Best New Haven Pizza Near You

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Why Is New Haven Pizza Special?

Multiple cities in the US have their own distinct pizza styles. Notably, we have New York's pizza with hand-tossed thin crust, Chicago's deep-dish, and Detroit's square pie.

But there are also some local combinations that are equally as tasty albeit less famous.

One such example is New Haven pizza, which is our topic for today.

We can say that a New Haven-style pie is similar to a classic Neapolitan as well as New York-style pizza.

It has a thin and oblong crust that is also charred which gives the pizza a unique look. This is done by baking it at very high temperatures in a coal-fired oven.

As you can deduce by the name, this unique pizza style comes from New Haven, Connecticut.

Being the city's signature dish, the locals even have a specific term for it - "apizza." This is derived from the Neapolitan phrase for pizza.

Another characteristic is that the dough goes through a longer fermentation. Hence, we get that chewy texture.

Moreover, mozzarella isn't used by default. In fact, it is considered a separate topping and one needs to specify that when ordering. There's a specific term for this, too: "Mootz" is short for mozzarella.

On that note, the original plain version was a tomato pie. Adhering to that tradition, some people opt for little to no cheese on theirs.

Yet another popular option in the area is the white clam pizza which was also invented there. It comes with clams, grated cheese, and garlic.

Who Invented New Haven Pizza?

At the start of the 20th century, many Italians immigrated to America and New Haven was a popular location.

Naturally, they brought their cooking styles and love for pizza with them. So, it's no wonder that it eventually became a sought-after dish in the city. The first pizzeria that opened was Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in 1925. Also known as Pepe's, it was located on Wood Street. As the name suggests, its owner was Frank Pepe, an Italian immigrant who came to America as a teenager in 1909.

Pepe invented the New Haven-style pizza but only sold tomato pies at first. He baked them in a coal-fired oven. The ingredients he used were tomatoes and pecorino romano cheese, as well as oregano, garlic, and olive oil.

Later on, when the restaurant started serving littleneck clams, Pepe decided to also put them on a pizza. Thus, the white clam pie was born.

Two other notable New Haven pizza places are Modern Apizza and Sally’s Apizza. The former opened in 1934 and the latter in 1938.

The owner of Sally's was Salvatore “Sally” Consiglio. He was the nephew of Frank Pepe and had spent a few years working for him before opening his own place.

In regards to Modern Apizza, they offer their famous Italian Bomb pie. It is made with bacon, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, garlic, pepper, and onion.

Where Can I Find New Haven-Style Pizza Near Me?

If you're in New Haven, you simply have to try the pizza there. After all, it's not readily available elsewhere.

We have mentioned some of the historic pizzerias of the city, but there are also some hidden gems.

Hence, we suggest heading to Pizza Haven on 34 Howe St. They're open every day but Sunday, and you can also order takeout or delivery via Slice!

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