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Sally’s Apizza New Haven CT – Wooster Street Pizza Since 1938 One of the Legendary Little Italy Pizza Places

Posted on: February 27, 2016



When Mod Betty wrote about the “apizza” at Roseland Apizza recently, she kinda forgot that many folks may not be familiar with the whole “New Haven Connecticut as the epizzcenter of the Apizza world” concept (see what I did there? ;-))

So here’s a quick primer – featuring Sally’s Apizza, for it’s authentic throwback look and use of their 80+ year old coal fired oven. (I can hear the pizza purists gearing up to correct me as I type this!)

Sally's Apizza New Haven CT

Sally’s Apizza was established in 1938 by Salvatore “Sal/Sally” Consiglio and his wife Flo. Today the pizza place is still family run, by their sons. There’s another family connection that ties into the whole New Haven pizza history, in that Sal was the nephew of Frank Pepe.

Quick Aside About Frank Pepe:

Frank Pepe opened HIS apizza aplace in 1925, just a block or so down from where Sally’s is today. Considered one of the oldest pizza places in the US, there is still a Frank Pepe’s on Wooster street, and we often stop by there for one of their famous clam pizzas. (We get ours with garlic and bacon – yum!)

old reliable frank pepe

The Wooster St Pepe’s location has been renovated with a vintage vibe, and they are now expanding into other areas (heck they’re up in my old neck of the woods in Mass now!) so if you can’t get to New Haven you can check them out that way.

Now Back to Sally’s Apizza:

One of the things that makes Sally’s so totally old-school (besides its totall non-ironic 1970s look and feel) is the list of rules you need to know in order to eat there.Sally's Apizza New Haven CT

  • They’re cash only.
  • They’re closed on Monday and Tuesday.
  • Wednesday through Friday they open at 4pm, but Saturday and Sunday they open at 3.
  • Friday and Saturday they’re open until 10, but the other nights only ’til 9.
  • You’ll need to walk through the kitchen area to use the small and obviously vintage restroom.
  • You may need to wait outside in a line to get in.
  • Rumor has it they take “reservations” for locals and may leave folks waiting in line for a long time.
  • Cheese is considered an extra topping.
  • They don’t serve slices.

Scared off yet? I’ll be honest – all that did make us wary to try Sally’s with Pepe’s so conveniently placed, but you know what? When we did check out Sally’s it was fine! No lines, friendly service, huge tasty pizzas.

Quick Aside About New Haven Apizza

Based on the Neapolitan style pizza from Naples, New Haven’s pizza is often referred to as apizza because of the Italian dialect pronunciation of pizza (“a-beets”).

A plain apizza is also known in some places as “tomato pie” (but not to be confused with the tomato pie popular in the Philadelphia area!) and has no cheese on it.

The crust: Thin, chewy, irregularly shaped. Often charred in places because of being cooked at a very high heat in a traditionally coal-fired oven.

The sauce: Thin and tangy with a sprinkle of oregano for flavor.

The deal with the cheese:  Traditional plain tomato pies will often just have a sprinkling of romano or parmesean cheese. This can throw folks into a tizz when they’re used to having a plain pizza = a cheese pizza with a layer of chewy cheese on top.
At Sally’s and other New Haven apizza places Mozzarella cheese (or “mootz” as some will pronounce it) is an extra topping you will have to ask for, and pay for.

Our Pizzas – ta-da!

Sally's Apizza New Haven CT
The scale of that front pizza (yes we did get “mootz” on it) served on parchment paper on a tray, gives you an idea of what a large size is. We were also pleased to be able to wash down our pizza with locally brewed Foxon Park sodas  – an added regional food bonus.

Sally’s has been in the local news lately because it is for sale, so you might want to check it out If you are in New Haven Connecticut. And it is Wednesday through Sunday between 4pm and 9pm.  And if you have cash 🙂

You will be 1/2 of the way through the Wooster Street pizza taste test and then can argue with the best of ’em as to which apizza is better.

And don’t bother asking Mod Betty her fave –
she’s got room in her heart (and her belly) for all of ’em!

 

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