PLEASE NOTE: This post was written in 2015, and while it should still give you a good overview of the experience, it is also possible that it may contain some outdated information. Please check each restaurant’s website (Luna Pizza Glastonbury; Pizza Works) for the most current information, especially about things like hours, menu selections and pricing.
This post has been sponsored by the Connecticut Office of Tourism.
I spent my college years in New Haven, CT often enduring long, late-night debates about the most important of academic subjects: Pepe vs. Sally. No, I’m not talking about great philosophers or mathematical theorists. No art historians or Supreme Court cases here. I’m talking about pizza. Yup. Pizza. Because that’s the kind of stuff you have time to discuss when you are young and still without spouses or kids or houses or jobs to worry about. Especially when you are procrastinating from writing that big history paper you should have started weeks ago 🙂
Pepe’s and Sally’s are two landmark New Haven pizza joints (though in the, gulp, almost two decades since I entered college, Pepe’s has expanded into many other areas of the state as well), and some would argue these Connecticut institutions are the birthplace of the American love affair with pizza.
So when you can arguably boast the birthplace of pizza in America, what should you do? Encourage people to explore the rich pizza tapestry of our state, of course! And that is just what the Connecticut Office of Tourism has decided to do. And no matter what side of the Pepe’s vs. Sally’s debate you come down on, the Connecticut Pizza Trail is something we can all get behind!
Joining the ranks of the Connecticut Wine Trail, the Connecticut Chocolate Trail, and the Connecticut Beer Trail, the Connecticut Pizza Trail incorporates professional opinions with the results of CTvisit.com’s own social media polling. From Stamford to Avon to New London, and everywhere in between, there are more than two dozen stops on this pizza pilgrimage! So whether you’re a longtime CT resident looking for a new pie to try or a visitor in search of a slice to savor, the Connecticut Pizza Trail is your go-to resource for the best pizzerias in our state. Be sure to check out the CT Pizza Trail on Pinterest where you can find a map pinpointing each delicious destination!
Of course, here at Out and About Mom we felt it was our duty, nay, our obligation to showcase a few of these places to find pizza nirvana. Because in addition to being just plain delicious, pizza happens to be one of the most family-friendly foods around! And a local pizza joint is pretty much guaranteed to be a super spot for some stress-free Tiny Dining.
So today I’m giving you a little tour of an old favorite and a new find. But fair warning: after reading this post, you might be taking your crew out for pizza tonight 🙂
OAAM Stop #1 on the CT Pizza Trail: Luna Pizza in Glastonbury
The first stop on our pizza-inspired adventure happens to be a family favorite. Luna Pizza in Glastonbury is located just a few miles from my house, behind/beside the Eric Town Square complex on Hebron Avenue.
Right in the heart of Glastonbury, Luna is surrounded by local retail stores (including the new Pinwheels toy store with its fun play areas), restaurants, coffee shops, ice cream places and even a beautiful little park known to us locals as the Fountain Green— all within easy walking distance.
There are plenty of places to park. (Just beware of the spots right outside the side door that are reserved for people picking up take-out pizza).
More parking in the back too.
If you’ve got a stroller, the side door has a ramp. That’s the door that’s closest to the parking areas anyway.
One of the things I love about Luna is that it’s this wide open space, which means there’s usually a little wiggle room if your little ones want to, well, wiggle 🙂
Other family-friendly features: They have high chairs, of course (not that my little guy will use one these days).
Cups with lids and straws.
A great kids’ menu.
That doubles as a coloring page 🙂
And if you thought a meal couldn’t get any kid-friendlier than a slice of pizza, try this: A slice of pizza PLUS french fries! (And that below is actually just TWO kids’ slices that they cut in half for us; no shortage of food here!)
I think this little boy was enjoying some pizza, huh?
As for us grownups, we can never decide between our favorite toppings on a traditional Luna pizza and one of their glorious white pies. So I did what any responsible adult would do when faced with the choice between indulgence and gluttony: we ordered both! (I mean, it was for the blog after all– I can still use that excuse, right?). And to be fair, we did make the white pie a small one. Plus, I started with a salad, which totally makes up for it 🙂
Mmmmmm….can’t you just smell that pepperoni and those mushrooms? I really do apologize for this next photo. It’s almost torture.
And these too. Don’t hate me. Just go out for pizza!
One other small touch that I love about Luna is that they put these tall pedestals on your table so when the pizza arrives they can just pop it on top. That makes things sooooo much easier when there are kids involved. Frees up precious table space plus stops them from becoming a saucy mess before you can say “Nooooo! Don’t touch that pizza!” 🙂
A last little perk for your pint-size dining companions (and you too!) is Luna’s fabulous selection of gelato for dessert.
Pizza, french fries, frozen treats, and a toy store around the corner. That’s going to be pretty hard to top.
OAAM Stop #2 on the CT Pizza Trail: Pizza Works in Old Saybrook
We’ve actually been hearing about this pizza joint for years from many of our readers (thank you!). It’s located in Old Saybrook, CT. And when I say it is next to the Old Saybrook Train Station, I am not exaggerating!
The restaurant is situated in a large shopping center with a huge parking lot.
The entrance is actually on the side (Pizza Works is the red building on the right), which is perfect because that’s where the trains are too!
See, I told you it is next to the train station 🙂
Since we were prepared with this info ahead of time, we did a little pre-outing planning and looked up the train schedule for the day we were going to be lunching at Pizza Works. That way, we were able to get there when we expected to see a couple train arrivals and departures. We actually even got an unexpected glimpse of the Acela as is sped by us at what felt like a hundred miles an hour!
The kids loved this, of course. Although, up close these trains can be a little loud (which is why you see the boys with their hands over their ears!).
We got a good look at this Shore Line East train before it left the station.
Then headed up on the platform to watch for some arrivals.
We were surprised to hear the announcement for an approaching train before the scheduled one we were on the lookout for. Turns out it was the high-speed Acela train just passing through. It came flying by!
And a few minutes later another commuter train came around the bend.
The kids also loved watching the train signals and getting a close view of the tracks (which are so much larger than I always imagine train tracks to be!).
Of course, the kids wanted to stay and wait for more trains (which we knew weren’t coming anytime soon since we had checked the schedule!). But fortunately, our train adventure was to continue inside the restaurant where there are model trains galore.
Despite the indoor train displays, we opted to sit out on the patio today. We figured we would have a better chance of getting the kids to actually eat their lunch if the reward was getting to see the model train layouts afterwards 🙂
These pictures really don’t do the pizza justice. It was so fresh and delicious. Our Sausage Cacciatore pizza was oozing melty, gooey cheese (which you may have to order as an extra topping, by the way, because many of their “traditional” pizzas don’t come with cheese on them), covered in roasted bell peppers and juicy crushed plum tomatoes, and finished off with just the right amount of spicy sausage in generously sized pieces. All atop a thin crispy crust. Just how I like it! These could be my new favorite pizza toppings (sorry mushrooms and pepperoni! I still love you though!).
After, we headed back inside to check out the trains. This place is so much fun! There’s a model train that races around a track at the top of the walls in the main dining area.
And a large display of model trains in the bar area.
But upstairs is really the show-stopper.
It is trains galore up in this unique loft space. And the best part is that you can actually get a table and eat up here! There are two large model train layouts– one is even right next to a table. There’s also a TV screen showing the train station. And of course, if you just peer out any of the windows you are looking right down at the train tracks!
Talk about a unique pizza-eating experience! This was definitely one of our most memorable dining destinations. Something tells me it’s about to become a new family favorite too 🙂
So, are you ready to eat some pizza?
I hope this post has inspired you to check out the new Connecticut Pizza Trail! There are so many great destinations on the list– and in all corners of the state. So sample something local or use it as an excuse to go exploring.
Now, about that Connecticut Chocolate Trail… What?! There’s always room for dessert 🙂
This post was written in 2015. Therefore, we ask that you please visit their website for the most up-to-date information regarding business hours.
FREE parking; stroller-friendly; restroom has a changing station; major credit cards accepted. Click here to see the menu.
Their hours have changed since our original post in 2015. Please visit their website for the most up-to-date information.
FREE parking; sort-of stroller-friendly–you could use a stroller to get into the restaurant but it might be a little more difficult to maneuver it inside as there are some stairs both down to the dining area and up to the loft area; the upstairs restroom has a changing station in it; major credit cards accepted. Click here to see the menu.
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