Yes, it’s well worth the trek out to Eastie and a general sense of displacement. This century-old East Boston legend, once a bakery, serves the best no-frills pizza in town (at old-school prices), with a side of people-watching. Just remember to hit the ATM beforehand, since it’s cash only.
When regulars start lining up for lunch outside a mysterious storefront at 10:30am, you simply put your head down and follow their lead. The nondescript North End takeout spot turns out consummate Sicilian slices: thick, chewy and square-shaped. The slices are so addictive (and inexpensive), even those waiting for tables at nearby restaurants have been known to make an appetizer out of a slice.
Owners Ken Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette lure casual, stylish crowds to their Italian nook in the South End. Expect to sit elbow-to-elbow with your neighbor in the shoebox-sized dining room; a little more space can be had on the pretty sidewalk patio. The popular wood-fired pizzas are feature luxury toppings such as bone marrow and lamb sausage.
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Who doesn’t enjoy a pizza pie and a pitcher? The classic North End pizzeria—which could double as a movie set with its well-worn booths and framed celebrity headshots—is the oldest in town, still churning out brick-oven beauties in a convivial atmosphere (don’t plan on deep dinner conversation, unless you’re cool with screaming it). Just be prepared for a legitimate wait thanks to the tourist contingency.
Davis Square’s go-to spot for upscale pizzas, Posto makes its mozzarella in-house, and each wood-fired pie is made according to guidelines laid out by the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana. But Posto is more than just a pizza joint; the menu offers classic Italian favorites, and the cozy environs work just as well for a first date or a group dinner with friends.
This Kendall Square brick oven pizza purveyor is known across town for its signature pies, made with a focus on back-to-basics recipes using simple, high quality ingredients and 30-hour-fermented dough. Pizzas feature next-level toppings like clam sauce, roasted pineapple salsa, and house-made mozzarella.
An export from NYC, Babbo is a pizza-centric affair (though pasta, antipasti and gelato all get their due as well). Wood-fired in a 1,000-degree brick oven, the pies are crispy and perfectly chewy thanks to a dough made in-house every morning. Though the menu at this Babbo is less inventive than at its NYC counterpart, pizza toppings include cockle, pistachio and pickled chilis.
With plenty of inviting pizza options and a seasonal patio, the Salty Pig is a welcome post-work spot for the Back Bay suit-and-tie crowd. Make a selection from the ever-changing beer list, start out with a killer charcuterie board, and then dig into the house namesake pizza, topped with “salty pig parts,” mustard, pale ale caramel, and arugula.
Why order peppers and onions when you can have tomatillo salsa and chorizo? Or a choose-your-own-adventure of duck confit, soft-baked eggs and jerk-roasted jackfruit? Greek brothers Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoules practically grew up in a pizzeria, which explains why they’re willing to take risks with creative toppings and combos (including several vegan options) at their casual Inman Square corner spot.
Cambridge families, displaced New Yorkers and well-known chefs all flock to this unremarkable-looking Sicilian spot for pies that induce rapturous, babbling praise. It’s everything you want from an old-style neighborhood pizzeria, down to the cooks tossing dough, Fanta soda, and cash only policy.
The pie-slingers think differently at this South End gem, flame-roasting the pizza to produce the signature charred crust. Artfully-composed pies fit in perfectly with the stylish neighborhood. Also popular is the rotating list of homemade ice creams; as you wait for a table, you’ll see local after local come in for a pie and a pint to go.
This Fort Point restaurant sports a casual urban-farmhouse aesthetic, providing a nice backdrop for wood-fired pizzas topped with all manner of fresh veggies and house-made ingredients (e.g. duck sausage, mozzarella, smoked pancetta). Expect an after-work crush on busy Fridays, and a calmer atmosphere on weekends.
Having first started out as a food truck, Stoked now maintains a friendly brick-and-mortar space in Brookline’s Washington Square. The kitchen uses premium ingredients, including veggies from Wareham’s Lilliput Farms. There are a ton of non-tomato pizzas, including a white pie topped with hot honey and bacon. Vegan cheese can be swapped in for the heart attack-weary.
There’s nothing remotely parlor-like about this Harvard Square mainstay, as austere as you might expect a former fire station overlooking a graveyard to be. But there’s plenty to like about its no-nonsense attitude, reflected in a streamlined menu of elegantly simple salads and thin-crust pizzas. The latter are charcoal-grilled and topped with the likes of lobster or chicken sausage, with flavorsome fresh herbs and infused oils.