Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the United States. Whether it’s a quick answer to “What’s for dinner?” or a post-drinking midnight snack, pizza always seems to hit the spot. You can have it for lunch, dinner and, yes, sometimes breakfast. It’s great fresh out of the oven or even cold the next morning. And it’s one of few things in the frozen food aisle that you won’t feel guilty about bringing home.
Pizza has had a long history in the U.S. and dates back to the early 1900s when Italian immigrants came to America. While Lombardi’s in New York City opened in 1905, making it America’s first pizza place, the savory pies didn’t really take off until after World War II, when soldiers who fought in Italy brought back their cravings for a slice of the cheesy goodness. And now you can’t walk through any town or city without seeing at least one pizzeria.
Although we have to thank Naples for what we know as pizza today, the dish has taken on various forms throughout the years. And the U.S. is such a big country, a variety of different kinds of pizza started to take shape — depending on where you were. Pizza has become such a part of American food culture that February 9 is National Pizza Day. Instead of naming the deals and discounts for that day, we thought it would be good to give you a crash course on some of the country’s most beloved types of pizza. While there are so many ways you whip up a pie, here are Top 5’s favorite American pizza styles.
5.) New Haven-Style Pizza
Yale University usually comes to mind when people think of New Haven, Conn. However, locals will quickly tell you that they’ve got the best pizza in town. And they’re not really just tooting their own horns, because Frank Pepe’s was named America’s best pizza in 2013.
But what, exactly, is a New Haven pie? Instead of being baked in a traditional wood-burning oven, New Haven pizzas – better known as apizza – rely on oil or coal ovens to cook them up. They aren’t perfect circles but have super-thin crusts that have a bit of bitterness to them due to the char from the oven. And to cut that sharp taste, chefs pile on the tomatoes and cheese. And if you want to eat like a true New Havener, you will want to to order a white clam pie with littleneck clams all over it. Between the bite of the crust and the sweet morsels of the shellfish, it’s a combination that might seem crazy but totally works.
If you’re ever in New Haven, check out these places to sample one of these pizzas.
Where: There are a few locations throughout Connecticut and one in New York and Massachusetts. But the main spot is at 157 Wooster S., New Haven, CT 06511.
Where: 237 Wooster St., New Haven, CT 06511
Tip: Be sure to hit the ATM because this is a cash only spot.
Where: 179 Union Ave., West Haven, CT 06516