Boston, Massachusetts, is a historical and cultural gold mine, attracting attention and interest from tourists, students, and intellectuals and generating a huge sense of pride amongst residents.
Like many historic east coast cities, Boston is a great walking city, with even more Bostonians walking to work than in New York City. That also means plenty of eateries within walking distance, no cab required.
In my most recent trip to Boston, I wandered the streets with the locals and worked up a major appetite, manifesting in a serious pizza craving. Lucky for me, there are dozens of great pizzerias in Boston with influences from Italy and other U.S. regions famous for their special style pies. Whether you want a quick slice or an extravagant pizza party with friends and family, you’ll find the best pizza spot for your needs on my list of the best pizza in Boston.
289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
Galleria Umberto is a hidden gem in Boston’s Waterfront neighborhood, selling amazing slices and whole Sicilian-style pizzas, arancini, paninis, and sandwiches in the afternoons. You’ll want to get there early as Galleria Umberto’s cheap and delicious pizzas are famous in the neighborhood, and they often sell out hours before they close at 3 pm.
You can buy a giant square slice of plain cheese Sicilian pizza with one of their famous arancini rice balls for under $6. Their calzones are huge and almost look like giant baked empanadas. I tried the spinach and cheese calzone, which was sensational.
111 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128
An East Boston neighborhood favorite, Santarpio’s Pizza is a New York-style pizzeria specializing in skewered meat. Whether you want a quick bite or to enjoy a massive pie with friends while you watch a sports game, Santarpio’s Pizza is a welcoming and accommodating environment.
Since you so rarely see a pizza joint offering skewered, barbequed meat, I had to try a few skewers myself. I recommend the lamb and steak skewers, served with hot cherry peppers and freshly baked Italian bread. They have a long list of specialty pies that you can choose to be red, white, or without sauces.
Pastoral Fort Point
345 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210
Named for the Fort Point neighborhood in which it lies, Pastoral Fort Point is an artisanal pizza and Italian restaurant that uses organic, locally sourced ingredients to prepare authentic Italian food. Head Chef Todd Winer is a certified professional pizzaiolo. His expertise has won Pastoral Fort Point yearly mentions in the Boston and national culinary press as one of the best pizza spots in town since 2013.
Along with spectacular wood-fired pizza, Pastoral Fort Point’s impressive high-end Italian menu features a wide variety of antipasti, charcuterie and cheese plates, and house-made pasta. I recommend the classic melon and prosciutto antipasti to start, although it’s hard to pass up the fresh cheese plates served with wood-fired sourdough bread. As for pizza, I recommend the Diavolo pizza with sweet sausage, nduja, jalapeno, and torn buffalo mozzarella.
Open since1926, Pizzeria Regina is the North End’s most historic pizzeria and has expanded to twelve locations around Boston. Family-owned and run over three generations of the Italian American Polcari family, Regina pizzeria serves brick-oven Neapolitan pizzas with the most perfect bubbly and chewy crust made from a century-old, aged yeast recipe.
Since Regina Pizzeria uses recipes from the old country, I thought I’d try the class Napoletana Pizza that they claim is “old-world-style.” It has their famous spicy red sauce, anchovy fillets, capers, pecorino Romano cheese, fresh garlic, oregano, and spicy olive oil, sprinkled with fresh basil.
7 Moulton St, Charlestown, MA 02129
Located in the Boston suburb of Charlestown, Brewer’s Fork is a trendy craft brewery and pizzeria in a beautifully curated space that assumes an industrial-chic design of exposed brick walls, wooden bar, bar-height tables, and a shiny concrete floor. Brewer’s Fork has consistently received write-ups for its fabulous bar fare, beer, and bar atmosphere.
Open for lunch, dinner, and boozy weekend brunch, Brewer’s Fork specializes in wood-fired fare, from small plates to sandwiches on grilled bread, and of course, some of the most creative pizzas I’ve seen. I recommend the Freebird pizza with smoked chicken, pickled collard greens, mozzarella, Alabama white sauce, and pork cracklins.
513 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116
I can’t think of a more decadent combination than pizza and ice cream, and you’ll get the best of both at Picco Boston. Located in Boston’s South end, Picco Boston makes delicious wood-fired pizza on an aged sourdough crust that makes for thin crispy under-crust and large, fluffy edges. They also make all their sumptuous ice creams and sorbets from scratch daily.
Picco Boston sources all the toppings, cheeses, and milk products for their pizza and ice cream from local farmers and uses all-natural ingredients with no chemical preservatives or hormones. In addition to pizza and ice cream, they also offer soups, salads, small plates, and pasta. With their pizzas, you have the option for a well-done, charred crust or a lightly cooked doughier crust. I recommend the Alsatian pizza with sauteed onions, shallots, garlic, crème Fraiche, bacon, and gruyere.
Ciao! Pizza and Pasta
59 Williams St, Chelsea, MA 02150
Ciao! Pizza and Pasta is the only wood-fired oven pizzeria in Chelsea, offering authentic Neapolitan pizza along with fresh, house-made pasta. Their gourmet ingredients, exquisite plating, and cozy atmosphere have won Ciao! a spot on Food Network’s Best Pizzas in America’s Biggest Cities and Boston Magazine’s vote for the best pizza.
Their specialty pizza menu is so amazing that it was hard to pick just one pizza. I recommend the Artichoke pizza with wood-fired roasted artichokes, truffle cream, and mozzarella or the Funghi pizza with wood-fired roasted mushrooms, homemade ricotta, garlic, arugula, and truffle oil. I also recommend trying their spectacular pasta, namely the gnocchetti with red wine braised short ribs, root vegetables, and parmesan.
Avenue Kitchen + Bar
158 Boston Ave, Somerville, MA 02144
The Avenue Kitchen + Bar is owned and run by a food and beverage industry powerhouse duo, Chef Kenny Schweizer and GM and high-end bartender veteran Gino DeLuca. This restaurant is a high-end contemporary new American kitchen and cocktail bar specializing in Detroit-style, thick pan pizza. Located in the friendly Boston Suburb of Somerville, Avenue Kitchen and Bar offers amazing nightly specials like Oyster Night, Old School-Italian Wednesdays with discounted Eggplant Parmesan, house-made meatballs and Chicken Parmesan, and Fish Fry Friday.
The eclectic menu at Avenue features flavors from all over the world to spice up classic dishes like steaks, fish fries, burgers, sandwiches, and giant salads. I recommend starting with a tasty cocktail and some maple chili duck wings. As for their delicious Detroit-style pizza, I recommend the meatball pizza with sliced meatballs, peppers, and ricotta.
Stoked Pizza Company
1632 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446
Appropriately named, Stoked Pizza Company makes pizza worth getting excited for, combining Neapolitan, New York, and New Haven-style pizza techniques to create a unique fusion. Located in the famous Harvard University neighborhood of Cambridge, Stoked Pizza Company is a favorite for the academic population of students and professors alike. They use locally sourced ingredients delivered daily so you’ll never see frozen, processed, or preservative-filled toppings. They also accommodate all dietary preferences, making vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free pizzas in addition to conventional meat lovers’ classics.
Their pizzas have the crispy, bubbly crusts of Neapolitan pizza with the size, char, and creativity you see in New York and New Haven pizzas. I recommend the New York White pizza with garlic, ricotta, fresh and aged mozzarella, oregano, black pepper, and pecorino romano. For those more adventurous eaters, I recommend the cheeseburger pizza with Angus beef, grilled sweet onion, stoked sauce, garlicky tomatoes, pickles, and a cheese blend.
69 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113
Ernesto’s Pizza is a long-standing Mystic River neighborhood favorite pizzeria, serving gargantuan slices of New York-style pizza. Each slice is a fourth of a whole pizza, so they aren’t just plate-sized, but three slices in one! They have a large display case where you can choose a fresh pizza slice or dine in with friends and family to enjoy a huge fresh-baked pie of your creation.
Their specialty pizzas run the gamut of American favorites like Chicken Ranch pizza and Eggplant Parmesan pizza. My favorite is the Buffalo Chicken Supreme pizza with bleu cheese dressing, buffalo chicken, red roasted peppers, and mozzarella cheese.
163 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138
Armando’s Pizza is a Cambridge favorite New York-style pizzeria and sub shop with a small eating area of a few small booths against a wall of sports trophies and Boston food awards. It’s most popular as a take-out joint with full pies, slices, and hearty sub sandwiches.
They offer New York Style and Sicilian pizzas, salads, calzones, and a vast array of cold and hot subs. I recommend trying a meatball parmesan sub. Sicilian-style square, deep-dish pan pizza is my favorite, so I recommend ordering a tray or a slice of plain cheese.
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
425 W Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant is a cozy South Boston neighborhood bar offering an over-the-top Americana bar fare menu of all your favorite comfort food along with wood-fired pizzas and plates to enjoy an after-work meal with friends or family. They have a bar and booth area for casual get-togethers and a large dining room for a more family-friendly conventional dining experience.
The menu is an impressive offering of high-end comfort food like their Lincoln sliders with bacon aioli, Muenster cheese, and a sunny-side-up quail egg on a potato bun. Their burgers, meat-centric main dishes, and sandwiches are hard to pass up, but their wood-fired pizzas are equally delicious. Try the butternut squash pizza with fontina, bacon, caramelized onions, rosemary, and pecorino romano.
187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144
Located in the Powder House neighborhood, Posto is a high-end cocktail and wine bar and classic Italian restaurant with an old-school Italian American décor featuring old black and white photos of Venetian canals, marble tables, and a large brick wood-fired oven. The cocktail list is extensive and expertly crafted, making for a classy and beautiful glass of spirits to accompany beautifully plated appetizers, pasta, salads, and pizzas.
I recommend starting with the wood-fired grilled octopus with fingerling potatoes, arugula, red onion, cherry peppers, and capers salsa. My wood-fired white pizza recommendation is the Soppressata pizza with pork salumi, mozzarella, ricotta, chili-infused honey, red onion, and oregano.
1 Bow Mkt Wy Unit 6, Somerville, MA 02143
Located in the heart of Boston’s famous neighborhood open market, Bow Market, Hot Box specializes in roast beef and bar-style pizza. The charred spongy crust is imperceptible under the cheese and toppings that reach its outermost circumference. You can have your boxed pie as you people watch the masses filtering in and out of the market or grab a box to-go as you peruse the rest of the vendors.
Known as south shore bar pizzas, Hot Box pizzas are personal 10” pizzas. Order a few to split with friends and families so you can sample all the delicious combinations. I recommend the White with local summer corn, blue oyster mushrooms, truffled ricotta white sauce, and arugula. The Pickle with tomato sauce, mozzarella and cheddar, dill pickles, and hot peppers is also a great option.
253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118
Enoteca is the Italian term for a wine bar. As such, Coppa Enoteca is one of South End’s favorite authentic Italian eateries with a European-style street-lined outdoor seating and an intimate dining experience. Their head chefs have won James Beard awards for their excellently crafted small plates.
They have quite the charcuterie offering of smoked meats and delicious cheeses at Coppa, not to mention fresh pasta and Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas. I recommend trying their lavish charcuterie boards and small plates like the Panino smoked beef tongue, prosciutto, pork, and pistachio pate with cranberry dijonaise, cucumber, and ciabatta. I also recommend the Marrow white pizza with bone marrow, roasted honey nut squash, pecorino, and thyme.
242 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446
Located in Boston’s Coolidge Corner neighborhood, Prairie Fire is a hip and trendy restaurant and beer garden specializing in new American and Italian food. They have a giant back patio for dining al-fresco and a charming interior warmed by the enormous wood-fired oven. The plating at Prairie Fire is artistic and colorful, with fresh New England seafood, wood-fired vegetable appetizers, and of course, delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas.
I tried the delicious wood-fired oysters with potato and leek to start, along with wood-fired sunchoke tostones with preserved lemon aioli and pickled shallot. The pizzas are simple combinations of high-quality ingredients. I recommend the fennel and sausage pizza with whipped ricotta, fennel, and red onion.
1920 Beacon St, Brighton, MA 02135
Pino’s Pizza is a family-owned and family-run pizzeria that has been serving outstanding pizzas and subs to the Cleveland Circle neighborhood since 1962. This unpretentious, family-oriented restaurant is a favorite spot for watching sports games over a slice and a sub with friends or family. Pino’s owner says he doesn’t hang their awards on the walls, wanting the pizza to speak for itself.
They have thin crust round pizza as well as square-shaped Sicilian pan pizza. I recommend trying one of their steak and cheese subs or a Napoli Calzone with grilled chicken, broccoli, and garlic. They also make a delicious white alfredo pizza with chicken and broccoli.
Max & Leo’s
82 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215
Owned and run by Boston native twin brothers Max and Leo, this fun coal-fired pizza spot started as a pizza trailer that became so popular as to expand to three brick and mortar establishments that use the same coal-fired pizza-making technique. One of the most popular locations is right across the street from the famous Fenway Park. These pizzas are fired for a mere 2 minutes in a whopping 900-degree oven, creating the perfect charred crispiness to their crusts.
The Boston Globe calls their pizza “exquisite,” and I agree. I recommend the L’Umina white olive oil pizza with sliced pears, caramelized onions, basil, ricotta cheese that is baked then topped with freshly sliced prosciutto and drizzled with wildflower honey. Exquisite indeed!
Boston pizza spots are an eclectic mix of old-world Neapolitan neighborhood haunts and contemporary, hip northeast American regional pizzerias. Whether you want traditional or creative, you can have a little bit of everything when you stop in for a slice or a pie at my favorite pizzerias in Boston.
Of course, there are plenty of other amazing restaurants around Boston that you can read about to round out your culinary experience.
Did we leave a restaurant out of this list? Make sure you leave us a comment, and we’ll check it out!
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