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Oct 10, 2007 07:21 PM

Galleria Umberto - Almost heaven

Went with a friend today for lunch. Line? Long. Around 12:30.
Stood, and moved along slowly. Approaching the order counter... Almost there.
Ordered 2 slices and a panini. No drink. Great behind the counter boss.
We are so lucky to have this place around.

Who knows what film hollywood was taping at Galleria about a month and a half ago?

With no apologies, this has to be the best spot in the North End for lunch.
Bar none.



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  1. I'll enthusiastically second Galleria Umberto. Excellent South Italian comfort food standards at Leave-it-to-Beaver era prices. And the line's long because the secret's out about this spot. I think it's one of the best Boston lunches around, never mind in the North End. Getting there early is a good idea, though, because when they run out of food, they close. Got there once a little after 1:00 PM and all they had left were panzarottis and pizza, and the latter was going fast.

    1. That's Ralph and Paul. Ralph is the stocky guy and Paul has the beard. They are the best. They are determined not to make things super-efficient and soulless.

      My schedule has changed and I can't get there often but when I was going a lot I'd just hand them money without them even telling me the cost. They are trustworthy. The one time I actually looked at my change, I think Ralph undercharged me.

      The arancini are fantastic, with a crisp exterior. Though it's a cafeteria, they genuinely care about their food. The spinach calzone is also very good and I love their panzarotti.

      1 Reply
      1. re: lergnom

        I'll agree that it's not soulless, but Ralph is the absolute model of efficiency! I've never seen a food service worker so fast, friendly, and accurate. He even adds up the total in his head and tells you before he gets to the cash register. He is amazing, quite a show.
        "Comin' through!!!"

      2. I was there for lunch on Weds line at 11..out the door by 11:20.

        Agreed, 1 of Boston's greats

        1. A panini? Do they serve panini's? I just remember pizza, panzarottis and arancini.....?

          4 Replies
          1. re: twentyoystahs

            I believe that the small filled bread thingies that look like a crescent roll, about the size of the panzarotti, are called panini.

            (And don't forget the outstanding calzones!)

              1. re: lergnom

                I thought they were calzones; but I'll take your word for it.

                I rarely order, arancini and panzarottis are my usual order.

                1. re: 9lives

                  Nope - the big ones are calzones, the little ones (with sesame seeds on them?) are panini. I rarely order them either, but I've seen them there.

          2. If you ever find yourself in Medford around lunchtime, check out La Cascia's. Their Sicilian slice is different from Galleria Umberto (of particular note is the sauce, which is a little bit sweet), but it may be my favorite around town. At very least, it gives Umberto a run for its money.