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Fearless Critic restaurant review
New Haven
Casual restaurant

Tue–Thu 5:00pm–10:00pm
Fri–Sat 5:00pm–10:30pm
Sun 5:00pm–10:00pm

Features Kid-friendly, veg-friendly
Bar Beer, wine
Credit cards None
Reservations Not accepted


Wooster Square Area
237 Wooster St.
New Haven, CT
(203) 624-5271
Sally’s Apizza
Will Pepe’s chaining give Sally’s the opportunity to surge ahead in the Wooster wars?

Sally’s and Frank Pepe have been flip-flopping for New Haven’s pizza crown for years—and lately, Bar’s been in the mix, too. On Wooster Street, the choice may be as much about family tradition as it is about taste. This year, there’s a three-way tie for the taste crown.

Sally’s definitely has the worst service of the three, although if it were service you were after, you probably wouldn’t be going to any of these places. The queue of frozen, hungry pizza pilgrims is daunting but survivable. In the meantime, some of your party can amuse itself with a glance around the neighborhood. You can tell that the Wooster Street community means business from the neon scungilli (conch) sign in the window of a nearby grocery. Once you’re inside, though, Sally’s small dining room feels less like a historic venue than a standard, if lively, suburban pizzeria.

Unfortunately, we’ve often had Sally’s experiences ruined by awful wait staffs—unless you’re a friend of the house, the service is rude, distracted, and frustrating. On one visit, our pizzas took an hour and a half to appear while the waiter treated us to sporadic drink service and didn’t think we should mind. The wall-mounted baseball paraphernalia is a homey touch that fails to overcome our longing for the vibe of nearby Pepe, which at least feels friendly.

Sally’s pies are quality, grounded by superb crusts and well-apportioned toppings. Holistically, however, no single Sally’s pie rises to the level of Pepe’s white clam and bacon; that pie reigns supreme with bigger clams and a much more noticeable seaside aroma.

But on the simpler mozzarella-and-tomato pie, Sally’s wins, with less cheese and a more delicate curst, which boasts dark brown, oven-blown bubbles. Sally’s pizza with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and bacon, available only during tomato season, is intensely flavorful even without sauce. But that sauce also demonstrates mastery, as does the famous combination of sausage and hot peppers.

So stop bickering, and just try the top three—all of them. After all, every self-respecting New Havener should have an informed opinion.

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