105 N. Main St.
Akron Ohio 44308United States
At this classic pizzeria dating from the 1940s, the lines are long but the pies -- and the boisterous ambience -- are worth the wait.
History oozes from every plate at Luigi's, a north Akron staple since the 40s. Reservations are nonexistent at this cash-only, family-style pizzeria, so would-be pie-eaters queue up in an informal line that starts at one end of the bar and snakes out the door. Even on a cold day in February, diners can be seen shivering outside, waiting their turn for the traditional pasta and pizza dishes on the menu. Why? The food is good, of course, but nothing that will change your life. The restaurant's famous pizza isn't a thin crust or a super-thick crust, but nicely in the middle, and pies are ordered on a sliding scale of ingredients that includes homemade meatballs, tuna and anchovies. The lasagna is made in-house, and all the Italian classics are represented, from subs to antipasto to a dinner of homemade Italian sausage. Luigi's draw is its long-standing place of honor in the community. It's chock-a-block with regulars who've been coming here since they were babes and now bring their own children. Framed photos clamor for space along the walls, depicting regulars from way back when and local celebrities in black-and-white glamour shots. Although the place can get rowdy late at night (it's open until at least 2 a.m. every night of the week), most of the time, Luigi's is as family friendly as they come. It's boisterous and loud, and most of the fun of eating here is being a part of the experience. It feels like your own dining room, if you were Italian and you invited every single extended relative you knew to dinner. This is where Akronites bring their out-of-town guests to show off what the city is really all about.