The Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
New Haven: 157 Wooster Street, New Haven, CT
The Original Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana has been making delicious pizza pies for almost a hundred years.
Started in New Haven, by Frank Pepe, an Italian immigrant, who sold pizza from a cart on the streets. His cart did so well, that he opened his first pizzeria in New Haven in 1925. Now they have eight locations in New York and CT. I heard that they will be expanding into Boston. I was lucky to visit the first location in New Haven.
New Haven-Style pizza is crispier and thinner crust than most other styles and Pepe’s pizzas are so good because they are made in a coal-fired oven the same way they were made by Mr. Pepe himself. The pizzeria has been in the family since then!
I got to try three of their best pizzas:
“The Original”Tomato Pie:
This is the pizza that started it all, a Fresh Tomato Sauce on thin crust… that’s al! I liked it and it really brought out the flavor of the sauce, because there was no cheese.
Pepperoni and Cheese:
The original, with Pepperoni and Mozzarella cheese. The cheese and pepperoni made it even better.
The White Clam Pie:
This is the one that won the award for “Best Pizza In America”: Fresh Clams, Grated Cheese, Olive Oil, Oregano, and Garlic… Lots of Garlic! It was my favorite and probably one of the best pizzas I ever tasted.
He told me that, “The white clam pizza is the most popular.”
I asked him, how did Frank Pepe come up with the White Clam Pie?
“In the 1940’s there was a man who sold clams on a pushcart to the pizzeria and he suggested to Frank Pepe that he put them on a pie”.
The Sunday Diner Rating (out of 5)
FOOD * * * * * (5)
SERVICE * * * * * (5)
LOOKS: * * * * * (5)
BATHROOM: * * * * (4)