February 28th, 2016
West Haven, CT
Back when I lived in New Haven, I found a list of the top 50 pizza places in New Haven county in the local New Haven magazine. I tore it out, and Eric and I made it our goal to hit at least the top 20 places on the list (you could say this was the “original pizza quest”). I only had a year or so left of my Ph.D. at that point, and Eric was only coming up about twice a month to visit, so we only ended up making it to 18 out of the 20 by the time we moved down to NJ.
This is what likely sparked our love (and *mild* obsession) with pizza, and in particular, with New Haven-style pizza. We were so excited about the Daily Meal’s top 101 because they had 7 New Haven places on the list, including one from the top 20 that we hadn’t been able to make it to (Roseland) and one that we had never heard of (Ernie’s). All of the big New Haven pizzerias were on both lists (Pepe’s, Sally’s, BAR, Modern), and this one, Zuppardi’s.
We had been to Zuppardi’s out in West Haven early on in the “original pizza quest”, but we weren’t really impressed. We were looking forward to seeing how it compared now, after a few more years of eating pizza.
Zuppardi’s opened back in the 1930’s, and it started out as a bakery (Salerno’s Bakery). In the 1940’s, it became the pizzeria that everyone knows now. It is also still run by the same family. Even better, they now have a pizza truck!
We got a classic tomato pie, and one of the meatball marinara pies (smalls). Both pizzas were excellent, and we loved how much sauce they loaded on the tomato pie. The crust on these is thicker than a traditional New Haven-style pizza, as you can probably see from the photo.
Zuppardi’s has a few things going for it, besides the pizzas. First, it isn’t downtown New Haven, which means no lines. Second, it is open EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK! This is almost unheard of in New Haven, at least on Wooster Street.
**Side note: I still remember the one year when my birthday was on a Monday, and I couldn’t get my usually birthday dinner of Pepe’s takeout (or Sally’s…or Modern…). It was so depressing.**
So, we give this pizza good marks. It won’t satisfy our craving for a New Haven-style pizza, since it is cut in normal slices and has a thick crust that is lacking that coal-oven char, but we certainly left Zuppardi’s feeling happily full.
179 Union Ave
West Haven, CT 06516