Conte’s: Crispy Pepperoni Pizza at Princeton Institution

Pizzeria Princeton

Conte's has been a beloved Princeton pizza institution for decades.

Brothers Ciro and Tony Baldino grew up on a small island near Capri. They immigrated to New Jersey and bought Conte’s in 1982. The Princeton institution has occupied its current location since 1957. They eventually recruited sister-in-law Angela to help run the place. Conte’s original owner was Angela’s husband’s uncle’s father-in-law. The details are a little fuzzy, but there’s only one thing you need to know: Conte’s offers a very good version of neighborhood New Jersey pizza.

Conte’s is located just south of Nassau Street, in what was once the Conte family home, a light stone building with a killer sign. The pizzeria was featured in “A Beautiful Mind,” the bio-pic about mathematician John Nash, who still tutors Princeton grad students.

Pizzeria Princeton

Conte’s simple space involves a dining hall with terrazzo flooring, silver and black chairs, and a black bar lined with red and green glass cubes.

Pizzeria Princeton

Conte’s menu touts just nine pizzas: plain, garlic, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, peppers, onions, anchovies and the “special.”

My cousin made sure to order ahead, knowing how jammed Conte’s gets at lunch. He went with his family favorite: a large pepperoni pizza ($16).

Pizza Princeton

Conte’s crisp, cracker like crust was unlike any I’d eaten. There wasn’t much sauce, but the cheese was nice and bubbly, and a bit greasy from quarter-sized cuts of stellar pepperoni.

This was the first stop in a 48-hour, five-pizzeria tour of New Jersey and New York City. We found better pizza later in the weekend, but Conte’s was a good start. This was the kind of pizza I remember eating growing up in northern New Jersey, but a notch better.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

I like that the picture includes myself and two coworkers sitting at the bar for lunch that day, lol… LOVE their pizza… \m/

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