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That’s Apizza! [national pizza month 2023]

If you ask us, October is the most wonderful time of the year.  Crisp weather, leaves changing colors, spooky season, and best of all – it’s National Pizza Month.  That’s right, an entire month to celebrate the Elm City’s most beloved food, and to visit the holy trinity of pizzerias (keep reading).

New Haven is a foodie destination. We’ve got a scene for every foodie, but here, every “apizza” is personal. Pronounced “ah-beetz” by folks across the Greater New Haven Region, New Haven pizza always wins.

In the Elm City, pizza is a way of life and a cornerstone of our foodie culture. On our plates and in the books of state lawmakers, pizza is on its way to becoming the official state food of Connecticut, thanks to the “Pizza Bill.” The bill, SB 390, was authored by New Haven’s pizza historian Colin Caplan, and passed through the state house in 2021, up for a vote in the senate again this year. Our pizzas taste good, and our pies are also truly historic, (Frank Pepe’s, Connecticut’s oldest pizzeria, turned 98 this year, and is the fourth-oldest pizzeria in the country).

Since 1925, foodies have made their pilgrimage to New Haven for the perfect pizza, and this year alone, our pizzerias have been praised by The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Food & Wine Magazine, and more. These media moments detail the history of the New Haven-style pizza that has since become a bonafide category. Always charred and never burned, our pies are characterized by a distinctive thin crust and the flavor imbued from coal-fired brick ovens across the city. Our chewy, fermented dough is coated in tomato sauce, oregano, and optional mozzarella. That’s right, optional. New Haven-style pizzas are far from ordinary, some layered in cheese, some boasting only sauce—some coated in herb-crusted clams, and some serving as a vehicle for hearty mashed potatoes. Classic or cutting edge, our pizzas feed the hundreds of traveling foodies who venture to our city each year for their own pie.

Don’t just take it from us and the legislators, pizza connoisseur and media mogul Dave Portnoy made it official last year, crowning New Haven the Pizza Capital of the United States. The Barstool Sports founder gained a massive following over the years with his “One Bite Pizza Reviews,” rating pies from across the country on a 0 to 10 basis. With more than 1,000 pizza reviews under his belt, Portnoy rated Sally’s Apizza’s pie a 9.2, Modern Apizza’s pie an 8.8, and Frank Pepe’s pie an 8.5, adding “this pizza dances. It makes me tingle in places you can’t talk about. I love this pizza.”

Visit us and take your pizza on a plate or on the go (literally). New Haven’s pizza historians have taken the best and boldest pies and created a cakewalk. Taste of New Haven, helmed by Colin Caplan, offers two exclusive walking tour experiences for visitors and locals alike. The four-hour Little Italy Pizza Tour, which brings foodies to the top-rated pizzerias of Wooster Street, serves up 10 different pizza pies across the city, plus wine, beer and soda. The six-hour, history-laden Pizza Lovers tour features 12 pies from across New Haven’s Apizza scene, skipping the lines and keeping the pints rolling. Both tours bring visitors to the most famous pizzerias in the country, from Sally’s Apizza to Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana.

Innovation, culture, dough, sauce, cheese [grated or mozz] – that’s New Haven. Journey here for a pie (or three), and leave cultured, and full.