8 Apizza Restaurants In New Haven, Ranked

There's no pizza city in the world quite like New Haven, Connecticut. While some may recognize Connecticut's second-largest city as the home of the Yale University Bulldogs or the home of the first American hamburger at Louis' Lunch, the Elm City is by far best known for its connection to pizza. Specifically, the apizza (pronounced "ah-beetz") style, which was brought to the region by Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. 

New Haven-style pizza is so unique because it's made with a very wet dough that undergoes a long fermentation process, so it has a bite like a thin ciabatta. The sauce also tends to be more tart than other pizza varieties, and you won't have a proper New Haven pizza with mozzarella ("mootz") unless you specifically ask for it. In addition, this pizza style has a blistered, charred crust because of a comparably long period in the oven. Historically, many of these ovens were powered by cheap, abundant coal, but many modern apizzerias have switched to alternatives like wood and gas.

The city's apizza is closely interlinked with its identity, so it's not surprising to see that there are people who will defend their favorite pizza joint to death — us included. Here are some of our favorite pizzerias in New Haven serving up this regional style. 

Our methodology

We should start by saying that we take pizza seriously ... very seriously. As an individual born and raised in Connecticut, I have eaten at every single one of these pizzerias at least once. And in the case of Frank Pepe's, probably every three weeks or so. And we also need to note that none (we repeat: none) of these pizzerias are at all bad; we would happily take a pizza from any of them. But, some pies outrank others. 

Our first point was to examine if the pies at the pizzerias were truly New Haven apizza-style. This means examining if the crust is chewy, the sauce tart, and the cheese sparse. We also looked for places that had a smattering of both traditional apizza pies, like the tomato pie and the white clam, that put New Haven's pizza city status on the map and more modern renditions. Besides the style of pizza, we also looked for the consistency of the pies, based on our experiences as well as the experiences of verified tasters. In other words, there should be a consistent style, flavor, and profile to the pizzas. 

The last thing we examined for this review was the restaurant's ambiance. When you think about it, these pies were first devised by Italian immigrants looking to start their lives in America, so the pies should reflect the humble upbringings of this pizza style in the Italian-American culinary lexicon. 

8. Next Door

Next Door is a relative newcomer on the New Haven pizza scene. Its menu features more than just classic apizza; you'll find a long list of appetizers, non-pizza entrees, and sandwiches before you even get to its apizzas. The restaurant is well-known for its clams casino pie, which is a riff on the white clam pie with a little bit of mootz and bacon. Another solid contender is the mashed potato pie, which is made with bacon, onion, mozzarella, and mashed potato. Is it a pie that would make Frank Pepe himself roll over in his grave? Probably. 

We give Next Door a ton of points for being innovative and offering more than just the New Haven classics, as well as its affordability. A "New Haven Plain" (tomato pie) will run you a mere $14 for a 16-inch pie, which is much cheaper than the other more well-known spots in the city. However, the pizza at this spot tends to be a bit greasier and less consistently cooked than other pizza spots, with some folks reporting their pies coming out slightly undercooked while others report disproportionate amounts of char. And if we're being honest, we're looking for the best-of-the-best for New Haven, and ambiance only goes so far. 


(475) 234-5969

175 Humphrey St, New Haven, CT 06511

7. Bar

If there's one up-and-coming name you get in the New Haven pizza scene, it's Bar. Its menu is innovative yet holds true to the New Haven style of pizza. You can also customize your pie with almost any addition, including veggies, meat, and seafood. If you feel less creative, try one of their seasonal rotating pies. 

The reason why Bar ranked where it did in our roundup is that the crust tends to be thinner than the other pizza, which really doesn't give it the characteristic chew of New Haven apizza. It's almost as if New Haven pizza got placed into a pasta roller and flattened until it was paper-thin. The consistency of the crust makes it very difficult to roll the pizza up into one mouthful without it sloshing off to the side. And in our experience with eating at Bar, we've found that the pie doesn't really have the characteristic blister.

The biggest drawback is that Bar is exclusively 21 and older, but you can still Doordash the pies in a pinch. However, this pie isn't ideal for takeout because it is too thin to withstand the weight of the toppings.


(203) 495-8924

254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

6. Ernie's Pizzeria

Although it's not one of the top five pizzerias in New Haven, it's fair to say that Ernie's Pizzeria is a fan favorite. It's been around for over 50 years and is currently operated by the son of the original owner, Pat DeRiso, who makes all of its gas-fired pies in-house. Ernie's is best known for two pies in particular: its broccoli rabe and Ernie's special, topped with mootz, sausage, and mushrooms. We should note here that Ernie's goes a little bit more on the cheese than we would prefer, but we're just sticklers for the New Haven style. 

Ernie's has a lot of things going for it, mostly its family feel and connection to the local community. But, it lacks the history and connection to the apizza movement in New Haven that many of the other restaurants have. But, the quality of the pizza at Ernie's is more consistent than other New Haven eateries, which makes it one of the most underrated spots to grab a slice (or more).


(203) 387-3362

1279 Whalley Ave, New Haven, CT 06515

5. One6Three

One6Three is one of the more upbeat and novel New Haven pizzerias, but it doesn't fall short on quality, either. Besides wood-fired apizza, you'll also find sandwiches, salads, and appetizers on its menu. When it comes to the apizza, it's clear that there is a little bit of something for everyone. We would venture to say that One6Three is for the adventurous eaters who still like the chewy New Haven crust but with more exciting toppings. One of its most popular pies is the "Sweet & Salami," topped with genoa salami, fresh mootz, hot cherry peppers, shredded mootz, and a drizzle of honey, or "The King" with a peanut butter base, smoked bacon, candied walnuts, and a drizzle of cranberry-honey jam post-bake. 

Do we think that One6Three has the most consistent quality of all of New Haven's apizza joints? Not necessarily. In fact, we think that the toppings can detract from some of the flaws in the crust and red sauce, which we found to be a bit too sweet for our liking. But it is a BYOB spot and has a youthful, modern feel to it.


(203) 777-5141

163 Foster St, New Haven, CT 06511

4. Da Legna at Nolo

Da Legna at Nolo is a popular destination restaurant poised to take over the New Haven pizza scene. It's open late hours and offers a unique take on traditional apizza. Its pies are made with a sourdough base that gives it a more profound tangy flavor. And unlike some of the restaurants ranked lower on our list, Da Legna doesn't sacrifice its pizza craftsmanship for its new-age toppings and "scratch-casual" approach to apizza. 

We love that De Legna has many options for plant-based eaters, including vegan meats and cheeses, as well as more traditional New Haven pies with an added twist. We recommend trying the "Honeypot," made with San Marzano tomatoes, sliced hot pepper, onion, mootz, soppressata, and truffle honey, or the "Funghi" with wild mushrooms, tarragon, burrata cheese, truffle oil, and ricotta cream. 

The primary reason why Da Legna didn't make its way to our top, top spots for New Haven pizza is because it isn't as popular or integral to the pizza identity of the city. But it's clear that straying from tradition isn't a bad thing for restaurants like it. It's innovative, fun, and has really darn good pizza. 


(203) 891-7704

687 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

3. Modern Apizza

Modern has been grouped into the Holy Trinity of the New Haven pizza world with other contenders like Frank Pepe's and Sally's Apizza. The biggest issue we have with their pizza is that it isn't as innovative as other apizza spots that we ranked, but it also doesn't have the same caliber of pie as Frank Pepe's or Sally's. Its menu is simple — and you can even get your pie topped with American cheese instead of mootz. This, we believe, is a cardinal sin to the apizza. 

But there are some things that Modern Apizza does well. The sauce is the perfect degree of tartness and their pizza uses just enough cheese. But as far as every experience we've had with modern, we've noticed that the center of the pie tends to be a bit gloopy and soft rather than hold together like a good apizza slice. And if you're ordering a pie from Modern, don't forget to pick up some garlic bread, too. 


(203) 776-5306

874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

2. Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana

We admittedly ordered a lot of pie from Frank Pepe's because there is a location of the restaurant that is very close to our house. So, it's fair to say that we're the most well-versed in the consistency of this pie compared to others. However, we've also seen the quality of Pepe's decline over the years — mainly in the blistering of the crust. Several years ago, our location had a perfectly blistered crust. Now, they just give you the fair warning that the pie will be blistered, only to have it come out a shade of nude on the bottom. 

The historical connection of Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana to the city of New Haven is unmatched. Plus, the saltiness of the toppings and the pie, the sharpness of the sauce, and the perfect amount of cheese are the definitions of what makes apizza apizza. Plus, it's still cooked on coal, while other pizzerias have shifted to gas or wood. But if Pepe's wants to move up in the rankings and challenge our top contender, they're going to need to get a hold of whoever is working the ovens.


(203) 865-5762

157 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511

1. Sally's Apizza

Deciding which pizza to take the top spot of New Haven pie was difficult to say the least. But it came down to one name: Sally's Apizza. 

Sally's has since expanded past its Wooster Street home, where it's been slinging pies since 1938. The restaurant is now located in two other Connecticut cities with plans to expand to Boston and Woburn, Massachusetts, in the near future. The pies at Sally's are an homage to the traditional New Haven apizza style. Besides the classic tomato pie and white clam pie, you can also find fan favorites like the roasted eggplant pie and "Firebird" with roasted chicken, diced sweet and hot peppers, and onions. You can also sample from its impressive menu of appetizers, bruschetta, and salads. 

There's a reason why Sally's was rated the best pizza in New Haven by pizza reviewer Dave Portnoyand by us, too. Its New Haven restaurant isn't extravagant and doesn't let a flashy appearance change the quality of its pies. We've never had a lackluster pizza at Sally's, and its consistency is what put this joint a slice above the rest.


(203) 624-5271

237 Wooster St, New Haven, CT 06511