Luigi’s Pizzeria & Ristorante

Luigi Della Ragione was born in Naples, Italy and attended a Cruise Line school for one year to learn the craft of working on a first class cruise line. All of his efforts were devoted to excelling with each course, and the reward was a 12 year career with the Caribbean Cruise Line working in the First Class. At the age of 28 Luigi decided it was time to settle down, and as fate would have it, shortly thereafter on one of the cruises, he met his future wife.  He visited Pittsburgh, and they married.  One evening when the newlyweds were dining at Christopher’s on Mount Washington, fate smiled on Luigi again.  His waiter was also from Naples. After learning of Luigi’s experience, he offered him a position at Christopher’s beginning the following day — fate.

Luigi worked at Christopher’s for three years when he decided it was time for him to open his own dining establishment. While searching through the Yellow Pages looking for suppliers, fate intervened in his life again.  Luigi decided to call North Side Cheese Company.  He explained to the owner, Tony Capizzi that he was new to Pittsburgh, knew no one, and had limited funds to support his fledgling restaurant. Mr. Capizzi was generous enough to supply Luigi with ingredients for one week, and Luigi paid him the following week – an almost unheard of business practice that became a major part of Luigi’s success. The relationship between Tony and Luigi blossomed into a family friendship, and continues to this day with Tony’s sons supplying Luigi with his restaurant’s needs from the North Side Cheese Company. In 1977 Luigi’s Pizzeria and Ristorante opened at 601 Lincoln Avenue; he has been at his current location for 13 years.

Luigi’s has entertained Jack “Hydroplane” Deloplaine, Franco Harris, Mario Lemeiux and many other notables. A Bellevue resident Luigi had known for years worked for the Penguins.  Luigi charmed him into bringing the 2009 Stanley Cup to the pizzeria. “When I received a call at home from my employees telling me to hurry in, that the Stanley Cup was there I told them, ‘If you are not telling me the truth, I will let all of you go.’  When I got there the place was packed!  I don’t know how everyone found out, but it was packed.”  When former Steeler Jack Deloplaine, now a North Carolina resident returns to Pittsburgh, he heads straight for Luigi’s.

Luigi’s has been a Trib Review Reader’s Choice annual award winner since their inception. If I had to take a guess as to why he has been chosen so frequently, it would be the pizza crust. If you have ever traveled to Italy, and in particular the city of Naples, you will find that the art of making a pizza crust has been elevated to an art form – thin, crispy, light and delicious. I had pizza at Luigi’s last week and ate 3 and one-half pieces–a personal record! It reminded me of my trip to Naples.

Stop in and say Ciao, Luigi!  He will be genuinely happy to see you and offer  you gracious, first class welcome to his ristorante.

531 Lincoln Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15202
(412) 734-0980

Mon – Thurs 11AM to 10PM
Fri – Sat 11AM to 11PM
Sunday Noon to 10PM