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Bites Nearby: Pepe's

New Haven's famous pizza comes to Danbury

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana — I've been hearing locals talk about Pepe's of New Haven for years. But having to wait in line for a pie is not my idea of fun, so I never made the trip. I couldn't believe the pizza was worth waiting for.

After Pepe's opened in Danbury, I decided to try the famous pizza. And after that first crispy bite, I was a believer.

The thin, charred crust is brushed with olive oil and crunches with a generous salty flavor. Having been three times in the past month, I finally tried the original pie with just the tomato sauce and a bit of Parmesan ($12 for a large). The sauce tasted like summer, bursting with bright tomato flavor with just a hint of cheese. To make a good thing even better, the restaurant serves Foxon Park Soda, one of my favorites.

The restaurant only offers pizza ($15 for a large cheese) and salad ($3.50), so don't expect a lengthy menu. However, you can expect to wait. No reservations and no calling ahead can make for a grumpy and cramped waiting room, so go at off times for quicker seating.

And eat at your own risk. I'm ruined now. No longer can I eat a regular slice and be happy. I'll always be dreaming of Pepe's.

Frank Pepe's is located at 59 Federal Road in Danbury, 203-790-7373. Hours are Sun - Thu, 11:30am - 10pm; Fri, Sat, 11:30am - 11pm.

WaxyGordon April 01, 2011 at 01:10 PM
Pepe's pizza is good..but not worth waiting hours for outside in a line. Roseland in Derby, now thats pizza worth waiting for!
dave April 01, 2011 at 02:59 PM
I've loved Pepes New Haven for as long as I can remember. Fairfield is a pretty good clone of the experience and the taste. But these guys have lost something since they've been driving to open a numbr of new locations. Upon seeing their billboard for the Manchester location on a drive up to Vermont with a friend from Florida, we spend the whole weekend looking forward to stopping there for lunch on Sunday on the way back South on I-91. I was concerned the moment I walked in because this place looked and felt nothing like Pepes. It's in a strip mall!! And the pizza was horrible. I hope they get back to their roots with Danbury - haven't been there yet, but if it's in a strip mall, I'll be making the drive to New Haven or Fairfield next time I have the craving or want to take a guest for the Pepe's experience.
dave April 01, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Oh...and if you don't feel like dealing with the inconveniences of Pepes, just go to Figs right here in Sandy Hook. Amazing pie - and healthy too if you get their whole wheat crust!!
B Miller April 01, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Agree Pepe's in New Haven still the best, other locations don't compare and I had same bad experience with Manchester location. Use to love Sally's but they allow "freinds" to call in reservations. You stand in line for an hour waiting for a table and watch a group stoll in and take the next table. At least Pepe's is fair, everyone waits! If the line is long the Spot next door is the origianl Pepe's location. Same pizza. And Jennifer what is "New Englandy style pizza", you mean real pizza!
WaxyGordon April 02, 2011 at 01:30 AM
Yes, Figs right here in Sandy Hook is excellent! Pepe's is just not worth the wait, the novelty is passed, Pepe's pizza has become homogenized, too many locations , weak quality control.

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