Our Story

In order to tell the story of how La Villa came to be in 1982 properly, we must go back three decades before. In 1955 my Uncle, Gino Branchinelli opened the family's first Pizzeria on 5th avenue and Bay ridge. He along with my Other Uncle, Antonio opened more locations around Brooklyn and in 1960 opened Gino's Italian Ices on 39th street as well.  In the late 60's My Father Benito joined my uncle at his current location in Long Beach, Long Island which opened in 1962.  After 14 years there, my Father decided to leave Long Beach. In the spring of 1982, along with other family members, he opened the La Villa Located in the Lindenwood section of Howard Beach.  The Pizzeria was small with seating for only about 25-30 people, but it was always standing room only!   The Italian ice Factory and my cousin Emilio and Uncle Mario’s pizzeria in Long Island, was where I spent my summers and weekends. Soon Pizza became my only interest!  Every day with their teachings and tough love, their passions began to pass on to me!   In 1986 I decided to leave NYU business school during my senior year to take La Villa over from my father with the help of my sister Irene and mom, Maurina. With long hours and hard work from my family and dedicated workers, the little 35 seat pizzeria in Howard Beach became very popular. Recent renovations have now expanded to seat over 100 with outdoor garden seating and the addition of two large Wood fired Pizza ovens.

 

About 1990 knowing that we were well established we thought it was a good time to seek out an additional location.  With the help and partnership of a super energetic 19 year old Howard Beach kid, Louis Colello, our second location opened in 1992 on Avenue U in Mill Basin, Brooklyn.  There as well we quickly grew out of our 35 seat location and in only a couple of years later expanded the store by moving over to the then retired Mr. Minetti’s hardware store.  Not long after that did another young Italian kid from Brooklyn named Frankie, join our staff and later became manager and eventually current partner at the Mill Basin store!

 

In early 2000, with two locations and a handful of dedicated mangers, we again began scout for an additional location.  Once again we set our sights on Brooklyn and began to decide on various locations.  It was no coincidence then when we discovered the current location I felt strangely comfortable.  At the time I had no idea that this was the exact area my family shopped and frequented when we lived in Sunset Park back in the 60’s and early 70’s.  My mother would visit Vinny the Butcher (who by the way was a paesano from Salerno!) at least a few times a week, and was located on 5th  avenue.  Not to mention that Mr. Scicchitano’s original A&S pork store founded in 1947 was also on 5th!   We news got out in the family that we were opening again in Brooklyn  we received the greatest blessing from my Uncle Gino who started up on 5th avenue in 1955!  On Memorial Day 2003 we opened Park Slope with my Sister Irene, my manager of Howard Beach, Billy and my longtime friend and manger of Mill Basin, Lenny!  And To this day my mother Maurina can still be found in the early morning prep making sure the pomodoro sauce has the right amount of olive oil or in the evening jumping behind the busy line to sauté!

 

Testimonials

  • 5 star ratingGreat bagels, good price ,my Sunday morning go toI love bagels and themuffins are delicious There's a nice seating area... read more

    Sezen G. Avatar
    Sezen G.
    10/13/2019

    5 star ratingPerfect spot for breakfast. Staff was friendly and service was amazing. They have various choices for breakfast but my favorite... read more

    Feyzullah K. Avatar
    Feyzullah K.
    10/08/2019

    5 star ratingI love this place, I always like a plain chicken cutlet and this place understand what I wanted out of... read more

    Chris K. Avatar
    Chris K.
    5/26/2019
  • 5 star ratingThis is the best pizza place around, I don't care what anyone else tells you! Some of the other food... read more

    Dan G. Avatar
    Dan G.
    4/23/2019

    5 star ratingI rarely go out for Italian since I can get really good authentic Italian food from my Mom or just... read more

    Brooklyn A. Avatar
    Brooklyn A.
    9/15/2019

    5 star ratingI'm pretty sure I've reviewed this restaurant before, but I'll say it again.. it's so not just a "pizzeria "..... read more

    susan s. Avatar
    susan s.
    7/29/2019
  • 5 star ratingAlways something tasty to order from their menu bagels modified to your specifications. You get good amount of enjoyable food... read more

    Ted T. Avatar
    Ted T.
    10/04/2019

    5 star ratingGuys, hubby and I wanted some good Italian...therefore we decided to stay in the neighborhood and went out to try... read more

    Fabiola A. Avatar
    Fabiola A.
    3/15/2020

    5 star ratingI am beyond impressed with La Villa's pizza and the house salad I had yesterday. I know, a house salad... read more

    Lesley O. Avatar
    Lesley O.
    1/23/2020
  • 5 star ratingThis place is so delicious! The pizza is amazing with its fresh, authentic ingredients! It's PERFECT!! Also, the bread they... read more

    Sanni S. Avatar
    Sanni S.
    11/12/2019

    5 star ratingOur favorite neighborhood pizza joint. Been coming for years, and the margarita pizza never disappoints. The crust is delicious, crispy... read more

    Andrea M. Avatar
    Andrea M.
    10/23/2019

    5 star ratingThis place deserves a 5 Star! Service was amazing, food is all homemade and delicious. I've visited this place more... read more

    Mickey M. Avatar
    Mickey M.
    6/15/2019
  • 5 star ratingA little pricey but very good. The bread basket is generous and tasty (not just sliced bread but flat onion... read more

    David F. Avatar
    David F.
    9/15/2019

    5 star ratingCome to La Villa if you're looking for a high quality slice made fresh daily with high quality ingredients! You... read more

    Kenny Z. Avatar
    Kenny Z.
    1/12/2020

    5 star ratingFantastic restaurant. Amazing menu. Staff is very friendly and the place is spotless. Very enjoyable experience.

    Anthony T. Avatar
    Anthony T.
    6/20/2019
  • 5 star ratingMy go-to spot for a quick bite in the area. Food is consistently good, and the place is clean. Service... read more

    Marie P. Avatar
    Marie P.
    2/22/2019

    5 star ratingBest place in the neighborhood, best pizza in Brooklyn!!! We're absolutely in love with this place. So clean and great... read more

    Julia B. Avatar
    Julia B.
    6/30/2019

    5 star ratingAnother Masterpiece at LaVilla! The Nutella calzone ...filled with homemade sweet ricotta cheese and Nutella sprinkled with cocoa and powdered sugar!

    Augustino P. Avatar
    Augustino P.
    4/17/2019
  • 5 star ratingTo start.. this is one of the very few places, if not the only that uses real deal grated cheese,... read more

    Ronald B. Avatar
    Ronald B.
    4/04/2019

    5 star ratingThey have the best Mac and cheese! It's probably the best I ever ate actually. It's just that good, it's... read more

    Rosalia X. Avatar
    Rosalia X.
    2/24/2020

    5 star ratingAlways delicious, the staff are always nice, helpful and professional and delivery is on point in a timely fashion. The... read more

    Hotlikewasabi H. Avatar
    Hotlikewasabi H.
    10/13/2018
  • 5 star ratingGreat food.. i love their fresh bagels.. and the staff is very nice.. great atmosphere, very nice place to have... read more

    Enrique S. Avatar
    Enrique S.
    2/20/2019

    5 star ratingGreat food! Never disappointed. Every choice is a good one. Thanks La Villa!

    Kanada R. Avatar
    Kanada R.
    6/16/2019

    5 star ratingA no frills nice Italian restaurant serving tasty dishes and wood fire pizzas. It is a worthwhile trip to visit... read more

    Aj P. Avatar
    Aj P.
    12/28/2018