Don’t ask for a menu. Totonno’s infamously gruff manager and waitress, Louise “Cookie” Ciminieri, will roll her eyes and point to the menu above the pizza oven. It’s a short menu. Pizza only, large and small sizes. A handful of unsurprising toppings. Totonno’s does not mess around.
It’s a coal-oven pizzeria, one of only a handful in New York City, and it traces its lineage back to the city’s first official pizzeria, Lombardi’s. That’s where Anthony “Totonno” Pero worked in the early 1900s before striking out on his own in 1924, opening his pizzeria on Neptune Avenue in Coney Island, Brooklyn, where it has always been.