What Is New Haven Pizza? Plus: Where To Get It

by Peter Candia
What is new haven pizza?

In New Jersey, pizza isn’t hard to come by. At all. Styles range from New York slices, to Neapolitan-ish pies, to Detroit-style pizza, to paper-thin NJ bar pie. The pizza options in the Garden State are endless. Almost. There is one style of pizza that has yet to become mainstream in NJ, and fans of it say it’s the best in the world. It’s called New Haven pizza, and it comes from—you guessed it—New Haven Connecticut. So, what is New Haven pizza? And why are its fans so passionate about it? 

What Is New Haven Pizza? 

New Haven-style pizza can best be described by its razor-thin crust, coal-fired ovens and bright tomato sauce. The pizza is often called apizza—pronounced “ah-beetz” by locals. 


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Like all of the pizza in the US, apizza originated with Italian immigrants—specifically from Naples—in 1925 at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana in New Haven, CT. Besides its stature, something that sets New Haven pizza apart from other popular styles is that a “plain pie” refers to a pizza with tomato sauce, oregano and a dusting of Pecorino Romano to finish. Low-moisture mozzarella is treated as a topping that diners have to ask for. A plain pie is also often called a tomato pie—not to be confused with the Trenton tomato pie or Philly tomato pie. 

The crust for New Haven pizza is noticeably thinner than New York pizza, and more well-done. The dough make-up and coal ovens lend a chewy structure to the pizza that is a tad dryer than a New York or New Jersey pizza. 

Apizza Styles and Toppings

Beyond the tomato pie is a pizza with mozzarella, which to many is the default order at New Haven pizzerias. Traditional pizzeria toppings like meatballs, pepperoni, hot peppers and more can be added to any pie. 

There are also specialty New Haven apizzas, the most-famous being the clam pie from Frank Pepe, which comes with fresh-shucked clams, oregano, grated Pecorino, garlic and olive oil. It is often called one of the greatest pizzas in the nation. 

Where To Get Pizza in New Haven, Connecticut

If you consider yourself a pizza fanatic, then taking a trip to New Haven is an absolute must. There are several great restaurants to choose from, but these four New Haven pizza spots are must-tries when passing through coastal Connecticut. 

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana


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Where: 157 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511, plus more

What To Get: Clam apizza, tomato pie, white birch beer from Foxon Park Sodas

Sally’s Apizza


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Where: 237 Wooster Street, New Haven CT 06511, plus more

What To Get: Tomato pie with mozzarella, tomato pie, potato and rosemary pie

Modern Apizza


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Where: 874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

What To Get: Clams Casino apizza, mozzarella pie


Where: 254 Crown Street, New Haven CT 06510

What To Get: Bacon and egg (weekends only), BBQ Brisket pie, mashed potato and bacon pie

About the Author/s

All posts

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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randy ungerleider April 29, 2024 - 1:40 pm

Those pies look great….just how I like them!

Dave April 29, 2024 - 2:36 pm

Also try Zuppardi’s in West Haven. Their Fresh Clam Pie is out out of this world!


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