Tripoli Bakery

Review by: Bruce Bilmes and Susan Boyle

Tripoli Bakery is a decades-old Italian/American bakery in the old Italian section of Lawrence. Most Northeast industrial cities have such a neighborhood, in varying stages of transition, and there’s usually a bakery or two that remain open. Some of these bakeries maintain the old traditions while others have seen better days. Tripoli is one of the good ones.

Like many neighborhood Italian-American bakeries, Tripoli makes bakery pizza, by which we mean big rectangular sheets with simple toppings, cut into squares. In some towns (Utica, NY comes to mind), it’s traditional to consume these slices at room temperature, but the pizza you get from Tripoli will be hot out of the oven (there’s a wait, even if you order a slice or two). And this is not just some sideline activity at Tripoli; there’s a whole other section of the bakery with its own entrance, devoted to pizza, and it does a roaring trade. The crust is light, thin, and crisp, the sauce sweet, and the cheese is applied sparingly, unless you ask for extra cheese. In its own simple and unimprovable way, this is some of the best bakery pizza we’ve ever had. If we lived in the area we’d probably do as we saw many others do and bring home multiple trays of this excellent pizza for football parties or family gatherings.

The bakery proper is not to be ignored, especially the pastries. We loved the sweet, fresh whoopie pie with big discs of light but very chocolatey cake. The lobster tail is outstanding. Lobster tails are the New England variation of sfogliatelle, the clam shell-shaped pastry with a filo-like crust. Tripoli’s lobster tail is filled with an especially delicious cream, tasting to us like a mixture of whipped cream and ricotta-based cannoli cream.

Assuming you don’t live, or have family, in Lawrence, there’s probably not much reason for you to be there, but we think Tripoli is worth a special trip.

Note: There’s a branch of Tripoli in Salisbury Beach. It may well be the equal of the Lawrence original, but we’ve never been there, so we haven’t a clue.

Directions & Hours

  • Monday: 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Thursday: 6:30 AM – 7:00 PM
  • Friday: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Saturday: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM
  • Sunday: 6:30 AM – 9:00 PM

What To Eat

Cream Puffs

Whoopie Pie

Lobster Tail



Tripoli Bakery Recipes


What do you think of Tripoli Bakery?

One Response to “Tripoli Bakery”

Bob Coco

June 11th, 2015

Tripoli is the place to go for old-school Sicilian pizza and desserts. I’ve been going for 58 yrs, as my father and grandparents were from Lawrence. A previous reviewer was correct, there is no other reason to go to Lawrence. But, if you are ever traveling by, you must stop at Tripoli’s.

The pizza crust is light and the sauce is sweet. Not many toppings are available, just provolone cheese and pepperoni. When I was a kid, pepperoni wasn’t even available. Keep in mind, this is not Americanized style pizza, it’s what the poor people in Sicily ate and brought to America. Lawrence was a huge Italian populated city and many of the pizza joints serve this style pizza. I wish I had a picture, but Tripoli is best known for their Canolis. These come in chocolate, vanilla, and ricotta. You will never have a better Canoli anywhere. These are the real deal! We served them at our daughter’s wedding, a dozen for each table! Needless to say, we wasted our money on the wedding cake.


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