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New Haven–style pizza

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New Haven–style pizza
A half-tomato/half-mozzarella apizza from Sally's Apizza in New Haven, Connecticut
Alternative namesApizza
Place of originUnited States
Region or stateNew Haven, Connecticut
Created byFrank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Main ingredientsPizza dough, tomato sauce, pecorino romano
White clam pie from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven–style pizza is a style of thin-crust, coal-fired Neapolitan pizza common in and around New Haven, Connecticut. Locally known as apizza (/əˈbts(ə)/;[1][2] from Neapolitan 'na pizza, Neapolitan: [na ˈpittsə]; lit.'a pizza'), it originated in 1925[3] at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana[4] and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably Sally's Apizza and Modern Apizza.[5] This geographically limited pizza style has been favorably regarded by national critics.[6][7][8]


In a New Haven–style pizzeria, a "plain" pizza is a crust, oregano, tomato sauce, and a little bit of grated pecorino romano cheese. A "plain" New Haven–style pizza may also be called a "tomato pie".[9] Mozzarella is considered a topping.[10]

Pepe's restaurant is credited with inventing the "white clam pie", a pizza of crust, olive oil, oregano, grated cheese, chopped garlic, and fresh littleneck clams. It served littleneck clams on the half shell at the bar, which Pepe later added to the pizza.[11][12]

What makes New Haven–style pizza distinct is its thin, often oblong crust, characteristic charring,[10] chewy texture, and limited use of melting cheeses. It tends to be drier and thinner than, but closely related to, traditional New York–style pizza. Both styles in turn are close descendants of the original Neapolitan pizza.[13]

Baking and serving methods[edit]

New Haven–style pizza is traditionally baked in a coal-fired oven[5] at extremely hot temperatures above 650 °F (343 °C). It is sold whole rather than by the slice.[10]


As of 2024, New Haven-style pizza is widely available in New Haven and the surrounding area, especially Bridgeport and other nearby coastal cities and towns.[14] New Haven-style restaurants have opened across the United States, though there are some states and many large cities which still have none.[14]

In media[edit]

Henry Winkler, Lyle Lovett, Chris Murphy and Michael Bolton discuss the history of New Haven Pizza in Gorman Bechard's documentary Pizza: A Love Story.[15] In the film the black char imparted from the ovens is described as adding a smoky barbeque flavor not found elsewhere. A recurring phrase spoken by several in the movie is, "It's not burnt, it's charred."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zaretsky, Mark (December 6, 2014). "Zuppardi's Apizza in West Haven celebrates 80 years". New Haven Register. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  2. ^ Lehman, Eric D. (2015). Insiders' Guide to Connecticut. Guilford, Connecticut: Rowman & Littlefield. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-4930-1284-8. Archived from the original on 2023-04-20. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  3. ^ Burke, Miles (2022). "Best New Haven Pizza Sauce Recipe". Archived from the original on 2023-01-07. Retrieved 2023-01-07.
  4. ^ "Pizza". American Eats. June 29, 2006. History Channel.
  5. ^ a b Levine, Ed (2011). Serious Eats: A Comprehensive Guide to Making & Eating Delicious Food Wherever You Are. Random House Digital, Inc. pp. 99–100. ISBN 978-0307720870. Archived from the original on April 20, 2023. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  6. ^ Richman, Alan (June 2009). "American Pie". GQ Magazine. Conde Nast. Archived from the original on October 16, 2009. Retrieved June 21, 2009. Sally's is ranked six, while Pepe's is ranked twelve, out of 25 restaurants nationally.
  7. ^ Levine, Ed; Steingarten, Jeffrey (2005). Pizza: A Slice of Heaven. New York, New York: Universe Publishing. p. 24. ISBN 0-7893-1205-0. In my experience, the perfect Neapolitan-American pizzas are made in New York City and in New Haven, Connecticut, at the towering Frank Pepe's Pizzeria and Sally's Apizza.
  8. ^ "New Haven Pizza Named Best In America". CBS New York. October 22, 2013. Archived from the original on November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  9. ^ "Apizza, Tomato Pie". Eat Your World. Archived from the original on 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
  10. ^ a b c Katelyn Umholtz (October 2, 2023). "What is apizza? And how is it different from regular pizza?". The Boston Globe.
  11. ^ Pollack, Penny; Ruby, Jeff (2005). Everybody Loves Pizza: The Deep Dish on America's Favorite Food. Clerisy Press. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-57860-218-6.
  12. ^ "The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time". Time. Archived from the original on 2020-08-05. Retrieved 2019-10-14.
  13. ^ Nierenberg, Amelia (1 January 2024). "Can New Haven's Legendary Pizza Joints Play on the National Stage?". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 January 2024. Technically, the dish that people in New Haven and beyond are so crazy about isn't pizza. It's "apizza," pronounced "ah-beetz." That's direct from Naples: The recipes, and the name in dialect, came over with immigrants beginning in the 19th century.
  14. ^ a b "New Haven Style Pizza map". Retrieved 16 January 2023.
  15. ^ "Pizza: A Love Story". Archived from the original on 2022-03-07. Retrieved 2022-03-07.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]