New Haven Icon Sally’s Apizza Arrives in Greater Boston

Here’s a sneak peek inside the Woburn location, opening December 14.

Overhead view of five different pizzas, each on its own metal tray.

Various Sally’s Apizza pizzas. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

One of New Haven’s biggest names in apizza—no, that’s not a typo; it’s a regional pizza style—opens its first location outside of Connecticut this week. The 85-year-old icon Sally’s Apizza, which inspires hours-long lines outside its original Wooster Street spot, is about to debut in Woburn, just a dozen miles north of Boston, at the Woburn Village shopping center.

Interior view of a restaurant features light cement surfaces, light brown leather banquettes, and a sleek bar with black accents.

The dining room at Sally’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

First, a quick primer on apizza, New Haven’s definitive pizza style. It’s pronounced “a-beetz,” for one thing, said to be derived from the dialect spoken by Neapolitan immigrants who came to New Haven. You’ll also hear “mootz,” New Haven for mozzarella—which, by the way, isn’t necessarily a default item on apizza. You’ll see a tomato sauce pie on the menu, which just has a light dusting of parmesan; be sure to order a pizza with a description that specifically mentions mozzarella if you want what you’d think of as a standard red-sauce-and-cheese pizza. As Sally’s COO Ted Zizlsperger puts it, the general definition of apizza is that it’s “thin-crust, sauce-forward, light on the mootz, and baked in a coal-fired oven.” The coal is non-negotiable and lends a noticeable char—not a burn, locals will attest—to the crust.

Overhead view of a white pizza with thin slices of potato and onions.

Sally’s potato and rosemary pie. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Sally’s is one of a handful of New Haven restaurants—several of which are many decades old—known for apizza, and if you talk to folks from there, they probably have a fierce allegiance to one of three well-known pizza joints: Sally’s, Pepe’s (which first expanded to the Boston area in 2015 and now has three locations in Massachusetts), or Modern. Another popular pick is Bar, as is Zuppardi’s nearby in West Haven. (Note: You might spot frozen Zuppardi’s pies for sale at Dom’s Sausage Co. in Malden, Massachusetts.) But whichever apizza team you’re on, it’s notable that another option is coming to the Boston area.

Interior of a restaurant features a red and white tiled wall.

Bags of coal ready to go at Sally’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Two thin-crust pizzas are going into a fiery oven atop a large wooden pizza peel.

Pizzas going into the oven at Sally’s Apizza. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Up until a few years ago, it would have been antithetical to the Sally’s old-school vibe to consider expansion. There was just the original spot, complete with lovably gruff service, long waits, no reservations (well, unless you had the secret phone number), no frills, and no plans to serve pies beyond Wooster Street. Enter new ownership in 2017 with dreams of Sally’s outposts nationwide, and a few years later, the pandemic provided added impetus to optimize the growing brand for online ordering, takeout, and delivery, not to mention adding other modern trappings like a website and social media.

A thin-crust pizza with a charred crust sits on a metal tray on a wooden table, with a bottle of clear soda in the background.

Sally’s tomato sauce pie with white birch soda from East Haven, Connecticut brand Foxon Park. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Sally’s founding family, the Consiglios, haven’t entirely stepped away post-ownership change. Ricky and Bobby Consiglio, founders Sal and Flo’s two sons, are still involved. “Ricky in particular is at New Haven probably four or five days a week, helping oversee it to make sure we are keeping the authenticity and the processes,” says Zizlsperger.

Closeup on beer taps, including Allagash White, Downeast Cider, and Two Roads Brewing.

Sally’s Apilz is an exclusive collaboration with Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewing. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Woburn is Sally’s fourth location—the first outside of Connecticut—and one more is currently planned for Boston (opening in the Seaport District in the second half of 2024). Three more restaurants are on deck in Connecticut, too. Like all locations, aside from the original, Sally’s Woburn will feature an expanded menu, a full bar, and reservations.

Gloved hands put pepperonis on a thin-crust uncooked pizza.

Pepperoni pizza in the works at Sally’s Apizza. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Side view of a pepperoni pizza with a thin, charred crust.

Sally’s mozzarella and tomato sauce pie with pepperoni. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Naturally, longtime fans might be a tad worried about expansion and modernization efforts: Will new locations measure up to the original? But Zizlsperger says that every location features a coal-fired oven “designed exactly to the specs of the original,” which is more than 100 years old, predating even the opening of the first restaurant. “When you bite into a Sally’s pie,” he says, “whether it be at our Stamford location or our new location in Massachusetts, it’s exactly the same as New Haven and something we pride ourselves on.” More than that, he says, the processes haven’t changed. “From 85 years until now, our dough is made the same way, hand-patted the same exact way. Our cheese is laid on by hand to order. None of these things has changed.”

An arrow-shaped sign says takeout.

There’s a counter dedicated to takeout at Sally’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

What is changing, though—at the new locations, anyway—is the size of the menu. The apizza is still the star, but the team wants to be “your local neighborhood pizza and Italian restaurant,” as Zizlsperger puts it, with an ever-evolving variety of Italian-inspired dishes, from apps such as Calabrian chili-spiked wings or baked clams with focaccia crumbs to entrees including rigatoni vodka and eggplant parm. The full bar adds options, too; while the original has a short and simple beer and wine list, the new spots have, for example, espresso martinis and blood orange margaritas.

A man in flour-covered black clothing, including Sally's Apizza branded hat and shirt, spreads tomato sauce on pizza dough.

Spreading the sauce at Sally’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

What should first-timers order at the new Woburn location? Zizlsperger—a Jersey native who went to college at Johnson & Wales culinary school in Providence, Rhode Island, and became a Sally’s fan on drives between home and school—swears by the classic “mootz” pie (add meatballs, he suggests): “It’s a work of art. That and our sauce pie—a revelation.” Another fan-favorite pick is the potato and rosemary specialty pie, which landed on the menu in the 1980s; it’s a white pizza covered with thin potato and onion slices (try adding bacon). Beyond the pizzas, don’t be afraid to delve into the rest of the menu. As Zizlsperger notes, Sally’s pizzas “do take some time; this isn’t fast food.” So, might as well dig into some fried mozzarella with pepperoni vodka sauce and sip on some Sally’s Apilz, a pilsner made in collaboration with Connecticut-based Two Roads Brewing, while you wait for the main attraction.

Light brown leather booths sit in front of a light wooden wall.

Once opening day rolls around, this honey oak wood-paneled wall will be decorated with a mix of Sally’s memorabilia and art by Massachusetts locals. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

A woman in Sally's Apizza branded hat and shirt slices of a cheese pizza on a metal counter.

Pizza slicing at Sally’s. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Sally’s Woburn will be open for dinner daily, with lunch service launching soon. The restaurant won’t take reservations for its first few days but make sure to jump on OpenTable to book a spot for December 18 or later. “The Boston market has been a long time coming,” says Zizlsperger. “We were never not going to open there; COVID just slowed us down slightly. But we’re really excited to growing and spreading the word on how amazing the Sally’s experience is.”

Overhead view of a cheese pizza on white paper on a metal tray.

Sally’s mozzarella and tomato sauce pie. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

300 Mishawum Dr. (Woburn Village), Woburn, 781-399-5264,