Two years ago, I joined a merry band of pranksters on the daylong odyssey that was the Connecticut Hot Dog Tour. This time, we traded in our party bus for walking shoes to celebrate our state’s best foodie claim to fame on the New Haven Pizza Crawl.
We met for coffee and waited for the first stop to open, Pepe’s, which is perhaps Connecticut’s most renowned pizza place.
(See related post–New Haven Apizza: Pepe’s vs. Sally’s.)
Pepe’s is steeped in history and deserves its spot as king of New Haven pizza. I love its white clam pizza, a thin, crisp crust drowned in garlicky olive oil with plump, juicy clams.
Our second stop was just around the corner, Abaté’s, where I had a slice of Abaté’s Special: mozzarella, meatball, pepperoni, onion, mushroom, sausage and bacon. Delicious.
We had a nice walk through Wooster Square Park and over to Modern. (Still no sign of the Jesus Tree.) The coldness of the day as we walked through the lovely New Haven neighborhoods helped to revive us.
3. Modern Apizza
At Modern, I had a slice of eggplant and pepperoni pizza. I’ve been to Modern several times, and it is always great.
We had another nice walk to make it over to Bar, a newer trendy restaurant and microbrewery.
Bar, a cool-looking industrial space, is most famous for its mashed potato with bacon pizza. I thought it sounded strange at first, too, but it is so, so good.
6. Est Est Est Pizza
Est Est Est Pizza was the only place on the tour that wasn’t great. It wasn’t bad; it just didn’t measure up to the others. I had a slice of chicken and broccoli pizza, and the chicken was a bit dry with a bland sauce. To be fair, this was the only place where we ordered heated up slices rather than fresh pies.
We had a break from eating in a bar as we waited for Kitchen Zinc to open at 5 p.m.
7. Kitchen Zinc
Quick, think of a list of trendy foods, and it will read as the menu description of the slice of pizza I had at Kitchen Zinc: roasted figs, sliced spec, goat cheese, caramelized onions, balsamic reduction, and arugula.
The “Getting Figgy With It” pizza was unique and tasty. The touch of sweetness with the salty spec and the freshness of the arugula combined into one of the best slices of the day.
The restaurant sent over some complimentary pizzas for our group after being interviewed as part of our tour, and all the choices were excellent.
We were pretty full at this point. When we saw that at our table alone, the leftover slices added up to a box of pizza to go, my husband and I decided that was the end of the crawl for us.
About 10 members of the group, though, soldiered on into the night.
The New Haven Pizza Crawl was a delightful success with a fun group of about 25 people, some joining the group late or leaving early. It was a great walking tour; we ended up making a loop of about 5 miles.
My favorite three slices from the crawl
- Pepe’s White Clam Pizza
- Bar’s Mashed Potato and Bacon Pizza
- Kitchen Zinc’s Getting Figgy With It
If you haven’t tried New Haven pizza, get yourself down to one of the greatest spots for pizza in America.
What’s your favorite kind of pizza?