The Best Pizza Places In Boston
photo credit: Brian Samuels
Is there an official Boston-style pizza? Some would point to legends like the thin, charred crust at Santarpio or the brick oven-style at Regina, while others would sing the praises of the South Shore bar pie. Us? We’re just here to recognize that there’s a lot of really good pizza in town.
That’s why we spent months with a seriously tough task: trying every combination of dough, sauce, and cheese we could find on a quest for the best. And now, we finally have this guide to the 15 best pizza places in Boston you need to check out ASAP.
Open since 1903, this Eastie classic may not look like much, but the pizza is near-perfect. Pull up a seat at the bar with a friend, get a pitcher of High Life, and bite into a slice that’s still scorching hot from the oven. Order the sausage that comes with a garlicky and sweet sauce, or branch out with the shrimp scampi pie. Once you crunch into that cornmeal-dusted crust with an impossibly great char, you’ll understand why we’d willingly stub our pinky toe for a single bite.
About 70% of the time you pull up to the original Regina in the North End, there’s gonna be a line. And that’s when you’ll start to wonder if it’s worth the wait. The answer is a big fat yes. The pizzeria has been open since 1926, and you’d swear some of the staff have been there that long too—they know exactly what they’re doing when they’re pulling thin-crust pizzas out of the brick oven.
The sauce is slightly spicy and kissed with a little romano, which gives it a mighty punch even if you skip the pepperoni or sausage toppings. Don’t skip them, though: while the specialty pies are solid, Regina excels at classic toppings. This endorsement is only for the North End spot, though—the other outposts can’t even touch this location’s greatness.
Umberto is a counter-service slice joint on Hanover that opens exactly at 10:45am and closes when they run out, which is usually around 12:30pm. They make thick, square Sicilian pies and nail the style—the crust is surprisingly light, and the sauce settles into the airy pockets, creating that perfect blend of bready, tomato goodness with just the right amount of cheese. The slices are also all around $2, making it the cheapest option on this list.
Dragon Pizza has gotten some buzz lately, but all you need to know is the pizza is excellent and the vibes are great. The counter-service spot has murals of cassettes and a framed photo of John Dalton (that’s Patrick Swayze’s bouncer character in Roadhouse) on the walls. They don’t serve booze, just New York-style pizza by the slice. The cheese and pepperoni are solid, and they also do stuff like nacho slices that NYC places wouldn’t be caught dead serving. Definitely save space for whatever homemade gelato they’re serving that day—the dark chocolate is rich in all the right ways and the Gucci vanilla delivers on the designer name.
Bardo’s is located in Southie’s Castle Island Brewery, and they specialize in New England South Shore-style bar pizza, which is the closest Boston can claim to its own style of pizza. Baked in a small pan, the cheese extends over the edge of the crust, giving each bite a satisfying crunch. It’s greasy in the best way, with a cracker-like crust, and you’ll find interesting and must-order toppings like Portuguese linguica and pickles. Ask for it extra crispy and pregame your pie with some excellent garlic and hot honey wings.
North Shore roast beef and South Shore bar pie is about as uniquely Massachusetts as it gets, and Somerville’s Hot Box has both. Located right in Bow Market, they make thin-crust pizzas that are precisely the right size for your pizza party of one. We love the spicy pickle pizza (yes, it has hot and diced-up pickles), but if that’s too wild, there’s buffalo chicken, pepperoni, and other classics.
If you like your pies well done, head to Picco in the South End. The crust here is so charred you might think it came out of a Kingsford bag, but the end result is a really crispy end product that you’d gladly eat like a cracker. Order the eggplant, mushroom, swiss chard, and provolone pie topped with a miso gochujang aioli. This is the spot you bring your friends with kids, because both the parents and tiny humans will love the homemade ice cream and outdoor seating during the warmer months.
Stoked isn’t flashy—it’s just really good pizza with an airy crust that’s perfectly charred. The Bianca, with bacon, peppers, garlic, ricotta, and hot honey, is the one you want, but know you can get the spicy, sweet condiment on any of the wood-fired pies. The Brookline location, with big red booths and boom box-covered walls, should be one of your go-to spots for a casual dinner in the neighborhood.
Since it’s hidden in the shadow of Tobin Bridge in Chelsea, Ciao wins the award for the best Boston pizzeria you probably haven’t heard about. If this place were in the North End, though, there would be a line of golf-shirt-wearing tourists from Ohio outside it every day at noon. The crust is chewy and soft, and it comes out of the wood-fired oven really quickly. The best option is the ‘nduja pie, with that spreadable spicy pork sausage, squash puree, shallots, gorgonzola, and mozzarella.
Posto’s sprawling space kind of feels like Davis Square’s living room, where the whole neighborhood comes together to stress out about whatever Boston team might be on the screen. And since there’s nothing better than eating carbs and fantasizing about what you’d do differently as head coach, Posto obliges with some really puffy, Neapolitan-style pies topped with housemade mozzarella. There’s also a sweet and savory pie topped with fire-roasted apples, caramelized onions, fontina, gorgonzola, and arugula, which is a must-order if you’re not weird about sweet stuff on pizza.
Armando’s slings classic thin-crust pies in a room with orange plastic booths and a Pepsi cooler. One wall is dedicated to the Red Sox, and the other to the local Little League team they sponsor. But the pizza from this tiny slice joint is way better than the stuff at most chains you’d go to after a kid’s game. Call in your order, and bring cash for some of the best crispy, greasy, and foldable pizza you can find in Boston. If Sicilian is more your vibe, they have good, cheesy square slices, too.
Nightshift has an interesting beer list, and it’s hands-down the best place in Boston proper to get Detroit-style pizza. They have outdoor seating most of the year, so grab a spot in the shadow of the Zakim Bridge and go to town on pies like the Figgy Piggy Pizza with fig jam, prosciutto, and big globs of burrata. It’s an added bonus that you’re within walking distance from the Garden, which makes it a great pregame spot before you watch Jayson Tatum do his best Larry Bird impression.
There are plenty of places to get pizza and a beer in Boston, but Brewer’s Fork in Charlestown is the best spot to enjoy this partnership. The pies are wood-fired, fold perfectly for optimal face-stuffing, and are good enough that you’ll want to eat one all by yourself in this charming little cement box of a building. The rotating draft list includes craft IPAs and lower ABV sours, plus special beer and pizza pairings throughout the year. Order the meatball pie with red sauce and mozzarella or the incredible Freebird, which has smoked chicken, pickled collard greens, mozzarella, alabama white sauce, and comes topped with pork cracklins.
With a Neapolitan-style brick oven that hits 800 degrees, Quattro serves serious crowd-pleasing pizza in the North End, along with some bracing espresso martinis (is everyone still drinking these things?). The pies come out fast and hot, with a nicely balanced sauce that’s a little sweet and crust that has the perfect char. Keep your order simple with the margherita, or try the white pizza with figs and arugula (ask them to add a little prosciutto). They have a solid wine-by-the-glass list and big open doors that spill onto cobblestone streets. If you squint a little bit, you could almost be in Naples.
This unfussy Naples-style pizzeria is new to Newton, but the airy sourdough crust and excellent wine-by-the-glass and cocktail list (with an interesting Negroni flight) have our attention. The specialty pizzas are what you should focus on, especially the Tartufo with squash blossoms, mozzarella, pecorino, and prosciutto. Da LaPosta is also our ideal spot for an easy, but impressive, night out with parents or a date.