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Pizza and beer...

So, I have a fairly new DC in my life. While the child of Dot parents and a South Shore childhood, she has been away for more then a decade. We have been hitting the best chow spots in town for a bit now and are looking for something more low key. I drew a blank when she requested a chill place for pizza and beer. The Salty Pig was rejected as too fancy (for tonight, we have been a few times otherwise). Aside from the Newtowne in Porter I can't think of anything that fits. You know, split a pie and salad, linger over a pitcher or 2, fairly cheap but not a take out focused place. The South End would be best case scenario, but we drive or take the t for roti or tacos so I don't think going a few miles would be the end of the world. Thanks

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  1. Ha, came here to post Newtowne just from reading the subject line. Place rules.

    5 Replies
    1. re: rknrll

      Every time I've been there, it's been dirty, kinda stinky, the pizza's been cafeteria-quality, and the beer's watery. It's cheap, though, I'll give it that!

      1. re: Boston_Otter

        The pizza is of a certain type to be sure, but better then cafeteria quality. The beer selection is small but they have a few drinkable options. It's not ideal. But it represents a kind of place from a time and place that are fast retreating in the rear-view mirror (granted the new chow options are much better, but it's the set and setting I'm talking about here)

        1. re: coolaugustmoon

          It's gentrified a lot over the last 5 years. I remember back when you could hear all of the locals hush and check you out if you weren't a regular and the beer options were basically bud & bud lite - now it's more of a hipster & 20/30 something crowd and they have some craft beer options. There was even a spiffy paint job a few years back.

          I'd say the pizza ain't great but is ok for what it's trying to be, particularly when you consider it's only a few bucks if you're getting a pitcher of beer.

          Neither the pizza nor the beer selection are all that and a bag of chips, but it's the sort of place that I can go with my friends and end up full & tipsy for not a whole lot of cash (unless I partake too much in keno).

          1. re: jgg13

            I won $150 playing Keno once at Newtowne by trying to lose (pick 12 numbers and hit 0 to win $4) but I hit 8/12 for $150.

            Also, 5 years ago this April I went to my now girlfriend's birthday thing at Newtowne. Very memorable as a girl at the bar pissed herself and left without a shoe.

            1. re: rknrll

              Dang, I need to go there more often!

    2. hmmm, while I would usually recomend Regina's (as they have the best pizza in town IMHO), they don't serve salad.....but in the same neighborhood is Ducali, which has pretty good pizza, and other items on the menu, and I think the atmosphere fits the bill.

        1. Area 4?

          I love the pizza at Coppa, but maybe it's not as laid-back as you want?

          2 Replies
          1. re: LeoLioness

            I was thinking the new outpost, the A4 pizza bar outside of union square.

            1. re: LeoLioness

              Coppa is very nice when you grab an outside table - obviously that depends on the weather - and eat your pizza al fresco. It is my favorite pizza in Boston.

            2. Waaay back in the day my go-to for pizza & beer was Crossroads, but that was decades ago and apparently now the pizzas are "flatbreads" and are a minor part of the menu.

              Hmm - speaking of pubby places that have pizzas as part of a bigger menu, what about Doyle's out in JP?

              1. Would Santarpio's fit the bill?

                1. The problem with Regina and Santarpio's is that they both serve the same crap beer.

                  1. Picco? probably a bit pricier than you'd like, and the place is crowded, though i've not felt rushed as we lingered over desserts (the opposite, if anything, despite the crowd, felt it was a bit odd that they weren't quicker bringing us the check).

                    but i enjoy their more interesting pizzas, and the beer list is probably better than most of the cheaper pizza spots.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: valcfield

                      Agreed, if South End is your preferred neighborhood then Picco seems like the best bet.

                    2. I'd second Flatbread in Davis Sq (it has bowling, too!) and would add Posto, between Davis & Porter, for a bit more upscale pizza/salad/beer.

                      1. PICCO has to top this list...I can't think of anything more appropriate..less the non-pitchers of beer...and probably higher cost...oops

                        1. Waterfront Cafe, Pushcart Pizza or Ducali in the North End.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: phatchris

                            I also like the Waterfront Cafe for this, but that may be a bit out of the OP's wheelhouse for location. If you live nearby or are in the general area (for a TD Garden event), I would recommend Waterfront for pizza and beer. It has the ambiance I think you are looking for, the pizza is really good, and they have an above average beer selection.

                            1. re: ebone

                              We FINALLY made it to Waterfront Cafe this past Sunday, pre-Celts. We loved the ambience (much more warm and cozy than I expected...little touches like the lamps on the bar and tons of woodwork really speak to us).

                              Sadly, we did not try the pizza since I'd been making pizza at home all week long but had chili (ok - a bit too tomato-y) and a veggie eggplant wrap, which was also ok (I'm not usually a wrap fan...what was I thinking?!).

                          2. Thanks folks. I think Newtowne is going to win by default. Nothing else really like it left in the close-in areas. I am just interpreting what I think my DC is looking for. I guess that strip of Cambridge/Watertown with Greg's and Conleys and Mt Auburn grill "ambience" but with pizza. Anything like that left in Eastie? The North End has stuff that's close enough if all else fails.

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: coolaugustmoon

                                I've recently been twice to La Hacienda, on the Somerville/Cambridge line near Twin Cities Plaza. I do not recommend this place for the food, but the atmosphere is very, very old school and despite the mediocre food, my SO and I like it better than Vinny's. Sometimes you just want to chill and do without any pretense at all. It's Italian despite the name, with all the red sauce dishes. We haven't tried the pizza;they claim to be the first place in MA to serve pizza. There is an off street parking lot down the street. Again, not wonderful food but might be just what your DC is looking for. We liked the service and the servers.

                                1. re: Madrid

                                  I think La Hacienda is the place -- I actually like their pizza. Pretty good wings as well.

                              2. I haven't been in several years, but Anchovies would fit this bill for old school.

                                Emma's in Kendall Square was exactly this for years, but I was disappointed in the pizza last time I was there a few months ago (their house salad was still awesome).

                                Cambridge.1 in Harvard Square is a bit more upscale but really good as well

                                Za in Kendall Square or Arlington provides this to me as well

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: rlh

                                  I was thinking Cambridge 1 as well, even though it's out of the target area.

                                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                                    I've always wanted to like Cambridge 1, but every time I've gone, I wondered why I came back (at the insistence of DCs, usually). Pizza was ok for me, but not worth the price. I don't much like Miracle of Science, either, never got why either place is so popular. But that's just me.

                                    1. re: Madrid

                                      MoS has exactly one item which I like quite a bit (roni burger). The last ~15 years, every single time I've strayed from that one burger I've been disappointed.

                                      1. re: jgg13

                                        See, this is why I like your posts: you have a preferred menu item at the _science_ _museum._

                                        1. re: enhF94

                                          Haha not quite. miracle, not museum :)

                                          1. re: jgg13

                                            Dammit. :) Well, at least I agree with you about the disappointment.

                                2. Woody's (full name: Woody's Grille & Tap) sounds like what you want.


                                  58 Hemenway Street over near Symphony Hall. Simple wood oven pizzas in a simple setting.


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BostonZest

                                    Damn. I forgot about woody's. It would have been great. I'm re-filing it away. Close by, good pizza and beer. We ended up with a 12 pack and some Regina's take out which did the trick, but woody's next time. Thanks Zest!

                                  2. Waterfront Cafe is my choice for that type of evening

                                    1. The Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale is a old time relaxed place with good pizza.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: catsmeow

                                        Used to love this joint but the food has become straight up Sysco.

                                        1. re: hyde

                                          The pizza is still good as well as their fried clams.

                                          1. re: catsmeow

                                            Catsmeow speaks the truth, the clams are super delish.

                                      2. Must order well done now.

                                        1. Another vote for Picco...the pizza rocks and the beer list always has some interesting choices on it. It's not super cheap, but not as pricey as some of the other spots in the South End. They don't take reservations for small parties so expect a wait during peak times.

                                          1. When I'm in the mood for pizza and beer, I head to Russell House. Their pizzas are of the flatbread variety -- very thin, crispy crust -- and the choices are limited (I think they normally have five or six on the menu), but they're delicious, and they have great beer. I really like sitting at the downstairs bar.

                                            11 Replies
                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              How do you stand the 'tude at that place? I always feel like I am doing the staff a favor by being there.

                                              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                How do you stand the 'tide since you go there often enough to 'always' feel that way?

                                                1. re: Bellachefa

                                                  not that this is necessarily be the case here, but i feel like everyone has a place or two they get dragged out bc it's convenient for one reason or another (handles large groups, close to work, etc. etc.), tolerates, but would not go back of their own volition ;)

                                                  1. re: valcfield

                                                    Indeed. There are several paces that of never choose to go to on my own but end up there somewhat frequently, mainly due to friends, family and colleagues wanting to go there. The company is more important e the location to me and these aren't places that I loathe, merely prefer to avoid

                                                  2. re: Bellachefa

                                                    It was a somewhat provocative comment, I admit. Been there enough to not want to go back. If you've never perceived anything, that's great - you are likely cool enough to fit within their target demographic. I have been made to feel that I am not.

                                                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                      We had an odd experience there - walked into the almost empty bar to have a drink at around 4:30 in the afternoon, were told that we couldn't sit at a table unless we were having dinner. We didn't have time for dinner (had to get home to pickup the kids) or the energy to go somewhere else (had just received devastating news at a doctor's appointment) so we dutifully sat at the bar for our drinks. I heard the hostess tell at least one other party the same thing. We left around 5 and the bar will still very empty.

                                                      1. re: gimlis1mum

                                                        This very thing happened to us, not long after RHT opened.

                                                        Sorry to hear that you have bad news. :(

                                                      2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        I've had decent experiences there when alone or in duo, but there is so much attitude when there is a group involved. And this is not at all a high maintenance or annoying group (although we aren't laced with tattoos, so maybe that puts us in the uncool category). I was there with a group and they wouldn't let us have one of the empty tables, then got annoyed when we were doubled up at the bar. We were there for 1.5 hours and when we left there was still nobody seated at the tables(the hightops near the bar and stairwell). It made no sense to us and consequently we go elsewhere for after work drinks and food.

                                                    2. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                      I have never experienced attitude at Russell House. I have always found the service to be quite good. (Once, a bartender forgot to put my food order into the kitchen. He apologized profusely and comped my meal, and we have become decent friends since.) Obviously YMMV, but it's always struck me as a very friendly place.

                                                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                        have always had friendly service at rh, but last time we went my friend's pizza was so gloppy with cheese it made me queasy just to look at it.

                                                      2. re: Blumie

                                                        I like the food and drinks at Russell House, including the flatbreads, although I get the impression it's a little upscale for the OP's request, as it's at least as upscale as Salty Pig. I would likely avoid Fri/Sat due to crowds, but I've never had a service/attitude problem, although I'm pretty laid back.

                                                      3. have you tried La hacienda in Somerville, between Twin City and the target shopping center. it fits the bill

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: momoftwo

                                                          I posted about it up line. We have not tried the pizza but like the authentic old school atmosphere sometimes. Should we try the pizza? which kind?

                                                        2. Penguin Pizza on Huntington? I've not been a few years but seem to remember it as having excellent beer + excellent pizza and a cozy vibe.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: MXG

                                                            Oh yes! Haven't been there in a long while either but we used to like it a lot.

                                                          2. How about Riverside in Cambridge?

                                                            1. For the nicer places, I think it's Area 4, then Picco and Ducali. (Heard the new place on Hanover is good, too.) I think those are better than Za or Cambridge 1.

                                                              For the rest, I'd take La Hacienda over Woody's or Newtowne, unless you are very focused on drinking, in which case Newtowne. Flatbread Co is good but kind of a different animal in my mind.

                                                              1. Upstairs at Bocelli's in Medford Square might work.