Home Events + NewsEvents This Hoboken Pizzeria Has Served FREE Thanksgiving Meals for 20+ Years

This Hoboken Pizzeria Has Served FREE Thanksgiving Meals for 20+ Years

by Hoboken Girl Team
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Thanksgiving is traditionally regarded as a holiday for gathering family and friends. However, be it the circumstance, weather, distance, or anything else, not everyone has a place to go for the holiday. But a local Hoboken favorite — Mario’s Classic Pizza — is making their pizzeria home this Thanksgiving, as it hosts a free — yes, free — Thanksgiving meal once again this year. The dinner, according to its owner, Mario Albunia, is for Hudson County locals in need of a warm + inviting place to go for the holiday and has become a 20+ year tradition that truly brings the season of giving to our Mile Square community. Keep reading to learn more about Mario’s Classic Pizza in Hoboken and the funny story behind how its owner started this Thanksgiving tradition.

marios classic pizza

The corner pizza shop located on 8th and Garden has been family-run for the last 30 years. Owned by Mario Albunia, this local pizzeria has been serving the community delicious slices + pies since 1986. On the menu there are more than 40 options to choose from — think pizzas, subs, sandwiches, salads, and so much more. HG pro tip: they also have gluten-free pizza. 

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

Mario’s Thanksgiving Tradition

marios classic pizza hoboken thanksgiving

Though Mario’s serves up a superior slice, on Thanksgiving, pizza takes a backseat.

“The dinner is for any and everyone who wants or needs it for the holiday — it doesn’t matter why,” Mario explained, noting that local residents donate turkeys to the restaurant, and Mario and his staff + family cook the entire meal themselves, no matter how many turkeys, to ensure that everyone gets a meal. The feast is then enjoyed right there in the pizzeria throughout the day for free. 

“It started as a joke because I didn’t want to go to my wife’s family’s house down the shore and leave Hoboken,” Mario explained. “But then it just grew — into what it is today.”

And the people who come range from young to old, locals to non-locals. “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,” Mario told The Hoboken Girl. 

“The preparation for Thanksgiving is crazy, we prep the turkeys and start cooking them the night before. After that, it’s an assembly line, with our family prepping everything early the next morning when we start cooking all the sides yams, veggies, stuffing, cranberries. This traditional meal will, of course, be served dessert that was provided by our great customers.” he explained.

The post reads, “For over twenty years we have been serving our community here in Hoboken free traditional Thanksgiving dinners and this year will be just like all the others. On this Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, starting at 11AM we will be serving free meals. Please help spread the word to people who may be in need this holiday. Our meals are totally free for absolutely anyone who stops in so if you need a meal, have nowhere to go, are stuck in town, or simply want to come to hang out, anyone and everyone is welcome. We appreciate all of our customers who have donated or who donated in the past. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!”

Read More: Thanksgiving Catering in Hoboken + Jersey City

marios classic pizza thanksgiving hoboken

The Meal Details

This meal is open to any and everyone in the community who wants to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with the community — all for FREE — throughout the day.

Thanks for keeping this tradition alive, Mario! Spread kindness today + every day.

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