The Ultimate Boston Pizza Places for a Legit Slice
Boston pizza is actually good. Here are 18 reasons why.
Our pizza scene gets a bad rap -- unjustly so. No, we’re not New York, but we’re not Los Angeles, either (aka the ninth circle of pizzeria hell, no matter what this guide says). In fact, these days, we Bostonians should be downright boastful about our pie scene -- especially since takeout pizza has probably saved us all from pandemic insanity. Between the stalwarts and the newbies, we could subsist for weeks on dough, sauce, and cheese alone.
But where to get the best pizza within a hungry, lazy stroll from your home or simple online order? To answer that question, we sussed out 18 of the greatest pie-slinging spots around town. Abiding by state and city guidelines, (almost) all of these spots are currently open for indoor dining -- and most offer patio seating, too -- but we’ve also added info on how to order takeout and delivery. So there are plenty of options next time that craving hits.
Time Out Market
Food halls were dominating our gastronomical headlines before COVID hit, and slowly and surely are reasserting themselves. At Time Out Market the temptations are still deep and wide, but a special visit must be made for Michael Schlow’s first foray into pizza. These are wood-fired pies done Roman-style, which means a sturdy yet airy crust that still maintains plenty of crisp. Topping options include Tuscan kale and artichoke, but we think the Marguerita best lets Schlow’s talents shine through.
How to order: Pick up in person -- the marketplace is fully reopened, with an expanded patio of 6,000 square feet
The wood-fired Neapolitan pies maintain a devoted fandom, partly owing to chef-owner Todd Winer’s homemade cheeses, as well as toppings like fennel sausage, veal meatballs, and fernet-honey. The friendly vibe and European wine list all mean you can have your date night and eat pizza, too -- especially on the curbside patio, though takeout and delivery are both available as well.
How to order: Order pickup via ChowNow and delivery via Uber Eats
A few years back, Charlestown had been so hungry for a decent new restaurant that Brewer’s Fork could have served deep-fried cobblestones and been a hit. Luckily, this gastropub aimed much higher, nowhere more visibly than with its pizza menu. The thin, chewy-yet-crackly crusts serve as base to wonderful topping combos like chopped pork and applesauce, and bacon and potatoes.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast and delivery via DoorDash
This is when you forego both niceties and toppings and silently snarf the best cheese pizza in town. The gas and toll money is more than worth spending to reach this centenarian mainstay, which started as an Eastie bakery in 1903 and serves barbecued lamb and steak skewers in addition to pizza. Bonus points go to the inimitable people-watching and the $5 glasses of wine, though of course, takeaway (or delivery!) might be the best option right now.
How to order: Order pickup and delivery via DoorDash
Authentic Neapolitan pies are few and far between, which makes these flash-baked beauts all the more desirable. Imported pizzeria flour and Italian tomatoes combined with meat-centric toppings (fennel-roasted pork, prosciutto, lamb sausage) and house-made mozzarella make for a grand meal, indeed. Oh, and we have a tailgating tip for you: Book the catering package for your next Sunday spread, and you’ll forever be a hero to your friends and family.
How to order: Order takeout online and delivery via DoorDash
Lincoln Tavern & Restaurant
Man, do people love these wood-fired pizzas. Like, love love. It might be the leopard-print crusts, or the generosity of the toppings (those pepperonis are huge). But most likely it owes to chef Nick Dixon’s unusual expertise -- he consulted with a “pizza guru,” splurged on a gourmet oven, and tested numerous flours before developing his own dough recipe. The breakfast pizza is also worth a daytime return trip -- and yup, the restaurant is currently open for brunch, as well as lunch and dinner.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast and delivery via Caviar and DoorDash
Max & Leo's
A century ago, most NYC pies were coal-fired. Max and Leo’s has helped revive the technique, which results in pizza that cooks in just two minutes, charring the outside of the crust but keeping the dough moist and chewy inside. Build your own pie or opt for an artisan pizza like the Blue Ribbon (pulled pork, caramelized onions, mozzarella, and smoked gouda, topped with BBQ sauce). There are also outposts in Sudbury and inside Game on Fenway, but we like the original haunt for its friendly and authentic vibe.
How to order: Call 617-244-7200 for takeout
There’s a reason Obama stopped by back in 2015. The pizzas here are treated like royalty: the dough fermented for more than 30 hours, the mozzarella hand-pulled, the pies positioned in the wood-fire oven just so in order to guarantee a buoyant, charred crust. You’ll swear allegiance to the sausage and banana pepper pie before tasting the clam and bacon varietal and landing on a new favorite. Luckily, the restaurant offers both small and large pies to allow for more taste-testing -- as well as a second location in the South End.
How to order: Order pickup online and delivery via Caviar
The pizza’s only there until the dough runs out (usually by 2pm), so best to get there before noon. You’re getting two slices of Sicilian deliciousness, and maybe some arancini if you really feel like getting after it. It routinely wins national accolades for a reason (although Regina Pizzeria is a noble backup for North Enders).
How to order: Call 617-227-5709 for takeout
All Star Pizza Bar
The dudes behind Inman’s All Star Sandwich Bar have cemented their MVP status. Want meatloaf and red onion jam on your pizza? There’s a pie for that (Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown). Pulled pork and mango? There’s a pie for that too (El Hefe). All Star's vegan and vegetarian options also come highly recommended -- the almond milk bechamel is a revelation -- and the guys behind the counter are Star Wars nerds, to boot.
How to order: Order takeout and delivery via Toast
Before you whine “my crust is charred!” -- it’s on purpose, and it’s fabulous. The wood-fired gourmet pies come out incredibly hot (what’s the heat index level above piping?) and include chichi toppings like creme fraiche and Gruyère cheese. Since there will be approximately no leftovers, depart with a pint of the equally revered homemade ice cream. You can also make reservations for the hugely expanded patio area.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast and delivery via Caviar
Quality pizza in Harvard Square was a surprisingly tall order . . . until Waypoint came along. How can it be that a glamorous seafood restaurant has the area’s best pizza? We don’t ask questions -- we just eat. Every topping combo is a revelation, including a combo of chopped clams, parsley, peperoncino, and pecorino) But you’re here for the smoked whitefish pie, one of the most celebrated dishes in the city. It’s a bagel sandwich translated to pizza form with whitefish, mascarpone, dill, and capers with a seeded crust. The restaurant is also currently offering $1 oysters all day, every day.
How to order: Order takeout online
Armando's Pizza & Subs
Transplanted New Yorkers missing the mothership, this is where to head. It’s a classic, old-school, family-owned Sicilian joint, complete with Formica booths, tossed pizza dough, and Fanta in the fridge. The blunt counter service doesn’t hurt either, though it’s all an act. Those who spent their childhoods frequenting the place probably still remember founder Armando Paola and his propensity for doling out cookies and letting kids behind the counter roll out some dough (RIP -- wonderful man).
How to order: Call 617-229-5280 for takeout
Scampo at The Liberty Hotel
If you have 28 bucks burning a hole in your pocket and you want to blow it all on some pizza, we have a plan for you: Scampo’s lobster pizza. Lydia Shire’s signature dish is set at max decadence, with heavy cream, caramelized shallots, and the meat of a two-pound lobster. The other pies, from lamb to classic tomato ain’t too shabby either.
How to order: Order takeout online
After you’ve gotten completely sauced at home (we’re all stressed right now), head for a sauce-and-cheese palliative at this late-night go-to (or order it to go). The booze-absorbing slices drip with flavor, grease, and next-morning regret. Order extra sauce on the side for dipping.
How to order: Call 617-566-6468 to order takeout or delivery
If you were wondering whatever happened to Letters to Cleo bassist Scott Riebling, we’ve got news for you: He turned a lifetime pizza obsession into a right-turn career change and launched his own food truck, which then expanded into a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Brookline. Those individual pies quickly became the stuff of takeaway legend, a tri-hybrid of New York-, New Haven-, and Neapolitan-style, coal-cooked for three minutes in a 6,000-pound oven. Meat eaters might go to the veggie dark side after sampling the Buffalo Brussels sprout variety, though vegan substitutions also abound.
How to order: Order takeout via Toast