From coast to coast, one question plagues pizza lovers across the US: Where can you find the best pizza? Well, I can tell you it’s not in New York or Chicago. The best pizza isn’t even called pizza. It’s called apizza, and you can find it in New Haven, Connecticut.
Apizza is the name for the classic Neapolitan-style pizza that started in New Haven back in 1925. The apizza style refers to a thin, chewy, crispy, charred crust that comes from the coal-fired ovens used to make it. Pronounced “abeets,” apizza gets its name from the Italian dialect of the Neapolitan immigrants who came to the area in the early 1900s. Looking to recreate Naples’ pizza on the streets of New Haven, a man named Frank Pepe began selling slices of apizza from a small shop front on Wooster Street. His original tomato pie was made with Italian tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, and oregano on a signature crust with a sprinkling of grated pecorino Romano cheese on top. Frank Pepe’s nephew, Salvatore Consiglio, opened up his own apizza place, Sally’s, in 1938. Those two businesses launched what is now an iconic New Haven pizza scene.