• Torna’s Pizzeria: A 9th Street Pizza Staple

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    Tucked away on the side street of 9th between Park Avenue and Willow Avenue stands a warm and welcoming pizzeria, where the food will make your taste buds sing in Italian and you’re guaranteed to make a new friend. Torna’s Pizzeria located at 254 9th Street in Hoboken has been serving pizza to both new and loyal customers for almost 60 years. Best known for its Sicilian Pie {also available by slice} and Meatball Parm Sub, the menu spans across all the classic appetizers, calzones, and pasta dinners of the same quality. Read on to find out more about this local Hoboken legend.  

    Tornas outside

     All About Torna’s

    Dom Mike Tornas

    ^Domenico and “Cousin Mike” ready to welcome and serve their family recipes

    The current owners, Mike and Domenico, are proudly connected to the long-standing history of this Hoboken institution that opened in 1960. Mike Castella {but everyone calls him Cousin Mike} was born and raised in Hoboken where he still lives today. Domenico Lisa moved to Hoboken from Monte San Giacomo, Italy when he was seven years old to jump right into helping out around the shop after school. Even though new generations have taken over the shop today, there is still an impressive cross-generational presence with an “all hands on deck” mentality going strong throughout Torna’s.

    See More: The Best Hoboken Pizza Spots {According to Your Cravings}

    The History

    Tornas Family Photo

    ^ Nicola and Angelina’s photo hangs in the pizzeria as a constant reminder of the deep history and work ethic of past and current family generations

    Two families by the name Lisa and Cammarano immigrated from Monte San Giacomo, Italy and opened a charming pizzeria together. Torna’s literally translates to “return.” By means of hard work and quality products, customers did just that.  Eight years after opening its doors, Antonio Cammarano and Pasquale Lisa sold the business to Nicola Percontino. Nicola and his wife Angelina immigrated from Italy to Hoboken with their five children – the children who would eventually inherit the same unbelievable work ethic of their parents to continue the family legacy.

    What to Expect at the Pizzeria 

    Tornas sicilian

    ^ Sicilian slice of heaven, topped with pepperoni and a generous portion of crushed red pepper to perfection

    Tornas scilian slice

    This quaint pizzeria is perfect for dining in or taking out. Everyone who walks in the door is treated like they’re part of the family. There isn’t an “Old Hoboken verses New Hoboken here. We’re just Hoboken,” says Mike. The mom and pop shop feel throughout Torna’s remains alive as everyone in the family still has a hand in doing their part, including the children of the family who are learning the tricks of the trade. When Domenico was still young, he explained that his first job was to clean the dough machine. “I’d clean the machine for a small pie,” he said. “And now I’m a partner in the business”.

    Growing With Hoboken

    Tornas pizza

    ^ Classic round cheese pie, a staple that never disappoints

    As time went on and the neighborhood became increasingly gentrified, Torna’s held onto the values that made the neighborhood diverse and hospitable from the beginning, while making smart changes to keep up with ever-evolving shopping habits of local customers. Knowing that people rarely carry cash on them, under Mike and Domenico’s ownership, Torna’s transformed the business from being cash only to accepting credit and debit cards and started accepting online orders on apps such as Seamless, Grubhub, Slice, and App2Food. Even more notoriously, the pizzeria is open until 4:00AM on Friday and Saturday, which is clutch for late night workers and even more popular among the crowd spilling over after the last call at 10th and Willow.

    Of the various family members across the Lisa, Percontino and Castella families pulling 16-18 hours days to make this business such a success, it has all paid off to keep the legacy of the shop going strong. And most importantly, to spend time together as a family. With the simple phrase, “we’re gonna meet at Torna’s,” this pizzeria has been at the center of their families and the Hoboken community ever since its first opened.

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

    Hours

    Torna’s is open Monday-Thursday, and Sunday from 10:00AM-10:00PM, and  Friday-Saturday from 10:00AM-4:00AM – perfect for a morning, midday, or late night bite. Check Torna’s for yourself and follow them on Instagram @tornaspizzahoboken for updates too.

    Have a go-to dish at Torna’s? Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Joanna was born in New York City and proudly grew up in Hoboken above her family's butcher shop, Truglio's Meat Market. Although an Uptown Hoboken Girl at heart, she now lives in downtown Hoboken with her fiancé, Matthew. After graduating from Montclair State University, she began a career in Fashion Retail Marketing. Outside of her current role as Brand Marketing Manager at Ann Taylor, she loves to travel both near and far - yet always looking forward to coming back home to enjoy the institutional local gems of Hudson County, while discovering new ways to shop local along the way.


    2 comments

    • I grew up in Hoboken and never heard of Torna’s. That is until my niece Jennifer married the young Nicola Percontino. I have to try this place. Nico, are you listening?

      Reply
    • I grew up on 9th & Willow and the original owners made the best meatball parm ever. It was when neighbors knew each other. My dad arranged for me to have an account there & it was great to have place to go with my sister & friends. Glad to know its still there. Will have to stop by .

      Reply

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