Food & Drink

The best pizza place in 15 Boston neighborhoods

Published On 10/22/2014 Published On 10/22/2014
Sonya Highfield Photography
Flickr/Nathan Cooke
All Star Pizza Bar
Meaghan Agnew
Dirty Water Dough
Stoked Wood Fire Pizza
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1. Pastoral 345 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210 (Fort Point Channel)

Pastoral's got rustic pizzas, like duck sausage and clam topped with house-made mozzarella, as well as the option for you to grab their pastas, sauces, and cheeses to make your own treats at home.

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2. Santarpio's Pizza 111 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128 (East Boston)

Santarpio's Pizza has been around since 1903, so when we say “old-school,” we mean it. Much to the dismay of certain Bostonians, Santarpio’s is known for its New York-style pies, whose chewy crusts are thick and crispy enough to bear the weight of the generously distributed Italian cheese and sauce. Keep it simple with a cheese pizza, or get the sausage & garlic pie for a kick of meat. Santarpio's is far from a one-hit wonder though: its skewers of lamb and steak tips make up a solid barbecue option, as does the house-made sausage on its own. The East Boston location is cash-only, so spare yourself a scolding from one of the notoriously cranky serves and head to the ATM beforehand.

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3. Area Four Somerville 445 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143 (Somerville)

This cafe/bar serves up sick wood-fired pizzas made from simple, quality ingredients -- alongside great coffee and baked goods.

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4. Galleria Umberto 289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113 (North End)

Galleria Umberto is worth the trek to the North End. The pizza cash-only spot has been a neighborhood staple for awhile, serving Sicilian-style pizza and other Italian eats. The Sicilian pizza, in particular, is great for three reasons: it's cheesy, the crust is thick, and it has the perfect amount of chew for those of you who are tired of thin crust. However, we suggest going earlier rather than later because the shop shuts down once all the pies are sold.

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5. Pizzeria Posto 187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144 (Porter Square)

From a chef-turned-first-time owner eager to break the location's curse (four spots in five years), PP's a modern take on the "classic Italian wood-fire pizzeria and enoteca" plating a mélange of small bites, pastas, and pizzas in an airy high-ceiling'd "woodsy-meets-industrial" themed space replete with exposed brick/stone accents, floor-to-ceiling windows, a black/dark grey slate bar, an exposed wood fire oven, and a private dining room behind dual sliding doors.

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6. Picco 513 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

Picco's is a casual Italian-fusion spot that slings tasty appetizers and mains -- from tomato bruschetta to fish tacos with creme fraiche -- but the real star here is the charred pizzas. The crust finds a happy medium between not too thick and not too thin, slightly bubbly, airy, and crispy. It also offers craft beer and homemade ice cream which go perfectly with any meal.

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7. Armando's Pizza & Subs 163 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138 (West Cambridge)

Hidden in Cambridge's Huron Village, Armando's is an old-school Sicilian joint complete with Formica booths, tossed pizza dough, and Fanta in the fridge. It's one of the few shops in the area serving deep-dish Sicilian pizza by the tray and half tray. The thick and crispy pies are as authentic as it gets (the owner, Armando, emigrated to America from Italy in the ‘50s), and the low price point attracts Cambridge's hoards of college students.

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8. Emma's Pizza 40 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Kendall Square)

You won't find your average thin-crust Neapolitan pizza at Emma's. Instead, you'll find a cracker-meets-flatbread-like crust that's more crunchy than chewy, and nontraditional pies like The Kendall (roasted red peppers and caramelized onions), The People's Republic (bacon and scallions), and the Greek-inspired Middle East (kalamata and feta). The cozy Kendall Square spot has been around since the '60s, and though there's often a wait on weekend nights, you can easily kill time with a walk around the block and a glass of red wine.

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9. All Star Pizza Bar 1238 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (Inman Square)

The brothers behind All Star Sandwich Bar are behind this colorful, bare-bones pizza shop that's a favorite among vegans and vegetarians for its alternative, non-meat toppings. The 20-seat spot serves four varieties each day, one with cheese, one with pepperoni, one "funky" option such as barbecue duck, and one vegetarian option. You'll find Daiya mozzarella on the vegan pizzas, along with toppings like almond milk bechamel sauce, meat substitutes, and plenty of veggies. No matter what you choose, you're in for a massive, high-quality thin-crust slice.

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10. Pino's Pizza 1920 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02135 (Cleveland Circle)

These Cleveland Circle pizza-slingers have been churning out simple, classic slices and whole pies since 1962. Nothing fancy, just basic pizza goodness.

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11. Cambridge, 1. 27 Church St, Cambridge, MA 02138 (Harvard Square)

Thin-crust pizza might not sound like a big deal, but this Harvard Square gem charcoal-grills its pies and tops them with self-proclaimed "adult-like" combinations that transform pizza from casual to upscale. Toppings include refined pairings like fresh lobster and corn, and more traditional Italian ingredients like ‘nduja (a spicy pork salumi spread), broccoli rabe, and taleggio. Housed inside a former fire station, the stylish space has wood and brick accents, and serves craft beer and Italian wines.

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12. Scampo 215 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114 (Beacon Hill)

Located in the Liberty Hotel, Scampo is an upscale Italian restaurant with Mediterranean influences.

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13. Dirty Water Dough Co. 222 Newbury St, Boston, MA 02116 (Back Bay)

With a booster shot of custom-made Cape Ann IPA in every bit of dough (a refreshing alternative to actual dirty water, Boston patriotism aside), Dirty Water Dough Co. is serving up both classic pies and pizzas with exciting new toppings (Steak 'n Cola, mac 'n cheese pizza).

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14. Tavolo 1918 Dorchester Ave , Dorchester, MA 02124 (Dorchester)

From the Icarus/Ashmont Grill guy, Tavolo serves up Old World Pan-Italian in a sleek, high-ceiling'd, 120-seat space featuring two dining rooms, a 40-seat fire-slate bar, stained-blue concrete floors, Campari soda light fixtures, and a "crated" wall made by a local artist relying on nothing but empty wine bottles and substance abuse issues.