What once was a hardware store in the 1920s, has become a Sacramento staple amongst pizza parlors. Luigi’s pizza has been owned by the Brida family since 1965. Each generation has demonstrated great dedication to this restaurant in terms of food quality and customer service. Part restaurant owner and main cook, Chris Brida, is highly focused on quality control. His uncle, the late Celso Brida, carried the reputation of a jovial host. Such values held by the family, have created an environment and product that keeps locals and visitors returning, time and time again.
Brida believes Luigi’s has survived so long for several reasons. First, consistency. At Luigi’s, one person, and one person only, makes the dough. This is important to Brida, as the dough is the most important part of the pizza; crispy thin crust that is chewy on the top but snaps on the bottom. (Of course, if that isn’t exactly how you like your dough, the staff will gladly give you what you want). Though the area changes from decade to decade, the food remains the same.
The reason the food is so consistently good is because, as Brida states, “My eyes are constantly open to [quality].” They slice their own meats for the perfect size, hand roll the meatballs made from scratch, and they buy their ingredient locally, including fresh produce. These independent nuances contribute to a balance of spices and flavors agreeable to any palate.
Finally, in addition to the consistently tasty food, Luigi’s has a particular ambiance. The environment is welcoming, and there is plenty to do and see while you wait for your pizza to pop out of the oven. Four classic arcade games sit in the corner calling to your nostalgic side, while on another wall of the restaurant you can enjoy painted murals of Italian towns by two local artists from the 50s and 90s. Family sized tables and modern TVs beckon you to, “sit and stay.”
In addition to making tasty pizza (which by the way is equally good the next day), Luigi’s makes efforts to support the local community. They make local donations; provide food, gift certificates for raffles, and discounts to charities and schools in the restaurant’s proximity.
“The clientele has been coming here for years.” states Brida, and their dedication motivates him to maintain the quality of the food, keeping standards high, and not change what has been working. To those who haven’t eaten at Luigi’s, give it a try; one bite will get you hooked!
Photography by Zephyr McIntyre