The Best White Clam Pizza in Connecticut

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The Origin

For the best White Clam pizza in Connecticut, you need to head to New Haven, where it was first made in the mid 20th century. While its exact origin is uncertain, one frequently repeated story is that a clam vendor in an alley off Wooster Street near Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana convinced Frank Pepe that the two of them should pool their resources. Raw littlenecks on the half-shell already were on Pepe’s menu as a pre-pizza hors d’oeuvre. Pepe used them on a pie with neither tomatoes nor mozzarella cheese – just the freshly-opened clams, minced garlic, olive oil, a dusting of sharp Pecarino cheese and a sprinkle of herbs. The elegant medley is really as much a flatbread as it is pizza, its crust ultra-thin with a rugged underside from grains of semolina on the oven floor, its circumference puffed up in a golden circle that offers profound resilience in every bite.

Where Else to Order

White clam pizza remains Pepe’s signature pie and a popular item at New Haven’s Modern Apizza and Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza, as well as at Dayton Street Apizza (which customarily adds a bit of mozzarella). Some connoisseurs believe the very best white clam pie is served at Zuppardi’s Apizza in West Haven, where clams are shucked only when the pizza is ordered.

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Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana

The granddaddy of New Haven pizzerias, Pepe's is best known for its coal oven's chewy, full-flavored thin crust. And for superb, simple white clam pies.

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Modern Apizza

Modern is one of New Haven's great pizzerias, its coal-fired oven turning out pies with chewy, full-flavored crust & first-rate toppings. Try the Italian Bomb!

3

Eli’s Brick Oven Pizza and Market

Eli's pizza has a crust that is microthin but just hefty enough to offer a nice chew rather than break when bitten. A New Haven-area pizzeria worth the trip.

Must Eats
White Clam Pizza (large) , Sausage Pizza (large) , Old Fashioned Plain – Large
4

Dayton Street Apizza

Rich sauce, quality toppings, and thin, crisp crust: Dayton Street Apizza is a New Haven best bet. A full selection of Foxon Park sodas is available.

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Zuppardi’s Apizza

New Haven, Connecticut pizza is great. Zuppardi's of West Haven may be even better: the best white clam pizza on earth. House-made sausage, too.