Lombardi's Pizza


North America, United States, New York City

Lombardi's was the first pizzeria in the United States, founded in 1905 in Little Italy, Manhattan. The business started out as a grocery store at 53 Spring Street in 1897 opened by Gennaro Lombardi. In 1905 his employee Antonio Totonno Pero began selling tomato pies wrapped in paper and tied with a string. The original way of making a New York pizza in a coal oven is still used at the restaurant. Lombardi's is unusual in not selling slices, which are popular in New York but not traditional. Instead, only whole pies made to order are sold. In 1924, Totonno left Lombardi's to open his own pizzeria on Coney Island called Totonno's. In 1984 the original Lombardi's closed. In 1994, Lombardi's restaurant was re-opened a block away at 32 Spring Street by pizzamakers John Brescio, a childhood friend of Lombardi's grandson, and Gennaro Lombardi III, Gennaro Lombardi's grandson. In 2005, Lombardi's sold pizza pies for 5 cents, which was the original price in 1905, to celebrate the 100th anniversary.