Papa Giuseppe, popular Italian-American eatery in Delray Beach, offers pizza, pasta and more

Papa Giuseppe viewed from Linton Boulevard.

Tasty fare, casual atmosphere, plentiful outdoor seating and prices that won’t break the bank explain the long-standing popularity of this strip mall Italian restaurant.


As I waited recently to pick up a pizza to go at Papa Giuseppe, Bruno the pizzaiolo told me that the Delray Beach strip mall eatery had been sold out every night Thursday through Sunday for the past two months when Covid-Omicron concerns were on many minds. “It’s been crazy,” he said.

Outdoors at Papa Giuseppe.

Pizzialo Bruno at work.

The popularity of this casual Italian eatery, located between Whole Foods and Target on Linton Boulevard east of I-95, is justifiable. The food is tasty, prices are reasonable and, significantly, there is outdoor seating.

I first tried Papa Giuseppe some years ago with relatives who loved the place in its former digs, just steps away, where Whole Foods now stands.  It was lunchtime and I ordered a veal parmigiana hero. My notes at the time summed it up in one word, meh.

More recently, I returned to Papa Giuseppe with friends who enjoyed dining on the 20-seat outdoor terrace, which is filled with umbrella-topped tables, propane heaters and a buffer of greenery separating it from the parking lot. To my surprise, the food – the menu runs the gamut of Italian-American dishes – was better than I recalled, though you’ll do best by sticking to the pizza and dishes with red sauce.

Garlic knots.

10″ cheese pizza,

The pizza, available only as whole pies – a 10-inch personal cheese pizza can be had

for $10 –was satisfying with its chewy outer crust and nice balance of tangy sauce and cheese upon a foldable slice, but I’ve found better pizza – and many worse – elsewhere in the region.

Service was friendly and efficient. Servers were masked during our recent visits.

The rest of the menu is satisfying comfort food, but by no means gourmet cuisine. Remember, this is a neighborhood joint, not Downtown Delray.

Dinner starts with a basket of complimentary garlic knots. The emphasis is on the garlic.

An appetizer of fried calamari ($11.95) arrived lightly battered and was tender.

Italian wedding soup.

Chicken française.

Soups are an option to the included side salad. Italian wedding soup had a nicely flavored broth, but pasta fagioli suffered from a heavy hand on the salt shaker.

Chicken Francaise ($16.95) came to the table swimming in a buttery sauce that needed some acidity from either more white wine or lemon to perk it up.

An order of eggplant parmigiana ($16.95) contained thin, tender slices of batter-dipped purple fruit under a salty melted cheese topping. The accompanying pasta was perfectly al dente and arrived slathered in a thick, tomatoey sauce.

Ziti alia Barese ($16.95), a house specialty pasta in the style of Bari, a port town on italy’s Adriatic coast, proved to be a hearty, filling casserole of baked tube pasta with eggplant and meatballs, all topped with mozzarella cheese.

Portions overall are right sized.  You won’t be going home with leftovers.

Eggplant Parmigiana

Papa Giuseppe has been around since 2008. Once owned by Giuseppe Giugno, the eatery has been run since 2011 by Mentor Tony Gashi, according to Florida corporation records. Per the restaurant’s website, Tony immigrated from Italy to Caracas, Venezuela, where he started cooking. Years later he moved to the United States in New York where he was a chef at the erstwhile Mama Leone’s. Tony later left New York for Florida and began operating Marcella’s Restaurant in Miami Gardens, which was famous for its garlic rolls. Years later, Giuseppe, Tony’s son-in-law, formerly a chef at Marcella’s, and Tony opened in Pembroke Pines in Broward County and then in Delray Beach under the Papa Giuseppe name.

Given its comfy surroundings, especially outdoor seating, friendly service, decent food and menu prices that won’t break the bank, Papa Giuseppe’s popularity is likely to keep attracting diners for a long time. Just keep those expectations in check.

Papa Giuseppe

900 Linton Blvd., Suite 920, Delray Beach, FL 33444


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