Tony’s Famous Tomato Pies

Tony’s Famous Tomato Pies


Mayfair. Tacony. Frankford. Holmesburg. If you live in the northeast, you’ve probably heard of Tony’s pizza. And if you’ve heard of Tony’s pizza, chances are you’ve probably had a slice in your mouth at some point in time. And if you’ve had a slice in your mouth, you already know that Tony’s makes a pretty amazing thin crust pizza.

Tony’s was always my “go to” pizza growing up. My mom would never order any other pizza unless it was Tony’s. We would drive down that abomination of a block, Barnett street, and she would double park. Armed with exactly $9.10, I’d make my way through the door with a purpose. Looking all fat and wearing a Nirvana t-shirt, I’d emerge with the same quality pizza every single time. To this day, if I bring her a slice from somewhere else, her response is always the same. “I still think Tony’s is better.”

The day we reviewed Tony’s was the same day we opted to have a photo shoot, courtesy of, for the blog. What better way to showcase your pizza eating/reviewing skills than to order a pizza simply dubbed “the works”? A cheese pie topped with sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, black olives and mushrooms. Now because we’re idiots and our eyes are way bigger than our stomachs, we ordered an additional half sausage, half pepperoni pizza.

I wanna start with the sausage and pepperoni pie first. The pepperoni was thinly cut, sweet and crispy to the bite. The sausage they use is the same sausage they’ve been serving for as long as I can remember. It’s huge chunks of spicy, seasoned sausage. I’m fairly certain that they could scrap every other pie on their menu, just serve sausage, and they’d still be a landmark in Northeast Philly when it comes to thin crust pizza. And now, onto the works pie. It wasn’t great. It was just okay. I think because their pizza is super thin, the abundance of toppings made it difficult to eat without a fork and knife. However, it didn’t stop me from crushing 4 slices. You know what really chaps my ass? Their policy on charging $1.50 per topping, bringing the price of the works pie to just about $20. If you’re gonna offer a pizza consisting of a ridiculous amount of toppings, have a set price for it.

Tony’s will forever in my eyes be the greatest place in Mayfair to sit down, drink beer and eat a pie. Do yourself a favor and get a half tomato, half cheese on top with sausage. Hopefully 25 years from now, my kids will be feeding their kids a Tony’s slice and telling them how skinny their grandpop used to be before he started his pizza blog.


There are pieces of our childhood that everyone wishes they could take into their adult years. The precious memories and feelings that you relished as a child just don’t hold up as you age. I’ll never be as excited about Christmas as I once was because I know Santa Claus doesn’t exist. I lost so much respect for professional athletes because I know most all of them are on steroids. The Catholic Church? Please, don’t even get me started on them. These are all situations that I’ve accepted and learned to live with. I really wish I could be as enthusiastic as Castro about this review, but I simply cannot. After my most recent visit, I think I’ve lost faith in an establishment that I held in such a high regard since I was a child: Tony’s Famous Tomato Pies.

Whenever my family would have parties over my grandmother’s house, my cousin Jimmy would always bring over Tony’s tomato pies. Unlike anything I’d ever had before, it was a welcomed change from the chain pizza I was used to ordering at such a young and fat age. But as I got older, something happened. I’m still trying to piece together an intelligible sentence to explain my feelings for Tony’s, but I’m simply at a loss for words. Not to say that the pizza was awful, but it was just…blah. As my cousin Kelly put it best, “Their pizza is nothing to write home about.” But I really wanted to believe their pizza WAS the way I remembered it, atop the pizza place pyramid. Unfortunately, it was just another memory to look back on with fondness.

For this most recent visit, Castro and I ordered two pies (as always) with assorted toppings. The first, a half sausage/half pepperoni, wasn’t bad. The Italian sausage was quite delicious and literally stole the show, leaving the crisp pepperoni not too far behind. But the real disappointment was the second pie. When I order a pizza with “the works” on it, I do so because I expect every topping to compliment the next. However, in this particular instance, they all canceled each other out. What we got was a pizza that was heavy and messy without any distinction. To make matters worse, nobody informed us that every additional topping added an extra $1.50 to our pie. Since a works pizza isn’t on the menu and we were charged for every topping, this bland monstrosity cost us around twenty bucks. Factor that in with the fact that refills aren’t free either, and you get an expensive and subpar dining experience.

In a town where tomato pies are becoming a popular option, Tony’s can’t compare to the competition. If you insist on going there, avoid the additional toppings and stick with the sausage or pepperoni. Although I understand that nothing gold can stay, I can always think back to a time when Tony’s was the best around. R.I.P.


About Doughboys Pizza Blog

2 totally awesome, self proclaimed pizza experts on a never ending quest for the best slices in Philadelphia.

13 responses »

  1. I actually was never a huge fan of Tony’s even growing up. People look at me cross-eyed for saying that, but I was always more a fan of Pizza City/Manhattan/Original Boston

  2. Barbra O'Brien

    To this day Tony’s is my pizza/tomato pie star. Getting an ice cold pint of beer which the waitress brings immediately because you are a familiar face…getting that open booth in an old neighborhood corner bar…sharing conversation with old friends..knowing every third person who walks in the door and after pick-up the aroma that fills the Jeep is priceless….does it get any better than this. When I go to Cape May I wish Tony’s was in town because that’s when I miss it the most! If anyone, other than my brother and Mr. Castro, remembers Diamond Irv’s Pizza at 2nd and Diamond Street than you will understand my passion for excellent pizza.

  3. Not only is there pizza overrated but I heard their kitchen dirtier Catholic priest’s mind, they almost got closed down for it

  4. Tony’s dosn’t do black olives on pizza.

  5. Nobody orders a “works” pie at tonys. There are no black olives. And you didn’t even order your pizza from the waitress, you ordered it from the pizza cook, then sat down, so who was to tell you? Lastly sorry but you should have left more than a three dollar tip. You embarrassed your friend, who I guess you were trying to get free toppings from?

  6. I’m so very sorry for making the mistake about the black olives. I feel like a real fool. You see, the beauty of having a blog and posting reviews on an open forum is the fact that I can write whatever I want. In this particular instance, I was far from impressed and thought it was my duty to be as honest as possible. It’s my job to inform the public, not to make friends. I’ve had various pies from Tony’s over the years and thought a change of pace was in order. Nobody orders a works pie from Tony’s? Well I did and I was disappointed. True, I ordered from the cook who didn’t fill me in on the topping situation as opposed to the waitress. If anything, I would’ve preferred that our waitress inform us about the $16 we were about to spend on fountain sodas that probably cost Tony’s about 50 cents to fill. Had our bill not been $60, we would’ve left a larger tip. Fact was that we simply didn’t think it was going to be that expensive and weren’t prepared. We usually tip pretty well and we don’t expect anything for free. We’ve paid full price out of our own pockets since we’ve started. That’s how passionate we are about this. And speaking of embarrassment, it’s funny the kind of things you can find out about a person on the internet, Tina.

  7. I think their pie is overrated as well. I’ve gotten some lousy pies from there. Soggy. Burnt. My husband would beg to differ. I actually think I hate that place. One time I ordered mussels and half the batch came out closed! They don’t do anything well.

  8. Ziiiiiiiiing!!!!! …… Charging for a refill on a fountain soda is ballsey. Especially that mini pitcher they give ya . Barely enough to get your lips wet . This chick above needs to take the stick outta her vag and wake up

  9. Who orders a pizza with the works from anywhere though? They are
    ALWAYS a soggy horrible pile of shit. I would say that there should be a 2-3 topping max for all pizza pies. Charging for refills on sodas is totally gay. I haven’t been to Tony’s in years and while there I have never ordered a regular pizza, always tomato pie, I will have to try their ZA, but only when that bitchy server isn’t there.

  10. Wow, sounds like somebody’s panties got ruffled. I was simply replying to some of your statements such as “there should be a set price for a works pie, when it is offered” it is not offered or suggested. And cmon, it’s not a waitresses decision to charge for refills or toppings, those are things left to the owner or mgnmt. So are you saying I should risk my job, to give you a free soda so I could maybe receive another three dollars? As far as you feeble attempt to insult me personally and suggest there are embarrassing things on the internet about me, I’m not worried, I’m a hardworking single mom who works very hard at two jobs to support myself qand my son, thankfully I work at a good place that has been operating 60 years with a very loyal well- tipping clientele.

  11. WOW! You go TJ!… Tonys does not even offer olives for a topping. this whole thing is false and should be re-done.

  12. For the love of God people, get over it! I was disappointed, end of story. I’m not going to get into an online argument like a 12 year old about this. A real establishment who cared wouldn’t make excuses, they would own up to the customer’s complaint. That’s how customer service works. In modern day business practice, damage control is of the utmost importance. Flooding our blog with retaliation isn’t going to change my mind, it’s just going to hurt Tony’s more in the long run. This argument is over.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: