The Oldest Pizzerias In The United States

There is no denying the fact that the U.S. loves Italian food, especially pizza. As the number one comfort food of Americans, pizza still continues to be on nearly everyone's favorite foods list. And it is somewhat shocking that just a handful of pizzerias, with many dating back over a century, started it all and are still drawing in a steady number of patrons with no signs of stopping.


Thanks to the influx of Italian immigrants throughout the 1800s, America began an everlasting love affair with Italian cuisine, arguably instantly. But it was not until the early 1900s that grabbing a pie no longer meant you were coming home with dessert. Since then, the U.S. has been in the pizza business, from coast to coast. With countless variations, different cooking methods, a diverse ordering of ingredients, and quite the roster of toppings, this comfort food staple is truly whatever you make it. So, without further ado, here are some of the most revered and oldest pizzerias in the U.S. that have been serving piping-hot pizza pies since the early 20th century.

Jennie's is more than just great pizza

Situated in Monroe, Connecticut, Jennie's Pizzeria was established in 1935 and is considered to be one of the oldest operating pizzerias in the U.S. Run by the DeSimone family, Jennie's was a labor of love that was originally based out of their home in Bridgeport. A simple neighborhood joint out of the back of their house, it wasn't until the DeSimones purchased a local restaurant that was already named Jennie's that this pizzeria really began to reach the masses in Connecticut.


A true family affair, their sensational and traditional pies were a hit. Thanks to old-world recipes passed down and treasured by each generation, Jennie's was more than just a pizzeria. Known for its incredible Italian fare, this pizza parlor continued flourishing, expanding its menus, and moving on to bigger, better things like offering catering, sweet treats, and more, all under Jennie's umbrella. Still, Jennie's has many fan favorites, including its traditional pizza pie and the Pop's Oil Hot Dirty Pie, which this pizzeria has been making since 1935.

Tommaso's offers West Coast pie

Tommaso's, originally called Pizzeria Lupo's, also opened its doors in 1935. However, this brand-new pizzeria was not on the East Coast, but in San Francisco's North Beach area — where pizza was new and still becoming an art form. Nonetheless, the West Coast's savory pies did not differ too much from those made on the East Coast — at least not yet. The Cantalupo family hailed from Naples, like so many other immigrants who put their own spin on Italian fare, so that is likely why East versus West (California-style pizza versus New York-style pie) was not a thing in the pizza world in the 1930s.


Over the next few decades, this famed pizzeria changed hands more than once, and Lupos became Tommaso's. Despite new ownership, the commitment to the Cantalupo family's recipes allowed Tommaso's a lasting seat at the table. What's more, back in 1935, the Cantalupo family introduced the West Coast to the wood-fired brick oven, their Naples-inspired brand of pizza, and quite a few other specialties, all cooked to order. This perfectly sauced pizza with the right toppings is so good that Tommaso's has even been inducted into the Pizza Hall of Fame. Now run by the Crotti family, these mouthwatering pies continue to make Tommaso's a cherished slice of old San Francisco.

DeLucia's brings brick oven pizza to the forefront

Around 1917, Costanio DeLucia opened a bakery that sold bread and other baked goods in Raritan, New Jersey. However, America's favorite comfort food was not something you could get in this part of town, especially via this bakehouse's horse-drawn delivery service. In fact, pizza was not even on the menu until the mid-1930s. But by 1935, this little bakeshop's savory pies topped with the freshest ingredients garnered much attention in Raritan and surrounding cities.


Fast forward to the 1950s, DeLucia's pizza was no longer a menu item afterthought — it was all anyone wanted. So, this humble delicatessen became a full-fledged pizzeria — DeLucia's Brick Oven Pizza — and never looked back. With its state-of-the-art original brick oven, which is still used today, DeLucia has made millions of pies and warmed their way into the hearts of countless customers since 1935. It is worth noting that since their brick oven is over 90 years old, the daily number of pies is limited, so make sure you order early if you are craving pizza and want to try this celebrated pizzeria.

Santarpio is a style of pizza all its own

Yet another pizza Hall of Famer, Santarpio Pizza in Boston, Massachusetts started out as a bread bakery in 1903. A family business, Santarpio's has lived many lives as a bakehouse, a post-prohibition bar, and a renowned pizzeria run by the Santarpio family. Since 1933, this pizza parlor has dished up pies with a signature style that is all its own — that no one seems to be able to categorize.


A possible mix of tavern, thin-crust, old-world, and Trenton-style pizza, Santarpio's is revered as some of the best pie around and often is the most reasonable answer to the question — what exactly is Boston-style pizza? Though many locals will tell you there is no Boston-style pie, Santarpio's serves up downright delicious, "no frills, just yum" kind of apizza that is a must when in Beantown. With its unique textured crust and backward assemblage (flavorful toppings first, fresh cheese second, and special red sauce third), this nearly century-old pizzeria is definitely onto something and has been for quite some time now.

Patsy's Pizzeria is the Godfather of pizza

Patsy's Pizzeria is just one more iconic pizza joint that stepped onto the scene in 1933. Originally located in Harlem in New York City, Patsy's was run by Pasquale "Patsy" and Carmella Lancieri. Not only did their brick-oven pizza and overall ambiance bring in the crowds, but Patsy's was also a favorite of many of the stars of the day, like Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Even Francis Ford Coppola fell in love with Patsy's around the 1970s and used his beloved pizza parlor as a filming location for the 1972 movie, "The Godfather", which he directed.


For more than 90 years, Patsy's has catered to New Yorkers and pizza lovers from all over the country, making this pizzeria another gem to visit if you happen to be in the area. So much more than a pizza shop, Patsy's is very much a part of its surrounding community. Plus, this amazing pizza parlor has always had a large selection of phenomenal pies and first-rate Italian cuisine that pays homage to the old world — and just seems to get better with time.

John's of Bleecker Street is New York-style pizza

John's of Bleecker Street has been in business since 1929, give or take a few years. Still, this makes John's of Bleecker Street the third oldest pizzeria in New York and one of the longest-operating pie shops in the U.S. With its coal-burning pizza oven, John's of Bleecker Street has always been a serious contender when it came to making some of the best New York-style pies around. Of course, the debate rages on to this very day about which pizza joint has mastered the New York style, but this award-winning pie shop is nevertheless one of the greats.


Founded by Giovanni "John" Sasso, this amazing pizza parlor in Greenwich Village embodied Italian cuisine almost effortlessly. Despite only owning this pizzeria for about 20 years before selling it to Joe Vesce (and his brother), Sasso still left his mark on this pie joint. Now run by the Vesce family, you will still find this restaurant making wonderful half and full pizzas with an assortment of toppings in their coal-burning oven. And for over 90 years, when pizzerias were popping up everywhere on every corner in the city, John's of Bleecker Street never had any trouble standing out.

Marra's saw the end of an era

In the late 1920s, two more Neapolitans, Salvatore and Chiarina Marra, started their own pizzeria in the City of Brotherly Love. One of the oldest pizzerias in Philadelphia, as well as in all of the U.S., Marra's was established in 1927 a few years before the end of the Jazz Age. Today, Marra's is still a family-run business, with the original owners' grandchildren at the helm — cooking up traditional pies in their one-of-a-kind pizza oven (constructed with bricks from Mt. Vesuvius), it really doesn't get more authentic than this.


From homemade plates of pasta to heavenly veal, fish, chicken, and eggplant entrées, this fourth-generation operated pie shop and Italian American restaurant is truly something special. Just one visit and you will likely be hooked. And even though the art of making pizza began a long time ago in Naples, most patrons agree that the Marra family continues to bring the taste of the old country to this part of the East Coast with their flavor-rich pies and family recipes.

Santora's Pizzeria has been open since 1927

Like many other Italian immigrants, the Santora family started dishing out pizza pies where they could, which included their home, before making it big. Santora's Pizzeria finally came to fruition in 1927 near Buffalo, New York, and almost immediately became an overnight sensation, with people lining up ever since. Credited as the family that brought pizza to this region of New York, for this reason alone, this local pie shop is as historic as it is important.


For over 90-plus years, Santora's has honed its craft, offering everything from pizza and calzones to wings and sub sandwiches. Santora's is definitely in the top 10 when it comes to longevity, quality ingredients, and being family-owned and operated since its inception. Thus, if you are in the Buffalo area, make it a point to stop by this acclaimed West New York pizzeria — for its historic value and some downright tasty pizza. And if you cannot decide where to begin at Santora's, the large ½ red ½ white pie is a great place to start.

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana steps on the scene

Located in New Haven, Connecticut, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana was founded in 1925. Originally more of a side hustle for Pepe, he longed for a taste of home. As a result, Pepe began making apizza, which is a particular style of pizza made in Naples. After working long hours, Pepe sold his pies on the side at a nearby market. But eventually, Pepe was able to upgrade to a pizza cart, then to a full-fledged restaurant and pizzeria.


By the time Frank Pepe's opened its doors, his brand of apizza had already gained popularity in New Haven. So, Frank Pepe's had an established and loyal following, which allowed this pie shop to grow and open a bigger and better location — right next door. With a heavy focus on making the best crust around and using only the freshest ingredients, Pepe was able to create something truly phenomenal that has kept this pizzeria in business for nearly 100 years and counting.

Totonno's has been serving up hot slices since 1924

A Brooklyn staple, Totonno's Pizzeria Napolitana is just one more amazing New York pie shop that has stood the test of time. In the early 1900s, Anthony "Totonno" Pero came to America and began working with one of the pizza industry greats, or rather the man who started it all — Mr. Lombardi. After several years of working at Lombardi's, Totonno had become the first pizzaiolo, paid his dues, and decided it was time to branch out on his own.


So, Totonno set up his pizza shop in the famous amusement park, Coney Island. And ever since the mid-1920s, Totonno's has been serving up hot slices to the locals, vacationers, and masses in Brooklyn. Possibly the oldest family-owned and continuously operated pizza establishment in the country, Totonno's has made it through 100 years of ups and downs while still offering nothing but the best pizza — made with high-quality, imported ingredients. With generations of Totonnos holding down the fort, this pizzeria is practically the blueprint for American comfort food.

O'Scugnizzo Pizzeria and its famous tomato pies

Established in 1914, O'Scugnizzo Pizzeria became famous for its one-of-a-kind tomato pies. Going for a nickel a piece, these cheese-free savory pizzas were moving like hotcakes. For over 100 years, the brainchild of Eugeno Burlino has been in the business of selling first-rate pies. Located in Utica, New York, this pizzeria remains in the trusted hands of Burlino's family and continues to be a successful venture.


When you look at O'Scugnizzo's menu today, you will find much more than just tomato pies. However, this great pizzeria is sticking to its humble beginnings by keeping things simple. So, if you like going overboard with your pizza toppings, you might be slightly disappointed here. Remember, less is more, especially when the recipes are tried-and-true. In addition to incredible pies, O'Scugnizzo offers several kinds of pasta, deep-fried appetizers, wings, sub sandwiches, and salads. After a century, you should expect to pay more than a nickel for a pizza from this joint — but the good news is everything is actually reasonably priced, even now.

Papa's opens its doors with mustard pies

Papa's Tomato Pies was founded in 1912 by Giuseppe "Joe" Papa. At the tender age of 17, Papa was ready to get in on the pizza action. Papa's pizza pies were carefully crafted and made by hand without the help of wood-burning or coal-fired ovens. Currently, situated in Robbinsville, New Jersey, this pizzeria has always been more than just a local joint where you can grab a handmade pie. Papa's was also a place where others could learn how to make pizza sans the machines.


Even so, this pie shop is another East Coast family-run pizzeria with more than a century of industry experience under its belt and its own unique spin on Naples's cherished apizza. Mustard pies were the ticket here — though not for everyone, these tangy pizzas are considered a true delicacy around these parts. But that's not all — this pizza parlor also has a large selection of other kinds of pies, including a few gems you can customize with your choice of white or red sauce. Besides pizza, Papa's has a wealth of hearty menu items — too many to name, in fact.

Lombardi's started it all

As suggested, Genaro Lombardi was very much the man with the plan. Not only did Lombardi obtain the very first pizzeria license, but he also started selling pies out of a grocery store in Little Italy. To minimize leftover ingredients like dough and mozzarella, pizza was readily made available. Equipped with his license, expert baking skills, and the first pizzaiolo, Anthony "Totonno" Pero, Lombardi's claim to fame is undoubtedly that he established the country's first pizzeria in 1905.


Arguably, every other pizza place simply came second until 1987, when the first pizzeria (which was operating as a restaurant) closed its doors for nearly a decade. Nevertheless, Lombardi's eventually reopened in a new Manhattan location in 1994. Thus, Lombardi's is not just a footnote in the history of American pizzerias like some other later-opened pizzerias like to claim. But it is also not the oldest continuously operating pie shop that has never changed locations either. However, Lombardi's New York City still reigns supreme for most East Coast pizza lovers. So, if you still have not tried this world-famous pizza that started it all, then there is no time like the present.