Ever wonder where the oldest continuously-open pizza restaurant is? It’s right here in New Jersey!
Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville holds that honorable title of Nation’s Oldest. And, the pies aren’t too shabby, either!
There’s a restaurant in New York (we’re sure you’ve heard of it) that claims they’re the oldest but Papa’s maintains that that restaurant was closed for ten years and reopened with different owners so their claim isn’t valid. Papa’s has been owned and operated by the Azzaro family since 1912.
Oldest pizza restaurant or not, these are some great pies. We tried two kinds–a plain tomato pie and a Mustard pie.
The plain pie had a nice crispy crust with lots of sweet tomato sauce and just enough cheese. We like a light cheese pie so this might not be to everyone’s liking but it was perfect to us. I prefer pizza sauce with a little more kick that this had so I ended up adding oregano and chili flakes before I could enjoy that super-sweet sauce. Maybe some spicy toppings would have helped, too. Next time we’ll have to try some toppings.
My favorite, though certainly not everyone else’s, was the mustard pie which we got with sausage.
Mustard pie is a Trenton area specialty according to Papa’s website. Yellow mustard is placed in the dough before the sauce is applied. I thought it tasted fantastic with the sweet tomato sauce and spicy mustard. It was slightly reminiscent of a sausage sandwich with mustard on it. It gave each bite a little acidity that I found lacking in the sauce and highlighted the sausage’s flavor. Even Papa’s admits that people either love Mustard Pie or hate it. I’m definitely on the Love It side!
Now, why Tomato Pies and not Pizza? Well, Papa’s website covers that, too:
*Tomato Pie versus Pizza:
There are those who say that the Trenton specialty known as Tomato Pie has a thinner, crisper crust, with the cheese sparingly put on the crust before the sauce, whereas a pizza has a thicker crust with sauce first, then plentiful cheese on top. Nick Azzaro says that sign makers charged by the letter, and “PIZZA” is five letters shorter than “TOMATO PIES.”
Whether other restaurants are being cheap on their signage or not, we’re big fans of tomato pies and you should definitely get on down to Papa’s and celebrate America’s Oldest Pizza/Tomato Pie Restaurant!
Papa’s Tomato Pies
19 Robbinsville Allentown Road, Robbinsville
Monday through Saturday 11:30 AM – 9:30 PM
Sunday 4:00 – 9:30 PM
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