Best Pizza in Connecticut List Has Folks Offering More Favorites; Here’s a Slice of Them
Ernie's Pizzeria, New Haven
The response to our best pizza in Connecticut feature, which debuted online Feb. 16 and is also found in our March magazine, has been tremendous. Folks seem to be loving that we took a big bite of the premier pies in a state that might claim the title as the gourmet pizza capital of the U.S. The impressive part is the passionate and vigorous engagement we're witnessing, via email, Twitter and Facebook. In very positive fashion, folks are telling us about pizzerias not on our list (naturally constrained by time, space and other resources) that they love and judge to be worth discovery. In the spirit that more is more when it comes to Connecticut's best pizza, here's a rundown on the favorite places being brought to our attention. As the input continues, we'll continue to update this list. And as you bite into the places below, make sure to click back and our original Best Pizza in Connecticut.
Ernie's Pizzeria, New Haven, facebook.com/ErniesPizza
"We've eaten at all the "best pizza" restaurants in New Haven that you list. However, we have settled (for decades) on the truly BEST pizza restaurant in New Haven, namely ERNIE'S PIZZERIA RESTAURANT at 1279 Whalley Avenue," say Hank and Sally Voegel. ",, Keep missing it - then we won't have to battle the crowds!"
"Great sausage and mushroom," adds Michael Klein.
And James Thibault says, "It's been there forever and is awesome. I go for bacon an fresh garlic."
Rossini's, Cheshire, cheshirerossini.com
"I have been going to Rossinis since I was a child," says Bradley Balletto in an email. "In fact my parents would put me on the table in my car seat as an infant, and the story goes that I would sleep absolutely soundly until the pizza arrived, at which point I would promptly enter into a crying fit, likely because I was so upset I was too young to enjoy the delicious pie that had just joined us at the table.
"I have brought many friends to Rossinis for their first time, and every one is blown away, and hounds me to go again. If you're looking for fancy specialty pies, you may be slightly disappointed, but order whatever your little heart desires and I promise you will not be disappointed. It is a thin crust, tho not paper thin like Pepes, which in my opinion borders on too thin (I know, sacrilege). It is think enough to hold up and carry its toppings, without being overwhelming and still being capable of the thin-crust description. Some personal faves: plain cheese, onion, white or red w broccoli and garlic (with or without onion), red or white clam pizza (with or without onion, noticing a pattern?), bacononion and pineapple, just sauce and Parmesan, and of course, pepperoni. Whatever you like, the sauce is perfect, not too thick or spicy, and their mozz is just the right amount of salty w a nice slightly chewy bite when it cools to the perfect temp. And if you're not into pizza, they have a phenomenal chicken francaise and a number of other well executed Italian classics (get the mozz en Carozza app).
"To be clear, I mean Rossinis in Cheshire specifically ... . If you haven't been, please go. If you have, and you've chosen to intentionally omit, then I guess agree to disagree, but for my money, Rossinis in Cheshire is far and away the best pizza in CT."
Naples Pizza, Farmington, http://naplespizzact.com/The state's best pizza, according to Loretta E. Melvin, a Senior Graphics Specialist for The Pert Group "is definitely Naples in Farmington – got Pepe’s beat in my book." That's a judgment strong and intriguing enough to make discovering Naples a priority. Another compelling reason to get there is that it looks from Naples' Facebook page that great pizza goes hand-in-hand with the best Connecticut craft beers being served in this Farmington Valley hotspot.
Zuppardi’s Apizza, West Haven, zuppardisapizza.comAround since the 1930s, Zuppardi’s Apizza was born out of Salerno’s Bakery and has long been a West Haven staple. It all began with their traditional tomato pie and popular homemade Italian fennel sausage, but the menu has grown to include a number of specialty pizzas—fresh clam and spicy shrimp casino among them. Their pizza truck takes their homemade pies out into the community and caters events.
Little City, Simsbury, littlecitypizzaco.com
Locals in Simsbury love this hometown pizza joint. Guests can choose specialty pizzas with outside-the-box toppings such as smashed potato, barbecue chicken and pesto. There are also more standard toppings like roasted garlic, hand cut pepperoni, fresh basil and eggplant. Yelp.com reviewers regularly sing this place’s praise with heartfelt passion and admiration, so it’s no surprise it was a Connecticut Magazine reader favorite. In an email, Megan Johnson says, "seriously, the best. Pesto pizza that's a spiritual experience."
GG’s Wood Fired Pizza, Milford, ggwoodfiredpizza.com
Owned by established local restaurateur George Pastorok, of the former Georgie’s in Shelton and G.P. Cheffields in Newtown,GG’s was causing buzz even before it opened in 2013. Since then their hand-tossed wood-fired pizzas continue to deliver from traditional tomato pies with assorted toppings to specialty pies including the Duck, a white pie with wood roasted duck, caramelized onions, fontina and a balsamic reduction.
Sal’s New York Style Pizza, South Windsor, salspizzasouthwindsor.com
Owned by the Mazzarella family, who has been in the pizza business for morethan 40 years—including more than a decade in South Windsor—this pizzaria specializes in hand-tossed New York-style pies. Also offered is gourmet pizza, including clam casino, Hawaiian and chicken scampi, plus you can also order by the slice.
Joey Garlic’s, Newington, Farmington & West Hartford, joeygarlics.com
Known for its family dining atmosphere, Joey Garlic’s features New Haven-style brick oven pizza. The focus is on a longer cook time, which the owners say, “allows the different ingredients tocaramelize, bringing out their natural bold sweet or savory flavors.” Pies are also topped with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. "I just read the article about the best places for pizza is Connecticut and I couldn't help but notice that Joey Garlics wasn't on the list," Jared Colon says in an email. "This place is amazing not only for pizza but everything else as well, from their grinders and pizza to their pastas and calzones Joey Garlics will feed you good and plenty. No lie you will go their hungry and leave stuffed with a doggy bag, I highly highly highly recommend them especially for their pizzas, sausage and peppers or chicken and bacon are my favs there and dare I say this... I think they are better than Frank Pepes. I believe there are 3 locations, the one I usually go to is in Newington on the Berlin turnpike in the stop and shop plaza."The Plum Tomato, Colchester & Salem, theplumtomato.com
Opened by husband-and-wife team Brian and Cindy Thomas in 2000, both locations of the Plum Tomato feature wood-fired brick oven pizza in a variety of styles, including red, white, seafood and alfredo, as well as gluten-free options. In addition to gourmet, thin-crust whole pies, you can also order by the slice.
Sweet Evalina’s Stand, Woodstock, facebook.com/pages/Sweet-Evalinas-StandA favorite tucked away in the Quiet Corner, Sweet Evalina’s offers a variety of fresh-prepared fare throughout the day but the locals rave about the thin-crust New York-style pizza. The owners regularly create different kinds of gourmet pies, and strive to offer terrific, casual fare.
Castello Pizza & Italian Market, Meriden, castellopizzact.com
This family-owned and operated pizzeria and market in Meriden prides themselves on fresh ingredients. Their pizza dough is made fresh daily and can be transformed into thin or thick crust pies topped any number of ways from the classic margherita to their potato pie with sour cream, sliced potato, onions, bacon and mozzarella cheese. You can also order by the slice here. "Castello Pizza in Meriden is fairly new (3 years old) but has some of the best pizza around the Meriden area,"Stanley Martone says in an email. "I believe its better than most spots in New Haven. Castello has great pizza, staff, and reviews! Everything at Castello Pizza is home made and crafted. Please check out Castello Pizza for yourself. Let me know what you think! Definitely deserve a spot as an upcoming pizza restaurant!
East Avenue Pizza, East Norwalk, eastavenuepizza.com
The first pizzeria to deliver in Norwalk, East Avenue Pizza has been giving the people what they want since opening in 1987. The Stefanatos family uses “Old World” recipes to make their thin crust pies. Tradition is the name of the game here with toppings covering the typical spectrum from pepperoni and sausage to broccoli and eggplant. Specialty pies include red or white clams, pineapple and ham or gyro. In an email Jim Piazza says, "Thank you guys for the great list, I just had an Italian Bomb from Modern on Sunday, absolutely one of the best pizzas I've ever had so I was not surprised to see it on your list. There are lots of great names on that list that I've tried, some I haven't which I cannot wait to now. Your site said to send you some recommendations for pizza's and one of my favorite pizza's specifically is the eggplant pizza at East Avenue Pizza in Norwalk. The special is great too with sausage peppers onions pepperoni and mushrooms too. You can also get hot oil if you'd like. They are a family business and I am partial to pizzas that are very crisp and not too greasy. It is definitely worth a try in my opinion. Very low key place but customers like myself love it and always come back for more."
This beloved Norwalk Pizza joint is housed in a historic 1800s theater, but the building is the only “old” thing you’ll find here. As the restaurant’s Facebook page states this is “a uniquecommunity based wine pub featuring Fountainhead Selections wine, thin crust organic pizza, plentiful organic salads, artisanal cheese, house-made delectable desserts and a true espresso bar.” Cool cats will also be happy to discover that the pizza joint regularly hosts live jazz that is often just as sizzling as the food. Krish Iyer of Stamford says, "This place does specialty pies, but what really stands out is their Gluten Free Pizza. The Gluten Free crust is so good that I actually prefer it (shockingly) to the regular crust."
Taormina Restaurant, Danbury, taorminarestaurantandpizza.comLocated in a quiet out of the way section of Danbury, this old school pizza joint and Italian restaurant seeks to recreate the feel of the Sunday dinners of yesteryear. A variety of pizzas are topped with the restaurant’s signature sauce and everything is made with tender love and care. Taormina’s website states, “Our menu is an extension of owner, Gina Clarizio's, own family kitchen. Gina and her staff love what they do -- and it shows. Taormina's homemade sauces are the most flavorful you're likely to ever taste.” The restaurant also offers gluten free pizza.
Riko’s Pizza, Stamford and Norwalk, ricospizzaonline.com
With two locations in Stamford and another in Norwalk this pizza joint keeps locals happy with thin crust pizza served with or without hot oil. The pizza here is what we’re dubbing Stamford-style pizza and is similar to the legendary pies offered at Colony Grill, too similar say some. The restaurant has feuded with Colony Grill about the origins of its hot oil recipe, the owners of Colony claim Riko’s owners, who were former employees at Colony, stole their recipes. Decide for yourself by trying both. "Their chicken sausage pizza is amazing," says Krish Iyer of Stamford.
Blarney Stone Pizza, Middlebury, www.blarneystonepizza.com
Hungry Yet?? pic.twitter.com/HIkF8dasgw
Even More Great Pizza Places Suggested by Our Audience
Massimo Pizzeria Ristorante, Bridgeport, www.massimospizzeriaristorante.com
Portobello Restaurant & Pizza, portobelloct.com
Luigi’s Restaurant, Fairfield, luigisfairfield.com
"I vote Luigi's!. Luigi's Restaurant at 170 Post Rd Fairfield has been making their hand-tossed pizza for a long time," says Lauren Cavalli. "In fact, this year is their 40th Anniversary. The Cavalli Family bought the business in 1975. Generations of families can't be wrong, their pizza is the one you go to when you have the craving, the best! Their crust is perfect for pizza lovers. Stop in & say "hi" to chef, pizza-maker, owner, Giulio! He loves what he does and is always happy to tell you about it!"
Sorrento Pizza and Restaurant, Stamford, sorrentopizzastamford.weebly.com
Strada 18, South Norwalk, strada18.com
Full Circle Pizza, West Haven, fullcirclepizza.net
Two Boots, Bridgeport, twobootsbridgeport.com
Pacileo’s, Branford, pacileos.com
"They are amazing and rank right up there with Modern in my book!" says Tracey Husted.
Pizzeria Napoletana, Prospect, pizzerianapoletana.net
Casa Nova Ristorante, Shelton, casanovashelton.com
AD Pizza, Windsor Locks, adspizzeria.com
"I enjoyed reading the list of great CT pizzas, and I definitely need to try some on that list," Kelly Fuerstenberg says in an email. "One pizza place that I never see on a “best of” list is AD's Pizzeria in Windsor Locks. I'm not sure if I love it so much simply because it’s the pizza of my childhood (and adult life whenever I can). I grew up hearing my dad order “everything but anchovies,” and as an adult, I order it the same way. One day, I had to ask if they actually have anchovies (they do)."
West Main Pizza, Plainville, westmainpizza.biz
Rocky’s Pizza, Waterbury, facebook.com/pages/Rockys-Pizza-Restaurant
McBrides, Wolcott, facebook.com/pages/McBrides-Apizza
E&D Pizza, Avon, www.eanddpizzacompany.com
Bella Napoli, Milford, bellanapolipizzaonline.com
Mangia, Mangia, Brookfield, mangiamangia.weebly.com
Minervini's Pizzeria, Wallingford, facebook.com/pages/Minervinis-Pizzeria
Mario's Pizzeria, Naugatuck, mariospizzerianaugatuck.com
Campion Pizza, South Windsor, campionspizza.com
"I have noticed, on your lengthy list of best places for pizza, that very few of them are up here and on this side of the river," says Lisa Moss in an email "I know that Mystic has always been considered “the” place for the pies, but I really think you should try Campion’s here in South Windsor. I am originally from southeastern MA and grew up eating mostly Greek-style pizza. I have adapted to Italian-style, and there isn’t any place that I like better than Camp’s! So many wonderful versions, I can’t say that I have just one favorite. It depends on my mood, but the Pazzo vies for the top of the list. Spicy and creamy, it’s chicken, broccoli, buffalo sauce, alfredo sauce, and cheddar cheese. Yummy! And then there’s the Vodka pizza, the 5 Cheese Chelsea, the Cate’s... By the way, the rest of the menu is terrific, too, especially the burgers!"
Pizza King, Killingly, facebook.com/pages/Pizza-King
Pizzarama, New London, facebook.com/pages/Pizzarama-Drive-In
Three Fellas, Marlborough, www.threefellaspizza.com
Elm Hill Pizza, Newington, elmhillpizza.com
Yanni’s, Newington, yannispizzarestaurant.com
(This article was originally published on a different platform. Some formatting changes may have occurred.)