In search of a slice that speaks

Six New Haven pizza places land on a list of the country’s best — here are the four you probably haven’t heard of

New Haven pizza, a favorite among college students and Connecticut visitors , is often associated with Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza.

Lesser known are the other four pizza places that made the list of America’s top pizzas — Modern Apizza, Colony Grill, BAR and Zuppardi’s.

We set out in search of a slice that spoke to us.

BAR – 254 Crown St, New Haven, CT 06511

BAR is a nightclub with a side of pizza and this prioritization shows when it comes to taste.

Due to COVID-19, the nightclub has had to become more of a pizza place and less of a party scene. Unfortunately for BAR, people aren’t drunk enough to notice that the pizza isn’t as good as it is cut out to be.

We ordered a cheese pizza with sundried tomatoes and ricotta, which was the best part of the pizza. It was fluffy and made the pizza, which lacked personality, enjoyable. The pizza was chewy and seemed more like flatbread than real pizza.

When you pick up the pizza, it doesn’t flop at all — it stays rigid. The sauce didn’t stand out from the rest of the toppings, and the crust lacked crunch and flakiness.

The most interestig part of the pizza was the shape of the slice. Instead of being cut in pinwheels, it was sliced into long strips which I found were more manageable and made the experience unique.

If you’re a fun toppings person, BAR has a wide variety of options including a mashed potato pizza and a breakfast pizza.

Another upside of the location is the great variety of seating options. There is a bar, several tables inside as well as a cute streetside patio.

Rating: 5/10

Modern Apizza – 874 State St, New Haven, CT 06511

When looking at the Modern Apizza menu, we were initially confused. The options for basic pizzas are plain, mozzarella and American cheese. Who wants American cheese on their pizza? Not us, so we ordered a mozzarella pie.

Modern had the classic pizza feel that BAR lacked. The slices had a slight grease to them which allowed for the traditional pizza flop. The crust was crumbly and flaky.

In contrast to the crust, the center of the pizza was on the doughy side. We look for greater consistency.

The biggest critique about Modern was that the sauce did not speak. The sauce was indistinct and disappeared within the rest of the pizza. However, the cheese was perfect — a little stretchy and super rich — which almost made up for it.

Modern also had a great system for COVID-19. Unlike BAR, which had us go inside to pick up, Modern had a back window for picking up pizzas, separate from where customers ate inside. This commitment to safety was appreciated.

Rating: 7.5/10

Zuppardi’s Apizza – 179 Union Ave, West Haven, CT 06516


In an inconspicuous and somewhat rundown neighborhood, Zuppardi’s Apizza is a hidden gem. Not even located in New Haven, it was hands-down the best of the spots we tried.

Zuppardi’s is only open for takeout. As we pulled up in front, we called and immediately an employee came out with the pizza and brought it right to the car. We were in and out in two minutes.

Because of the wide range of vegetarian pizzas available, we figured it must be something Zuppardi’s specializes in. We ordered a garden veggie pizza, and it did not disappoint.

The pizza had broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and mozzarella. The crust was perfectly flaky, the cheese was gooey and all of the veggies were fresh and crunchy.

While the sauce had more sass than the others, it still wasn’t speaking to us, which was its only flaw.

Rating 8.5/10

Colony Grill- 36 S. Broad St, Milford, CT 06460

This is the only chain pizza establishment that we tried, and it is also the only one that has a substantial menu outside of pizza. This pizza was plain old weird.

First off, the pizzas only come in one size.

Secondly, the pizza had no crust. The cheese on this ridiculously thin pizza goes right up to the edge. It was hard to know where to hold it.

The pizza was less than a centimeter thick and is like one solid unit — crust, sauce and cheese as one thin block. It was extremely greasy and dripped as we ate.

As for taste, it resembled frozen pizza. The sauce had a distinct flavor and was speaking to us, but we weren’t sure we even liked what it had to say. The pizza was like it was made by a robot. It was completely uniform with a factory-like flavor.

The strangest thing about it was that it kind of grew on us as we ate — must be why frozen pizzas sell so well?

Rating: 6/10

If you are going out to pick up pizza for a socially distant pizza party, don’t bother with New Haven traffic. Go straight to Zuppardi’s.