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Savo’s Pizza & Family Restaurant

This Pennsylvania-based “little pizzeria that could” overcame hardships through innovation and sheer will to succeed. At 19 and 22 years old, brothers Ray and Michael Savokinas were ready to take the plunge into pizza when a local pizzeria owner who was leaving town promised it’d cost only $800 to set up shop. The year was…

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Pica’s Italian Restaurant

Founded in 1948, this Pennsylvania pizzeria’s pies are assembled with the cheese first, followed by the sauce. Pica’s Italian-born founder, Frank Pica Sr., came to pizza through a natural progression: After working in a bakery and then running his own bread route in Philadelphia, he decided to open up a shop where he could make…

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Frankie’s Pizza

From its grand opening on Valentine’s Day in 1955, Miami’s oldest pizzeria began as a true labor of love. After young Frank Pasquarella and his wife, Noreen, visited Miami on their honeymoon, they fell in love with the city and decided to relocate from Ohio and open a pizzeria. On Valentine’s Day in 1955, Frankie’s…

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Hideaway Pizza

With its fleet of VW Bugs, dancing waiters and hippie attitude, this laidback pizzeria has been rocking Stillwater, Oklahoma, since 1957. Opened in 1957, Hideaway Pizza (hideawaypizza.net) was Oklahoma’s second pizzeria, but it probably would have gone under if Richard Dermer, at age 20, hadn’t taken the helm in 1960. That decade ushered in both…

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Fricano’s Pizza Tavern

Even his mother doubted people would pay good money for this thing called “pizza,” but Gus Fricano persisted—and gained a bona fide cult following. In the early 1950s, tavern owner Cosimo Fricano (known as Gus) decided that his menu needed a boost. After seeing a sign that advertised something called “pizza” near Wrigley Field in…

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Mary’s Pizza Shack

Mary Fazio started this legendary pizza joint in 1959, with $600 and the pots and pans from her own kitchen. In 1959, Mary Fazio wisely took this casual advice from a friend: “You make such good pizza, you should open a restaurant.” The friend’s husband lent Mary one of his vacation cottages and, with help…

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DeLucia’s Brick Oven Pizza

From its horse-and-buggy beginnings in 1917, this New Jersey bakery-turned pizzeria has been thriving for nearly a century. When Constantino DeLucia arrived in the United States from Naples, Italy, as a teenager and went to work at a bread bakery, little did he know he was honing skills that would set the course for generations…

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Shakey’s Pizza Parlor

This Sacramento-based pizza franchise has the unusual distinction of being featured in the American Banjo Museum’s Hall of Fame. In April 1954, Sherwood “Shakey” Johnson and partner Ed Plummer opened a new concept, then called Shakey’s Pizza Parlor & Ye Public House, in Sacramento, California. Johnson, a jazz enthusiast, filled his parlor with music, featuring…

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Venice Pizza House

This family-run pizzeria evolved from a Sicilian immigrant’s dream to a San Diego success story. After Sicily native Salvatore “Sam” LoMedico emigrated to Detroit in 1939, he worked in the restaurant/bar biz with his brother—and knew immediately that he wanted to open his own place. Finally, after starting a family, serving in the military and…

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Broadway Pizza

This Twin Cities icon strikes an amazing balance between heritage, modernity and innovation. After Italian immigrant John Spallacci opened a bar in Minneapolis in 1953, he decided to cook up a little finger food for hungry patrons—and what better pick than pizza? Eddie Peck bought the operation (and the now-beloved cracker-crust pizza recipe) in 1961…