Sunday, November 28, 2010

Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Yonkers, NY

Fresh white clam pizza with some Foxon Park White Birch Soda.  Delicious! Worth a trip from Long Island to come out to Frank Pepe's in Yonkers, NY.  Susan and Rob don't come very often, but since they were 15 minutes away decided to come by.  And what a treat, they brought me along with them.

There are four locations, Fairfield and Manchester CT, the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT and one coming to the Danbury Mall in January, 2011. 
Orginally located in New Haven, CT, it is known as Pepe's and it was started in 1925 in the neighborhood of Wooster Square.

Frank Pepe arrived in this country from his native Italy at 16 in 1909 and worked in a factory until World War I broke out. At that point, he returned to Italy to fight on their side.  After the war, Frank and his new bride Filomena, returned to New Haven in 1920 and began working in a Wooster Street macaroni factory, then at a local bread factory, also on Wooster Street.

Frank Pepe opened his first bakery also on Wooster Street and from there, with his wife by his side, started making pizza.  They offered two types, tomatoes with grated cheese, garlic, oregano and olive oil and the second with anchovy.  The Original Tomato Pie, as it is known, is still on the menu and you can get anchovy on the side.

Between the years 1925 - 1937, Frank Pepe started small, employing relatives,  In 1937, he moved his pizzeria to the building next door where he lived upstairs with his wife and two daughters.  He became known as "Old Reliable" for his contributions to the community and to his family.

In the 1970's his daughters purchased back their father's original bakery to be used as an annex to Pepe's pizzeria.  In the 90's, Pepe's two daughters retired, leaving the business to their children who still operate the business today.

According to their website, Frank Pepe originated the New Haven-style thin, but chewy crust pizza which is simply delicious.  It is a coal fired oven, the kind that he used to bake his breads.

The White Clam pizza, which is what Susan and Rob ordered, became Pepe's signature pie. It all started because Pepe's also served appetizers of Rhode Island raw little neck clams on the half shell, the pie was added in 60's and gradually became popular over the last 40 years.

The coal fired oven, which you see in back of me, has been recreated from Pepe's original oven, brick by brick. The fire doors are cast from the original mold of Frank Pepe's original pizzeria begun 80 years ago in New Haven, CT.

Everyone working at the Yonkers venue is very friendly and cooperative and always go out of the way to welcome you, especially if you have come a long way to enjoy their pizza.  The parking lot is always jammed and so is the restaurant.  The pies at Pepe's are always cut slightly different then their regular counterparts, each slice cut so that everyone can enjoy the crust.

So if you're ever in the area, please visit this great pizzeria.

Here is their website where you can find more information.


  1. This sounds like a fabulous place,Clyde! I loved reading the history of how it originated! The thin style crust sounds so good. That is my favorite!

  2. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the clam pizza.
    Michael LoDolce and crew are passionate and committed to the highest standards possible in making a Frank Pepe pizza.

    Thank you for your positive feedback,

    Francis (grandson of Frank and Filomena Pepe)