s Pizza. At first, they distributed par-baked pizza crusts, dough balls and…

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BORRELLI’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT

From hardscrabble beginnings to incredible success, this Long Island icon has remained a true family affair for more than 55 years. In 1955, three brothers leased a small burger joint in East Meadow, New York, and Borrelli’s Italian Restaurant  (borrellisrestaurant.com) was born. Al whipped up Italian cuisine, Phil made pizzas, and Frank waited tables. Though…