Frank Pepe Pizzeria (est. 1925) is home to white clam pizza and one of the oldest and best-known pizzerias in the country. The Wooster St. legend is home to white clam pizza and one of the world's oldest and most famous pizzerias. Known locally as Pepe's (pep-eez), it has its Original Location in the Wooster Square neighborhood of New Haven, CT. Today, there are locations across CT, MA, RI, NY, MD, VA, and FL, and they are growing!
Frank Pepe knew in 1925 that only coal burns hot and dry and doesn't give off steam like a wood fire. He knew that only a coal fire could give his "tomato pies" their famous crisp, charred, chewy crust.
WHY WE MAKE PIZZA
A lot has happened since Frank Pepe started baking "ah-beets" almost 100 years ago. Pizza has gone from an obscure ethnic dish to become a mainstay of the American dining scene. But what hasn't changed at Pepe's is the family's commitment to the tradition of food quality and commitment to the community at large that Frank Pepe envisioned in 1925.
Pepe's reputation as one of the country's premier pizzerias spread far and wide as local residents, university students, and tourists passed through New Haven. In the early 1990s, Elizabeth and Serafina Pepe retired and passed the pizza business on to their children Anthony, Francis, Lisa, Bernadette, Genevieve, Jennifer, and Gary. This generation of Pepe cousins still operates the industry today and has overseen its expansion. Frank Pepe's Pizzeria Napoletana continues to thrive and grow.
One of Frank Pepe's first jobs was in a bakery, and this experience helped hone his skill in the art of baking. In its essence, pizza, or "apizza" as it is known in New Haven, is a humble meal with crust as the foundation, crushed tomatoes, and very simple, fresh ingredients topping the pie. The dough that all Pepe's restaurants use is identical to Frank Pepe's original recipe. Pepe's dough recipe is a wetter dough that takes longer to ferment, acquiring a much richer flavor than ordinary pizza dough. The hot, dry air produced by the coal oven works magic on the higher water content dough, contributing to the bubbly quality of the crust—almost like a thin, crispy, airy, ciabatta-style bread. Crisp on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside. True pizza crust bliss.
Topping a Pepe's pie are the freshest, highest quality ingredients. The tomatoes come from a hand-picked field at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius in Naples, Italy, canned and imported every year at the direction of Gary Bimonte and Francis Rosselli. Our clams for our famous clam pizza are harvested from the Long Island Sound, and the shores of Massachusetts and are shucked every day by a long-time Pepe teammate, Eric Preston. The pecorino cheese, which adds the beautiful, salty finishing flavor to a Pepe's pie, is hand selected by the best producers from Sardinia, Italy, the birthplace of pecorino cheese. Our olive oil and cheese are explicitly made for Pepe's, using recipes and processes that work best in the higher heat, dryer baking environment produced by our coal-fired brick ovens. At Pepe's, we take meticulous care to ensure all of the ingredients topping our pizza pies are the very best.
A key to the Pepe's pie is the chemistry produced by the dry heat made by our custom 14 feet by 14 feet, 100,000-pound brick oven combined with our wetter, longer fermenting dough. Pepe's ovens are not your typical pizza oven – they are, in fact, a bread oven. At each of our stores, we custom-make a replica of the original Wooster Street oven, with every detail covered. We even re-use the mold first created in constructing the original caste iron doors for the oven mouth and coal chambers.
At Pepe's, we are proud of and passionate about the artisanal tradition of attempting to perfect the baking of mouth-watering pizza. Each and every day, we try to get better at our craft!
Ratings and Reviews
Transported to Wooster Street
Frank Pepe’s Delray Beach is fantastico! Of course, the service was superb, never kept waiting, very attentive, not rushed in any way, so friendly. Fresh salad & my pizza was cooked to perfection. Fresh ingredients & the best cheese with no fillers! The flavor was incredible! It was just like being transported back to Wooster Street! My limoncello do clean & lite, delish! I like it that CT people are there working permanently and that some Pepe’s top dogs are there for several weeks, training the employees. The restaurant is new & beautiful with a Wooster Street old school mural. I’m so glad they are here in SoFL! I’ll be going back again & again & again but…. Not tonight, because I have some great leftovers!! 😊
I first had Pepe’s pizza over 20 years ago in Connecticut. I really enjoyed it then and always left an impression on me. The pizza was in this new Delray Beach location is fantastic. I had the white pizza with spinach mushrooms, and Gorgonzola and my husband had the traditional margarita pizza. They were both delicious. We started off with a very nice frank Pepe salad. And a glass of white wine served in small little juice glasses. The service was great. We will definitely be back!
Great customer service and great pizzas.
Pepe Pizza is a culinary delight! The perfect blend of flavors, a crispy crust, and generous toppings make every bite an absolute pleasure."
"Pepe Pizza's attention to detail and use of the freshest ingredients truly sets them apart. A must-try for any pizza enthusiast!"
"From their classic Margherita to their inventive specialty pies, Pepe Pizza consistently delivers a mouthwatering experience that keeps me coming back for more."
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