Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana

Row 1

101 Best Restaurants in America
101 Best Pizzas in America
157 Wooster St (at Brown St.)
New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 865-5762
Mon–Sun: 11:30 AM–10:00 PM

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana celebrated its 90th birthday in June and is enjoying its third consecutive year at the top of this list. And why shouldn’t it be named America’s best pizza? This is a checklist destination, one you’ll have to make a pilgrimage to if you want to discuss the topic of America's best pizza with any authority. The New Haven icon opened in Wooster Square in 1925, offering classic Napoletana-style pizza made by an Italian-American immigrant. After arriving in the United States in 1909 at the age of 16, Frank Pepe (watch him at work in this video) took odd jobs before opening his original restaurant (the location, now called "The Spot," is now an adjunct to the main Pepe's location).

There are now seven locations around Connecticut and one in New York State operated by Pepe’s 10 great-grandchildren (all of which use original recipes to make their coal-fired pizza), with a new Boston pizzeria scheduled to open in the fall.

What’s the move? As if you didn’t know! Two words: Clam pie ("No muzz!"). This is a Northeastern pizza genre unto its own, and Pepe's is the best of all — freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano, and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano atop a charcoal-colored crust. The advanced move? Clam pie with bacon. Of course, Pepe’s summer special, their seasonal “fresh tomato pie” made with locally grown tomatoes, is worth its own trip (and the addition of shrimp to a tomato pie is an under-hyped gem of a combination). No matter what you’re thinking of ordering, expect to wait in line if you get there after 11:30 a.m. on a weekend.

Arthur Bovino, 101 Best Pizzas in America 2015, 8/6/2015



Map: Surroundings & Nearby
Foursquare Tips
The signature white clam pizza, a combination of fresh clams and garlic is worth the wait in this inviting Italian neighborhood on Wooster Street.
Monday, November 22, 2010 - 11:45
Defy convention by leaving New York to get Pizza. (Nowhere but Pepe's can justify this...)
Monday, November 23, 2009 - 08:22
Hello SCSY delegates! I'm impressed you made it out this far from the Yale campus - now you're in for a treat! Pizza was pretty much invented here! The white clam pizza is a specialty here
Best Delegate
Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 12:05
This place alone is worth a trip to New Haven! Amazing pizza - you won't be disappointed.
Friday, October 15, 2010 - 14:40
Pizza here is a must-do for any New Haven visit
Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 05:37
Best pizza in town according to the locals! The thin crust pizza baked in the brick oven is just mouth-watering!
Sony Mobile WTA
Monday, August 1, 2011 - 01:45
The original location is still the best.
Saturday, February 5, 2011 - 08:07
Try the Fresh Mozzarella With Basil Pizza
Friday, December 31, 2010 - 14:20
Lines are long for tables. Waltz right in, get carry out, and eat it in the park a block away!
Sunday, July 8, 2012 - 15:32
Holy sht that is good pizza. Make sure there is pepperoni involved in your situation.
Saturday, July 10, 2010 - 12:19
The original white clam pizza is so popular that they go through over 40 to 50 bushels a week. Order a large and split the pie, and a pitcher of beer or two, with a group of your closest guy friends.
Men's Health Mag
Monday, July 9, 2012 - 14:15
Go to the Spot: Same delicious pizza, 1/4th the wait.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 11:20
Love it - head to Libby's for dessert :)
Sunday, February 20, 2011 - 14:03
Order the white clam pie
Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 11:47
Get the regular cheese pie. Its really good. If you're from New York City/Chicago, you wont think its as good. Locals think its the best pizza ever though :)
Friday, February 5, 2010 - 09:13
You gotta get the Foxon Park White Birch Beer. Local soda made right in CT!
Sunday, October 2, 2011 - 12:38
Pizza was pretty good. You'll definitely eat more than you think
Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 17:36
A must...the clams are so fresh in this pie!
Saturday, March 10, 2012 - 18:08
best pizza in the entire country, hands down, no trip to new haven is complete without a stop here to get some delicious pie, well worth the long lines and wait
Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 22:37
Try the clam pizza!
Saturday, July 2, 2011 - 13:45