Frank Pepe Pizza Napoletana
Locations: 157 Wooster Street / 164 Wooster Street (New Haven CT)
Web Site: http://www.pepespizzeria.com
Frank Pepe Pizza Napoletana in New Haven is “The Spot” for some of the best pizza in the entire country.
As I explained in my previous post about Caserta’s in Providence, New England has a unique pizza tradition that is entirely separate, but parallel to that of New York’s. Many pizza enthusiasts agree that New Haven, Connecticut has some of the best pizza in the entire country, as it boasts some of the oldest pizzeria with coal-fired ovens in the United States. Three of these happen to have started by the same extended family — Pepe’s, The “Spot” and Sally’s Apizza, all of which are part of the same Wooster Square old Italian-American neighborhood.
Whenever you mention Pizza to a New Haven native the question of which of these places comes up, and there is a bit of a rivalry between them, much like the issue of which cheesesteak is better in Philly, Pat’s or Geno’s. However, there is one particular specialty in which Pepe’s is known to excel, which is the Clam Pie.
You lookin’ for some A’Beets? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more. (note, all photos are from May 2008)
The current Frank Pepe Napoletana pizzeria, on Wooster street. This location was opened in 1936, and is the “New” location. There are other satellite locations of Pepe’s at the Mohegan Sun resort and Casino, in Fairfield and Manchester as well as a location in Yonkers, New York which is slated to open at the end of 2009.
Because Pepe’s has such a huge following it is known to draw very long lines from locals and New Haven visitors.
However, many “In the know” actually eat at “The Spot”, which is owned by Pepes and is in fact, the original location that opened in 1925. It’s just down the block from the “New” location.
This is the oven at the “New” location.
This is the coal oven at ‘The Spot”
The Spot is a smaller, less hectic location, that has a more intimate atmosphere, and we didn’t have to wait an hour to get in.
This is a guy who likes his pizza pies.
This is the main dining room at the “New” location down the block.
Pizza being made at the “New” location.
A view of the kitchen area of The Spot.
A veggie pie being sliced up.
This veggie pie was inhaled by another table.
A plain Pepe’s pie that we ordered. Check out that crust char.
This one was being delivered to another table. Almost as soon as it landed it was devoured.
Here is what I absolutely yearn for from this place — the Clam Pie. Simply pizza dough on the bottom, with lots of fresh Quahog clam meat, tons of garlic and olive oil. No tomato sauce. I like to sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan and lots of hot pepper flakes on it.
Clam Pie closeup.
And the Kubanesque “Upskirt” shot for documentation.