Borda’s Italian Eats: where the son shines brightly

Anthony Borda is admirably following in his father’s culinary footsteps at the new Borda’s Italian Eats. 

Anthony Borda was introduced to the food industry at age 5, when he began making pizzas while standing atop soda crates at his father Franco’s restaurant, Francoluigi’s, 1547 S. 13th St. Recently, Anthony embarked on a delicious journey geared toward giving people “the best that you can put out” at Borda’s Italian Eats. The shop is located on the north side of Tasker Street, just off 13th Street, behind the former Francoluigi’s.

When the pandemic spelled the end for his patriarch’s labor of love in March 2020, Anthony found work as a sales rep in the food retail business. But he couldn’t say “no” to dough. He began making it on the weekends, becoming obsessed with it at the start of last year.

After significant nudges from loved ones, he decided to reacquaint South Philadelphians with the Borda name, opening his new shop on October 7, 2022. At that time he sold pizza exclusively—with a lengthy list of slice options.

Since then, he’s quickly added stromboli, paninis, pastas, appetizers, and bagels to the mix. The shop has rekindled the love affair that his father began with locals’ taste buds back in 1982. 

“I’ve been deeply humbled by what customers have had to say,” the younger Borda said recently after providing a patron with pizza bagels, a Saturday morning staple at the Passyunk Square spot. “They say they wish we had never closed, but I suppose this is a sign that you should never turn your back on what you know is right for you.” 

“It picked me,” Anthony Borda said of his tie to a culinary world, “so the best way to say ‘thank you’ to people for believing in me is to give them great products.” 

He does so with ease through a massive list of 12-inch round brick oven style and half-sheet pan square pizza options including a Sicilian pie which he called “the best you’ll have on the East Coast. It’s perfect for a family or a very hungry man.” 

Well-worth a bite is the Crazy Calabrese —topped with cup and char pepperoni and hot honey.

Anthony Borda, left, shows off the Crazy Calabrese pizza with employee Dean D’Angelo.

The loaded sirloin cheesesteak tops his panini creations, and the Penne Alla Vodka and Anthony’s Baked Pasta, the latter featuring prosciutto and hot sopresata, lead the pasta picks. 

“You can get it all here,” Anthony Borda said, quipping that although the ambitious menu leaves him with little time to sleep, he ends up being pleased anyway because he dreams about pizza.

His father won acclaim for his pizza, too, and though he has stepped aside, his son noted that he, too, will return next fall when the family opens a live music hall at the former Frangoluigi’s address next door. Beyond that addition, Anthony Borda said more brick-and-mortar spots could turn up—including a food truck that could extend his bloodline’s reach in the area. 

“I can’t be anything but grateful for everything that’s happened,” he added, “and I’m eager for what’s to come.”