If you’re a New York pizza lover, this article is definitely not for you. I’m calling all the New Haven pizza addicts; the ones who drive 40 minutes for a slice of Pepe’s and who wait in line for over an hour at Sally’s. This past Sunday I spent my day in the best way possible: doing a New Haven pizza tour. We started off at BAR, then went to Modern Apizza and Sally’s Apizza and ended the night at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana. Here are my rankings:
As a die-hard Pepe’s pizza fan, I was skeptical about Sally’s. I had been there once before during the COVID-19 pandemic, and honestly, I wasn’t blown away. This time was far different. We ordered a medium tomato sauce pie (tomato sauce and parmesan) and asked for half with pepperoni. Let me start off with the cons (there’s not many). As expected, there was a long line. However I knew that beforehand so it didn’t bother me. The thing about Sally’s is it’s absolutely tiny. I mean, probably half the size of Pepe’s. This creates chaos when trying to place a takeout order, as we did. I didn’t know you were supposed to call, so the man at the front door told me to go to the back and put an order in with an employee. When we got back there we were totally in the way, but didn’t know where else to go while we were waiting for our server. Eventually, we put in an order and were told to come back in 45 minutes. Once we got our pizza, we all immediately fell in love. The crust and dough were perfectly cooked. Crispy, but not like flatbread. The sauce, as expected for New Haven pizza, was extremely fresh and tasted like actual tomatoes. The pepperoni was the icing on the cake. Real meat that curled inwards after being cooked. If you know, you know. Overall, the food was delicious, and to my surprise, landed as our #1 for the day!
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Pepe’s will always have my heart. In high school, my mom and I would take the 40-minute trek up to New Haven and stand in line for our favorite pizza ever. We ordered a large margarita and a small white clam. While none of us are massive seafood lovers, we wanted to try the clam pizza because it’s what Pepe’s is known for. The customer service was much smoother here, as the place is much bigger. You stand in line, and when you reach the front, you get seated. The pizzas didn’t take long to come out, either. In my opinion, the ingredients at Pepe’s are just as delicious as those at Sally’s. The sauce is fresh, the dough is perfect and the mozzarella tastes like actual mozz you would find in Italy. Not to mention, they serve delicious strawberry lemonade and Foxon Park soda. My one negative is that the pizza was slightly undercooked. The dough beneath the sauce was just a little too wet for my liking, but nonetheless, still absolutely scrumptious.
After hearing so much about BAR, I knew I had to give it a try. We were seated immediately and got put in the cutest little corner, with a bench as one side of seating and a plush couch as the other. We ordered their classic: a large mashed potato and bacon pie. The ingredients mixed together were amazing. The potatoes were hand-mashed and incredibly fluffy. The bacon was crispy and there was a perfect amount of garlic. Overall, a delectable experience. My one con is that the pizza was sliced across, rather than diagonal, which made the actual eating experience sub-par. My pizza was flopping over, and at one point, all my mashed potatoes slid off. I just don’t get the logic behind not cutting a pizza diagonal, but oh well. I also wish their crust was a little bit thicker; it resembled more of a cracker than a crust. I think people go to BAR not only for the food, but also for the environment. Its whole MO is being a bar that serves pizza … two of most people’s favorite things. If I’m not mistaken, they also turn into a nightclub at night. Who knows, you may find your future husband while munching on a slice of pizza.
The last pizza spot on the list is Modern. I was shocked since I always hear such good things, but Modern really didn’t do it for me. We decided to keep it basic and ordered a large cheese pizza. Unfortunately, (I’m sorry to all the Modern lovers) I don’t have many good things to say. The crust was granulated (If you know, you know), which is my absolute least favorite type of crust. While the sauce was good, the cheese hardened after 10 minutes. We also waited in line for close to an hour, which I believe to be a bit too much for the quality of pizza we received. Nonetheless, while it is not amazing for New Haven pizza, it’s still good pizza overall.
I highly recommend partaking in a pizza tour with your friends or loved ones! It’s the perfect way to spend an afternoon … and what’s better than delicious food and amazing company?