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What is Bar Pizza?

Kind of feels like a stupid question given the number of posts I've read addressing it here over several years, but I am still curious - what exactly is bar pizza?

Is it a uniquely Boston or New England thing? I have lived here 25 years but don't know how it differs from other pizzas.

Is it a particular size, crust style, type of cheese, or any pizza served in a bar or something else?

Please educate me.

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  1. Thanks for asking rlh, for this question has puzzled me as well.

    1. Well, here's 1 def from a Boston hound: http://www.hiddenboston.com/glossary/.... I have to say, though, that there's a lot of variation between pizzas at places like Mistral, The Blue Room, Santarpio's, etc.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Taralli

        Oh Christ, I was hoping someone wouldn't dig something up from the glossary. That's still a work in progress, LOL.

        There are definitely different types of bar pizza within the actual category. For instance, I had bar pizza from La Hacienda in Somerville on Friday and Town Spa in Stoughton on Saturday, and they are totally different from each other--La Hacienda has a crisp, slightly puffy crust, while Town Spa has a flatter, more bendable, and more oily crust.

        1. re: hiddenboston

          So the description of a bar pizza from cannedmilk, which is sort of what I've read about before, is nothing like the Stoughton Town Spa pizza, which just seems like a good thin-crust pizza (with linguica...mmmmm).

          Is it the size that makes it a bar pie? My favorite pizza is from the Wonderbar in Worcester. They're small and have a very thin crust. Does that make it bar pizza? I'm still confused.

          1. re: Eatin in Woostah

            EIW, yes, the pizza at Wonderbar in definitely bar pizza!

            1. re: Angel Food

              Well then, I guess I'm in love with bar pizza and didn't even know it. So does that mean that if I head out to any of the places listed in this thread, I'm going to find the heavenly goodness that is the Wonderbar? Because ever since moving "back East", it's a trek to get to Worcester, no matter how great the pizza.

        2. re: Taralli

          If that definition is right, it sounds awful....

        3. I think it's uniquely a South Shore thing. pizzas are small, thin crusted, should have a crispy crust (some are almost buttery cracker like) and sauce and cheese should not distract from the crust. They're baked in a small pans, which ensures the crips crust. The cheese is typically a blend and some use cheddar cheese as well as mozzarella.

          4 Replies
          1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

            Perfect description. The Lynnwood pizza is a great example of a bar pizza. Also, bar pizzas are small individual pizzas.

            1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

              Yep. I'm thinking Cape Cod Cafe in Brokton... that's my favorite. Personally, I think that a bar pie to go absolutely must be sans-box, in betwen two cardboard plates in a paper bag. Yeah, you lose some cheese, but that congealed piece of cheese with cardboard stuck to it after you've finished the pie is one of the best parts. Reminds me of Childhood.

              I've never tried pizza at The Lynnwood. It's good to know that it's available in Boston. The closest that I've had around here is probably City Slicker in Somerville, but it's much heavier than a typical bar pie.

              Edit: Forgot to mention that when in the south shore area, when people refer to bar pizza, this is usually what they're referring to. The other common styles of pizza are available (and sometimes even in bars) but "bar pizza" is a specific style down there. I should work on opening up a bar that sells nothing but bar pizza and brown chow mein sandwiches.

              1. re: muscles_marinara

                Cape Cod Cafe is one of my favorites. A slightly thicker crust than most but it's fantastic.

                1. re: muscles_marinara

                  the two paper plates thing.....so miss that in nh.....

              2. http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives... PS. if you ever find yourself in Seattle, try the bar pizza in the Alibi Room, a favorite hangout for the girls working the strip joints nearby (not that I would know, of course :)

                1. Yeah, that doesn't sound like anything I've had, or want to, but I don't spend a ton of time on the South Shore. There's a small local chain that has pizza that sounds like that in Portland ME, called Angelone's, and considering how little I like their pizza, I don't think I'd like bar pizza, though I'm glad to know what people mean by it, when they say it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: kimfair1

                    you want one. You really do. Most places that you get a bar pizza from have been making them for 30+ years, the sauce is a secret, the crust is a secret, the cheese blend is a secret. I would doubt, highly, that this place in portland is anythign close to a SS bar pizza.

                  2. In town, I believe Newtowne (Porter Sq) and Paddock (Somerville) produce exemplar products. Of utmost importance, I guesss I ask myself, "how well does the pizza soak up beer?" If it soaks it up, it's bar pizza.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: digga

                      The Riverview in Ipswich. Classic bar pizza. So is Santarpio's. and the Wonder Bar in Worcester....

                      1. re: digga

                        that newtowne pizza is pretty underrated. it ain't the best pizza in the world by any means, but you can get that and a pitcher of pbr for something like $11.

                        1. re: jgg13

                          Yeah.
                          Cheese pizza and a pitcher of Pabst for $11.99.

                          1. re: rknrll

                            I can never keep track - I know it has gone up a bit over the years and also now the deal works w/ any pitcher, they just tack a couple of bucks on to the cost of the pitcher.

                      2. Hey, we made it to Grub Street! :-D

                        http://boston.grubstreet.com/2010/02/...

                        I'm thinking I finally have to get to Poopsies. So many people have now told me that it is THE place for bar pie.