In my constant search for great Neapolitan pizza, I’m not sure how Capp’s Pizzeria slipped past me! But given its location out in southwest Chapel Hill it probably didn’t make my news feed. Thankfully a friend posted some pictures of his visit on social media and now you’ve got my attention! Digging in, I found out that Capp’s Pizzeria opened up in October of 2016 after some years as a food truck. Owner John Cappelletti hails from Waterbury, CT so he knows his way around good pizza. So guess what? I guess it’s time for a trip out to Chapel Hill to see what the hub-bub is about!
The Dining Experience at Capp’s Pizzeria
Heading over on a cold and rainy Sunday, a friend and I pull up into the Capp’s Pizzeria parking lot and I was a bit surprised. Brand new shopping plaza along with a modern looking building, it was not as I had imagined in my head! We’re greeted up front by the wait-staff and since it’s right after opening, we’ve got the place to ourselves. The dining room is bright with high ceilings and splashes of color (yellow, red), a very cheery space. And the pizza oven behind the counter has a red facing around it, a change from the usual dome-shaped wood-fired ovens you usually see. All in all Capp’s Pizzeria is a very updated rendition of an old-school pizza joint.
Peering through the menu you’ll find a nice assortment of flavor combinations in addition to your standard margherita and cheese pies. The house pizza combinations seem well thought out with nice touches such as house-made sausage, soppressata, shiitake mushrooms, honey and more. These pies definitely don’t fall into the traditional category! Capp’s also offers up a handful of grinders and pasta dishes if you’re not in the mood for apizza.
The Food and Pizza at Capp’s Pizzeria
For my first visit, two of us shared a classic margherita pie and the Mamma Mia, topped with meatball, red onion and serrano peppers. The food doesn’t take long at all to come out given that blistering hot, wood-fired oven! The pies are individual pies, 6 slices to each and show off the leopard spotting on the cornicione (puffy end of crust) so common to Neapolitan pizza. I dive into the margherita pie first which shows off lovely splotches of melted mozzarella and bits of seared basil. Wonderful! The crust at Capp’s Pizzeria has a wonderful lightness and softness inside and the tomatoes are great. It’s a well balanced pie with just the right amount of cheese, sauce and basil. But wait, there’s more! Love, love, love the Mamma Mia pie! The meatballs here are fantastic but I also love how the onions are thinly slivered, providing a hit of flavor without needing to chew through it. And the bits of jalapeno pepper add just the right amount of spice, wow.
After my great first visit, I came back for a dinner visit because I saw a clam pie on the menu. You may not be familiar with clam pies but it’s a regional pie, common to the New Haven, CT area. A white pie, covered with fresh clams, garlic and cheese. The owner of Capp’s Pizzeria has roots in the Connecticut area so I was happily surprised to see it on the menu (Fridays and Saturdays). And my clam pie was a beauty, I did it Capp’s Way which adds thick-cut bacon on top, dee-lish! You get the wonderful sweet chewiness of the clams set off by garlic and salty bacon. A peek underneath shows off the perfectly baked crust and from what I can tell, Capp’s Pizzeria is VERY consistent with the bake on their crust which is key to a good Neapolitan.
The Verdict at Capp’s Pizzeria
Service at Capp’s Pizzeria has been solid for both of my visits but beware, this place can get slammed quickly. I imagine there aren’t a ton of good pizza options in the hood and Capp’s (IMO), is VERY good. Probably top three in the Triangle for me but I would love to try their pasta to see what they can do there. Overall I was really impressed with this Italian eatery. While certainly the focus is on Neapolitan pizza here, the addition of some appetizers, sandwiches and home-made pastas make it similar to Pizzeria Mercato in Carrboro. Even the limoncello cake I had for dessert was fantastic. All I can say is if you’re a fan of great pizza and you’re in the Chapel Hill/Pittsboro area, stop on by for sure! I can’t imagine there are much better dining options in the hood…