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An overhead photo of a blistered Neapolitan-style pizza loaded with roni cups.
A pepperoni pizza from Source in Harvard Square.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Where to Eat Excellent Pizza Around Boston

From old-school classics to fancy wood-fired pies

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A pepperoni pizza from Source in Harvard Square.
| Erika Adams/Eater Boston

The debate over whether or not Boston’s pizza scene is a contender for the country’s best has historically received the short end of the stick, especially when compared with the likes of New York and New Haven. However, the city is experiencing a pizza revolution led by a recent wave of wood-fired obsessives marking Boston as a hot spot (no pun intended) for some of America’s best pies. Pair this with the city’s classic pizzerias that have been around for decades, and Boston is emerging as a world-class pizza destination. Here are some of the spots that showcase the best of today’s Boston-area pizza.

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Mortadella Head

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If you’re looking for a switch-up from the standard thin-crust pizzas that are sprinkled all over Boston, Mortadella Head serves up a Roman-style, thick-crust pizza loaded with toppings. Slices are the way to go at Mortadella Head — order the chef’s special, which includes a variety of six Roman slices that serve as an excellent sampler of the menu. Try the Commendatore with porchetta, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, and grated pecorino.

Pizzaiolo Juan G. Perez — better known by his popular Instagram handle, @juangpizza — has been honing in on his craft since he started out in the business in 2009. As the executive chef of Neopolitan-style pizzeria Posto in Davis Square, Perez oversees an acclaimed menu that balances traditional Neopolitan pizza-making with innovative twists, like the “Almondine,” topped with toasted almonds, ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, and chili-infused honey. The approach has plenty of fans: Posto and Perez were recently recognized by one of the world’s most prestigious pizza reviews, the Italian-run 50TopPizza, which praised the restaurant as “the right place to eat a classic Neapolitan pizza.”

Ciao Pizza and Pasta

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Ciao opened in Chelsea in 2015, and like its crust, has quickly risen to the top of Boston’s pizza echelon for outstanding wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza. It’s a tiny storefront, but there’s a bit of counter seating inside and a few seats outdoors in warmer seasons. Try a Nutella pizza for dessert because why not?

Closeup of Neapolitan-style pizza with a black-speckled crust, topped with ground sausage, blobs of mozzarella, and slices of cherry peppers
Salsiccia pizza (cherry peppers and house-made fennel sausage) at Ciao.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Just look at those ‘roni cups. Source debuted in Harvard Square in late 2019, focusing on local sourcing (hence the name). Pizza is the main attraction on the gastropubby menu, with the pepperoni, garnished with caramelized red onions and vin cotto, claiming top billing on social media. But don’t stop there: Other excellent combinations include Tuscan kale with goat cheese, Rhode Island mushrooms, and hot honey.

A wood-fired pizza with charred crust and pepperoni cups is on a wooden table surrounded by assorted small plates.
Pepperoni pizza and more at Source in Harvard Square.
Source Restaurants

Santarpio's Pizza

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Family-owned and operated since 1903 and serving pizza since 1933, Santarpio’s in East Boston is a time-tested landmark for pizza in Boston, and the few non-pizza items on the menu are must-tries, too. Get the lamb skewers, steak tips, and sausage made in-house, all served with hot cherry peppers and fresh bread as an unorthodox side for the main course pizza.

The Santarpio’s building is light tan and has a giant sign on the side — dark brown with white and orange lettering — that reads “Santarpio’s Pizza Bar B-Q” and features a man holding a pizza
Santarpio’s in East Boston.
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater Boston

The screaming hot pizza oven at Gufo, the modern Italian restaurant which opened last summer, makes for delightful, crisp-edged pies. A standout includes the broccoli rabe, with tomato, mozzarella, white anchovy and ground prosciutto. The pepperoni punches up the flavor, too, by swapping in vodka sauce for the usual red sauce, and adding buttery Castelvetrano olives. Savor the slices in the chill, funky atmosphere where you can also hit up the bocce court in the back, when the weather cooperates.

Pizzeria Regina

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For better or worse, the Polcari family’s restaurant group has expanded significantly since the 1926 debut of Pizzeria Regina in the North End; these days, most locations are quick-service kiosks. But standing in line at the original full-service Thacher Street location is still an essential Boston pizza experience that has an irreplicable flavor from the hundred-year-old oven. Try the Giambotta pizza — topped with every traditional topping the restaurant offers — for a taste of Regina’s classic brick-oven pizza.

The exterior window of the original Regina Pizzeria location in Boston’s North End includes red and green neon signage that says “Regina,” as well as printed red, green, and white signage reading “Pizza to Go,” “Pizzeria Regina,” and “Beer & Wine.”
The original Regina Pizzeria location in Boston’s North End.
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Si Cara

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For fans of avant garde Neapolitan-style pies who have a hankering for a puffier crust, head to chef Michael Lombardi’s latest endeavor, Si Cara, in Cambridge. At this chic Central Square spot, Lombardi focuses on canotto-style pizza, a cousin to the Neapolitan with a showstopping, high-reaching crust that has gained recent popularity in Italy. Don’t miss the alla gricia with tender, piping-hot guanciale. Each pizza order comes with dipping sauces for the crust.

A Neapolitan-ish pizza with an extra-puffy, charred crust sits on a plate on a wooden table, surrounding by glasses of wine; a platter of bread, meat, and cheese; and more.
The canotto-style pizza at Si Cara.
C. McIntosh Photo/Si Cara

Galleria Umberto

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For a true North End experience, head to this casual Hanover Street spot, which is only open for lunch every day except Sunday, and closes as soon as they sell out. The lines are long but move quickly for the Sicilian slices and arancini — and that’s almost entirely the menu, plus beer and wine and a few other food items. Cash only. In 2018, the James Beard Foundation proclaimed it an “American classic.”

A man in a blue shirt with white stripes and a white hat and apron serves Sicilian-style pizza at a counter. A Coca-Cola fridge is visible in the background.
Pizza at Galleria Umberto.
Katie Chudy/Eater Boston

Quattro

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Opened in 2013, this is surprisingly one of the North End’s only true Neapolitan-style pizza joints, and it has built a solid reputation for emphasizing the simplicity of ingredients that go into each of its pizzas. For instance, San Marzano tomatoes, good olive oil, mozzarella, and basil are all that go onto their fabulous margherita pie. Quattro also features a rotisserie menu that is not to be missed.

Ernesto's Pizza

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A North End staple. Ernesto’s has been around for generations and has stayed around thanks to the consistency of their pizza. Known for having the biggest slice in Boston, when a “slice” is ordered at Ernesto’s, customers are given the equivalent of two large slices — or a quarter of a whole pie. A fan-favorite is the genius pairing of ricotta with eggplant and broccoli, which contrasts nicely with the unctuous cheese.

Area Four

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Perfectly embracing Boston’s wood-fired pizza renaissance, Area Four serves up beautiful pies with a heavily blistered crust that benefits from a 30-plus-hour ferment and a sourdough starter. Try the carnivore pizza, topped with big, spicy pieces of soppressata as well as sausage and bacon.

A closeup shot of a soppressata-topped pizza with a puffy, charred crust.
“Not pepperoni” pizza (soppressata) at Area Four.
Area Four

Max & Leo's

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Max & Leo’s coal-fired pizzas cook within minutes around 900 degrees and come out with a markedly blistered crust; those who don’t love pizza cooked well-done should go elsewhere. Nachos are also coal-fired, and there are a variety of roasted wings available, plus salads, sandwiches, and more. There are a couple more locations in the area, but Newton is the original.

A pizza with a black-speckled puffy crust is held on a light wooden pizza peel in front of a coal-fired pizza oven
Pizza at Max & Leo’s.
Max & Leo’s

Da LaPosta

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Newton’s da LaPosta, a past “Best Pizza” winner at the Boston Pizza Festival, boasts meticulously crafted pizzas. Run by internationally recognized pizzaiolo Mario LaPosta, the pizzeria could keep up with any hole-in-the-wall favorite in Naples. LaPosta uses a naturally leavened sourdough that is made from a seven-year-old starter and a proprietary flour blend from Central Milling in Utah. Once the dough is mixed and rolled, LaPosta ferments it for at least eight to 12 hours. Try it out topped with a classic spread of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil, or a seasonal specialty like summer corn.

Three Neapolitan pizzas with puffy, charred crusts are laid out on a wooden table.
A spread of pizzas from da LaPosta.
da LaPosta

Picco’s name is actually an acronym — Pizza and Ice Cream Company — and the popular South End restaurant does both things exceedingly well. Picco understands the importance and integrity of the dough. The pizza is a dream come true for bread lovers thanks to its prominent, puffy crust, which gets just the right amount of char.

Closeup shot of a charred, thick pepperoni pizza, where the pepperoni is curled up into little cups.
Pepperoni pizza at Picco.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Tenderoni's

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Lest you think Tenderoni’s is all style — the disco-heaven Fenway dining room decked out with music memorabilia and neon signs — and no substance, try the pizza. Pies range from the simple (cheese, plus the namesake crispy pepperoni with its blend of cheeses) to the party on a plate with a ton of toppings. Hits include the ono grinds, which sees pork belly from sister spot Sweet Cheeks paired with pineapple, jalapeno “goo,” and cilantro. Check out the buffalo brussels, too, which stars the (sometimes decisive) vegetable in place of fried chicken. Thanks to custom pans, each slice boasts crispy edges on the thick and pillowy crust, with tons of sauces for dipped. For a quick slice, order from the takeout window in Fenway or hit up the food stall in High Street Place downtown.

Bardo's Bar Pizza

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The South Shore’s famous bar pizza has taken South Boston by storm. Located inside the lively Castle Island Brewery, Bardo’s brings the crispy-edged deliciousness of bar pies to the neighborhood. Nothing says New England quite like an IPA from a Boston brewery and a pickle-covered bar pizza. (While not the first thing that comes to mind for a pizza topping, pickles are the norm for bar pies and should be experienced at least once.)

A crispy-edged pizza topped with sausage, cheese, sliced red onions, and spicy red peppers.
The Social Climber at Bardo’s in South Boston.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Pino's Pizza

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Just down the block from the Cleveland Circle T stop, Pino’s Pizza is a hidden gem that Boston College students have frequented throughout its 61 years on Beacon Street. The sauce has a tangy bite, and the dough brings an ideal balance of chew and crunch. Pino’s has won awards, but wants none of the attention — they have the “10 commandments of Pino’s” printed on every menu emphasizing the commitment to quality over recognition and praise. Keep it simple and start with the cheese pizza for a true Pino’s experience.

Mortadella Head

If you’re looking for a switch-up from the standard thin-crust pizzas that are sprinkled all over Boston, Mortadella Head serves up a Roman-style, thick-crust pizza loaded with toppings. Slices are the way to go at Mortadella Head — order the chef’s special, which includes a variety of six Roman slices that serve as an excellent sampler of the menu. Try the Commendatore with porchetta, broccoli rabe, roasted peppers, and grated pecorino.

Posto

Pizzaiolo Juan G. Perez — better known by his popular Instagram handle, @juangpizza — has been honing in on his craft since he started out in the business in 2009. As the executive chef of Neopolitan-style pizzeria Posto in Davis Square, Perez oversees an acclaimed menu that balances traditional Neopolitan pizza-making with innovative twists, like the “Almondine,” topped with toasted almonds, ricotta, mozzarella, fontina, and chili-infused honey. The approach has plenty of fans: Posto and Perez were recently recognized by one of the world’s most prestigious pizza reviews, the Italian-run 50TopPizza, which praised the restaurant as “the right place to eat a classic Neapolitan pizza.”

Ciao Pizza and Pasta

Ciao opened in Chelsea in 2015, and like its crust, has quickly risen to the top of Boston’s pizza echelon for outstanding wood-fired, Neapolitan-style pizza. It’s a tiny storefront, but there’s a bit of counter seating inside and a few seats outdoors in warmer seasons. Try a Nutella pizza for dessert because why not?

Closeup of Neapolitan-style pizza with a black-speckled crust, topped with ground sausage, blobs of mozzarella, and slices of cherry peppers
Salsiccia pizza (cherry peppers and house-made fennel sausage) at Ciao.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

Source

Just look at those ‘roni cups. Source debuted in Harvard Square in late 2019, focusing on local sourcing (hence the name). Pizza is the main attraction on the gastropubby menu, with the pepperoni, garnished with caramelized red onions and vin cotto, claiming top billing on social media. But don’t stop there: Other excellent combinations include Tuscan kale with goat cheese, Rhode Island mushrooms, and hot honey.

A wood-fired pizza with charred crust and pepperoni cups is on a wooden table surrounded by assorted small plates.
Pepperoni pizza and more at Source in Harvard Square.
Source Restaurants

Santarpio's Pizza

Family-owned and operated since 1903 and serving pizza since 1933, Santarpio’s in East Boston is a time-tested landmark for pizza in Boston, and the few non-pizza items on the menu are must-tries, too. Get the lamb skewers, steak tips, and sausage made in-house, all served with hot cherry peppers and fresh bread as an unorthodox side for the main course pizza.

The Santarpio’s building is light tan and has a giant sign on the side — dark brown with white and orange lettering — that reads “Santarpio’s Pizza Bar B-Q” and features a man holding a pizza
Santarpio’s in East Boston.
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater Boston

Gufo

The screaming hot pizza oven at Gufo, the modern Italian restaurant which opened last summer, makes for delightful, crisp-edged pies. A standout includes the broccoli rabe, with tomato, mozzarella, white anchovy and ground prosciutto. The pepperoni punches up the flavor, too, by swapping in vodka sauce for the usual red sauce, and adding buttery Castelvetrano olives. Savor the slices in the chill, funky atmosphere where you can also hit up the bocce court in the back, when the weather cooperates.

Pizzeria Regina

For better or worse, the Polcari family’s restaurant group has expanded significantly since the 1926 debut of Pizzeria Regina in the North End; these days, most locations are quick-service kiosks. But standing in line at the original full-service Thacher Street location is still an essential Boston pizza experience that has an irreplicable flavor from the hundred-year-old oven. Try the Giambotta pizza — topped with every traditional topping the restaurant offers — for a taste of Regina’s classic brick-oven pizza.

The exterior window of the original Regina Pizzeria location in Boston’s North End includes red and green neon signage that says “Regina,” as well as printed red, green, and white signage reading “Pizza to Go,” “Pizzeria Regina,” and “Beer & Wine.”
The original Regina Pizzeria location in Boston’s North End.
Terrence B. Doyle/Eater

Si Cara

For fans of avant garde Neapolitan-style pies who have a hankering for a puffier crust, head to chef Michael Lombardi’s latest endeavor, Si Cara, in Cambridge. At this chic Central Square spot, Lombardi focuses on canotto-style pizza, a cousin to the Neapolitan with a showstopping, high-reaching crust that has gained recent popularity in Italy. Don’t miss the alla gricia with tender, piping-hot guanciale. Each pizza order comes with dipping sauces for the crust.

A Neapolitan-ish pizza with an extra-puffy, charred crust sits on a plate on a wooden table, surrounding by glasses of wine; a platter of bread, meat, and cheese; and more.
The canotto-style pizza at Si Cara.
C. McIntosh Photo/Si Cara

Galleria Umberto

For a true North End experience, head to this casual Hanover Street spot, which is only open for lunch every day except Sunday, and closes as soon as they sell out. The lines are long but move quickly for the Sicilian slices and arancini — and that’s almost entirely the menu, plus beer and wine and a few other food items. Cash only. In 2018, the James Beard Foundation proclaimed it an “American classic.”

A man in a blue shirt with white stripes and a white hat and apron serves Sicilian-style pizza at a counter. A Coca-Cola fridge is visible in the background.
Pizza at Galleria Umberto.
Katie Chudy/Eater Boston

Quattro

Opened in 2013, this is surprisingly one of the North End’s only true Neapolitan-style pizza joints, and it has built a solid reputation for emphasizing the simplicity of ingredients that go into each of its pizzas. For instance, San Marzano tomatoes, good olive oil, mozzarella, and basil are all that go onto their fabulous margherita pie. Quattro also features a rotisserie menu that is not to be missed.

Ernesto's Pizza

A North End staple. Ernesto’s has been around for generations and has stayed around thanks to the consistency of their pizza. Known for having the biggest slice in Boston, when a “slice” is ordered at Ernesto’s, customers are given the equivalent of two large slices — or a quarter of a whole pie. A fan-favorite is the genius pairing of ricotta with eggplant and broccoli, which contrasts nicely with the unctuous cheese.

Area Four

Perfectly embracing Boston’s wood-fired pizza renaissance, Area Four serves up beautiful pies with a heavily blistered crust that benefits from a 30-plus-hour ferment and a sourdough starter. Try the carnivore pizza, topped with big, spicy pieces of soppressata as well as sausage and bacon.

A closeup shot of a soppressata-topped pizza with a puffy, charred crust.
“Not pepperoni” pizza (soppressata) at Area Four.
Area Four

Max & Leo's

Max & Leo’s coal-fired pizzas cook within minutes around 900 degrees and come out with a markedly blistered crust; those who don’t love pizza cooked well-done should go elsewhere. Nachos are also coal-fired, and there are a variety of roasted wings available, plus salads, sandwiches, and more. There are a couple more locations in the area, but Newton is the original.

A pizza with a black-speckled puffy crust is held on a light wooden pizza peel in front of a coal-fired pizza oven
Pizza at Max & Leo’s.
Max & Leo’s

Da LaPosta

Newton’s da LaPosta, a past “Best Pizza” winner at the Boston Pizza Festival, boasts meticulously crafted pizzas. Run by internationally recognized pizzaiolo Mario LaPosta, the pizzeria could keep up with any hole-in-the-wall favorite in Naples. LaPosta uses a naturally leavened sourdough that is made from a seven-year-old starter and a proprietary flour blend from Central Milling in Utah. Once the dough is mixed and rolled, LaPosta ferments it for at least eight to 12 hours. Try it out topped with a classic spread of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil, or a seasonal specialty like summer corn.

Three Neapolitan pizzas with puffy, charred crusts are laid out on a wooden table.
A spread of pizzas from da LaPosta.
da LaPosta

Picco

Picco’s name is actually an acronym — Pizza and Ice Cream Company — and the popular South End restaurant does both things exceedingly well. Picco understands the importance and integrity of the dough. The pizza is a dream come true for bread lovers thanks to its prominent, puffy crust, which gets just the right amount of char.

Closeup shot of a charred, thick pepperoni pizza, where the pepperoni is curled up into little cups.
Pepperoni pizza at Picco.
Rachel Leah Blumenthal/Eater Boston

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Tenderoni's

Lest you think Tenderoni’s is all style — the disco-heaven Fenway dining room decked out with music memorabilia and neon signs — and no substance, try the pizza. Pies range from the simple (cheese, plus the namesake crispy pepperoni with its blend of cheeses) to the party on a plate with a ton of toppings. Hits include the ono grinds, which sees pork belly from sister spot Sweet Cheeks paired with pineapple, jalapeno “goo,” and cilantro. Check out the buffalo brussels, too, which stars the (sometimes decisive) vegetable in place of fried chicken. Thanks to custom pans, each slice boasts crispy edges on the thick and pillowy crust, with tons of sauces for dipped. For a quick slice, order from the takeout window in Fenway or hit up the food stall in High Street Place downtown.

Bardo's Bar Pizza

The South Shore’s famous bar pizza has taken South Boston by storm. Located inside the lively Castle Island Brewery, Bardo’s brings the crispy-edged deliciousness of bar pies to the neighborhood. Nothing says New England quite like an IPA from a Boston brewery and a pickle-covered bar pizza. (While not the first thing that comes to mind for a pizza topping, pickles are the norm for bar pies and should be experienced at least once.)

A crispy-edged pizza topped with sausage, cheese, sliced red onions, and spicy red peppers.
The Social Climber at Bardo’s in South Boston.
Erika Adams/Eater Boston

Pino's Pizza

Just down the block from the Cleveland Circle T stop, Pino’s Pizza is a hidden gem that Boston College students have frequented throughout its 61 years on Beacon Street. The sauce has a tangy bite, and the dough brings an ideal balance of chew and crunch. Pino’s has won awards, but wants none of the attention — they have the “10 commandments of Pino’s” printed on every menu emphasizing the commitment to quality over recognition and praise. Keep it simple and start with the cheese pizza for a true Pino’s experience.

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