Simply the Best Pizza in Connecticut: Our picks and yours (with map)

Valentine’s Day is only a few days away. But make sure to not neglect that other great love in your life — pizza.

Believe it or not, Feb. 9 is National Pizza Day. Yes, there’s pretty much a national day for everything you can imagine. March 1 actually has five of them — National Dadgum That’s Good Day, National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day, National Fruit Compote Day, National Horse Protection Day and National Pig Day. But, for our money, National Pizza Day belongs in the pantheon of national days.

So, what’s the best way to celebrate? By eating pizza, of course. But there are so many choices, especially here in Connecticut. Let us help you decide. Read on to find out why we're so crazy about pizza and use our interactive map to find the places we've judged to be the best. The list first appeared on the website in February 2015. After it was published, we received loads of comments from people about their favorite pizza places in the state. Be sure to scroll down to check out their picks.

 
 
Legends 

The generally agreed-upon best-of-the-best in Connecticut pizza. These pizzerias are often at the top of national lists and have competed with each other for decades, much to the delight of pizza fans.

The Original  Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana  |  New Haven

Everyone calls it Pepe’s, but the full name is important to why this legend is perennially named the best (or among the best) pizza in the U.S. Every pie is blessed by authenticity, tradition and the taste derived from the original coal-fired pizza ovens. Frank Pepe came to the U.S. in 1909 at 16 from Italy’s Amalfi Coast. He would open a bakery first and then, in 1925, he and his wife, Filomena, started making apizza. Today Pepe’s original location is always overflowing with pizza disciples, and there are satellites in Fairfield, Manchester, Danbury, West Hartford and at Mohegan Sun, with one coming to Boston. Legend, empire—call it what you will but Pepe’s white clam, seasonal fresh tomato and white spinach, mushroom and gorgonzola pies remain the holy grails for pizza lovers.

(203) 865-7602, pepespizzeria.com

Sally’s Apizza  |  New Haven

The war between Sally’s and Pepe’s fans has waged for decades—and there are devoted legions in both camps. Located a few doors down from Pepe’s, Sally’s has been a Wooster Street institution since Salvatore and Flora Consiglio opened its doors in 1938. And it’s still a family affair here as the Consiglio kids now hold the reins and stick to what’s always worked. Thin crust, charred edges and asymmetrical wedges are Sally’s signatures and pies continue to be made in the same coal-fired oven. The décor also hasn’t changed and the line can still be long to get in the door, but those who are firmly on Team Sally’s say it’s always worth the wait.

(203) 624-5271, sallysapizza.com

Modern Apizza  |  New Haven

The third highly acclaimed legend in New Haven’s pizza pantheon, Modern is located nearby on State Street. The pies are fired in an oil-fueled brick oven instead of a coal-fired oven, but Modern sticks to the thin-crust, irregular sliced pies that are the Elm City’s calling card. The restaurant went by the name State Street Pizza when it opened in 1934, and may have changed its name but not the location or the quality of the pizza. Nearly any topping is available, but the classic Pizza Margarita with fresh mozzarella from Liuzzi Cheese in North Haven, the Clams Casino pie with bacon and peppers, and the Italian Bomb pizza with bacon, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, onion, pepper and garlic are all must-tries.

(203) 776-5306, modernapizza.com

Roseland Apizza  |  Derby

Roseland Apizza is not for the fair-weather pizza fan: It’s tucked away in a residential neighborhood in the north of Derby, making it a challenge to find (although you can follow the long lines that form on weekends); the place is a cozy, no-frills, old-school Italian restaurant where the wait can be long and the service lacking; and the price of a pie can be steep—a large plain mozzarella starts at $20. But those who persevere and make the pilgrimage are amply rewarded with amazing New Haven-style pizza, featuring a thin, chewy crust and delicious toppings such as homemade sausage and fresh seafood. 

(203) 735-0494

BAR  |  New Haven

After a few beers any slice of pizza can seem like the best decision you made all day, but when you drink at BAR in New Haven (which brews its own beers) you have the advantage of ordering some of the city’s best pizza—seriously. Large, oblong, thin-crust pies have been served here since BAR’s opening in the industrially chic BruRM in 1996. Toppings are diverse and all delicious, but the mashed potato pizza sets BAR apart. Pizza can be ordered for dinner all week and lunch Wednesday through Sunday, and by the slice as the hours grow late and dancing in the nightclub works up appetites.

(203) 495-1111, barnightclub.com

Legends in the Making

These spots have rising profiles. Whether through attention to the craft of pie-tossing or savvy franchising, they are making a name for themselves and, in our opinion, could keep pace with today’s legends in the future. 

Colony Grill  |  Stamford, Fairfield, Milford

Stamford’s Colony Grill is known—and has been loved since 1935—for its simplicity: no fancy décor, no upscale dress code and only one item on the menu (pizza), so you know there’s focused dedication to crafting the ideal complement for a night of socializing. Even more, the ultra thin-crust pies (super chewy, plus more room for beer!) are either served with or without Colony’s custom hot oil and only a handful of basic, traditional toppings (meatball, sausage, pepperoni, mushroom, anchovies, etc.), so it’s a haven that draws bar-style pizza purists from all over. The recently added Fairfield and Milford locations have been thriving, proving that by keeping it simple, Colony has been keeping it delicious.

colonygrill.com

Da Legna  |  New Haven

When Connecticut Magazine told the world about desserts wizard Tommy Juliano at Community Table in Litchfield County, we asked about his favorite restaurants. High on the list is Da Legna, the wood-fired pizza and gourmet Italian place of his friend Daniel Parillo, a co-owner. Parillo’s parents came to Hamden from Italy, he grew up speaking Italian, developed a passion for pizza early, earned his stripes by opening Portofino in North Madison, and arrived in New Haven with Da Legna in December of 2011. He and chef Francisco Pereira produce flash-fired pizzas so inspired Da Legna is flirting with the legendary status of Pepe’s, Sally’s and Modern. Taste the pies and you’ll see why.

(203) 495-9999, dalegna.com

Tarry Lodge  |  New Haven, Westport 

With big names Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich behind this restaurant group, there was no question that Tarry Lodge would be a success. Its brand of contemporary Italian cuisine has made an impression on diners in Westport, Port Chester, N.Y., and most recently New Haven, where the pizza competition is already stiff. But the pies at Tarry Lodge are thin-crusted, authentic and truly delicious. These gourmet pizzas are topped with some delectable ingredient combinations like goat cheese, pistachios and truffle honey or burrata with pancetta and chili oil or guanciale with black truffles and egg, and all are cooked in the restaurant’s dedicated pizza oven. Opened just a few months ago on Park Street, Tarry Lodge has slid into the New Haven dining scene easily. 

(203) 672-0765, tarrylodge.com

​Bufalina  |  Guilford

At Bufalina it’s all a numbers game. Square feet of the restaurant: 325. Time it takes to cook a 12-inch pizza in the 900-degree wood-fired oven: 90 seconds. The number of wondrous, blistered, Neapolitan-style pizzas they make daily from a kitchen the size of a hall closet: seemingly hundreds. One visit to this itsy-bitsy pizzeria and you’ll understand why it’s a legend in the making. Husband-and-wife team Melissa Pellegrino and Matteo Scialabba pay serious attention to the details learned from months of research in Italy. Special 00 double milled flour, San Marzano tomatoes, the best local cheeses and seasonal influences are just some of what make the BYOB Bufalina shine. The rest awaits discovery in that first bite of heaven.

(203) 458-1377, bufalinact.com

Beer Bar Pizza

Pizza and beer is a classic combination. These restaurants know that and have made impressive beer lists a staple of the menus, pairing ideal brews with hand-crafted pies. 

Fire Engine Pizza Company  |  Bridgeport

After a fire destroyed his original pizza restaurant, Marty McCarthy bought a fire engine and converted it to a pizza truck, and following its success, brought that theme to his new place on Fairfield Avenue in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Firefighting paraphernalia hangs on the walls, there’s an inviting brick-faced rectangular bar—with an excellent selection of seasonal drafts and craft brews—but ultimately it’s the delicious specialty pizzas with bubbly crusts from McCarthy’s brick oven that draws the crowd, gems like the Fruitti Di Mare (laden with clams, lobster and shrimp), the Buffalo Chicken and the Loaded Mashed Potato (with garlic mashed potato, scallions, bacon, caramelized onion and cheddar).

(203) 333-3473, thefireenginepizzaco.com

Krust Pizza Bar  |  Middletown

As soon as you walk through the door of this downtown Middletown hotspot, you are struck by the hip, young vibe, but after you sit at the bar and start talking to the staff, you realize that there’s also an honest passion that goes into every facet of Krust, especially the pizza. Inspired by the classic Neopolitan style and wood-fired in a custom oval oven, the pizzas here are as tasty as they are creative: the Sunny Side has garlic, fresh mozzarella, parmesan, pancetta and egg, while the Meat is topped with pancetta, pepperoni, salami, tomato and mozzarella. The libations here are also a source of pride, from whiskey, rum, bourbon and scotch to the dozen or so local craft brews on tap that change almost daily.

(860) 358-9816, krustpizzabar.com

Coal House Pizza  |  Stamford

With 52 craft beers on tap, beer cocktails, beer events and bargains like a $12 per pitcher deal for brews from Connecticut breweries, this is a place that certainly understands the deep spiritual connection between hops and dough. “In many ways we look to the American craft beer revolution for inspiration in what we do,” says owner Gerard Robertson. “Like these brewers, we strive for authenticity with a free-spirited approach.” The restaurant’s craft pizza is cooked at high temperatures that sear in all the flavors and add a delicious char and smoke taste. During a recent trip we were able to wash the pizza down with hard-to-find gems of brewing such as Sip of Sunshine IPA and the soon-to-be-renamed Gandhi-Bot from New England Brewing Co.

(203) 977-7700, coalhousepizza.com

Stanziato’s  |  Danbury

Minutes from the Danbury Fair Mall, Stanziato’s is a gourmet pizza and craft beer oasis. Specialty small pies are prepared with farm-to-table ingredients in an Italian-made wood-fired oven and have a crust that is crunchy and smoky on the outside yet flakey and airy on the inside. Try red sauce classics like the Margarita or go for a white pizza such as the delectable Totes McGoats topped with mozzarella, goat cheese, chopped spinach and a squeeze of lemon. The bar features a constantly rotating and curated list of great and hard-to-find beer from breweries in Connecticut and beyond. There’s often at least one sour beer on tap, a wine-like tart style that pairs well with pizza.

(203) 885-1057, stanziatos.com

Brick + Wood  |  Fairfield

One of the newest additions to the Fairfield dining scene, this is not “just another brick” in the pizza beer bar wall. The small pie pizzas are topped with decadent fresh mozzarella prepared at the restaurant’s mozzarella bar. During a recent visit, the bar’s draft beer list included brews from established craft beer players like Cisco Brewers and Allagash Brewing Co. In addition Brick + Wood has more than 20 wines on tap, which allows the restaurant to take a page from the craft beer/brewery playbook and offer flights with samples of four different wines.

(203) 939-1400, lovelifeandpizza.com

Unusual places

Great pizza can be found anywhere, from bakeries to train stations. These are not locations where it is traditionally found, but we dare you to step outside the pizza box. 

Nica’s Market  |  New Haven

With its crowded shelves of artisan pastas, imported olive oils, fresh produce and meat, Nica’s Market has long been beloved as East Rock’s small grocery wonder. But the market’s true strength is its deli, where Italian salads, monstrous grinders and pastries are served daily. This is also where you can take away a slice of thick, airy Sicilian or thin-crust pizza for lunch, or get an entire pie. Whole pizzas are made to order and can be topped with any number of ingredients from pepperoni to eggplant. Try specialty pies like the Sorrentina with fresh tomato, ricotta, eggplant, basil and mozzarella, or the Campagnola with artichoke, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese.

(203) 787-5919, nicasmarket.com

​Mozzicato DePasquale Bakery, Pastry Shop & Café   |  Hartford

Most Connecticut folks think they have to go to Boston’s North End or New York City to find authentic Italian bakery-cafés. Proving otherwise is Mozzicato, divided between a gleaming bakery with a staggering array of cookies, pastries and cakes, and an adjacent but separate café, which offers everything from breakfast or espresso at the “bar” to a hearty lunch, or espresso martinis with dinner. The location near Hartford Hospital and Trinity College gives Mozzicato a cosmopolitan following, and its best-kept secret may be the Sicilian pan pizzas. Made with bread dough, these thick, chewy delights are always available in a few varieties (like sausage-and-peppers) to be warmed in the oven and enjoyed immediately or taken home. The establishment created by Gino Mozzicato after he arrived in the U.S. from Italy in 1968 will make a pizza any way you want it—and everything here is a true bargain; also true at the satellites in Plainville and Wallingford.

(860) 296-0426; mozzicatobakery.com

Nauti Dolphin Pizza  |  Fairfield

Terrific pizza in a train station? You are on the right track in Fairfield, where Nauti Dolphin has gained a well-earned reputation for serving  delicious slices (perfect for commuters) and whole pies (take-home after a long day), all out of a cozy location alongside the northbound rails. Unlike other pizza places, there are two kinds served here: If you order by the slice, it’s a wide, thin-crust New York-style piece that you get, ideal for folding in half as they like to do down in the City; get an entire pizza and it’s a thicker, crunchier, crustier version, ideal for piling on the fresh toppings. The take-home pizza also offers more options, from a classic Margherita to a Clams Casino or even a Hawaiian-style pie.

(203) 256-1877

​Vocatura Bakery  |  Norwich

The best thing coming out of the oven at this no-frills, old-school bakery isn’t the legendary made-daily Italian bread, or the cannoli and other Italian delicacies that will leave your sweet tooth singing “That’s Amore"—it’s the pizza. The square sheet-style (not Sicilian) pizza is a hidden gem with a cult following in the area. The crust has a unique crunchiness and the toppings are exceptional. Just remember it’s a grab and go establishment with an emphasis on food quality rather than customer service or flashy décor. Our advice: “Take the pizza, leave the cannoli,” or better yet take both. 

(860) 887-2220

Best of the Rest

These places also make great pizza, bet it classic style or thin crust, and are well worth a try.

Michaelangelo Pizza & Subs|West Haven

(203) 389-1603

Otto Pizza|Chester

(860) 526-9445, ottochester.com

Camille’s Wood Fired Pizza| Tolland

(860) 896-6976, camillespizza.com

Bohemian Pizza|Litchfield

(860) 567-3980

Rizzuto’s | Bethel, Westport & West Hartford

rizzutos.com

Willington Pizza | Willington

(860) 429-7433, willingtonpizza.com

Vero Pizza | Plainville

(860) 846-0491, veropizzact.com

Al Forno Brick Oven Pizzeria & Ristorante | Old Saybrook

(860) 399-4166, alforno.net

The Little Rendezvous | Meriden

(203) 235-0110, thelittlevous.com

Mad Greek | Southbury

(203) 264-3080

Cappie’s Apizza | Hamden

(203) 553-7518, cappiesapizza.com

John & Maria’s | East Haven 

(203) 466-1550, johnandmariaspizza.com

Papa’s Pizza | Milford

(203) 874-0215, papaspizzaonline.com

Pizzeria Marzano | Torrington

(860) 618-0875, pizzeria-marzano.com/

Pizzeria Lauretano | Bethel

(203) 792-1500, pizzerialaurentano.com

The Upper Crust Cucina Italiano | New Milford

(860) 350-0006, theuppercrustcucina.com

Julio’s Wood Fired Pizza & Grill | Southbury

(203) 264-7878, julioswoodfiredpizzagrill.com

Locali Pizza Bar Kitchen | New Canaan

(203) 920-1440, localipizzabar.com

Pizzetta | Mystic

(860) 536-4443, pizzettamystic.com

Mango’s Wood-Fired Pizza Co. | Mystic

(860) 572-0600, mangospizza.com

Kitchen Zinc | New Haven

(203) 772-3002, kitchenzinc.com

Bar Sugo | Norwalk

(203) 956-7134, barsugo.com

Grimaldi’s | Woodbridge

(203) 556-9889, grimaldiswoodbridge.com

ReNapoli Pizza Restaurant | Old Greenwich

(203) 698-9300, renapolipizza.com

First & Last Tavern | Hartford, Avon, Middletown & Plainville

(860) 956-6000, firstandlasttavern.com

Readers' picks

The response to our best pizza in Connecticut feature, which debuted online Feb. 16 and was also in our March 2015 magazine, was tremendous. Folks told 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 brought to our attention. 

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?), bacon onion 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 more than 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 to caramelize, 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."

Fat Cat Pie Co., Norwalk, fatcatpie.comfatcatpie.com

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 unique community 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

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