About the Pizza

The NHPP reviews only “New Haven-style pizza,” which many pizza-holics consider the best pizza in the world.

Known locally as “apizza” (pronounced ah-BEETZ), New Haven-style pizza is found in and around New Haven, Connecticut. Around the turn of the century, Italian immigrants, many of them from the pizza heartland surrounding Naples, flooded into New Haven, resulting in the city’s rich Italian culinary tradition.

New Haven-style pizza is traditionally baked in a coal or wood-fired brick oven and is first and foremost distinguished by its crust, which is thin, chewy, and usually slightly charred. “Plain” pizza refers to a pie topped with only tomato sauce, garlic, oregano, the faintest dusting of cheese. What most people call a cheese pizza is known in local dialect as a red pie with mozzarella (“mootz” for short). Signature New Haven pies include the white clam pizza (a pie without sauce topped with fresh clams) and pizzas topped with Italian sausage.

Conventional wisdom holds that the two best pizzerias in town are Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza, both of which are located in the heart of New Haven’s Little Italy on Wooster Street. Most people feel that Modern Apizza, located a few minutes away, comes in at a close third.

Of course, the NHPP mission is to see how other local places measure up to the Big Three. And we have every reason to believe that there are other gems out there…


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