RESTAURANTS / ITALIAN

The 25 Best Pizza Places in Boston

Pizza has a long and illustrious history in the city of Boston. For all the talk of chowder and lobster, it’s the humble slice that Bostonians know inside out and are most snobbish about.

JUN 17, 2019

We vehemently defend our pies against sneering New Yorkers and Chicagoans, and for good reason. It’s some of the best in the country. Of course, pizza, like many things, is subjective.

But Boston caters to all tastes, textures, and budgets. Whether you like your thin crusts or your thick crusts, your Neapolitans or your Sicilians, your reds or whites, this city’s got you covered. While many places on this list offer both New York-style thin crust as well as thicker varieties, I’ve sorted the pizzas into what type of crust I like to order most often at each location.

My favorite pizza places in Boston run the gamut from takeout spots to elegant restaurants. If you’re unfamiliar with some of them, you’ve got some pie to try.

ISAAC BROWN

North End

Ernesto’s Pizza

69 Salem St, $

Famous for its huge servings, value, and endless variety of toppings, Ernesto’s Pizza is the real deal. Diners keep coming back for its pizzas with crispy thin crusts made from a tried and tested dough, ooey gooey whole milk cheese, and quality ingredients.

Get your calzones and pies delivered, call to reserve an order for pickup, or sit down at this little gem. Specialty options include chicken ranch, buffalo chicken, and chicken roni ricotta. And if you prefer gluten free, Ernesto’s checks that box.

TIPS & HINTS

Seating is limited during lunch but you can always do takeout instead. Their slice is a quarter of a large pizza, keep that in mind when ordering for kids.

North End

Regina Pizzeria

11 1/2 Thacher St, $$

Pushing a century, this local institution is older than many Bostonians’ furniture and grandparents combined.

Regina Pizzeria lives up to its name and legacy, producing some of the best brick-oven pies in Boston and, dare we say it, the nation. TripAdvisor’s users certainly think so—they named the restaurant the best pizza place in the United States in 2018. Regina’s pizza is so good it’s the official pizza of the Boston Red Sox.

Signature slices include the giambotta with sausage made from scratch and slices with unique toppings like broccoli and shrimp scampi. The Polcari family has expanded the franchise over the years, but the North End location of Regina Pizzeria remains the most beloved.

TIPS & HINTS

There can be a line (especially in summer during the tourist season) but it moves pretty quickly and is definitely worth the wait.

North End

Galleria Umberto

 289 Hanover St, $

After almost fifty years of serving up no-frills authentic Sicilian pizza, the Deuterio family has mastered the art of a good pie. The pizzeria offers just a few Italian dishes fresh out the oven, but it does so with aplomb and American flair.

From the risotto arancini to the potato panzerotti, the food is greasy, glorious, and very easy on the pocket. Galleria Umberto is open at lunchtime until the food is finito. So if you’re keen on some of its classic award-winning grub, expect a queue, take cash, and get it before it’s gone.

TIPS & HINTS

Don’t miss the arancini (stuffed rice balls).

Brookline

Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co.

1632 Beacon St, $$

Three years ago, Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co. made the leap from food truck to a full-on restaurant. Today, it’s still going strong, serving great pies and more from its quirky, family-friendly establishment.

The pizza has been described by some as Neapolitan meets New Haven and by the owners as highbrow. Look out for the pepperoni and hot honey pizza and the divine milkshakes. If you’re vegan, there’s an entire menu for you, and the menu has gluten-free options, too.

Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co. is open throughout the afternoon and evening, so pop in after work and treat your tastebuds.

TIPS & HINTS

Lots of vegan and vegetarian pizza options. Try the vegan cheeseburger pizza.

South End

Picco

513 Tremont St, $$

If you like your doughs tasty and your crusts charred, this seriously underrated bistro is the place to go. The menu also offers a lightly cooked option that might be more up your alley.

Either way, Picco will satisfy any and all cravings you have for cheesy, hearty pie. The bases are somewhere between thick and thin, chewy and airy.


Pizzas aside, Picco offers yummy gorditas, fish tacos, and craft drinks. Be sure to make a reservation if you don’t want to wait too long for a seat.

TIPS & HINTS

Favorite pizza on their menu: the Alsatian.

East Boston

Italian Express Pizzeria

336 Sumner St, $$

Featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” Italian Express Pizzeria has gone on to call its pie, with its slow-cooked tomato sauce, world famous. We can’t argue with that. The owners are two affable guys who make their guests feel truly welcome. Hospitality like this should be world famous.


Italian Express serves its customers traditional food from family recipes that have stood the test of time. Think generous portions of fried ravioli, eggplant parmesan, and meatballs. The seafood will have your mouth watering—the frutti di mare is essential.


Those with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed as Italian Express Pizzeria has a selection of cannoli and cakes to snack on after your savory meal.

TIPS & HINTS

It’s a small place that doesn’t take credit cards, but if you don’t have cash, there is an ATM on-site.

Cambridge

Area Four

500 Technology Square, $$

Another relatively new and hip establishment, Area Four is open for business all day. The main location in Cambridge includes the A4 Café, and there is an Area Four branch in the South End.

Area Four’s crust is made from a 10-year-old sourdough starter that lends it an amazing depth of flavor. The thin-crust pizzas are baked to a perfect texture. The breakfast pie at A4 Café is a hit, and if you’re not in the mood for pizza in the morning, give the OG Mess a try.

Local, seasonal produce is at the heart of what makes this café so well-loved among students, techies, and families alike.

TIPS & HINTS

My personal favorite pizza is the Not Pepperoni. Vegetarians will love the mushroom pizza (try it with the eggs on top).

East Boston

Santarpio’s Pizza

111 Chelsea St, $

Frequently listed among the best pizzerias in Boston, Santarpio’s Pizza is a connoisseur’s favorite and a simply decorated local landmark.

Originally founded in 1903 as a bakery, Tarp’s has been churning out New York-style pizzas since 1933 and is still owned by the Santarpio family. Many staff have been with the eatery for decades, and the same goes for regular customers.

The Daily Meal named Santarpio’s mozzarella, sausage, and garlic pizza as a legendary must-have. Along with pies, you’ll find some great barbecue options, as well as grilled lamb and steak tips.

Travelers who don’t have time to go into the city can also find the pizzeria’s offerings at Boston Logan International Airport.

TIPS & HINTS

Make sure you order the dough well-done. If you’re looking to get something to accompany your pizza, get the meat skewers. Excellent roasted sausage.

Chelsea

Ciao! Pizza and Pasta

59 Williams St, $$

The pasta’s crafted by hand, and the Neopolitan style gourmet pizza’s wood-fired to bring out each crispy, irresistible detail at Ciao! Pizza and Pasta.

This compact, rustic Chelsea spot offers lunch and dinner pies, with some of the signature menu items being the Margherita (San Marzano tomato, mozzarella, basil, extra virgin olive oil), the Prosciutto Di Parma (port and fig jam, gorgonzola, mozzarella), or the Fusilli Primavera (tomato infused pasta, Spring garlic, tomato, zucchini and Parmesan).

Ciao! Pizza and Pasta began in 2015 with the only wood-fired pizza oven, and it’s the type of joint that truly takes pizza up a notch – the atmosphere is a causal one, welcoming to the community it serves.

TIPS & HINTS

Limited seating options: indoor is only counter seating and the deck seating is not accommodating of large groups.

Allston

La Befana Pizzeria

15 N Beacon St, $

Yet another hole-in-the-wall pizza joint, La Befana’s Neapolitan-style pizza features fresh ingredients with airy dough and premium-quality mozzarella. People rave about La Befana’s delectable marinara sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes grown in Italy, the buffalo chicken, and the complimentary garlic knots. The abundance of cheese and free delivery don’t hurt either.

Speaking of delivery: La Befana’s pies are transported with plastic netting to allow for better airflow. The result? Pizza that’s not soggy.

TIPS & HINTS

Their garlic knots are awesome, they sometimes throw them in for free when you get a whole pie. If you have leftovers, it’s still great cold.

South Boston

Worden Hall

22 W Broadway, $$

The race is on! The unique decor at Worden Hall is informed with a racetrack theme, making this getaway all the more appealing for enthusiasts of the track. We head straight to the bar, covered with pennies and a great spot to look over a menu filled with American style pub comfort food.

Race day libations on your mind? They’ve got about forty draft beers on tap, signature cocktails, and – you might want to sit down for this – over a hundred whiskeys to choose from.

In addition to the American pub fare like curly fries and fried chicken, this South Boston favorite shines with a menu devoted to the deep dish pizza. Toppings include sauteed broccoli, handmade mozzarella, oyster mushrooms and grilled chicken.

TIPS & HINTS

Best of all, the kitchen’s open until 11:30pm most days of the week.

Beacon Hill

Figs

42 Charles St, $$

Known for making brittle gourmet pizzas in large freeform shapes (not round!), Figs by celebrity chef Todd English is a bougie but not overly pricey eatery. For the open-minded, the fig and prosciutto pizza is a must-have. The pastas, sandwiches, and salads are also worth a try.


Figs is a tight squeeze for patrons and a little louder than some might like, but it’s well-worth it for the flavorsome food. Beyond Massachusetts, there are branches of Figs in Florida, New York, and the Middle East.

TIPS & HINTS

Get the half and half so you can try two different flavors on the same pie.

Mission Hill

Penguin Pizza

735 Huntington Ave, $

A divey local hangout for youngsters and townies, Penguin Pizza is big on having a good time and serving good pizza. The budget-friendly joint has a great selection of beers to choose from.


You will find that the food, drinks, and service always hit the spot in this much-loved restaurant. Penguin’s pizzas are New York-style thincrust and perfect for garlic lovers. And if you go for brunch, try the Cap’n Crunch French Toast. You won’t regret it.

TIPS & HINTS

A college hangout spot popular with BU students. Great beer variety.

Watertown

Pizza Roma

212 Waverley Ave, $

Watertown’s best spot for glorious pizza pies is Pizza-Roma, a family-run spot that’s perfect when you need a couple pizzas to go. You’ll want to walk or settle for street parking – and bring cash!

Aside from those two points, this humble spot ranks highly for perfecting basic pizzas, ready shortly after you place the order. Regulars consider it a hidden gem, and it’s certainly true that you’ll have to search to find much online about this spot – it’s lovingly embraced for an old-school charm that gives the joint a unique character all its own.

NY-style pizza isn’t all they offer, though – check out a handful of subs and salads to complement your to-go pizza. Pizza-Roma might be a small place without a lot of trendy buzz, but it has traditional style pizzas covered, and done right.

TIPS & HINTS

They make a great cheese pizza as well as chicken and broccoli subs.

Cambridge

Pinocchio’s Pizza and Subs

74 Winthrop St, $

Pinocchio’s Pizza and Subs has been feeding Harvard for fifty years. The place is so nostalgic that it’s even mentioned in the TV show “Suits.”

In addition to hot subs, steak sandwiches, and other staples, two types of pizza are on the menu here. We’re talking fluffy deep-dish Sicilian pizza or regular thin-crust Neapolitans.

Oh, and did we mention? Mark Zuckerberg is a big fan of Noch’s.

TIPS & HINTS

I prefer the Sicilian slices myself. Great steak and cheese as well.

Brighton

Pino’s Pizza

7701, 1920 Beacon St, $

Speaking of celebrities’ favorites, Conan O’Brien has planted his flag at Pino’s Pizza. Yet another long-standing establishment, Pino’s is most frequented by Boston College students and their families. It’s known for being reliably open between 10 a.m. and 1 a.m.

The Sicilian pizza is up there with the best slices in town, as are the New York-style pizzas. This is not a fancy pizzeria, but it’s definitely a fill-your-belly joint.

TIPS & HINTS

Some places can do other dishes well in addition to their pizza. Pino’s is not one of these places.

Somerville

Leone’s Sub And Pizza

2935 292 Broadway, $

Family owned and operated since 1954, Leone’s provides good old-fashioned takeout. Although it’s short on ambiance, there’s no shortage of scrumptious square Sicilian slices made the way Nonna used to make ’em. And the subs are as good as the pies.

The good thing about this place is you won’t find long lines between you and the chow, even though this is Captain America’s pizzeria of choice.

TIPS & HINTS

If you’re looking for a sub try the meatball. Slow simmered all day in house-made sauce. Or the steak and cheese.

Charlestown

Brewer’s Fork

7 Moulton St, $$

Something of a newbie on the food scene, Brewer’s Fork has a chef at its helm, so the wood-fired pizzas are on point.

Brewer’s Fork has plenty of seating and modern interiors, so visit for the atmosphere; the smoky, roasted food; and the extensive drink options. The restaurant even offers an impressive variety of raw items on the menu. (Try the cured beef salad.)

TIPS & HINTS

Great selection of beers and ciders. Venue as a whole is very kid-friendly

Newton

Max & Leo’s Pizza

 325 Washington St, $$

Identical twins Max and Leo Candidus have made something of a name for themselves, first with their mobile pizza business, and now with their eponymous eateries serving delicious artisanal pizzas.

The pies are cooked well-done with sprinklings of pecorino romano. But you won’t go wrong with the delightful chicken wings either.

The Newton branch is pint-sized, but Max & Leo’s has two other branches in Fenway and Sudbury.

TIPS & HINTS

The space is a bit tight, so bringing in large parties isn’t recommended.

Cambridge

Armando’s

 163 Huron Ave, $

Armando’s is hailed by many as being Boston’s best slice of New York pizza style, and they bring Cambridge friends huge slices of thin-crust goodness in a simple setting – but that’s more than enough for us.

Plenty rave about the eggplant pizza, but we stick with the classic pepperoni – goodness, there’s nothing better this side of the Atlantic. Submarine sandwiches are also popular, here. In fact, Armando’s does great business with families in the area who order up classic pies for the kids with dads being quick to order subs customized to their tastes.

Armando’s is quick, casual and gets right to the point with the world’s greatest cravable culinary creation – New York style pizza pies, and it just doesn’t get any better than this.

TIPS & HINTS

 The restaurant doesn’t have much in the way of decor, but the pies are served fresh right out of the oven. Bring cash as cards may not be accepted.

Beacon Hill

The Upper Crust Pizzeria

20 Charles St, $

This Beacon Hill restaurant opened in 2001; today, there are numerous branches around Boston, as well as in Virginia and California. Open kitchens allow you to see the dough being rolled out uber-thin in the Neapolitan style. Family style seating adds a touch of Italy.

Give the Hawaiian pizzas a try if you’re not opposed to pineapple. They have an awesome kick to them courtesy of some jalapeño peppers. There’s a catering menu for events, and if you don’t feel like leaving home, Upper Crust provides free delivery.

TIPS & HINTS

Plan to eat somewhere else as there are only a few seats for dining.

Medford

Bocelli’s Restaurant

374 Main St, $$

North End food at non-North End prices. Bocelli’s Restaurant is a proper, old-school restaurant that replaced the equally adored DePasquale’s. It has a basement dining room for events and special occasions.


The restaurant prepares all the Italian dishes you could ever want. And then there’s the pizza:thin-crust classic slices bound to hit the spot. Portions are sizable across the menu, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.

TIPS & HINTS

Love the lasagna, eggplant rollatini, stuffed artichoke, and chicken parm. For dessert, get a tiramisu or caramel flan.

Back Bay

Woody’s Grill & Tap

58 Hemenway St, $$

There’s no better combination than meeting up with the gang over a great pizza, a cold draft beer and a thrilling game on the television – and that’s exactly what Woody’s Grill & Tap brings folks in Boston.

But it’s a whole lot more than pizza – in fact, their menu is packed with tons of great American fare, like a sirloin burger or fish and chips. Some of the entrees really stand out for being taken to the next level, like their pan seared salmon, served with lemon caper risotto, fresh arugula and Romano cheese.

TIPS & HINTS

What’s on tap? Well, Woody’s Grill & Tap has a rotating selection of up to fourteen great beer choices, and an additional twenty-five or so canned options ready in the fridge.

Beacon Hill

Florina Pizzeria & Paninoteca

16 Derne St, $$

Florina Pizzeria & Paninoteca currently resides where Derne Street Deli used to be in Beacon Hill. It’s open for lunch and dinner only on weekdays, something many locals lament.

However, Florina’s does a solid job when it is open. The sausage arrabiata pizza is a must-try, and the pesto pasta salad is worthy of celebration.

TIPS & HINTS

A slice is 1/4 of a well-made pizza. Thin but filling.

Back Bay

Dirty Water Dough

222 Newbury St, $$

Craft pizza, ciabatta and salads are what Dirty Water Dough Co. is known for, served in a space with natural wood accents, large windows and a fireplace.

The name itself is a nod to 1960s Boston garage rock greats the Standells; their tune “Dirty Water” refers to water being so polluted that beer had to be used to make bread (and their Dirty Water IPA is a not-so-secret ingredient in their pizza dough). The place feels like home, and is a casual destination for couples and young families – taking it in by the slice or ordering up a whole pie.

There’s a gluten-free option that’s so good everyone gives it a spin; regardless of which dough you go with, top toppings here are fresh sliced mozzarella, caramelized onions, sweet sausage and prosciutto.

TIPS & HINTS

Food will likely take a while, so don’t go if you’re in a hurry.