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Source Restaurant pepperoni pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Source Restaurant

The best pizza in Boston

From Neapolitan style to new school, round to rectangle, grab a pie at the best pizza spots in Boston

Olivia Vanni
Edited by
Olivia Vanni
Contributor
Eric Grossman
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Boston gets a bad rap for its pizza. Sure, our city may never reach the heights of New York pizza celebrity, but it's blessed with a bevy of pizzerias churning out tasty, memorable pies. At one end of the spectrum, there are no-frills, cash-only joints serving fast, tasty slices; on the other end you'll find some of the best Italian restaurants in Boston serving up their own takes on the classics. For other top dishes that are perfect with a beer on a Friday night, check out the best burgers in Boston or the best tacos in Boston.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in Boston

The best pizza spots in Boston

  • Restaurants

Head over to Newton to find this sophisticated pizza place. This Centre Street joint forms its pies from slow-fermented dough before cooking them in a 700-degree, wood-fired oven to achieve a crispy crust that still has a good chew. Toppings reflect Italian flavor combinations stemming from every part of The Boot, including octopus and chorizo, sausage with broccoli rabe and fennel, and puttanesca with capers, anchovies and Castelvetrano olives. While the pizza is obviously the main event here, its menu also includes a bunch of Sicilian-influenced bites, like caponata, fava bean dip and marinated squid salad.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • East Boston
  • price 2 of 4

It’s well worth the trek out to Eastie to try a slice from this century-old East Boston legend. Once a bakery, it's now easily the best no-frills pizzeria in town, with old-school prices to boot. The people-watching is just as good as the pie, with plenty of colorful locals filling this place on the reg. Just remember to hit the ATM beforehand because it’s a cash-only operation, baby. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Gastropubs
  • Harvard Sq

 If you want legit pizza, go straight to the Source—Source Restaurant in Harvard Square, that is. This Cambridge gastropub and pizza bar takes pride in finding seasonal, local ingredients to use in its selection of wood-fired pies, pastas and small plates. Since opening last year, this spot has gained quite the loyal following for its doughy delicacies, marked by their perfectly bubbly crusts that also boast just the right amount of char and premium toppings. While this menu offers plenty of creative, non-traditional takes on the classics, people flock here mostly for its pepperoni pizza, which is crammed with ’roni cups and comes with vincotto (a swanky white wine syrup) for all of your dipping and drizzling pleasure.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

Pizza is done a little differently at this South End establishment. At Tremont Street staple Picco, the kitchen flame-roasts its pizza to produce its signature charred crust. Artfully-composed pies fit in perfectly with the stylish neighborhood. While you might be tempted to gorge yourself on pizza alone, be sure to save room for its rotating list of homemade ice creams. (Worse comes to worst, you can always do as the locals do and bring a pint home).

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  • Restaurants
  • Somerville

The Detroit-style pizza craze that’s taken the country by storm in recent years has left Boston largely untouched—but, if you happen to have a hankering for an amazing Michigan tray, Avenue Kitchen and Bar is the place to head. The Somerville joint has a whole menu dedicated to this regional specialty, a characteristically rectangular, thick-crust pizza that’s baked in a metal sheet pan for a crispy, chewy texture. Toppings here run the gamut—from your classic pepperoni to the untraditional (and still wildly Midwestern) chicken, bacon and ranch. Vegan cheese is available for folks who want to send heads spinning in this pizza’s native dairyland.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • North End
  • price 2 of 4

This classic North End pizzeria—which could double as a movie set with its beautiful brick building, well-worn booths and framed celebrity headshots—is the oldest in town. Pizzas come out hot and fresh from the oven, and the convivial atmosphere makes you feel right at home with a pie and a pitcher. Be prepared to camp out for a bit because theres often a wait due to its well-deserved popularity—but it’s well worth it. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Kendall Sq
  • price 2 of 4

In Kendall Square, this brick-oven pizza purveyor is known across town for its signature pies with a back-to-the-basics approach. All of its crusted menu items are prepared using simple, high-quality ingredients and 30-hour-fermented dough. Pizzas feature next-level topping combinations like bacon and clam sauce, smoked pork shoulder and roasted pineapple salsa, and sausage and pickled peppers.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • North End
  • price 1 of 4

Regulars line up at this beloved North End takeout spot as early as 10:30am because savvy locals know not to risk missing out on thick, chewy, delectable and super-cheap Sicilian slices. Even people waiting for a table at nearby restaurants have been known to grab a piece of this pizza while they wait, which also contributes to Galleria Umberto frequently selling out of saucy product. It’s cash only, but at these low prices, it’s not really a problem.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • Somerville
  • price 3 of 4

For upscale pizza with a touch of old and new, Posto in Davis Square delivers. Here, wood-fired pizzas are lovingly made in line with the Neapolitan tradition. However, this place is hardly a stickler for keeping it strictly old school and it doesn't hestitate to take some creative liberties when cranking out pies. Its selection of white and red pizzas spans everything from a tried and true Margherita, to a modern summer corn number. For a real culinary mind-bender, go with the risotto pizza.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Seaport District
  • price 3 of 4

This Fort Point restaurant sports an urban-farmhouse aesthetic, which provides a fitting backdrop for its array of wood-fired pizzas topped with all manner of fresh veggies and house-made ingredients (e.g. duck sausage, mozzarella, smoked pancetta). Celiac's and people who can't deal with wheat can rest easy here; all of Pastoral's pies can be made using arguably the best gluten-free crust in the entire city. Expect an after-work rush on busy Fridays, and a calmer atmosphere on weekends.

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  • Restaurants
  • Charlestown

Cross the bridge to Charlestown and you’ll find this hip spot known for its wood-fired pizzas and craft beer. Using local ingredients, this place takes a hard break from tradition, dressing its gourmet pies with some seriously unconventional toppings that would make native Neapolitans shudder (i.e. its Freebird with smoked chicken, pickled collard greens, mozzarella, alabama white sauce and pork cracklins)—but hey, more for us. Crust-lovers will be especially impressed by Brewer’s Fork’s dough, which comes out of the oven with a perfect rise and ample air-bubbles for optimal mouthfeel.

  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

From dynamic culinary duo Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette, this tiny South End spot consistently draws crowds with its stylish Italian fare. Its popular pizzas are wood-fired and topped with luxurious ingredients that are pretty hard to come by, like bone marrow, truffles and n’duja (a spicy, spreadable sausage that hails from Calabria). The bustling atmosphere only adds to the pizza-eating experience, so split one of the kitchen's crusty creations with friends inside the buzzing little nook of a dining room or on the sidewalk patio set up for prime people-watching.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Inman Sq
  • price 2 of 4

All Star Pizza Bar lives up to its name, offering a roster of champion-worthy pizzas. Greek brothers Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoules practically grew up in a pizzeria and now, they're willing to take risks with crazy creative combos at their casual Inman Square corner spot. Its menu of pioneering pies include the Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown and the Buffalo Duck Confit, in addition to a lengthy list of vegetarian and vegan crusts. Don't expect the expected here.

  • Restaurants
  • Somerville

Situated inside Union Square’s Bow Market, Hotbox dishes out specialties from each coastal end of the Bay State: North Shore roast beef and South Shore pizza. We’re obviously here to talk about the eatery’s latter, crustier offering, which is better known to locals as bar pizza. This staple is a quickly cooked, crispy crusted delight with incredible, caramelized edges (the result of its cheese and sauce having a nice little meet and greet with some ultra-high heat). Grab these 10-inch pies—from classic cheese to unconventional pickle—and accompanying dipping sauces, and don’t be horrified when you manage to house one of these thin-crusted masterpieces all by yourself.

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  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • Somerville
  • price 2 of 4

This small, playful but unpretentious pizza joint gives other spots in Somerville a run for their money. When it comes to pizza, this Davis Square place offers some go-to classics, as well as a few more inventive options. Adventurous eaters should try the Maple Bacon Cheddar Pizza (bacon lardons, chili maple syrup, scallions and cheddar cheese), while conventionalists can stick with something like the Three Cheese (mozzarella, provolone and parmesan make three). In the spirit of "don't knock it 'til you try it," there's also a fun little Italian-Chinese mashup: the Kung Pao Pizza, which is topped with Szechuan-braised chicken, carrots, peppers, peanuts and kung pao sauce.

  • Restaurants
  • Pizza
  • price 2 of 4

Just north of the city in Chelsea, you can find this top spot for wicked good wood-fired pizza. This restaurant proudly serves up robust, hand-crafted pies with a Neapolitan-style crust and array of toppings ranging from Italian mainstays (like the Margherita) to modern hot takes (the Uovo with roasted onions, potatoes, bacon, mozzarella and poached eggs). This place takes pizza so seriously that it even offers one for dessert and it's slathered in Nutella.

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