Home Food + Drink Mario’s Pizza: One of Hoboken’s Classic Slices

Mario’s Pizza: One of Hoboken’s Classic Slices

by Stephanie Vermillion
Attain Medspa
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When Mario’s Classic Pizza served its first slice in Hoboken, Garden Street looked quite different than it does today. It was January 1986, and owner and Hoboken resident Mario Albunia decided to switch from running pizza shops on the Seaside Heights boardwalk to Hoboken — so he could work closer to home. Today, some 33 years later, Mario’s Classic Pizza remains a family-run business, and a staple in the Hoboken community. Albunia’s son {also named Mario Albunia after his father} runs the business with support from his kids, brothers, and mother.

Marios Pizza Hoboken

“After college, I came right to work here looking to keep the values and traditions alive,” he said. “I’ve been making changes and adapting our family business to today’s world, setting the stage for many more years of success in the future.”

marios classic pizza

While the shop itself has seen minor changes over the years — such as the move from 741 to 742 Garden Street for an upgraded space — Albunia and his family have evolved the menu to meet the demand from today’s customers.

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Mario’s Classic Pizza’s original menu featured traditional pizza offerings; today, it boasts a menu of more than 40 different options, from pizzas to salads and sandwiches to subs. Some of the shop’s most popular slices include a simple pepperoni one to a chicken Marsala slice, as well as more creative concoctions, such as the burrata arugula slices. For Albunia, it’s all about smartly transforming the business {and menu} while remaining true to the 33-year-old pizza shop’s core.

Marios pizza slice hoboken

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Marios pizza close up hoboken

“As times go on, you have to change to stand out from the crowd,” he said. “To stay in business this long, we have to be doing something right. This longevity is really something we pride ourselves on.”

In addition to a creative and ever-evolving menu, one reason Mario’s Classic Pizza has survived the area’s competitive restaurant industry is its deep roots in the Hoboken community. The Albunia family keeps the business integrated into the neighborhood by sponsoring events and little leagues. Perhaps the most impressive event is the shop’s longstanding tradition of providing free Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who wants or needs it on the holiday. The tradition started with one turkey, and last year they had over 20 turkeys to serve {all donated by local residents}. Mario and his family cook the food, and people stop by throughout the day, free of charge, to eat and enjoy the day. “It’s college students who can’t go home for the holiday, people who don’t have family in the area, those who don’t have the means to make dinner, and people who just want to spend time at the shop with us,” he shared.

marios classic pizza

marios classic pizza

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, a lazy Sunday or really any day of the week, Mario’s Classic Pizza welcomes customers with a homey spot for dining in or grabbing slices to go. That said, many pizza parlors in Hoboken and beyond have a similar look and feel. What makes Mario’s stand out is far more than its décor or style — it’s the family-centric values that make up the fabric of this longstanding pizza shop.

“We try to make sure our pizza experience brightens people’s days by providing not only delicious food, but a friendly, family atmosphere,” Albunia said. “Mario’s is the type of place you can come back and know you’ll be remembered. This is important to us, and it really sticks with our customers.”

Read More: 9 Italian Restaurants in Hoboken for the BEST Pasta

Have you had Mario’s pizza? Comment below!

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