Our Story

Sofia’s Pizzeria and Restaurant’s roots date back to 1959 when Sofia Lombardo – “Mamma Sofia” – opened Sofia’s Restaurant with her husband on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. It quickly became a staple in the neighborhood, and as it was a family business, the kids began working in the restaurant at an early age. In 1972, Sofia’s oldest son, Victor (Vic) decided to branch out and he opened Sofia’s in Harrison, NY, asking his sister Maria ( Mary) to be the chef and his brother Nick to help make the pizzas. Maria carefully recreated her mother’s recipes while Vic ran the operation and he and Nick made the pizzas. With a focus on their mother’s authentic Italian cuisine, the freshest ingredients and great customer service, Sofia’s became an important part of the Harrison community and a regular stop for generations of local residents.

In the late 80’s, Maria was looking for help in the kitchen and hired Claudia Tonioli, first as a dishwasher, then prep worker and then sous chef. As Maria approached retirement, Claudia took over as chef a few days a week and was sous chef for Maria the other days. Finally, when Maria retired, Claudia took over as chef, which she has been for nearly two decades. During the many years they worked together, Maria carefully passed on the recipes she had learned from her mother, all of which Claudia prepares herself for every customer to this day.

Claudia became an owner of Sofia’s in 2018 and today is the chef and owner and the grateful caretaker of this establishment, which has become an integral part of the Harrison community and traces its heritage back over 65 years to Sofia’s of East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx.