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“Clam pizza great, a certain server rude”

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Ranked #4 of 589 Restaurants in New Haven
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: USD 5 - USD 12
Cuisines: Pizza
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner, After-hours, Delivery, Takeout
Reviewed 6 April 2018

Stopped by New Haven on a rainy day to try the supposedly ‘ best pizza in America’. First off, we step into an ante room with another group but no one was there to greet us. So we go in the main dining room by the cash register and ask if there’s a sign up sheet. We were told there was none, so on our way out to the ‘ante room’ again we see a sign posted on the door that says ‘Please seat yourself’. OK, so we figured being that there was no sign up sheet and surprisingly 5 empty tables...we proceeded to seat ourselves. Then another waitress/hostess struts into the ante room and talks to the group that was in the ante room when we walked in...proceeds to seat them while giving us a surly look.
She then heads to our table and lectures us that ‘next time we can’t seat ourselves as there was a group before us’. Well, we explained what we were told and pointed at the door sign. She continues to say that the sign was in ‘reverse’. Ok whatever.
So another server had to take our order as the younger ‘surly’ one just refused to deal with us. That’s fine as we felt unwelcome and we would’ve felt uneasy having her serve us anyway. Our new server was actually very understanding and nice.
Now the food: the Pinot wine was terrible...like an old opened bottle wherein the sourness and tan is traced down the sides of your throat.
As for the pizza: yes, while the clam pizza was very good with a crispy outer crust and chewy center, the tomato pie was just ‘ok’. The tomato pie actually ltasted bland and flavorless. So go for the clam pie Ian this place to be sure.
Is it worth the drive? Not really imho....

Thank trvlcrzy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

It saddens me to say that ever since Gary has decided to franchise this restaurant, the quality has gone down. It used to be such an amazing experience, but now it’s just good. I long for the days of the indescribably delicious pizza. It’s just not as good. I think the New Haven location should go back to their strict guidelines of highest quality ingredients and just allow the newer franchises to offer the lesser quality ingredients. Please, bring back the icon.

1  Thank Trox915
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2018 via mobile

Best slice I’ve had in my life. I was in disbelief food can taste as good as the cheese pizza at Frank Pepe. It lives up to the hype, believe me!

Thank TODBMASIPC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2018

I'm only in New Haven for a few days and I'd hoped to try the famous white clam pizza here. Unfortunately they were out of clams, however that didn't ruin my evening as their standard cheese as still delicious! This restaurant has been around since 1925 and presidents including Clinton are actually photographed eating here, it’s nationally famous! It’s a family run restaurant by an authentic Italian-American family. I was seated at a table right next to a couple and we started chatting. They were such lovely people! They too have Italian heritage and they’ve been coming to this restaurant since they were little kids with their grandparents! They were showing me the table that he and his family would sit at back in the 1950s and he actually went to school with the current owner I believe (I’m not sure if that’s the son or grandson of the original owner, Frank). The staff were lovely as well and very chatty. You could tell this is a family business where they actually take an interest in their customers instead of rushing them out the door like most restaurants do. Even the staff who appeared to just work there and have no direct ties to the family were lovely! I would definitely recommend this place!

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank VikkiBee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2018 via mobile

Came to New Haven for the pizza and was not disappointed. Sometimes when places get really popular, they don't seem to live up to the hype, but Pepes was not like that. Very crowded for a Monday night, so we just got a take out pizza. It was finished pretty quickly for the level of business. Plus it was so yummy! Definitely would return and wait for seats.

1  Thank TDD00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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