New Haven-style pizza

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New Haven-style pizza
Sally's apizza half tomato half with cheese (72126).jpg
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 Pepe's 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 [na ˈpittsə], "a pizza"), it originated at the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana[3] and is now served in many other pizza restaurants in the area, most notably Sally's Apizza and Modern Apizza.[4] This geographically limited pizza style has been favorably regarded by national critics.[5][6][7]


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".[8] Mozzarella is considered a topping.

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.[9][10]

What makes New Haven-style pizza distinct is its thin, oblong crust, characteristic charring, 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.

Baking and serving methods[edit]

New Haven-style pizza is traditionally baked in a coal-fired oven[4] at extremely hot temperatures above 650 °F (343 °C). It is sold whole rather than by the slice.


Although most commonly available locally, New Haven-style pizza has begun to spread to other parts of the United States. It has been available in the Italian-American areas of Bridgeport, and other shoreline communities for many years; Frank Pepe's also has a location in Yonkers in the Italian-heavy New York City metro area. New Haven-style has penetrated areas typically not known for large Italian-American populations, including towns in northern and central Connecticut, as well as other cities across the United States.

In media[edit]

New Haven pizzerias have often topped best pizza lists.[11][12][13][failed verification] 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.[14] In the film the black char imparted from the ovens is described as adding a smoky barbeque flavor not found elsewhere.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Zaretsky, Mark (December 6, 2014). "Zuppardi's Apizza in West Haven celebrates 80 years". New Haven Register. 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.
  3. ^ "Pizza". American Eats. June 29, 2006. History Channel.
  4. ^ 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. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  5. ^ Richman, Alan (June 2009). "American Pie". GQ Magazine. Conde Nast. Retrieved June 21, 2009. Sally's is ranked six, while Pepe's is ranked twelve, out of 25 restaurants nationally.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "New Haven Pizza Named Best In America". CBS New York. October 22, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "Apizza, Tomato Pie". Eat Your World.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "The 13 Most Influential Pizzas of All Time". Time.
  11. ^ "Barstool Pizza Review - Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (New Haven, CT)".
  12. ^ "Barstool Pizza Review - Sally's Apizza (New Haven, CT)".
  13. ^ "Barstool Pizza Review - Modern Apizza (New Haven,CT) Bonus Garlic Bread Review".
  14. ^ Pizza: A Love Story

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]