Wells was adopted as an infant and grew up in Rhode Island. He is married to the novelist Susan Choi; they met while working as fact-checkers for The New Yorker. From 1999–2001 Wells was a columnist and editor for Food & Wine. Wells was articles editors at Details from 2001 until 2006, when he joined the Times as dining editor. Wells is the recipient of five James Beard awards for food writing.
- "Pete Wells, Restaurant Critic, Answers Readers' Questions". New York Times. 3 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Parker, Ian (12 September 2016). "Knives Out: Pete Wells, the Times' Restaurant Critic, wants to have fun -- or else". The New Yorker (p. 46-55).
- "Talk to the Newsroom: Dining Editor Pete Wells". New York Times. 23 July 2007. Retrieved 8 September 2013.
- Olmstead, Larry (5 December 2012). "Tables Turned - Top Chefs Review Pete Wells And Other Restaurant Critics". Forbes. Retrieved 7 January 2013.