February 27th, 2016
New Haven, CT
If you know anything about New Haven pizza, you likely know that the major debate is over which pizza is better: Pepe’s or Sally’s? I have been asked this question SO MANY TIMES, and my answer: always Pepe’s.
Now that we’ve put that disclaimer out there, it is worth saying that Sally’s does make pretty good New Haven style pizza. So even though we’ve been loyal Pepe’s pizza eaters for years, we tried to be as objective as possible on this recent trip to Sally’s so that we could give it a fair ranking.
Sally’s Apizza is also found on the famous Wooster Street in New Haven’s “Little Italy”. It was started by none other than Frank Pepe’s nephew back in 1938. It is significantly smaller than Pepe’s, but like Pepe’s, it still uses the original coal oven, and it is in the original location and run by the descendants of the original owners.
We went here with my grandparents, who were excited to try an alternative to Pepe’s. Since we got there early, we only had to wait half an hour before getting our pizzas. We ended up getting one plain tomato pie and one garden special veggie, both larges. The grandparents were super impressed by how much pizza the two of us could eat.
Sally’s makes a really good pizza – there is definitely a reason why it is ranked so high on the list here, and gets a good ranking on our personal lists as well. It gets overshadowed because Pepe’s is just better. Both the sauce and the charred crust on the pies at Pepe’s just taste better. It is difficult to explain, unless you taste them both side-by-side (which we highly recommend that anyone do if they are in New Haven!).
A few other notes on Sally’s:
- They are closed Mondays AND Tuesdays, and they only open at 3 pm on the weekends. So if you get a pizza craving for lunch, you are out of luck.
- The lines at Sally’s can be just as long as Pepe’s, but since the restaurant is smaller, you’ll end up waiting longer. Not sure about the take-out times, but they are probably similar.
- The waitstaff is not usually friendly. They are known for this. If you go here, you should DEFINITELY bring your grandparents, because then they will be nice to you. (Side note: the staff at Pepe’s isn’t much better).
- They call cheese “mootz”. We completely understand that this is the traditional Italian slang for “mozzarella”, but for some reason, it annoys the heck out of us. Other New Haven pizza places do this too, but none so much as Sally’s. YES we know that you want to be authentic, but can’t you just call it “mozzarella” like a normal person?
I hope I haven’t completely dissuaded you from trying Sally’s if you are in New Haven. It is darn good pizza, and if Pepe’s ever is closed for repairs, we’d be over at Sally’s in a heartbeat.
237 Wooster Street
New Haven, CT 06511