Frank Pepe, an immigrant from the Amalfi Coast, opened this iconic Neapolitan pizzeria in Little Italy in 1925. Offering "Tomato Pies Made-to-Order" - when no one has any earthly idea what pizza is (it being 1925 and all), you have to go with the most literal description of your product - Pepe became the godfather of New Haven pizza, spawning generations of aspiring pizza mongers and copycats. It's a bit of a time warp as little seemed to have changed in the no-frills interior, with old menus and flyers framed on the walls and large green posture-correcting booths. The coal-fired ovens crank out some of the finest and definitely the thinnest pies you'll ever have the pleasure of sinking your teeth into. The crust at the end of the slice explodes loudly into bites of crispy charred goodness. Speaking of char, it really sets these pies apart and leaves plenty of evidence on your fingers afterwards. Pizzas come in three basic categories: tomato pie, tomato pie with mozzarella, and specialty pies. Of the latter, the White Clam Pizza is the most renowned, with olive oil, grated cheese, fresh garlic, oregano and little neck clams. Wash it down with a Genessee beer or a Foxon Park soda (served here since 1925).
From the restaurant's website:
"A lot has happened since Frank Pepe starting baking 'ah-beets' 85 years ago. Pizza has gone from an obscure ethnic dish to become a mainstay of the American dining scene. But what hasn't changed at Pepe's is the family's commitment to the tradition of food quality and commitment to the community at large that Frank Pepe envisioned in 1925."
Beer and wine available. Serving lunch and dinner daily.