Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana



Best-known for his White Clam Pizza, Frank Pepe is also credited as the originator of New Haven-style pies.

Today, pizza from New Haven, Connecticut, is legendary for its misshapen appearance, thin crust and charred edges—but someone had to start it all, and that someone was Frank Pepe, who in 1925 opened up Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (

Pepe, an immigrant from Italy’s Amalfi Coast, returned to New Haven in 1920 after World War I with his new bride, Filomena, and eventually opened a bakery, delivering to the neighborhood by cart. “One day, he flattened out some bread dough and put some leftovers on top of it, and they baked it—voila!” says Gary Bimonte, grandson of Frank Pepe and one of the seven grandchildren who inherited the business from Pepe’s daughters. “He would go to the local markets and sell it—‘Apizza, apizza, ten cents a slice!’” At first, Pepe sold two simple styles: the tomato pie (topped with tomatoes, grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil) and another topped with anchovy. In the ’60s, however, the pie forever associated with Pepe was born: the White Clam Pizza.


Pepe’s celebrates 89 years in business this year and has expanded to eight locations. The Original Tomato Pie is still prominently featured on the menu, and many consider the pizzeria the best on Wooster St., known for its historic and highly competitive pizzerias. The secret, according to Bimonte, relies on maintaining the status quo. “We haven’t changed anything from my grandfather’s original recipe,” he says. “Just surviving three generations is very difficult, but we try to keep Frank Pepe’s legacy alive.” —Tracy Morin


  1. John SReply
    October 25, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    Where is a location to see the Ha) of Fame?

  2. John SReply
    October 25, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Where could I sée this Hall of Fame?

  3. George GrilloReply
    September 30, 2018 at 9:13 pm

    Simply the best pizza in the United States! The first stop upon returning to New Haven is Pepe’s!

  4. MBMReply
    December 20, 2018 at 10:44 am

    There are many pizza restaurants in the New England, New York area, and so many are good, ie..Sally’s, Modern, and so many others, BUT, NONE ARE IN THE SAME REALM AS FRANK PEPE’S. The gold standard of “tomato pies”
    There are no substitutes. Since 1925, Sorry!! Anthony Rosselli, the oldest grandson of Frank Pepe is responsible for keeping this amazing apizza restaurant alive. We all owe him a great thank you.

  5. September 15, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    […] Related: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana selected for Pizza Hall of Fame […]

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