119 North Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

(563) 547-5707

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History of Mabe's Pizza.

At the age of 49, Mabel White started in the restaurant business with Mabel’s Lunchroom in 1953 on College Drive in Decorah.  Students from nearby Luther College were regular customers.  

Mabel often let them make their own sandwiches and change at the register. One fateful day, a student asked if he could make himself a “pizza.” Mabel agreed without knowing what a pizza was or understanding how this would change her life and eventually become an icon of Decorah.

In 1968, Mabel paid tribute to the item that attracted overwhelming attention and renamed her restaurant Mabe’s Pizza.
Over a short time, Mabe’s Pizza grew a reputation for delicious pizza cut into squares with made-from-scratch crust and sauce paired with sincere customer service. Mabel’s family shared the joy she found in serving the food to others and have carried on this tradition since. Mabel’s youngest son, Don White and his late wife Maime took over the restaurant in 1981. Don’s oldest son, Steve White and his wife Connie have had the business since 1999.

Mabel passed away in 2002 when she was 97 years old, she left a legacy for how the pizza should be made and the customers should be treated. Her spirit (and recipe!) are honored with each of the 90,000+ pizzas served every year.

Mabe’s Pizza has been in several locations around Decorah, in 1978 the restaurant moved to its current building at 110 East Water Street in downtown Decorah. A second location opened in 2001 in downtown Cresco. We invite you to join us.

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