Papa Leones Spaghetti House

Jeanette and Cathy invite you to dine at Papa Leones, where youll feel like one of the family.



- Article & photo by Allison H. McAlister -

A Dundalk tradition for over 50 years, Papa Leones Spaghetti House serves up generous helpings of your favorite Italian dishes in a warm and friendly atmosphere where youll be treated just like family. John and Virginia Leone opened the restaurant 54 years ago, preparing the homemade recipes Johns mother learned from her mother in Italy. Today, while John and Virginias daughter Rosalie is technically at the helm, granddaughters Jeanette Gephardt and Cathy Rupert operate the restaurant with help from other family members, including Jeanettes daughter Danielle. Cathy and Jeanette remain committed to keeping the traditions alive that began with their grandparents all those years ago. In fact, the same homemade sauce recipe is still used today. Jeanette has been working for Papa Leones since she was 14 years old, but Cathy just came on board full-time at the end of 2009. Since then, the sisters have made several updates and renovations to the restaurant, such as putting in all new flooring, completely renovating the bathrooms and getting new chairs and red and white checkered tablecloths. The awings and signage outside are also new. Were trying to increase the curb appeal of the building, explained Cathy. Weve been sprucing up. Next on the list is to have air conditioning installed in the kitchen. The restaurants decor is cozy and inviting. Customers tell us they feel like theyre in their grandmothers kitchen, Cathy said. I especially liked the grapevines on the ceiling and strategically placed grape clusters, but the real conversation pieces at Papa Leones are the several wall-mounted displays featuring John Leones miniature bottle collection. It was very cool to read the labels, which included gins from Dundalk and Baltimore. Two co-workers and I visited Papa Leones on a recent weekday afternoon for lunch and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I simply had to try the homemade marinara sauce, so I ordered it over spaghetti. The sauce was delicious and a little sweet, which I love. I also got a garden salad, which was full of fresh, crisp ingredients - lettuce, tomato, cucumber and onion - and topped with shredded cheese with dressing served on the side. My co-workers had the eggplant parmesan and the lasagna, which were described, respectively, as abundant and yummy and very good, mmm! - theres pepperoni in here! We all also enjoyed the garlic bread which was scrumptious. All the food was served piping hot and the portions were quite generous. Though we were all pretty full from our meals, we simply had to try one of the desserts, so we all split a cannoli. Oh boy, talk about sinfully delicious! While the menu, obviously, features Italian dishes like fettuccine alfredo, ziti, stuffed shells, ravioli, manicotti and much more, youll also find items such as fried shrimp, steaks, pork chops, liver and onions and fried chicken. They also serve handmade pizzas, plus subs and sandwiches. Got a big event coming up and youre looking for a place to celebrate? Papa Leones also has a banquet hall that accommodates up to 100 people. They offer a variety of catering options to suit every occasion. Papa Leones Spaghetti House is located at 2713 North Point Road in Dundalk. Open Monday - Saturday from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., lunch is served from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays. Eat in or carry out. For more information, call 410-284-9770 or visit

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