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

  • A Stuffed Pie Is the Standout at One of NYC’s Best Pizzerias BrooklynBrooklyn is the true homeland of pizza. It offers the broadest range of styles, fuels, and toppings, and in Brooklyn,... read more

    Robert Sietsema Avatar
    Robert Sietsema
    Senior Critic, Eater NY
    6/15/2021

    5 star ratingLa Villa is probably my favorite restaurant in my neighborhood! I used to eat from La Villa in Park Slope... read more

    Fia M. Avatar
    Fia M.
    5/05/2020

    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 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 ratingThis place is beautifully, clean and modern. I love the how it's laid out and still reminds me of Italy.... read more

    Jon O. Avatar
    Jon O.
    2/22/2020

    5 star ratingMy favorite Italian restaurant in parkslope because delicious pasta and pizza. My favorite meal is spaghetti garlic and oil.... read more

    Mike B. Avatar
    Mike B.
    2/06/2020
  • 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 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 ratingThe place is so good

    The tomato sauce is so good

    Can't stop eating this food

    Eggplant Parm delicious

    Balsamic...
    read more

    M. P. Avatar
    M. P.
    1/06/2020
  • 5 star ratingWhile visiting family in Brooklyn, my family and I couldn't pass up a slice of world famous Brooklyn pizza. ... read more

    Kevin G. Avatar
    Kevin G.
    1/04/2020

    5 star ratingHave been coming to La VIlla for quite a while now - mostly the one in park slope... but this... read more

    Tania G. Avatar
    Tania G.
    12/27/2019

    5 star ratingWhat a nice surprise! This place is tucked away in a mini strip of stores. The ambiance is amazing. The... read more

    Doris M. Avatar
    Doris M.
    12/22/2019
  • 5 star ratingSo good. Even bigger portions than the Howard Beach location. Same great flavors. Love all the La Villa locations. Service... read more

    Estela S. Avatar
    Estela S.
    12/21/2019

    5 star ratingThis is a hidden gem with an amazing grandma slice and delicious baked clams. This pizza has the one of... read more

    Cindy T. Avatar
    Cindy T.
    12/16/2019

    5 star ratingGreat Italian food. The love is clean. The staff is nice. Please see the video for food.

    michelle l. Avatar
    michelle l.
    12/08/2019
  • 5 star ratingSolid Italian meal every time. Staff is friendly. Clean environment. Fresh food that tastes great every time I'm here.

    Orlando W. Avatar
    Orlando W.
    11/24/2019

    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 ratingFood was amazing. Everything from salad to pasta to desert. No complaints at all. Only negative is the service was... read more

    Igor V. Avatar
    Igor V.
    11/02/2019
  • 5 star ratingThe best! I love them. I just ordered tonight, got a buffalo mozzarella pie. It was so good. Get from... read more

    Blee T. Avatar
    Blee T.
    11/02/2019

    5 star ratingI had the pleasure of meeting the owner and she extended the invitation to visit the restaurant
    I picked the...
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    Demora F. Avatar
    Demora F.
    11/01/2019

    5 star ratingi come here every time for my birthday and they always serve with full quality. all of their food tastes... read more

    Aria L. Avatar
    Aria L.
    10/27/2019
  • 5 star ratingLove this place!! There pasta is sooo good! You walk in & the atmosphere feels like your in Italy! Live... read more

    Rosemary R. Avatar
    Rosemary R.
    10/26/2019

    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 ratingBest pizza place in the area. I order here all the time. I always get the bufala margherita and it... read more

    Sunny L. Avatar
    Sunny L.
    10/23/2019