New Haven Pizza 101

New Haven has been on pizza lovers' radars for decades. The "apizza" (pronounced "ah-beetz" by locals) style is defined by its thin, chewy crust, which makes for a unique—and, some would argue, superior—pizza experience. From white clam pies to mashed potato–topped concoctions, here are the area's best .

It should come as no surprise that BAR, a nightclub-cum-microbrewery, feels right at home in a college town, and furthermore that its signature pie just happens to be bacon-and-mashed-potato-topped pizza—a college student's comfort-food dream. If you want to taste what this place does best, brush aside any nagging thoughts of carbs and calories, and go for the masterpiece: a slightly charred, crispy-crusted pizza, topped with a thin layer of creamy mashed potatoes and bits of bacon.

Pepe’s Pizzeria is where it all began: in 1925 Frank Pepe opened his eponymous pizzeria and created what would become the iconic New Haven–style pizza. Eager customers line up for hours to get a taste of the famous thin-crust pies, in particular Frank Pepe's pièce de résistance—the white clam pizza. This masterful creation consists of olive oil, garlic, oregano, grated Parmesan cheese, and littleneck clams atop a thin crust.

Just two blocks from Pepe's on Wooster Street (New Haven's Little Italy) is Sally's Apizza, a rival of Frank Pepe's since 1938, when Pepe's nephew decided to open his own place. Now visitors to New Haven and Wooster Street must pledge their allegiance to just one of these famed pizzerias, although no one will blame you if you decide to be a double agent.

If you don't want to get involved with that feud, there's always Modern Apizza, which differentiates itself by offering New Haven–style pizza with no toppings. Serving its signature pies (plain with a layer of tomato sauce and just a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese) since 1934, they do let you add toppings if you want, including a clam, bacon, peppers, and mozzarella specialty.

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