Some consider New Haven’s apizza* rivalry to be extremely competitive, whereas others see no opposition and cite the Big Three—Frank Pepe’s, Sally’s, and Modern—as the best, no contest. The lucky neighbors of Dayton Street Apizza need only stroll down the street to indulge in one of the Elm City’s finest apizza traditions. Located off Whalley Avenue near West Rock, Dayton Street has been wowing apizza fans since 1998.
Thin, chewy crust with fresh toppings arranged conservatively and baked to well-done perfection: this is the crux of good apizza, and Dayton Street follows the rules. Like Pepe’s, the kitchen uses only fresh clams for a white clam pie. It is served with lemon wedges, a tart modern touch. Homemade sauce and quality mozzarella make red pies noteworthy. Outstanding, all-natural sausage is locally made by Lamberti of New Haven.
Italian dishes are popular enough that customers buy jars of house-made Bobo’s Pasta Sauce. (You get one free with every $25 purchase.) Three flavors include marinara, vodka, and spicy puttanesca. Stuffed breads, calzones, homemade pasta fagioli, salads, hot subs, wings, and a complete selection of locally bottled Foxon Park sodas round out the extensive menu. Dayton Street also runs a sister restaurant, 1st Street Apizza in Seymour.
Is it better than the Big Three? The chefs at Dayton Street don’t worry themselves with such trifles. Quality apizza is their business, and business is very, very good.
*Apizza, as opposed to pizza, is what many Connecticut pizza parlors call themselves. It’s a nod to the Neapolitan accent, and is properly pronounced “uh-beetz.”