America’s Oldest Italian Restaurant Is Now Ralph’s

Photo by Stephanie Viggiano

Fior D’Italia, America’s oldest Italian restaurant has closed its doors after 126 years. The San Francisco restaurant closed on May 21st after first opening up in 1886. Originally the restaurant was located on Broadway in San Fran, but when it burned down a few years later it made a few hops around town before landing at a new spot until 2005.

When that location was also struck by fire the restaurant was forced to move again and partner Trudy Audieri says the move may be partially to blame for the closing. Today’s weak economy further hurt the restaurant, leaving a gap in American-Italian and foodie history.

Fortunately for Philadelphia, (we’re sorry, San Fran, we really are) one of our very own restaurants is filling that gap: Ralph’s Italian Restaurant on 9th Street.

At over 100 years old, all of which it has spent under the Dispigno family, Ralph’s is now America’s Oldest Italian restaurant. Though it has been Philly’s oldest for quite a while, the City of Brotherly Love is happy to now have this prestigious national title in the area.

Congratulations Dispigno family!

We swear we send our condolences to Fior D’Italia, but we do wish there was some sort of trophy to pass along ….

In other Ralph’s news, the restaurant will be featured on the Chew Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Ralph’s Italian Restaurant [Official Site]

Photo by Stephanie Viggiano

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  • mazza3

    technically i thought that dante & luigi’s was the oldest in philly while ralph’s was the oldest operated by the same family. or do i have that backwards?

  • Pierre Herme

    D&L claims it was founded in 1899.

  • They brag in the Daily News column about selling 1,800 GroupOn coupons. Yeah, then try and Use ’em. We did and The Waiter’s attitude changed 180 degrees [for the worse!]. Treated us like $hite, THEN wonders why he gets a $hite tip. This place [ca$h only??] may be both the Oldest and the Most Overrated. Try and park, the PPA Bootsquad’ll getcha. Lotsa better places, or just as good–Like NWA says ‘Don’t believe the Hype.’

    Restaurant biz is way too tough for rude, surly help. I’ll never be back.

  • PhilaPhil

    Ralph’s is great, yes a bit pricey and cash only but hey, they have some great food. The veal mozzarella is awesome! Not healthy for you at all, but you need to taste some of the great things in life every now and then. Great place full of stories. This PPABootSquad guy is a fool, obscure NWA quote – sweet dude! Go groupon elsewhere fun boy

  • Demetrius McDaniel

    Nice try! Fior d’Italia is still open.