You will feel like you are back in a NJ/NYC pizzeria circa 1968 when you enter the Smiling With Hope Pizzeria.   It is modeled on the small family pizzerias/Italian cafes Walter grew up with.  The pies are prepared as they were 50 years ago and baked in 1960’s gas deck ovens which are still considered the Holy Grail for NY pizza.  Walter began his culinary training at home in New Jersey in the 1950’s.  His mother and her family were great cooks from Italy and he became fascinated with their dishes as a young child.  His passion for NY pizza is going on 60 years and has won over thousands of fans around the world.  The pies are hand stretched and baked direct on the oven stones which creates the ideal NY crust and are guaranteed to satisfy the NY pizza connoisseur.  

For 22 years Walter created award winning pizzeria/bakery businesses in CA/TX/OH public schools that trained students with disabilities for competitive work.  These programs gathered international attention and the mission continues with the Smiling With Hope Pizzeria.   The pizzeria employs/trains people with Developmental Disabilities.  Walter teams with his wife Judy (school counselor) on this project and both hold Masters Degrees in their fields. 

Walter has collaborated with an eclectic group of chefs from around the world including  legendary French chef - Laurent Manrique,  June McCarthy personal chef for 8 years to Governor Taft of Ohio,  – Frank Giaquinto famous NYC pizza maker who has made over 1,000,000 pizzas since 1960, Norma's Pizza - recognized as one of the top 10 pizzerias in the country and winner of the 2016 Caputo Cup in NYC, Bon Appetit who hired his students in the Denison University Cafeterias. 

Walter and Judy (his wife of 40 years) invite you to share their food served with love.  Expect great food and a warm family atmosphere of days long gone.  Turn off your electronic devices, step back in time, and sit down and enjoy conversation and food with your neighbors as food is meant to be experienced.


Yelp -#1 rated pizzeria in the USA

"The best NY pizza in the world" Norma Knepp Caputo Cup Champion

“the greatest little pizzeria in America” Paulie Gee- Owner of Paulie Gee’s Brooklyn and Paulie Gee’s Slice Shop Madison Square Garden

USA TODAY- top 25 pizzeria’s in the USA

NBC Nightly News NYC

Good Morning America

Maria Shriver, Hillary Clinton

 Yelp's top 100 places to eat in America 2017 and 2018

Best pizza in Nevada by TIME and MONEY Magazines

MSN best pizza in Nevada

USA Today Top 25 pizzerias in USA,

 Tony Gemignani  - 13 Time World Pizza Champion, author of the Pizza Bible, owner of multiple award winning pizzerias

Peter Reinhart - James Beard Award Winner and best-selling author  

Tom Lehmann - better known as the Dough Doctor/former American Institute of Baking director/world renowned pizza authority

 Adam Kuban  - NYC pizza maker, food writer/founder of the pizza website Slice,  editor of James Beard–award-winning website Serious Eats  

Paulie Gee's owners operators Derrick Tung(Chicago) and Terry Gibbs(Columbus)

Scott Wiener,  owner of Scott's Pizza Tours, foremost authority on the NYC pizza scene, lecturer, author.

Walter's other life as the creator of Spontobeat