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Old-school pizza parlours are making a comeback in Toronto

While some food trends come and go, others never go out of style. So, while the pandemic has inspired many pizza takeout joints to pop up around the city, nothing beats the casual, comfort of the old-school parlour style—the ones you bring the whole family to so that your twelve year old gets the greasy pizza and soda he wants while you get the soft dough and pint you want. These family-friendly parlours are a win for everybody.

Check out some of our favourite old-school pizza parlours.

Pizza Conzo

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Between the low-hanging lights, checkered tablecloth, and faux brick, the only thing Pizza Conzo is missing to become an old 50’s diner is the tiled floor. But, the space is more contemporary with contrasting off-white walls and burgundy finishings and dark stools. The open kitchen and visible pizza oven means you can sit back with your pie and an espresso martini and watch your pizza get cooked to crispy perfection. On the menu, customer favourites include the Moma Conzo, a pie topped with pepperoni and mushroom, and the zucchini with basil pesto pizza.

Mamma Martino’s


The best pizzerias to bring your family are none other than the ones actually run by a family. At Mamma Martino’s, family is in the name—I mean, nothing says “family-style” and “Italian” more than “Mamma Martino’s.” This eatery has been in business since 1983, and in its current Etobicoke location for over 25 years. Located on The Queensway in a trendy up-and-coming neighbourhood, and marked with bright lights, greenery and Italian-coloured signs, there’s no chance customers are walking right past the tempting lure of these homemade pizzas. Antipasti, pastas, veal, and sandwiches are also on the menu.

Fourth Man in the Fire Pizzeria


Fourth Man in the Fire mixes old school styles with the innovations of current technologies (like adding iPads to each table for guests to order from). Some of the classic pizzeria vibe found at this place comes from the (fake!) signed celebrity photos on the walls. The olive-green walls and spacious patio give it the homey feel of Grandma’s kitchen, while the the black and white checkered floor comes right out of an old school diner. One of the most family-friendly aspects of the restaurant is just how affordable it is— you can feed the kids with 18-inch pizzas for just over $30.

Danny’s Pizza Tavern


During the day, this Little Italy pizzeria is a great spot to bring the whole family for a celebratory feast (or a regular Tuesday night), but when the sun goes down and the candles are lit, it gets transformed into an intimate date spot. Danny’s Pizza Tavern opened this summer, and yet the artwork and family photos that line the wall look like they’ve been there for generations. Alongside the lineup of tavern pies, Danny’s offers classic American diner items like burgers, chicken, fries and salads. You won’t want to pass up their gooey, stringy mozza sticks!

Ferraro 502


With the stripped awning and fenced streetside patio, Ferraro 502 looks like a resto parisien from the outside. Though the interior is simple, with beige walls and cushioned, wooden chairs, the food on the menu is not. With diner specials inspired by the Ferraro 502’s hometown of Altomonte, Cosenza including lasagnas, pastas and fresh salads, and the wood-burned thin-crust pizzas, the menu here is as authentically family-style Italian as it gets.

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO