Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, with multiple locations in Connecticut, New York and greater Boston, predictably landed at the top of the list again, as it has in recent years. This year, seven more Nutmeg State entries join the mix, representing the greater New Haven area’s long history of pizza proficiency.
The voting panel, which included a team of food writers, pizza bloggers, chefs and other experts, chose Pepe’s white clam pie as its #1 selection.
“This is a Northeastern pizza genre unto its own, and Pepe's is the best of all — freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano atop a charcoal-colored crust,” editors wrote. “The advanced move? Clam pie with bacon.”
Modern Apizza on State Street in New Haven landed at #3, editors lauded its Italian Bomb pie with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, garlic, mushroom, onion, and pepper. Sally’s Apizza, Pepe’s Wooster Street rival, came in at #8. “keep in mind that while Sally's staff have been known to admit that Pepe’s clam pie is better, the tomato pie here (tomato sauce, no cheese) has the original beat,” editors noted.
At #32, New Haven’s Ernie’s Apizza earned respect for its under-the-radar status in the Elm City, and right behind them at #33, Zuppardi’s Apizza of West Haven (with a two-year-old food truck) got a nod for its sausage and mushroom pie, its white clam version with freshly shucked littlenecks and an escarole and white bean creation.
The signature mashed potato pie with bacon landed New Haven’s BAR at #44, and Mike’s Apizza in West Haven, at #63, was recognized for its broccoli rabe and sausage white pizza. Colony Grill, with locations in Fairfield, Milford, Norwalk and Stamford, came in at #85, with editors noting its unique “hot oil” bar pies. “The signature hot oil is a must — if you don’t do it, don’t bother going,” they wrote.