There’s Amazing Pizza and Parm at This White Plains Hidden Gem

Head south on White Plains’ Mamaroneck Avenue, and there lies an unassuming Italian restaurant that has been in business since the 1970s. Vintage signs light up the entrance, and inside, the cash register, red booths, and old-school New York sports memorabilia suggest that not much has changed since Francesco’s opened. At first glance, you might assume you’re at another run-of-the-mill Italian restaurant, but that would be a mistake.

Francesco’s chicken parm is a work of art. Don’t expect soggy bread, bland sauce, and dry chicken cutlets here. The bread is perfectly toasted and wide enough to hold it all together. The deep-fried cutlets are crispy and tender. The low-moisture mozzarella is stretchy when it melts. The classic tomato sauce never goes out of style, but order it Fra Diavolo-style for a mildly spicy, tangy, sweet upgrade. Cheesy, crunchy, and covered in sauce, it’s designed to rise above your expectations.

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Photo by @MangiaWithMatteo

Photo by @MangiaWithMatteo

It would also be foolish to overlook the pizza at Francesco’s. The stone-bottom gas oven reaches 650°F to 700°F, leaving the thin pizza with a perfectly crisp crust that’s sturdy enough to hold sauce and cheese. Large plain pies are $16 and live up to their value.

Owner and namesake Francesco Spinali is adamant about quality ingredients, not cutting corners, and preserving the traditional recipes that have been served here for nearly 50 years. Many people drive by Francesco’s every day without knowing what’s inside. It’s officially time to stop neglecting this neighborhood gem. Pop in and experience the timeless classics done right.


600 Mamaroneck Ave
White Plains

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