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Best pizza

susan donnelly Jan 27, 2008 12:22 PM

I have been a dedicated Armando's fan -- and still find their pie in the top tier, but Oggi's in the Holyoke Center arcade in Harvard Square has (in my opinion) lept to the head of the queque.

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  1. Sal Monella RE: susan donnelly Jan 27, 2008 01:26 PM

    Recently discovered Gran Gusto on Sherman St. in Cambridge...their pizza is fantastic also. Very thin, simply and light. Excellent flavor. Give them a shot too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sal Monella
      newhound RE: Sal Monella Jan 27, 2008 03:56 PM

      Based on such positive rec's here for Gran Gusto, we went last night and certainly found their pizza very good, but they served it on a regular concave dinner plate. By the time we got to piece #4, the trapped moist air had soggied-out the bottom. Seems like kind of a basic mistake, and easily fixable.

    2. j
      joebelt RE: susan donnelly Jan 27, 2008 04:47 PM

      In Boston, best pizza is at Iggy's bakery just outside of Fresh Pond.

      1. hiddenboston RE: susan donnelly Jan 27, 2008 05:17 PM

        Uh, oh. Here we go with another "best pizza" thread. If I didn't love pizza so much, I'd start getting frustrated by this, but hey, keep 'em coming!

        I like Armando's a lot, too. Haven't tried Oggi yet (mainly because they put sesame seeds and other stuff in their dough).

        Everyone has their own view on what the best pizza in Boston is, with no clear winner other than perhaps Regina's in the North End. I'd say my personal favorites are Regina's, Santarpio's in East Boston, and the Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, though each of those pizzas are very different from the others.

        31 Replies
        1. re: hiddenboston
          Infomaniac RE: hiddenboston Jan 27, 2008 06:22 PM

          When ever I head to Boston for pizza I mostly head to Santarpio's. If I am coming to town with my daughter, we usually go for Regina's in the North End, or Umberto's and I don't see this changing anytime soon, but I don't consider any of them the best pizza in Boston. I consider them more traditional to Boston, maybe more the best traditional Boston pizza's.

          I recently had a opportunity to try Gran Gusto, and this is my personal choice for the best pizza in Boston, but it's in a location that is not convenient for me but I'm glad I made it there to try it. Reminds me of what you would get in Italy.

          I'll be back to Santarpio's or Regina's at least a dozen times before I get back to Gran Gusto.

          1. re: Infomaniac
            tbiscaia RE: Infomaniac Jan 28, 2008 04:39 AM

            A word of warning about Santarpio's: their plain pizza is very good, but they use some or maybe all vegetables out of a can, not fresh. I haven't been there lately, but the peppers I had on the pizza on my last visit were disgusting, never been back. Maybe someone can confirm or deny that this is still true...? And btw my personal favorite is Regina's, but only the North End location.

            1. re: tbiscaia
              joebelt RE: tbiscaia Jan 28, 2008 05:26 AM

              I'm pretty sure Regina uses canned veggies as well. Mushrooms certainly are.

              1. re: joebelt
                TonyO RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:10 AM

                Maybe I am in the minority, but I have always felt that canned mushrooms are much better on pizza than fresh ones. Fresh mushrooms give off a lot of water while cooking and can sog a pizza. At home, I saute some Shitakes with garlic before topping a pie. This works great but I haven't seen this done in many (if any restaurants).

                1. re: TonyO
                  joebelt RE: TonyO Jan 28, 2008 06:22 AM

                  That's because most places around here don't know how to make good pizza. I agree you have to prepare fresh mushrooms separetely before you throw them on your pizza. People choose the easy way out and use canned mushrooms. It's a sad state of affairs.

                2. re: joebelt
                  cots RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 08:44 AM

                  I'm pretty sure Emma's uses canned olives, too. A shame, since their pizza is otherwise quite good.

                3. re: tbiscaia
                  Infomaniac RE: tbiscaia Jan 28, 2008 06:37 AM

                  Can't confirm as I've only had either pepperoni or sausage for toppings at Santarpio's.

                  1. re: Infomaniac
                    Dax RE: Infomaniac Jan 28, 2008 03:30 PM

                    No kidding - Pizza is best enjoyed (in my opinion) with 1-2 toppings which are usually only pepperoni or sausage. When I buy a pizza (rather than making it), I tend to keep it simple and veggie free.

                  2. re: tbiscaia
                    Bob Dobalina RE: tbiscaia Jan 28, 2008 10:03 AM

                    Wait! Santarpio's has "veggies"?!
                    I am not aware that it even had peppers as an option. Green peppers? I know they have pepperoncini and hot cherry tomatoes, which are marinated and necessarily come out of a jar. Mushrooms, I guess are canned. But the onions aren't out of a can. I am not aware of other "veggies." Lol

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina
                      treb RE: Bob Dobalina Jan 28, 2008 01:16 PM

                      The only vegies that they serve are sausages!

                4. re: joebelt
                  hiddenboston RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 05:37 AM

                  Iggy's and Oggi's...Heh, I feel like I'm talking to a bunch of 2-year-olds. ;-b

                  joebelt, I used to work on Fawcett Street in Cambridge several years back. How long has Iggy's been there? I drive past Fawcett Street several times a week, so I'll have to pop in to try some of their pizza.

                  1. re: hiddenboston
                    galleygirl RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 06:00 AM

                    Iggy's is the gold standard for bread, IMHO, but pizza? Sometimes I'll grab an overpriced square as a snack,but even as I worship at their bread altar, I find the pizza easy to forgo...

                    1. re: galleygirl
                      joebelt RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2008 06:06 AM

                      You need to go home and reheat the slices and serve with a nice green salad. Their leek and black olive pizza and their plain cheese are heavenly.

                      1. re: joebelt
                        galleygirl RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:22 AM

                        Toppings are delightful, but it's a thin bread pizza, neither fish nor fowl...

                        1. re: galleygirl
                          joebelt RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2008 06:26 AM

                          the way a good pizza crust should be imo. The way Neapolitan pizza intended it to be (no thicker than 3 mm).

                          1. re: joebelt
                            galleygirl RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:27 AM

                            Not crisp enough to be a thin crust, not thick enough to be Grandma pizza...

                            1. re: galleygirl
                              joebelt RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2008 06:34 AM

                              It's plenty crisp but you need to reheat it as it is sold cold. Put it in an oven at 375/400F for a few minutes.

                              1. re: joebelt
                                Blumie RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:35 AM

                                Or even hotter for a crispier crust!

                                1. re: Blumie
                                  galleygirl RE: Blumie Jan 28, 2008 06:36 AM

                                  Okay, okay, I'll try it again!!! LOL....maybe I'm missing something; like I said, I love Iggy's...

                                2. re: joebelt
                                  Chris VR RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:38 AM

                                  Thanks for this info- I'm not a fan of reheated pizza slices, and my "best" list wouldn't be likely to include a slice that's served cold. I'm glad I know this before I went out of my way to give it a try.

                          2. re: joebelt
                            Blumie RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:31 AM

                            I'm with joebelt on this one. I don't know if it's the "best" pizza in Boston, but it's great. And it is, of course, an entirely different product than what you'd get at 'Tarps or Regina. Fortunately, we can enjoy all three!

                            1. re: gini
                              treb RE: gini Jan 28, 2008 07:56 AM

                              Gini, please forgive me for breaking this 'precious thread' but, I thought I saw one of your postings mentioning Italian Morrocan food. Could that be Alia?? YUMMIE stuff.

                              1. re: treb
                                gini RE: treb Jan 28, 2008 08:59 AM

                                That would be the place!

                          3. re: hiddenboston
                            joebelt RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 06:05 AM

                            The bakery has been there for maybe 3-4 years.

                            1. re: joebelt
                              hiddenboston RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 06:41 AM

                              Yeah, that explains why I never knew about Iggy's when I worked on Fawcett street. I was there about 8 years ago. Used to go to Cheddar's all the time back then for their excellent subs and their daily abuse ("Whaddya want, buddy, c'mon--I aint got all day, Mr. Slowpoke," and so on).

                              Good thing Iggy's wasn't there back then, as having a bakery with pizza next to work would have made me look like the guy Stewie from Family Guy was following around with the tuba. :-D

                              1. re: hiddenboston
                                joebelt RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 06:43 AM

                                Yeah not to mention that they prepare a gazillion other treats (cookies, sticky buns, sandwiches, etc.) that you can only find at their bakery.

                            2. re: hiddenboston
                              beetlebug RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 09:18 AM

                              Iggy's has been at the Fawcett Street location since they closed the Watertown store. Fairly soon after the Watertown location closed, the Danish Pastry Shop opened there. If I was really motivated (which I'm not) I would do a board search to find the first posts about the Danish bakery (I suspect Striperguy has posted about it.).

                              1. re: beetlebug
                                joebelt RE: beetlebug Jan 28, 2008 09:20 AM

                                as I said about 3-4 years ago.

                                1. re: joebelt
                                  beetlebug RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 09:22 AM

                                  Just giving a more complete background, that's all.

                            3. re: hiddenboston
                              treb RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 06:32 AM

                              I'm with you on this one, eveyone has an opinion and taste on what pizza is the 'BEST', or 'TO DIE FOR'. It is truly personal thing, and unlike restaurants that can be praised or paned for their food or chef etc., by us CH'ers, pizza is pretty hard to critique one way or the other. It's about personal taste and preference. Just CHOW on!

                              1. re: treb
                                lulu806 RE: treb Jan 28, 2008 06:39 AM

                                I absolutely agree with you treb. FWIW, my favorite pizza places are Pisa Pizza in Malden and Puccio's in Medford - nice thin slices, good sauce, and plenty of cheese.

                            4. b
                              Bostonbob3 RE: susan donnelly Jan 28, 2008 05:08 AM

                              I really dislike Oggi's crust. No chew whatsoever.

                              1. m
                                Megawatts RE: susan donnelly Jan 28, 2008 06:34 AM

                                I have two tiny spots that are really good. The first is City Slicker on Somerville Ave. They take 25 minutes to cook so the cheese is always well browned. Also they only have "pan" pizza hence the crust is a bit greasy, but very crispy. I know that some people are turned off by the oily nature, but I have to admit that I love it. The other pizza spot is the Hidyan cafe on Kilmarnok in the Fenway. I think that their main business is sandwiches and frozen yogurt, but the pizza is insanely good. It's a greek style pizza, which doesn't mean olives, tomatoes, garlic, etc, but is a style that used to be produced by little mom n pop first generation Greek American-style pizza places. The visible crust is minimal, it's cooked in a pan but with little oil, and there is alot of cheese. Yum!

                                1. p
                                  Pegmeister RE: susan donnelly Jan 28, 2008 08:04 AM

                                  I'm someone who believes there is no such thing as a best pizza. There are just too many variations. For instance, I love the pepperoni pizza at the Waterfront in the North End. This is the type of pizza I grew up on, great oil, chewy crust and you can fold it without the topping falling off. Then I discovered the gourmet pizzas at Artu, and I can't imagine anyone complaining about their shrimp scampi pizza with the crispy thin crust or their sausage and rabe, and of course there is the thicker crust, brick oven version from Antico Forno. Add a nice salad and it's a delicious meal. Lastly, what's better than sitting at the bar at Reginas and adding a little extra oil to your pie? So, which one is the best? I guess it depends on my mood that day.

                                  6 Replies
                                  1. re: Pegmeister
                                    galleygirl RE: Pegmeister Jan 28, 2008 08:07 AM

                                    "I'm someone who believes there is no such thing as a best pizza.

                                    I'm totally with you there! Kinda like sex.....It's STILL pizza...;)

                                    1. re: galleygirl
                                      joebelt RE: galleygirl Jan 28, 2008 08:45 AM

                                      I disagree. I very rarely eat pizza and I will be extremely picky about the pizza I eat when it comes time to eat one. Bad pizza is just that: bad pizza.

                                      1. re: joebelt
                                        hiddenboston RE: joebelt Jan 28, 2008 09:01 AM

                                        I agree with joebelt on this one; I had some really lousy pizza at the Tavern at Quarry Hills last weekend (most other people liked their food there, however). It was simply bad pizza, and the sex analogy definitely did not hold up, though for some reason I did feel like lighting up afterwards (which is weird because I'm not a smoker).

                                        1. re: hiddenboston
                                          joebelt RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 09:03 AM


                                          1. re: hiddenboston
                                            treb RE: hiddenboston Jan 28, 2008 01:20 PM

                                            Don't you see what your getting yourself into, your opinion on pizza at the Tavern is good for you but not others. Enjoy the smoke.

                                            1. re: treb
                                              hiddenboston RE: treb Jan 28, 2008 06:39 PM

                                              Yeah, I think I'll stop while I'm ahead (if I am, indeed, ahead).

                                    2. a
                                      alansm RE: susan donnelly Jan 29, 2008 03:33 AM

                                      The best pizza is Haymarket Pizza. The problem is it's certainly NOT the best pizza place. The compromise is to take a slice or two and carry it over to Fanueil Hall to eat on the tables facing the plaza. Of course, that means it can't be market day (Friday or Saturday) or you'd end up wearing it. Gets kindof complicated.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: alansm
                                        Bostonbob3 RE: alansm Jan 29, 2008 05:30 AM

                                        Oh, come on. Take your Haymarket Pizza slices and come into Pete's Pub (Durty Nelly's) instead of treking to the touristy Fanueil Hall.

                                        After all, the odds are you'll meet me. And what could be better than that? :)))

                                        1. re: Bostonbob3
                                          hiddenboston RE: Bostonbob3 Jan 29, 2008 05:44 AM

                                          So Durty Nellie's has no problem with bringing Haymarket pizza into their bar? I'm glad they didn't change the rules when they took over Pete's.

                                          Is there an offical BostonBob chair at the bar? I want to make sure I'm not sitting in it if I go one of these days!

                                          1. re: hiddenboston
                                            Bostonbob3 RE: hiddenboston Jan 29, 2008 06:26 AM

                                            No problem at all bringing food in. I have Haymarket slices all the time, and sometimes food from The Point around the corner.

                                            I sit at the end of the bar near the bathroom in front of what we call "the Japanese table."

                                          2. re: Bostonbob3
                                            Blumie RE: Bostonbob3 Jan 29, 2008 07:43 AM

                                            That sounds like a great idea, and a nostalgic one for me. I used to visit Haymarket Pizza regularly 30 years ago when I was a kid taking the T in from the suburbs to buy fireworks from "Peg Leg" who used to hang out in one of the old warehouses in an alley near there.

                                        2. t
                                          tamerlanenj RE: susan donnelly Jan 29, 2008 06:01 AM

                                          I'll throw in yet another plug for Bostone Pizza on Newbury Street. Their new york style slices are fantastic examples of the genre, as good or better than most of the slice joints in Manhattan. I'm less enthralled with their sicilian squares, but they're not bad either.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: tamerlanenj
                                            hiddenboston RE: tamerlanenj Jan 29, 2008 06:08 AM

                                            tamerlanenj, I haven't been to Bostone since the renovations. Did they do much to the place? Did they add any items to the menu?

                                            1. re: hiddenboston
                                              tamerlanenj RE: hiddenboston Jan 29, 2008 09:07 AM

                                              What do you mean the renovations? You mean when it went from Newbury Pizza to Bostone? The place is much nicer decor-wise than it used to be, with sleek boths and plasma TVs. The menu is similar: pizza by the pie or slice, subs, pasta entrees, but they specialize in a wide array of sicilian slices now.

                                              I think the pizza is actually a bit better than it was in the Newbury Pizza days. More consistently good crust.

                                              1. re: tamerlanenj
                                                galleygirl RE: tamerlanenj Jan 29, 2008 09:14 AM

                                                No, he means that it was closed in, I think, November, or december, for renovations...I tried to go one time, but they had a 'closed for renovations' sign up.

                                          2. k
                                            kitchenkate RE: susan donnelly Jan 29, 2008 06:18 AM

                                            Is Picco still in the hunt? I enjoyed it quite a bit but have not been in several months.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: kitchenkate
                                              Bostonbob3 RE: kitchenkate Jan 29, 2008 06:28 AM

                                              Oooh, the Alsatian at Picco is one of my fav pizzas ever.

                                              And no matter the pie, Picco's crust is amazing.

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