2 CT Italian Restaurants Named Among Nation’s Best

Two Connecticut eateries are among the nation’s top 50 Italian restaurants, according to The Daily Meal. (Shutterstock)

NEW HAVEN, CT — Two immensely popular Connecticut pizza joints, both of which are in New Haven, were recently ranked among the best in the country, according to a new survey. The Daily Meal’s "America’s 50 Best Italian Restaurants" list includes both Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza, ranking at positions 14 (Pepe’s) and 21 (Sally’s) respectively.

Though Pepe’s pulls ahead of Sally’s on this list by a few positions, both places are more connected than the average customer might be aware. For one, both are located a short walk from each other on Wooster Street.

They are also both born of the same family, as Sally’s was opened in the late 1930’s by Frank Pepe’s nephew, Salvatore Consiglio. Though some customers like to pick a side, most who enjoy New Haven-style pizza simply enjoy the fact that both are located so close to each other.

See also: 6 ‘Old School’ CT Pizzerias Among America’s Best: The Daily Meal

Frankly, anyone who knows pizza knows Pepe’s, as the famed Connecticut pizzeria has been named the best pizza in the country by a number of publications.

Pepe’s opened in New Haven in 1925 and specializes in thin crust pizza pies. According to the pizzeria’s website, each pizza is cooked in a coal fire oven to give these "tomato pies" their famous crisp, charred, chewy crust.

While the original location is still located in New Haven, Pepe’s has since opened locations in Fairfield, Danbury, Manchester, West Hartford, Waterbury and Uncasville, as well as a few other locations outside of Connecticut.

The Daily Meal praises Pepe’s famous clam pie, which features "freshly shucked littleneck clams, an intense dose of garlic, olive oil, oregano and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano atop a charcoal-colored crust." They also recommend elevating this popular pie even further by adding bacon.

In regards to Sally’s, The Daily Meal offers praise for their traditional thin crust pies topped with tomato sauce, garlic and "mozz." While Pepe’s may be king of the clam pie, they recommend going for the popular tomato pie (tomato sauce, no cheese) when dining at Sally’s.

According to their website, each pie at Sally’s is individually hand-made and carefully baked in a coal-fired oven. Many dignitaries, athletes and stars have dined at Sally’s over the years, including Frank Sinatra, Bill Clinton, Kathleen Turner, Don Rickles and Jimmy Durante among others.

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