ELIZABETH, NJ - Landmark restaurant Spirito's made MSN's national listing of the top Italian eateries, ranked as 18 out of 50.
As described on MSN, “If you’re from a certain part of northern New Jersey, there’s about a 100 percent chance that you’ve heard of Spirito’s, and an equally good chance that you’ve been there.”
Established in 1932, the still family run restaurant on the corner of High Street and Third Avenue seems to standstill in time. No butter, coffee, or dessert is served, and it is strictly cash only. Famous for its pizza, veal parmigiana, and homemade ravioli, the restaurant is a well known spot for generations of local, and not so local, customers. Hillsborough residents Patricia and Bob Matzek often take the hour long ride back to their hometown for pizza and salad with garlic dressing.
"Spirito's is the best," said Bob. "I've been going there since high school in 1957. The pizza is the best. I usually also have the veal parm with ravioli. The ravioli are superb. It is worthwhile for us to drive 45 to an hour and then there's the parking. For us to do all that it has to be worth it."
For his wife, Patricia, Spirito's is more than good food. "I have five memories of my father because he died when I was very young," she recalled. "One of those memories is going to Spirito's. It has family ties, neighborhood ties, all the experiences of growing up. We went there after dances, after we got engaged. It was a part of our growing up, and it remains a part of our lives early, later, and older."