Mickey’s Italian Delicatessen & Liquor Store

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it? Not at this SoCal beachside hybrid, which has thrived over 65 years thanks to a continual focus on upping its game. In 1953, 22-year-old Michael Angelo “Mickey” Mance, a former serviceman and accountant, took a leap of faith and opened his dream business, a deli, market and liquor…


Barone’s Pizzeria

Running out of food during a busy shift proved a fortuitous accident for a tight-knit SoCal Italian family—it was the day they introduced pizza. In 1945, when Josephine Barone and her husband, Jerry, opened a small restaurant serving sandwiches and pasta in Sherman Oaks, California, she enlisted a small army of brothers and sisters as…


Straw Hat Pizza

Who knew that old-fashioned could be so cutting-edge? In the summer of 1959, most California kids were listening to their favorite tunes and cruising the beaches with their surfboards. Little did they know their lives would soon be changed forever with the opening of the first Straw Hat Pizza (www.strawhatpizza.com) location in San Leandro, California….


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…


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…