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Al Dente, Santarpio's or Regina???????????

Okay, this might take some explanation. We will only have one night in Boston prior to leaving for a circle trip of New England, Starting October 7th. Yes, we know it's Columbus Day weekend, but not much we can do about that. Anyway, we have narrowed our choices down to Al Dente for Italian...or either Santarpio's or Regina for pizza. If someone was holding a gun to your head (let's hope that not really the case) and you were offered these three choices for your one and only meal in Boston, which would you choose? If you have a better choice, go for it...but after a ton of research we (finally) narrowed it down to these three. By the way, we'll be going with the consensus choice so choose carefully as the decision will formulate our opinion of Boston Italian/pizza. No pressure...

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Al Dente Restaurant
109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

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  1. Actually you would not need a gun.

    Santarpios. Is my choice. There is no better

    1. I am a Regina's man myslef, Santarpios can be too inconsistent with cheese placement for my liking. That being said, each place has it's own fans, and it's own merits.....but at the end of the day...Regina's. Also, I resent paying the toll to get back into boston as well!

      1. When Santarpio's is good, it's good, but it's way too inconsistent; too many times I've had a soggy center to my crust. Regina's (either the mother ship in the North End or the satellite at Station Landing in Medford, which has a wider menu; but none of the "Regina's" elsewhere) is consistently great, so long as you get it well done and not a lot of toppings, and few if any wet ingredient toppings.

        1 Reply
        1. Santarpios:
          -cheese pizza -well done
          -sausage from the grill
          -miller lites

          DONE, enjoy

          6 Replies
          1. re: NahantNative

            also a santarpio's vote here. weekend nights it's packed with tourists but any other time, mostly friendly townie central.

            yes, on the well done pizza. yes on the sausage, but the tips are also excellent and the in-house baked bread and the hot cherry peppers are killah.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              Really? I love Santarpio's, but the bread, like the pizza dough, is usually in dire need of salt. It's like the founders learned to bake in Tuscany or something.

              1. re: emannths

                Wow, really? The bread is almost better than the sausage. I don't usually look for 'salty' as a quality in my bread. It's crunchy and soft and could pair better with nothing but the cherry peppers.

                1. re: NahantNative

                  Part of it is also that the bread (and crust in particular) tends to be more crumbly than chewy, if I'm remembering it correctly. I dunno, not my style. S'ok though--just means I order more pizza!

                  1. re: emannths

                    I agree---Santarpio's crust lacks flavor (due to lack of salt) and has a crumbly/cardboard texture. Regina's has chew and flavor, and good toppings to boot. So for pizza I vote for Regina.

                    1. re: bella_sarda

                      Salt isn't good for you anyhow. I really like both ..but the edge goes to Santarpio's. Regina pizza is really good..but in the end tastes like pizza I can get at 2 or 3 other places. I've never tasted pizza quite like Santarpio's anywhere else. I've had it a couple of times..and it's been just as good each time.

          2. Hmmm...looks like a battle between the two pizza places and not a whole lot of love for Al Dente. Actually, that's okay because we're leaning towards pizza, since we will be staying near Quincy when we return to the area the following Friday and plan to go for Italian to Gennaro's in Quincy then (unless, of course, someone talks us out of it.)

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            Al Dente Restaurant
            109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

            3 Replies
            1. re: gbpakrfan

              It might just be because the North End Italian joints on a jammed high-tourist holiday weekend are not the taste of most regulars on this Board.

              1. re: gbpakrfan

                Gennaro's is a good solid Italian neighborhood spot. I get take out from there fairly often. Dining there can be rushed and there's not much atmosphere. Since you may finding yourself opting for something in the North End, I might suggest checking out a few of the restaurants at Marina Bay in
                Quincy. I especially like Port 305 for fried clams, lobster sliders etc. and nice Boston skyline and harbor views. A little more upscale is Siros, also nice views.

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                Siros
                Marina Bay, Quincy, MA 02169

                Port 305
                305 Victory Rd, Quincy, MA 02171

                1. re: Pegmeister

                  LOVE Gennaro's! That used to be my "big slurge" when I was single & living in Quincy. I'd get lunch for takeout on Friday or Saturday (portions are about the same as dinner time - & cheaper) & Gerry would sometimes throw me in a couple of biscotti for desert. Gerry made the biscotti, & they weren't those hard, break your teeth consistancy - they kinda had the same hardness of a Stella Doro biscut but taste a LOT better!
                  Lemon chicken or one of the specials would be what I would order - I miss that place (& Gerry too)!

              2. Regina Pizza is the finest pizza. It's perfect always. There is a reason why it is famous. I have only eaten at Santarpios once and did not get the hype at all. I think it's more for bostonians than I do for tourists. If you only have time for one pizza then make it Regina. I love Regina pizza!!!

                22 Replies
                1. re: cherrytomato

                  Aren't they both famous?

                  I think Pizzeria Regina and Santarpio's are both outstanding. Either is an excellent choice and good on you, gbpakrfan for doing the research to uncover both. Regina is easier to get to, but if you don't mind driving and paying the toll, or taking a slightly longer train ride, then they are both easily reached. Why not go to each? Then you can weigh in on your pick.

                  1. re: hckybg

                    Call me crazy, but if I were visiting Boston for one night only, the ambiance/atmosphere/neighborhood of Pizzeria Regina would be a no-brainer over Santarpio's. I think both of the pies are good (tho' personally like Regina's just a bit better, esp when ordered well done) but I just think Regina's has so much more character, smack-dab in the middle of the north end.....such a dynamic, interesting, fun and walkable neighborhood. East Boston (at least where Santarpio's is) ...not so much. One very big +1 for Regina's, North End.

                    And btw, I like Al Dente a lot. Just really depends if you're looking for pasta or pizza. Both good choices.

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                    Al Dente Restaurant
                    109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                    1. re: twentyoystahs

                      twenty's reasoning is solid. Def not Santarpio's. I lived in Rome years ago and Regina's North End is the closest to great Roman pizza as you will find in Boston. well done a necessity.the tomato sauce and the WWII oven are part of the greatness.Many many pizza threads if you do a Boston CH search. try to get there early. Oh what happy campers you will be................:-}

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                      Pizzeria Regina
                      11 1/2 1/2 Thacher St, Boston, MA 02113

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        I've never had Roman pizza, but when I go out for pizza in Boston, I'm not interested in which "is the closest to great Roman pizza." I'm interested in which pleases me most. I love Regina's pizza. I love Santarpio's pizza. The etymology (so to speak) of their pizzas is of less interest to me. Just my two cents.

                      2. re: twentyoystahs

                        You might be crazy, but your reasoning is still fair. I will say that Santarpio's is full of character(s) but maybe that is best appreciated by those of us who live here, not one day visitors. To me Santarpio's has the same kind of character as the New Haven pizza parlors: no tourist kitsch, just the patina of many decades of stuff and stories amassing. It was especially fun to be at Santarpio's right after the Bruin's clinched their place in the Stanley Cup Final. So I'd say both are equally full of character and ambiance, but perhaps the ambiance at Regina and the surrounding North End would best fit the brief time the OP will have here.

                        1. re: hckybg

                          I love both Santarpio's and Regina's but geography puts me at the NE Regina's more often. I usually go for an early lunch..sausage and onion well done. Always great.

                          Santarpio's is great too; but I don't usually make a special trip...incorporate into a Logan run..

                          Funny how you associate it with a Bruin Stanley Cup win..must have been a crazy night there; To me, it brings back memories of Mike Eruzione and our 1980 Olympic Hockey team defeating the Soviet Union..generational thing..:)

                          Botton line, if I had 1 day, it would be Regina's..both for the pizza quality and the NE experience..so we're in agreement.

                          1. re: 9lives

                            mike's dad actually worked at santarpio's back then.

                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                              I didn't know that.. Certainly explains the the well deserved love. I knew ME was local but didn't know "that local."

                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                Jeepo (Mike's dad) was one of my favorite waiters there!

                                1. re: southie_chick

                                  I think there is Eruzione stuff somewhere on the walls, though I could be imagining things. And of course the great photo of JFK and Jackie walking through Eastie, past Santarpio's.

                                  1. re: hckybg

                                    I know there used to be a "skate painting" (Mike used his skate blade instead of a paint brush) that hung up in the back for a while (near the jukebox) but the past couple of times I was there we were sitting up front so I have no idea if it's still there.

                          2. re: twentyoystahs

                            You're crazy twentyoystahs! Santarpio's ambiance/atmosphere/neighborhood can't be beat! Don't get me wrong, I like Regina too, but the overall Santarpio's package trumps Regina's, IMHO. C'mon, waiters in track suits? Where else are you gonna find that?

                            1. re: Blumie

                              Yeah, but you're in the middle of nowhere. A dark, semi deserted street with a lone pizza shop on the corner. I mean, yeah, the pizza's good, but as far as I am concerned, Regina's is just as good (i personally think better) and then you've got the ENTIRE north end right outside your door. I'm visiting Boston for the day, I'd want to be where the action is. Not trekking all the way out of the city to some lone pizza joint laughing at waiters in track suits. I think Santarpios is a great experience for those of us who live here and might just be in search of good pizza (not caring so much about where or how we eat it) For a tourist visiting Boston for the day, not-so-much ;)

                              1. re: twentyoystahs

                                it completely amazes me that anyone would disagree with you on this. you are absolutely on the rational money. I am always disappointed when some CHs cannot think beyond what they like- to put themselves in the shoes of the(often first time and short term) visitor with their particular native city (restnt strengths and weaknesses) and activity agendas. Also, I do hope the visitors do their CH pastry search so they can see that Modern is the best way to go- ah sfogliadelle!

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                    Some tourists prefer to get off the beaten path, though . Roaming around with hoards of other tourists (which is pretty much what you do on a busy holiday weekend) isn't everyone's cup of tea. Perhaps some of us are putting themselves in these people's shoes, as "disappointing" as you may find that.

                                    1. re: LeoLioness

                                      I completely get where you are coming from, opinionatedchef, but that's not always the case. And I'd guess a lot of those of us who spend time on a message board about food for fun (:)) are the type who like to find the complete hole-in-the-wall in an out of the way neighborhood when they travel. I guess I'm trying to say that we give recommendations based on what we'd like because that is what many of us want when we ask similar questions. Since the OP offered Regina and Santarpio's as equally valid options, it seems like he or she is willing to go the less traveled route.

                                    2. re: opinionatedchef

                                      opinionatedchef, the fact that it "completely amazes" you that someone would have a different opinion speaks volumes. As I indicated, I think Santarpio's and Regina offer great pizza. Between the two, I prefer Santarpio, and I also think it's a more interesting and more authentic (for whatever that's worth) experience than Regina, where one inevitably lines up with throngs of tourists (not that that's necessarily a bad thing; because it is well known among tourists does not detract from the quality of the product). The fact that it's not the authentic Roman experience is irrelevant to me. The saying "when in Rome" may lead to a completely different conclusion when you're in Boston, not Rome! Just saying! Please don't imply that some us can't "thing beyond what [we] like" because we prefer something different than you. Just like your handle, we're entitled to be opinionated, too.

                                      1. re: Blumie

                                        Amen Blumie! Not everyone has the same taste or opinion.

                                        Santarpio's and Regina's serve two completely different type of pies.

                                        While I like both, I prefer Santarpio's better, especially when they are cooked right. I've had some soggy pie's come out of the oven on occasion at Santarpio's but that doesn't stop me from going. When Santarpio's pies are cooked right, there is no better pie for me.
                                        While I really like Regina pies too, I don't think one is better than the other because they are two different style pies. It is truely a matter of preference.

                                        I wouldn't consider Santarpio's or Regina's the best pizza in Boston. For me I give that to Gran Gusto which is a totally different pie from either of the two.

                                        To the orignal poster...if you are going to formulate an opinion on Boston pizza, Santarpio's and Regina's would be a great start seeing they are probably the two oldest joints in town.

                                        -----
                                        Gran Gusto
                                        90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                        1. re: Blumie

                                          gee blumie, you're misquoting me. opinions are great; i was referring to the reasoning behind 20 oyster's suggestions for the North End over Eastie. but as i mentioned, i will rarely counsel visitors to go to eastie, because i am most proud of Boston spots that offer great food in areas that show off the best of our attractive city. if you feel differently, so be it.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            I apologize if I misquoted you. But I still disagree with you (even if doing so amazes you!). When my wife and I travel, we seek out the off-the-beaten path places far more than the tried-and-true. Were we not familiar with the area, we would much prefer exploring Eastie than the North End. That's largely based on our philosophy that when we travel, we do so more to see and experience the people than the places themselves. Others clearly will feel differently (though that doesn't amaze me!). And, of course, this debate is easily solved if the OP would just agree to go to both!

                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              There's the perfect answer. Go to both...:) Santarpio's from the airport..3 min drive. Then a pie at Regina's.

                                              East Boston has some great chowfinds. I don't know if mentioned where you were coming and whether you have it at home but Eastie has a rich Latin culture with lots of small restaurants and markets. Ceviche and a fried seafood platter at Rincon Limeno Peruvian is always great.. Colombian, Salvadorean.. not to confuse you more..:) The NE gets the larger # of tourists but E Boston has it's charms too.

                                              -----
                                              Rincon Limeno
                                              409 Chelsea St, Boston, MA 02128

                              1. re: Blumie

                                I had no idea my innocent little question would garner so much discussion. On the other hand, people are passionate about pizza, so I guess I should have anticipated this. Just to clarify, we do plan to go to the North End to soak up the neighborhood ambiance and to go to either Modern or Mike's (better be careful here or I'll start a pastry war inside the pizza war). So I suppose Regina's would probably be the choice...although we will be picking up a car at the airport when we fly in and Santarpio's is right in the neighborhood...

                                1. re: gbpakrfan

                                  Just go to both, it sounds like it will be easy for you. And if you are arriving at an off hour, you won't even have to wait for Santarpio's. Then you can give us your judgment from an outside perspective.

                                  1. re: gbpakrfan

                                    Modern. Regina's. Just one hound's opinion. You'll find a million more.

                                    1. re: yumyum

                                      I totally agree. Regina for pizza (don't order anything fancy on your pizza) and then Modern for desert. A perfect dinner.

                                      1. re: Delhiwala

                                        I also agree with this. Regina's then Modern. (I've only been to Santapio's once and did not get all the love for that pizza at all.)

                                    2. re: gbpakrfan

                                      HA! can you see that Boston CHs are rabid about their pizza?!i think this thread will never die! <<Welcome to Boston, City of Serious Pizza Lovers!>>

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                                        Part of this is driven by what might be called auslander ex-pats who come from other cities with passion for pizza. A metro region with so many universities tends to be so blessed/afflicted.

                                  2. I love Al Dente and don't even place it in the same category as Regina or Santarpio's. Their food is exactly what you'd expect from an Italian place in Boston's North End. Cozy (ok, crowded), busy place with large portions and good Italian food. I've read other responses and realize we all have a different POV so I hope you find this helpful!

                                    -----
                                    Al Dente Restaurant
                                    109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                                    8 Replies
                                    1. re: rcastanon

                                      I love Al Dente as well, but I'd be hard pressed to try to get in there on a weekend night- yet alone a holiday weekend night! Although I can't imagine that dealing with Regina or Santarpio's will be much better.

                                      -----
                                      Al Dente Restaurant
                                      109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                                      1. re: Kirs

                                        Not to muddy the waters more than they already are (still can't decide between Santarpio's and Regina's...and probably won't have room to eat at both places PLUS Modern or Mikes probably Modern)...but one of our stops on our tour of New England will be New Haven. Right now we're pretty much set to go to Modern Pizza (hey, this could be a Modern-themed trip if we also go to Modern Pastry)...but know that there are a ton of opinions on New Haven's best pizza (or should I say a-pizza?), as well. Geez, this shouldn't have to be so difficult...

                                        1. re: gbpakrfan

                                          well, if you DO end up w/ pizza in New Haven (and there are, btw, CH reports from the last yr. of chow trips from NYC north to maine) PLSE report your experiences. Personally, i have not found sally's or pepe's to be a Regina's crown contender, but would love to hear your take on it. While you're there, don't know if you're looking for museums, but the recently renovated Yale Art Gallery is tremendous for 19th c. and early 20th c.

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            I disagree--I prefer New Haven vs Regina-- Pepe's is another animal.

                                          2. re: gbpakrfan

                                            I'd vote Regina's. The pizza, neighborhood and service are better IMO.

                                            1. re: Gabatta

                                              Yep, I agree. Though if you are going to New Haven for pizza you could just ditch the Boston pizza idea altogether (and then not have to sift thru all our *very* strong opinions) and eat at Al Dente..

                                              -----
                                              Al Dente Restaurant
                                              109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                                            2. re: gbpakrfan

                                              I don't know how frequently you go to Boston, but if I was going to be in the neighborhood with access to a car - I'd go to Santarpio's. I like the roasted meat they serve. The bread didn't do much for me.I can't speak to Al Dente, but you can't go wrong with either of the other two pizzas. Regina would be perfect for a more pedestrian experience the next time you're in town.

                                              As for New Haven? I prefer Sally's, but it's a POS to get in if you don't get there when it opens. Of the big three Modern is probably my least favorite, but that's a personal preference.

                                              -----
                                              Al Dente Restaurant
                                              109 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                                              1. re: ladybugthepug

                                                And you can compare Boston and New Haven pizza to this little gem (I've not tried) in Meriden: http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                        2. just came across this review from the restaurant critic for The Boston Gobe, written as part of a pizza crawl in 2009, fyi:

                                          "Devra First, Globe Staff

                                          *Regina Pizzeria

                                          In the Regina vs. Santarpio’s debate, I’m going to have to go with Regina. Open since 1926 and everything a pizza place should be - fabulous pies from the brick oven, pitchers of beer, boisterous waitresses, and Sinatra on the jukebox. That’s amore! (And yes, that’s on the jukebox, too.) "

                                          http://www.boston.com/ae/restaurants/...

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                                            You're not gonna let this one go, are you?

                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              OP doesn't travel to East Boston because it's not pretty.

                                              1. re: Infomaniac

                                                I don't care about pretty. I care about pizza. I used to be in the pizza business in a previous life, so pretty doesn't matter. Like I said earlier, we're going to the North End, anyway to go to Modern Pastry, so I don't need pretty/ambiance/glamour/atmosphere with my pizza. I will say, though, that I am NOT a fan of burned/charred crust and a lot of crust without sauce going to the edge. So if one of these places fits that description more than the other, I'll have my answer.

                                                -----
                                                Modern Pastry
                                                257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                                                1. re: gbpakrfan

                                                  Sorry, infomaniac misspoke: that was apparently a dig at the poster above, who has repeatedly said that she doesn't like to send visitors to neighborhoods she considers unsightly. As a proud resident of one of these neighborhoods, I disagree, but whatever. I don't think it was directed at you.

                                                  That said, I strongly feel that what you want is the Regina/Modern combo. You will not have to worry about over-charred crust (you have to specifically ask for "well done" if you want a browner crust, and even that's not close to blackened), and I don't consider the crust undersauced. You'll be happy and you'll be able to kill two birds with one stone, with a pleasant five-minute walk in between. Win-win.

                                                  1. re: gbpakrfan

                                                    Jenny is right, I was playing with the poster, and you will find very good pizza at Regina's or Santarpio's.
                                                    If you are going to the North End, stay there. It has a lot more to offer than heading to Santarpio's.
                                                    As fas as overdone crust, I've had it happen at Regina's and Santarpio's. It happens and it doesn't bum me out. I like it that way sometimes.

                                            2. Pizzaria Regina!!! There is no other choice. I've tried all others, and nothing comes close. Need one right now.
                                              You Will Enjoy,
                                              CocoDan

                                              1. Regina's is terrible. Sorry, I had to say it. The pies are limp and gooey, even when ordered "well done." If anyone Chowhounds have eaten at DiFara's or Totonno's, you know the stuff that Regina's tries to pedal is "mediocre" at best. Santarpio's is quite good, but it's only worth the effort to drive to East Boston once in a blue moon (and this comes from a Bostonian who's been to DiFara's five times over the past five years). Personally, if had weekend to eat in Boston, I'd get a few cheese slices at Galleria Umberto (also in the North End) for lunch (they're open Mon.-Sat., 11-3), along with some panzarotti, arancini (both are to die for, and SO cheap!) and a cup (yes, a cup) of red wine. This place has character AND amazing food. Then, for dinner, I'd grab a lobster roll at Neptune (also in the North End) and follow that up with a cannolo, an espresso and a chunk of torrone (to take home) at Modern Pastry Shop. If, however, you want to have the best pizza that Boston has to offer, I'd recommend heading to Pizzeria Posto in Davis Square (Somerville - easily accessible via the Red Line). Posto serves true Neapolitan-style pies from a wood burning brick oven. They got mixed reviews when they first opened two years ago, but the pizzas have improved markedly since then. If fact, the marinara I had there last month was one of the greatest pies that ever crossed my lips (and I've had some amazing pies from many of the best pizzerias in the country). Try to make reservations or plan on waiting two-plus hours for a table on a weekend night. I've been to Gran Gusto a number of times as well and, before trying places like Una Pizza Napoletana and Keste in NYC, I used to think it they made a good Neapolitan pie. Now I know better. If you do Posto, take the Red Line back to Central Square (Cambridge) and treat yourself to a scoop of burnt caramel ice cream at Toscanini's. The New York Times called Toscanini's "the best ice cream in the country" and I'd have to agree (sorry Jeni's). Enjoy your trip.

                                                -----
                                                Modern Pastry
                                                257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                                                Gran Gusto
                                                90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                Pizzeria Posto
                                                187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                19 Replies
                                                1. re: dbarneschi

                                                  Mediocre or terrible, which is it? You trollin'...?

                                                  1. re: emannths

                                                    All I know is the day I eat a few Galleria Umberto slices, some panzarotti, arancini, and a cup of wine, a lobster roll with butter, a cannolo, and a chunk of torrone will be both the greatest and the last day of my life.

                                                    1. re: emannths

                                                      Prbly, look at the poster history.

                                                      Anyway, this is the first time I've ever read someone complaining of flabby crust at PR compared to Santarpio's; however, there are lots of complaints going back years in the other direction.

                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        Rule #1 of Santarpio's: ask for WELL DONE

                                                        Rule #2: Do not ask for a salad

                                                        1. re: NahantNative

                                                          I've always done that. It's still inconsistent, often flabby. It's weird. I love it when it's great, but that's about 1/3 of the time on average. Regina's has been consistently great in my experience. And I never overload my pizza, let alone with wet ingredients.

                                                      2. re: emannths

                                                        While I completely dissagree with dbarneshi's conclusions about Regina's, I think I can say by reviewing his recent posts he is NOT a troll.....probably just (like the rest of us) a passionate critic.

                                                        That being said, I find it very hard to believe that he has had the straight cheese or a one topping (not vegetable/wet) pizza at Regina's, as if he had, there is no way it could be rated terrible. I was there today for craps sake with my son, and it was outstanding.

                                                      3. re: dbarneschi

                                                        here is an article about pizza from alan richman; though clearly there are no answers; just a few places that you might wish to try on your journeys. Phoenix, of all places has one of the most famous pizza places in America: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/3087214...

                                                        and another from food and wine: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/food-wi...

                                                        1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                          OT..I've eaten at a # of those places...and as I'm sure you know, there are many styles of pizza. Gran Gusto and Regina's are 2 different foods..both named pizza. I like them both.

                                                          Went to Bianco in Phoenix and we had a 4 hour wait at opening time and I passed. You need to take a beeper, and you have to stick around, so no opinion on the actual product. A # of friends on this board have had similar experiences. I walked through and it looked to be very thin crust, with charred edges...lots of arugula. More Gran Gusto style than Regina's/Santarpios. If you you grew up in the NY/Boston/RI/CT metro area; not what you grew up with....but looked great,,4 hours..:) yikes, maybe next time.

                                                          -----
                                                          Bianco's Inc.
                                                          375 Revere St, Revere, MA 02151

                                                          Gran Gusto
                                                          90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                          1. re: 9lives

                                                            Bianco has a minimum 3hr wait. Always.

                                                          2. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                            The Food and Wine and the Alan Richman lists are both pretty solid, but the Rachel Ray Pizza Madness Bracket done by Ed Levine and Adam Kuban at Slice is definitely the first resource I turn to for pizza "rankings": http://slice.seriouseats.com/archives...

                                                            1. re: dbarneschi

                                                              Great Lake in Chi-town and Bianco seem to be near the top of everyone's list. Their NYC choice was unusual. There was another book on pizza written, that led to Bianco and Great Lake in the final 2 with Bianco winning. And Great Lake is not a place where you will waltz in and get a slice; places like Bernadine and Jean-Georges and EMP are a lot easier to get it.

                                                              -----
                                                              Bianco's Inc.
                                                              375 Revere St, Revere, MA 02151

                                                            2. re: cambridgedoctpr

                                                              My wife and I have done very well following Alan Richman's suggestions. In fact, we detour to Providence regularly to go to Bob & Timmy's, a place we probably never would have known about but for that article. Can't wait to get to the place in Phoenix!

                                                              BTW, I agree with the sentiment that there are lots of different types of food all called "pizza." There's room for Santarpio's AND for Regina! And we spend most of our time in NYC, and as a general rule prefer what we can get in NYC to Boston (we love Saraghina in Brooklyn and Co. in Manhattan best, though lots of NYers feel VERY strongly that we're wrong and they're right in their preference for Keste or Motorino or whatever!), but that doesn't mean we don't love getting us some Santarpio's or Regina or Bob & Timmy's.

                                                              1. re: Blumie

                                                                Welll...it is now the morning after and I can report that our Regina experience was AWESOME!! That pizza was absolutely out of this world (although the pepper and onion chunks were a bit big...but they were very fresh-tasting, so no problem.) The crust was one of the best I ever had. Our waitress was a character and I told her we had gotten advice on-line about where to go for pizza. I asked her if she had been to Santarpio's and she said that in her honest and unbiased opinion, Santarpio's is good...but nowhere near asgood as Regina. I know, what's she supposed to say, right? But I could tell she was sincere...and after having tried Regina for myself, I can't imagine Santarpio's being any better. We'll be back in the Boston area next Friday before we fly home and we could go to Santarpio's if we really wanted to. However, I think we'll pass and go to Gennaro's in Quincy for Italian instead, especially since we're staying down that way. I would say Regina is the second best pizza I've ever had. The first would be at Patsy Grimaldi's in Scottsdale, AZ two years ago. It's the same family that owns Grimaldi's in Brookyn and they actually ship Brooklyn water to AZ to make the dough. Of course, we'll be in New Haven in a few days and we'll be having pizza there (right now the plan is to go to Modern). Speaking of Modern, we stopped at Modern Pastry after Regina and the cannolis were awesome, as well!

                                                                -----
                                                                Modern Pastry
                                                                257 Hanover St, Boston, MA

                                                                1. re: gbpakrfan

                                                                  YAY, fan! i just love it when a visitor has a really top experience! look forw to the Modern report from new haven (plse do add it to this thread so we can see it, as it will inform us about our own regina's.) Have a great week of discoveries.

                                                                  1. re: gbpakrfan

                                                                    There is no shortage of pizza myths, and water may be the biggest. Grimaldi's does not ship water to any of their 37+ locations, they alter the local tap water to make it closer to that of Brooklyn water. Great marketing, but there is little evidence that this is in fact true.

                                                                    From their website: "It has been said that the secret to true New York-style pizza is the water. Grimaldi’s believes that too, going to great lengths to keep the integrity of the water used in the Brooklyn pizzeria by hiring a chemist to analyze and recreate the mineral content and exact composition of the water to ensure the dough tastes the same"

                                                                    It appears you like chain pizzerias best so I'm happy that you found Regina to your liking.

                                                                    1. re: T.Clark

                                                                      Useful mythbusting, but what's up with your snipe at the end? Is that necessary?

                                                                      1. re: hckybg

                                                                        OP likes Regina almost as much as Grimaldi's. I'd say that's a compliment. They are both very good chain pizzerias.

                                                                        1. re: T.Clark

                                                                          The original Regina's is a different beast than the rest of the locations.

                                                                          1. re: Gabatta

                                                                            Indeed. That's not a chain location. There's a distinction among: (1) the mother ship, (2) the two satellite locations in Medford and Allston Depot, (3) the Polcari's in Woburn and Saugus; and (4) the more than dozen other chain locations (reduced in scale from the past), properly speaking. That's a descending order of quality, and it's very noticeable. There's no attempt to blend the levels.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Polcari's Restaurant
                                                                            309 Montvale Ave, Woburn, MA 01801

                                                            3. If we are talking just pizza minus the old school ambiance,I think Picco is the best I've had in Boston.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: phatchris

                                                                I have a review of Modern Apizza in new Haven but don't want this to get buried in the mountain of replies, so I will start another thread...Al Dente, Santarpio's or Regina (Part 2).

                                                                1. re: gbpakrfan

                                                                  here's the link to fan's review of modern:

                                                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/812508

                                                                  thnx fan for reporting back. if it makes you feel any better, i did the sally's/pepe thing 5? yrs ago and saw no reason for the hoopla. maybe it's a hometown dna type deal.