HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >

Pizza and beer...

coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:16 PM

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. r
    rknrll RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:21 PM

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

    5 Replies
    1. re: rknrll
      Boston_Otter RE: rknrll Feb 7, 2014 02:20 PM

      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
        coolaugustmoon RE: Boston_Otter Feb 7, 2014 02:35 PM

        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
          jgg13 RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 03:44 PM

          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
            rknrll RE: jgg13 Feb 7, 2014 06:44 PM

            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
              Bob Dobalina RE: rknrll Feb 9, 2014 12:02 PM

              Dang, I need to go there more often!

    2. d
      devilham RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:22 PM

      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. g
        grant.cook RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:27 PM

        Flatbread in David Sq.

        2 Replies
        1. re: grant.cook
          LeoLioness RE: grant.cook Feb 7, 2014 12:44 PM

          Second this.

          1. re: LeoLioness
            addiez RE: LeoLioness Feb 10, 2014 09:48 AM


        2. l
          LeoLioness RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:27 PM

          Area 4?

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

          2 Replies
          1. re: LeoLioness
            jgg13 RE: LeoLioness Feb 7, 2014 03:45 PM

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

            1. re: LeoLioness
              cambridgedoctpr RE: LeoLioness Feb 9, 2014 12:20 PM

              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. Allstonian RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:34 PM

              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. Science Chick RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:37 PM

                Would Santarpio's fit the bill?

                1. b
                  Blumie RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:46 PM

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

                  1. v
                    valcfield RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:52 PM

                    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
                      kenner83 RE: valcfield Feb 7, 2014 02:02 PM

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

                    2. Boston_Otter RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 12:57 PM

                      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. m
                        meeps2002 RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 01:06 PM

                        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. p
                          phatchris RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 01:17 PM

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

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: phatchris
                            ebone RE: phatchris Feb 12, 2014 06:47 AM

                            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
                              digga RE: ebone Feb 13, 2014 11:46 AM

                              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. c
                            coolaugustmoon RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 02:15 PM

                            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
                              phatchris RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 06:57 AM

                              Kelly Square in Eastie would work.

                              1. re: coolaugustmoon
                                Madrid RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 12:14 PM

                                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
                                  Duster17 RE: Madrid Feb 10, 2014 06:25 AM

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

                              2. rlh RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 03:15 PM

                                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
                                  gimlis1mum RE: rlh Feb 7, 2014 05:51 PM

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

                                  1. re: gimlis1mum
                                    Madrid RE: gimlis1mum Feb 8, 2014 12:17 PM

                                    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
                                      jgg13 RE: Madrid Feb 8, 2014 12:52 PM

                                      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
                                        enhF94 RE: jgg13 Feb 8, 2014 08:00 PM

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

                                        1. re: enhF94
                                          jgg13 RE: enhF94 Feb 9, 2014 10:36 AM

                                          Haha not quite. miracle, not museum :)

                                          1. re: jgg13
                                            enhF94 RE: jgg13 Feb 11, 2014 09:25 AM

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

                                2. BostonZest RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 7, 2014 03:32 PM

                                  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
                                    coolaugustmoon RE: BostonZest Feb 8, 2014 06:35 AM

                                    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. p
                                    Pegmeister RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 03:03 AM

                                    Waterfront Cafe is my choice for that type of evening

                                    1. c
                                      catsmeow RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 04:48 AM

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

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: catsmeow
                                        hyde RE: catsmeow Feb 8, 2014 05:52 AM

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

                                        1. re: hyde
                                          catsmeow RE: hyde Feb 8, 2014 06:26 AM

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

                                          1. re: catsmeow
                                            devilham RE: catsmeow Feb 8, 2014 06:48 AM

                                            Catsmeow speaks the truth, the clams are super delish.

                                      2. trufflehound RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 06:29 AM

                                        Must order well done now.

                                        1. chefematician RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 8, 2014 09:56 AM

                                          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. b
                                            Blumie RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 10, 2014 04:43 PM

                                            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
                                              Bob Dobalina RE: Blumie Feb 10, 2014 09:37 PM

                                              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
                                                Bellachefa RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 11, 2014 05:31 AM

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

                                                1. re: Bellachefa
                                                  valcfield RE: Bellachefa Feb 11, 2014 05:37 AM

                                                  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
                                                    jgg13 RE: valcfield Feb 11, 2014 06:13 AM

                                                    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
                                                    Bob Dobalina RE: Bellachefa Feb 12, 2014 02:57 AM

                                                    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
                                                      gimlis1mum RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 12, 2014 08:58 AM

                                                      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
                                                        digga RE: gimlis1mum Feb 13, 2014 11:42 AM

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

                                                        Sorry to hear that you have bad news. :(

                                                      2. re: Bob Dobalina
                                                        uman RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 12, 2014 09:22 AM

                                                        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
                                                      Blumie RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 11, 2014 11:12 AM

                                                      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
                                                        hotoynoodle RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 11, 2014 11:22 AM

                                                        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
                                                        CportJ RE: Blumie Feb 13, 2014 12:07 PM

                                                        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. m
                                                        momoftwo RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 11, 2014 04:39 AM

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

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: momoftwo
                                                          Madrid RE: momoftwo Feb 11, 2014 05:38 PM

                                                          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. m
                                                          MXG RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 11, 2014 09:15 AM

                                                          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
                                                            gimlis1mum RE: MXG Feb 12, 2014 08:59 AM

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

                                                          2. b
                                                            bear RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 11, 2014 11:37 AM

                                                            How about Riverside in Cambridge?

                                                            1. c
                                                              CportJ RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 11, 2014 09:47 PM

                                                              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. w
                                                                weg RE: coolaugustmoon Feb 13, 2014 07:42 AM

                                                                Upstairs at Bocelli's in Medford Square might work.

                                                                Show Hidden Posts