Our Story

To get the most Authentic Italian Food, you need Authentic Ingredients

Maria’s Italian Kitchens is one of those grand American success stories. Maria’s Italian Kitchens often remind guests of the casual, sometimes boisterous, neighborhood eateries of another era. It began in the Italian quarter of Hoboken, New Jersey, where Madelyn’s mother, Maria, grew up learning the recipes for real Italian food of Naples from her mother, Luisa.  This home-grown education in the fundamentals of Napolitano sauces, soups, dressings, ravioli, lasagna and other regional fare was put to delicious use in 1968 when the Alfano’s and their five young children moved to Los Angeles and bought a tiny grocery store called the “Village Mart” in L.A.’s prestigious Brentwood Village located at Barrington Street and Sunset Blvd. and converted the one car garage into the first Maria’s Italian Kitchen in 1975. She must have learned her lessons well because that first Maria’s Italian Kitchen was a huge success.
In 1985, Maria’s daughter, Madelyn Alfano followed in her footsteps and opened the first table-service Maria’s Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks. Madelyn ultimately expanded the successful concept to nine more locations, and still personally supervises the kitchens and oversees all the restaurants. Each one carries on the Alfano tradition of warmhearted service, painstaking attention to detail, and a commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients. To this day, Maria’s Italian Kitchen is proud to be a family-run operation. And we will welcome you like a member of our own family.

Why Hoboken is Relevant to Our Cooking

Talk about authentic, local flavor. Hoboken was known as the Italian City to locals. Wherever you lived in Hoboken, it seemed there was a real Italian restaurant just next door. With the mouth-watering aroma of spaghetti and meatballs wafting through the air. Come lunch or dinner, families crowded in to enjoy food from the old country. Hoboken was the birthplace of Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Rosselli, Maria Alfano, and her daughter Madelyn Alfano, owner of Maria’s Italian Kitchen.


Maria Alfano, The Original Maria of Maria’s Italian Kitchen


Yes, there really is a “Maria!” Maria Alfano of Maria’s Italian Kitchens was the matriarch of the Alfano family. A native of Hoboken, New Jersey (known for the some of the most famous Italian restaurants in America) Maria was called out to visit LA by her two brothers in the early 60’s. Matty and Mikey wanted her help with the family recipes that would enable them to open the famous, Matteo’s restaurant in Westwood. Maria fell in love with California. She convinced her husband, Donald to make the move across the country. With their five children and a suitcase full of family recipes the Alfanos moved into Brentwood Village where Maria opened the first Maria’s Italian Kitchen in 1975.

Maria prepared Classic Italian dishes, like Hoboken style Meat ravioli and eggplant parmigiana and soon families were flocking to her little kitchen. The smell of fresh baked garlic bread attracted customers to the Brentwood Kitchen thirty years ago and is still bringing them to Maria’s Italian Kitchens (now expanded to 11).

Madelyn Alfano, Owner of Maria’s Italian Kitchen


Madelyn Alfano, one of California’s most successful restaurant owners, believes that food is not just a necessity or pleasure, but a lifelong passion. Inspired by her parents and life in a large Italian family, Madelyn blends the finest ingredients, traditions and new ideas with the best aspects of family life to create a truly unique dining experience at Maria’s Italian Kitchen.

A native of Hoboken, New Jersey, Madelyn worked in her parents Italian deli while still a young girl. After graduating from UCLA in 1979, Madelyn worked at her parents’ Village Mart in Brentwood, Calif., with the vision of opening a true sit down “Trattoria” like those found in rural Italy. In 1980, Madelyn began her first solo venture when she opened International Meat and Deli Market across the street from the Village Mart. In l985, she opened her first Maria’s Italian Kitchen in Sherman Oaks, Calif.