Open 10AM - 10PM Su-Th, 10AM - 11PM F-Sa
(215) 736-3113 Website Google Maps
Gravitas: Decor: Cost: Proximity:
(Covid Update Dec 2021 – in business) La Villa is a nondescript Italian restaurant in Morrisville, over the Trenton Makes bridge, located in what appears to be a converted Pizza Hut outlet. In addition to regular pizza and a host of conventional Italian fare, La Villa features a “Chambersburg Style Tomato Pie”. And darned if it isn’t: La Villa was selected as the overall winner in our 2015-16 Tomato Pie competition (click on the “Overall Winner” banner to read more). With the “iconic restaurants” like DeLorenzo’s Tomato Pie and Papas both having moved to Robbinsville, La Villa, which is an easy bike ride from downtown (or a long walk), was judged to make the best Tomato Pie within a 10 minute car drive from city hall. Frankly, La Villa’s tomato pie, while quite different from those two places, makes a pie that you can enjoy fully as much.
La Villa produces a tomato pie that’s definitely on the thin side: thinner than Papa’s, which is one iconic standard. The crust delivers a subtle crispness, which holds up through an entire meal. I’m told that the crust stands up well to being taken out, without getting soggy, though I’ve not tested this myself. I’m a strong believer that tomato pie should be consumed straight out of the oven.
There’s no tomato sauce, just pieces of diced, tomatoes. While the tomato is probably from a can, it has a satisfyingly intense flavor, and unlike many tomato pie recipes, it’s lightly seasoned with garlic and oregano. We think it’s an improvement. The cheese is better than average as well. Toppings, such as the sausage and mushrooms, are fresh and high quality. Breaking with tradition, the pie generally comes in rectangular form, and is bigger than a conventional large, round pie.
La Villa’s owner and head chef, Gino Lenti, moved to PA from Calabria in 1981. He worked in family restaurants in Philly and elsewhere until starting La Villa in 1999.
La Villa also has a full restaurant menu in addition to tomato pie, and while there’s a lot I haven’t sampled, what I have tried has been extremely good. The eggplant parm is “to die for”, with thin-sliced eggplant pan-fried in olive oil and then baked. La Villa’s marinara sauce may be the best in the area, which is saying a lot.
BYOB and friendly servers. The owner, Gino Lenti, is always there and seems genuinely interested in the opinions of his customers.
Thanks to Phil D. for suggesting this place.
Italian | Pizza/Tomato Pie | Restaurants
15 thoughts on “Closest “Tomato Pie” to Chambersburg?”
You’re right, Betsy Marley! La Villa pies are great. We order them ‘crispy’.
I’m a pizza snob from Philly. I’ll gladly trek to New Haven or Brooklyn to L&B. I just don’t “get” Trenton tomato pie. It’s like ketchup on a Ritz cracker. I’ve had DeLorenzo’s and Conti’s. I wasn’t impressed with either. Someone school me on this. I grew up in NE Philly where a tomato pie is something you get at a bakery, comes in sheet with tomato sauce (or chopped tomatoes) and served at room temp. We also have Tacony tomato pie which is pizza like what you get in Trenton, just better compared to what I have. I’m open to suggestions.
Here are our recommended Tomato Pie joints. We’re pretty sure you’ll find some that you like!! https://hiddentrenton.com/find-rest/?mycats%5B%5D=21&editevent=Continue#
La Villa is making wonderful and authentic tomato pie.
LaVilla is wonderful for tomato pie. Their pizza rustica is my favorite. It’s the one pictured. Glad I live close.
Have you tried Palermo’s in Ewing? My go to spot for pie.
Now on my radar for when I come back home for a visit.
Still my #1 tomato pie place. Best around, and closer to much of Trenton than Robbinsville or Hamilton. Geez, what do we need Trenton for anymore? Lol
Started going to La Villa around 10 years ago, when you could throw a baseball and not hit anyone in the place, NOW, busy, busy, busy, and the food is still as good, altho portions have drastically been reduced.
I’m no expert on Trenton Tomato Pies, only having eaten at the DeLorenzo’s on Hudson (whose pie I loved) periodically over a couple of years. Based on DeLorenzo’s, La Villa’s Tomato Pie was not what I expected – much more cheese, less crunch although still crispy, minimal to no charring. That said, it tasted fantastic. All in all the texture of this pie is very similar to good Chicago THIN crust (sometimes called Midwestern-style), which is what I grew up on. So for anyone who wants that kind of pizza in the Philly area, go here – you’ll love it! If you want the charring, tell them to make it well done.
I’m from Philly. A Trenton (Morrisville) Tomato Pie is nothing more than an upside down pizza with the cheese on the bottom, right? A REAL Tomato Pie is sans cheese and served at room temperature. It’s usually, almost always, made in a bakery and found in places as far north as Northeast Philly as far south as North Wilmington (there’s an Irish bakery on Naamans Rd that makes a tasty version).
I’m a pizza snob, to say the least, I have a growing East Coast pizza-eating pedigree to prove it. Lol I plan to spend the next few months sniffing out this thing you people mistakenly call a “Tomato Pie” and get down to tasting it. Where should I begin?
Editor’s comment: Any search for a true Trenton tomato pie has to start at Papas. After that, I’d recommend Mama Rosa’s in Hamilton, and La Villa.
yes there is tomato pie out there. it in an ol bar / lunchenette in roebling called sandors pizza. great pie old time atmosphere with a beer too!.
Love. We’re nearly sworn off all other pizza/tomato pie places on the PA side of the river.
I absolutely agree! La Villa pie is honestly my tomato pie of choice. I would probably rank it higher than number 3, but I’m not sure if it takes the number 1 spot. La Villa’s ingredients are always fresh and every tomato pie I’ve had from there has been excellent. We’ve never eaten in, have always gotten takeout and it’s great. I like DeLorenzo’s, especially their pepperoni, but they have a tendency to burn their pies. La Villa is excellent, they are quick, the staff is friendly, and their hours cannot be beat. I’ve even heard (but cannot personally vouch for it) that their food, other than tomato pie, is very good as well.
I order their Chamersberg pie frequently and it’s awesome. I have turned my neighbors on to it and that is their pizza of choice now. Love it.