Any time we have a discussion on the air about pizza, it lights up the phones.

Everyone knows that pizza is one of the most important foods in the New Jersey landscape. We don’t know exactly why that is, but I am not here to discuss that anyway. What I do want to talk about is what is arguably the oldest pizza place in New Jersey.

There have been other claims made about various spots that hold this distinction, but, from what I can gather, the oldest pizza place in New Jersey is Papa’s Tomato Pies in Robbinsville.

(If you can refute that, please feel free, but be prepared to bring evidence.) 

(photo: Papa's Tomato Pies on Facebook)
(photo: Papa's Tomato Pies on Facebook)

But here’s why it’s believable: Robbinsville is one of the oldest enclaves of Italian immigrants in New Jersey. So, it makes sense that someone within the population was the first to bring pizza to New Jersey.

And, Papa’s Tomato Pies, which they say is the longest-operating pizza spot in NJ, is also reportedly the longest-operating pizza place owned by the same family in the entire country, having opened in 1912. 

But here’s what amazing about it: their specialty. 

And don’t get all judgy about it. They’re known for their unique spicy brown mustard pie, where they spread a dollop of mustard between the cheese and the dough before baking it. I know, I know. But don’t worry if your family doesn’t like it — they’ve also got the beloved classic pies, pasta, and delicious Italian favorites.

A fresh pie (photo: Papa's Tomato Pies on Facebook)
A fresh pie (photo: Papa's Tomato Pies on Facebook)

So, I had to do the test at home. I took out my beloved Ooni pizza oven, and spread spicy mustard on the dough before I put the sauce and cheese on. 

It. Was. Heavenly. 

So I can only imagine how incredible the original is, and I can’t wait to try it. If you can’t either take a trip to Papa’s Tomato Pies. It’s at 19 Robbinsville Allentown Road in Robbinsville. You’re welcome.  

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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