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Mar 5, 2007 12:00 PM

Pizzeria Roma (Durham)

My husband brought home a pizza from this place a couple of days ago, and I wanted to plug it to transplants from the Boston area. It approximated fairly well the good foldy pizza you get at places like Santarpios and Regina. Not a perfect substitute, mind you, but definitely worth visiting if you're missing that style of pizza. We had the tomato and garlic. Our large pizza was enormous and cost $16. It's in one of the new storefronts by the Kroger on 15/501.

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  1. rc-- you're from the boston area? i spent a good amount of time there... hence the name. is this really close to regina? i dream about their pizza still...

    1. I don't want to go overboard on the comparison, because if I do, you'll be disappointed. it doesn't have that oven char on the bottom, and it doesn't have pools of oil on the top. It is not sublime like Regina's. But it is foldy and drippy, qualities that mark good pizza in my we have not encountered in pizza since we moved to Chapel Hill almost two years ago. The crust could probably be thinner. It's probably more akin to a mom-and-pop operation in the suburbs--say Lowell. (that's quite a drop in praise, isn't it?) But give it a try--it's where we'll get our pizza from now on...

      And yes, we're from Boston (metro), and I don't think we could live in North Carolina (as much as we love it) without MLB Extra Innings!

      1. "Foldy and drippy" pizza has been available for a long time in Chapel Hill. Just go to Mio's Pizza Villa in the University Mall. Alfredo, who is originally from Italy, is the owner.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bbqme

          I like the foldy, drippy pizza at Alfredos a lot, although the crust seems to really vary from one visit to the next.

          1. re: LulusMom

            I've become a fan of their focacccia crust based pizza. I highly recommend it. But it must be ordered at least 30 minutes ahead of time and it's much better if freshly ordered than the premade slices.

        2. I gave Roma a try last night and found it thoroughly mediocre. Soft and characterless crust, lame cheese, cheap frozen-style sausage topping, pie undercooked. Alfredo's is much better, though from a Northeastern perspective it too leaves something to be desired.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Sinophile

            Yeah, I didn't wanna be the first to pop rcsimm's tomatoe, but roma's pizza is garbage. I've found a few places in the triangle with acceptable pizza... roma did not make the list. I've never really had a slice in boston, since ny had plenty of pies to offer, so roma might replicate boston pie.

            Bocci probably would have the best pizza in the chapel hill- durham area, but i wouldn't get on my soapbox to promote it. i mean, just because it's one of the top in the area doesn't mean it induces nostalgia.

            1. re: MOOKIECOOKIE

              sorry you all hate it. I'll try to be more judicious in my recommendations, and I'll be sure to stay off the soap box...

              1. re: rcsimm

                I lived in the Boston burbs when I was in college and only found what I call "Greek pizza." Is this similar? I never could stand Greek pizza, but for people who like that Andy's at Quail Corners in Raleigh does a fine (?) version of it.

                1. re: rcsimm


                  Not at all! No need for apologies. This list, as far as I'm concerned, is about friendly disagreement as well as friendly agreement. I myself am a lonely detractor of many restaurants and an equally lonely defender of a few. Don't sweat it.

                  1. re: Sinophile

                    I believe the OP was being sarcastic and was more than likely a little irked.

                    1. re: peetoteeto

                      I hope nobody felt irked. I was perhaps a bit strident -- Mookiecookie more strident. On the other hand, one must call a spade a spade. The pizza I had at Roma was -- there's no other way to put it -- pretty lousy.

            2. maybe I'm straying a bit off topic, but does pizza really suck around here? I took a look at the Bocci menu and it seems pretty similiar to Cinelli's, which I find incredibly mediocre. I haven't been to Pizzeria Roma, but I tend to trust the general consensus of these boards, and I don't know if I'll make the trip. I am more familiar with what Raleigh has to offer (never been really excited about any of them), but live in Durham now...what gives? Is it that anybody thinks they can do pizza?

              6 Replies
              1. I actually think the brick oven pizza at Bocci is pretty good, if you like the thin crust cooked in a hot oven. My husband is an excellent pizza baker, but still likes to try pizzas all over the place. He likes Bocci's brick oven pie. I've heard the others there aren't as good. Of course, this isn't the Boston pie everyone keeps referring to, which i've never had. I have had pizza at two of the best places in New York - Grimaldi's in Brooklyn and Lombardi's in Manhattan - anyway, they are fantastic, but Bocci does a respectable version of that kind of pie.

                1. re: suse

                  I tried Bocci's brick oven pizza this week. As Suse says, it's not bad. The crust is slightly cakey rather than glutinously bready, but it's thin and crisp, and the pizza is nicely flavored with minced garlic. It does not represent a solution to the egregious local pizza problem, but it is one of the better local pizzas.

                  1. re: Sinophile

                    Glad you liked it, Sinophile. As I may have mentioned before somewhere, we always order the sauteed spinach and pile it on the pizza. It's nice and garlicky.

                2. re: pheebs

                  Whoa! Someone said Santarpios and I got all excited... That's some good pizza - Only been there once, but the 2 pies that I brought back on the flight from Logan were consumed that very evening. And were still better than anything Durham has to offer.

                  That said, I've had Bocci once and found it to be OK but not worth a second visit (but dosen't everyone deserve a second chance?). I rather like Cinellis (sausage with italian hot cherry peppers, please - a topping left off far too many menus), but they aren't consistent.

                  And yes, I really like Randy's when the pie is right. The new one out on Guess Rd seems to be run by someone who takes his pizzas seriously. He had to remake my last one because he thought it didn't turn out right. The Randy's that closed (on Broad) was never even remotely consistent. One of the guys in RTP said it might be the oven. Truth is that it wasn' the tools, it was the craftsmen. I got to asking who was making the pizzas before I would order.

                  1. re: Nibbs

                    Did you have the brick oven or NY-style at Bocci's?

                    1. re: Sinophile

                      This is the good pizza in Durham. They deliver - AND they deliver beer and wine!

                      (Yea I know awkward web address. It's actually a restaurant called Pop's in Downtown. They deliver from their wood - fired oven.)

                      810 W Peabody St, Durham, NC 27701