Pizza Delegation Trip to Washington D.C.

Representatives from the VFW New Haven Post 12150 and the American Legion Post 210 joined a delegation of more than 100 Connecticut pizza makers, legislators, and community leaders on a historic journey to Washington, D.C. to proclaim New Haven, Connecticut the Pizza Capital of the United States.



More than 100 Connecticut Pizzeria owners, community leaders and pizza fans to fly to Washington D.C. for a history-making proclamation at U.S. Capitol

U.S. Representative DeLauro to enter “The Pizza State” in the Congressional Record

WASHINGTON, D.C. and NEW HAVEN, Conn.; May 17, 2024 — On Wednesday, May 22, a delegation of over 100 Connecticut pizza makers, legislators, veterans, and community leaders will embark on a historic journey to Washington, D.C. On the steps of the U.S. Capitol, this delegation will join U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (representing Connecticut’s Third District which includes the City of New Haven) who will enter a statement into the Congressional Record declaring “New Haven the Pizza Capital of the United States.”

U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro stated, “New Haven has the best pizza in the country – and it is not even close. Ask anyone from Connecticut and they will tell you Connecticut pizza, or “apizza” as we call it, is hands down — no contest — the best pizza in America. I am looking forward to dropping the hammer on this debate and formally declaring in the Congressional Record that New Haven is the Pizza Capital of the United States.”

This official proclamation will settle the long-standing debate over where the best pizza is made. Declaring Connecticut “The Pizza State” honors the thousands of families and workers who have devoted their lives to crafting America’s best pizza.  

“Many things are debated in the Halls of Congress and Washington, D.C., but one thing that’s not up for debate is that New Haven has the best pizza in the country. Our local pizzerias are local, national, and international destinations, and New Haven-style pizzerias are being established and shipping their pizza products all over the globe. However, there’s nothing like going to the actual source, and I encourage everyone to come visit New Haven, enjoy our pizza and all our city has to offer,” said New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker. “I want to thank Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Taste of New Haven’s Colin Caplan, and our wonderful New Haven pizza makers for organizing this event and for letting the country know that New Haven ah-beetz is where it’s at!”

The Connecticut Pizza Delegation will fly to D.C. on Wednesday morning from Tweed-New Haven Airport to Washington’s Dulles International Airport aboard a chartered Avelo Airlines American-made Boeing 737 jetliner. After arriving in D.C., the delegation will visit the Vietnam Memorial, attend the Congressional Proclamation ceremony at the U.S. Capitol with Rep. DeLauro, and conclude the visit with lunch at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana’s Alexandria, Va., location.

“The best pizza in the United States is made in Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont said.  “We have one of the highest concentrations of pizzerias around, many of which have been operated and passed down by families for generations. I love that this message is being confirmed at our nation’s capital.”

Several New Haven pizza restaurants will join the trip, including Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally’s Apizza, Modern Apizza, Pizza at The Brick Oven, Next Door, Big Green Truck Pizza, BAR, Est Est Est Pizza & Cast Iron Chef Chop House. The event is organized by pizza guru and Taste of New Haven Founder Colin M. Caplan, who has been championing the celebration and recognition of New Haven and Connecticut’s pizza prowess. Taste of New Haven is the exclusive operator of New Haven’s pizza tours as well as pizza classes and the annual APIZZA FEAST food festival.

“New Haven and Connecticut have been an epicenter of expert pizza making for more than a century and recognizing these pizza makers, families and workers who have fed generations of loyal customers is a noble task,” exclaimed Colin M. Caplan, founder of Taste of New Haven, author of Pizza in New Haven & co-producer of Pizza, A Love Story. “Top chefs, celebrities, politicians and food critics have been raving over New Haven pizza for decades because there’s a level of pizza alchemy taking place in this area surpassed by nowhere else.”

Trip sponsors include A1 Toyota, Connecticut Office of Tourism, Avelo Airlines, LAZ Parking, Yale University, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally’s Apizza, Market New Haven, Taste of New Haven, Connecticut Restaurant Association, Park New Haven, Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce, New England Brewing Co., Grand Apizza, Zois Pizzeria, Deluxa Design, Zuppardi’s Apizza, Napoli Foods, New Haven Economic Development Corporation, Pizza Castle, Tipsy Tomato Bar and Pizzeria, Spartans Restaurant and Bar, Pies and Pub, Cast Iron Chef Chop House, CT Bites, Est Est Est Pizza, Capasso Enterprises, Pizzaholics & Dean Falcone.

Avelo Airlines Founder and CEO Andrew Levy said, “We love Connecticut and New Haven’s world-famous pizza. This is a testament to our reputation for industry-leading reliability and the deep connection we’ve made in New Haven and communities across the state.”

“To live in Connecticut is to love pizza,” said Alan Lazowski, Founder and CEO of LAZ Parking. “Pizza in this state is about so much more than food; it’s a point of pride, a sense of place, and a cultural touchstone that every resident of the state can connect with. LAZ Parking is honored to provide support in the form of ground transportation for delegation in D.C.”

New Haven, Connecticut is recognized as the Pizza Capital of the United States for the myriad family businesses that have contributed to making the highest form of this crafted food available to people of all backgrounds for over 100 years thereby helping to establish a uniquely American culinary and cultural experience and making the New Haven area one of the most respected and recognized pizza meccas and destinations in the country. Connecticut has the most pizzerias of any state per capita and the most family-owned pizzerias of any state in the country. The state’s more than 1,300 pizza-making establishments are the highest portion per capita and produce over 150 million pizzas, equaling $3.5 billion in sales per year. The City of New Haven’s 75 pizza-making establishments support thousands of jobs and over $100 million in sales, feeding 2 million customers annually.

Historic pizzerias in New Haven and throughout Connecticut that have helped continue this legacy include Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (est. 1925), Modern Apizza (est. 1934), Zuppardi’s Apizza (est. 1934), Roseland Apizza (est. 1935), Colony Grill (est. 1935), Jennie’s Pizzeria (est. 1935), Sally’s Apizza (est. 1938), Little Rendezvous (est. 1938), Mike’s Apizza (est. 1946), Ro’s Restaurant (est. 1947), Dominic & Vinnie’s Pizza (est. 1949) and numerous others.

In New Haven, pizza is locally known as apizza, pronounced “ah-beetz”. New Haven’s reverence for pizza is the subject of tributes and activities that include a documentary, Pizza, A Love Story; a book, Pizza in New Haven; pizza tours, classes, festivals, merchandise, art, contests, lodging, shops and more. New Haven-style pizza is pervasive throughout Connecticut and is becoming an increasingly popular style around the globe, with over 150 outposts and counting across the United States.


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