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Nov 20, 2010 03:14 PM

Pizzeria Regina vs. Pizzeria Regina

Fellow Foodies... Other than the ambience, is there any "objective" reason why the original Thatcher St. location is any better than the others? I haven't been in years so I can't remember why the North End location serves up a better pie. Help me out here or bust the myth.

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  1. IMO, it's simple, it's the oven!

    1. I have only anecdotal evidence, but I like the original a lot, and every slice I've had at the chain outlets has sucked hard. One has a nearly century-old oven, the others don't, so I think that's a reasonable explanation. Maybe they don't take the trouble to age the dough a couple of days at the outlets as they do at the original. Not sure of the cause, but my empirical observations on results are quite clear on the subject.

      16 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        So the chains 'suck hard' when compared to the original, based upon your extensive empirical research, but how do they fare in comparison to other local pizza? I'm in Brookline, and eager to try to new Regina's in Allston b/c I've not been so thrilled with the pizza in Brookline to date. Is it worth it to trek up Harvard Ave? I guess I could just do it and report back, but if you have an opinion, it would be welcome!

        1. re: Cachetes

          I was being facetious: my experience there is hardly extensive. I get to the original a few times a year, have eaten at a few of the mall and standalone outlets in moments of desperation over the years. I'm told that the Station Landing one is better than most, so maybe the Allston one will be above-average, too. It wouldn't be hard to trump the typical Allston pizza, a low bar indeed.

          In Brookline, I like Mangia Pizza, and the Cleveland Circle BC places (Pino's and Presto) aren't bad.

          1. re: MC Slim JB

            I loved the idea of a pizza lab, running blind taste tests to determine the best. In any case, I'll still give Regina's a try, but even better, you've reminded me of Pino's and Presto, which I've seen mentioned here before. I think it's time for me to give them a go. Mangia is good, certainly better than Upper Crust, but still not quite there for me.

            655 Washington St, Canton, MA 02021

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              Pino's AND Presto? that's like being a Hatfield *and* a McCoy! ;)

              Of those two, the answer is Pino's. And I agree Mangia was surprisingly good.

              I can't get near the original Regina's...every time I walk by there there's a line out the door so I head to Ernesto's instead in the NE and am never disappointed. But I have had delivery from Regina's (presumably another outlet) and it's....okay.

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                The answer to me is Pinos for thin and Presto for Sicilian.

                1. re: phatchris

                  Fair enough! I don't remember ever trying Presto's Sicilian..Further research required!

                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                    Pino's, without question.

                    IF THE QUESTION IS BEING ASKED IN THE 1970'S!!!

                    Those laurels have been rested on for so long that they are thinner than a hamburger at McDonalds.

                    1. re: L2k

            's been ALMOST that long since I've been there.

                      Funny though that this has brought us back on topic because that's the criticism I keep hearing about Regina's...that is, from those who dare to criticize them.

                      1. re: L2k

                        I went to Regina's Thatcher in the 70s and 80's almost weekly. Long hiatus then went again this summer. Not QUITE as good as I remember it, but still damn fine pizza. Get the traditional pizza toppings, though. My DC got one of the newer ones, with fresh cherry tomatoes, and it was watery.

                        1. re: L2k

                          Now now, the 70's? I had good pizza there in the 90's.....that being said, a recent trip there with my 4 year old who LOVES pizza was a huge just did not even come close to the pies I use to get from there when I lived in Brighton, so yes, quality has definately gone south. On topic concerning Regina's, a place I eat at about every 2 weeks (I work near N. Station), two words. MAGIC. OVEN. 'nuff said.

                    2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston

                      Mmm. Ernesto's. Calzones the size of your face. So fresh, so delicious.

                  2. re: Cachetes

                    I would say the pizza is approximately 2/3s to 3/4s as good at the Allston location as it is on Thacher St. The crust is the weak link: I suspect they aren't aging it as long, if at all, as they do at the original.

                    That said, it's still approximately 200% better than any other pizza you can get in Allston. As Slim notes, Allston pizza is uniformly awful.

                    1. re: Cachetes

                      We ate there a couple of wks ago, I thought it was v. good pizza. I haven't been to Thatcher St. for a while, but this was just as good to me. It's not really a "trek" from Bkline, hehe. And, it sure beats what is in Bkline. I miss the Imperial, altho' they didn't have beer. So, I'm happy they opened!

                    2. re: MC Slim JB

                      Which leads me to ask - how is the new location in Allston? I was driving down the pike yesterday and noticed the Pizza Regina sign where the old "sports depot" (or whatever it was called) used to be. If it's any good it might be an ok place to watch games and eat pizza. With enough cold beer the pizza quality might not need to matter too much.

                      1. re: catspercapita

                        We ate here over the weekend, and IMO the pizza was just as good as the NE location PLUS it has a full menu with apps, salads, pastas and a better beer menu. It's a winner in my book.

                    3. It's the oven. This is an age old question, and I'm willing to bet you could google a resounding agreement that it's the oven.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Bellachefa

                        We have been to the new Allston location twice, and got one order "curbside". We agree that the food is very close to the meals we have had at the North End Regina's.

                        I really like the atmosphere at the original, but Allston is doing an excellent job with the pizza! They have an expanded menu there but we have only had the Pizza and it is great.

                        1. re: BosRick

                          i like the Coppa pizza better than Regina; i wonder if there are other pizzas that i should try in boston.

                          253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                          1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                            Way to pull the thread OT! Regina's and Coppa aren't the same kind of pizza and aren't comparable as restaurants on any level.

                            FWIW. I find all of the satellite Regina's (including Medford) to be woefully lacking n comparison to the NE location. I haven't tried the Allston location, and haven't been compelled to do so by anything I have heard.

                            1. re: Gabatta

                              not talking about the restaurants; just concentrating on the pizzas

                            2. re: cambridgedoctpr

                              I think Picco is better at certain times, haven't tried Coppa yet.

                              253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                              1. re: phatchris

                                I like both the Picco and Coppa pies a lot, but they are pricey, and the Coppa ones are small, to boot.


                                253 Shawmut Ave, Boston, MA 02118

                        2. I know there's magical importance attributed to the oven by some but I really don't buy it. You can make crappy pizza in a great oven and very good pizza in a standard oven. The only real magic is in the hands of the pizza makers - at Thacher street they care about every pizza that goes out, and at other locations they don't. It takes real skill to make a great pizza, and it's difficult to refrain from taking shortcuts in the time, expense or commitment that are required to make it great every time. It's not surprising to me that the other locations are just good; it is pretty remarkable how great the original still is.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: MichaelB

                            Yes, but the presence of naturally occurring yeasts at a location that has been a baking site for over a century (it was baking site before Regina's occupied it) is something you can't duplicate in another location.

                            Any time a baking operation that relies on yeasts moves to a new location that was not used for baking for a long time, there is a ramp-up factor. While they might rely on commercial yeasts for the bulk of rising and flavor, the additional presence of naturally occurring yeasts often provides indelible character, even to non-sourdough-based recipes.

                            1. re: Karl S

                              Here Here, Karl speaks the truth

                          2. I've only been to the original location once and maybe they gave me an old slice. To me, it was indistinguishable from any of the chain locations, which I think serve up pretty good pizza but nothing I'd go out of my way for.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Pia

                              Can you even get a slice at the old location? I always thought it was pies only.
                              Although now that I type this, I think I remember someone telling me you could get a slice if you sat at the bar, so maybe that is what you are referring to?

                                1. re: Pia

                                  You can get slices, but I was just ruminating on this recently....that is no way to experience the pizza. Slices sit in there own juices, getting soggy and wierd....that is not how pizza should be had. Do what I do, sit at the bar, and get a salami pizza, well done, and a Morreti beer.....freaking heaven