I came across many pizza places whilst exploring the East Coast recently, many of which I had been informed were “the best” either in the area, or the entire world, depending on the level of hubris the place was going for. But few came close to my experience at Regina, Boston.
Boston’s North End has a long history of Italian heritage, with pizza and pasta seemingly available on every corner. The area is home to many historical sites including Paul Revere’s house, and lots of other areas along “The Freedom Trail”. In terms of the food, anyone with true local know-how will point you in the direction of Regina. It has become so popular in fact, that according to TripAdvisor reviewers, it’s the #1 pizza place in the US!
Based on these rave reviews, I had to try the place out for myself. I managed to slip into the exclusive establishment whilst the Patriots were playing the Chiefs earlier this month which meant I got to experience a slightly smaller queue than usual. Regina is frequented so heavily by tourists and locals alike, that they have a bouncer on the door, coordinating when people may enter their cheese and tomato haven.
Once I made it inside, I was met by the owner, who hastily directed me towards the bar to begin my order. The place was packed, and I counted myself lucky I came during such an important sporting event that I’d had no previous knowledge of. The pizza itself ticked all the boxes. And despite going for the smaller option of the “Pollo Regina” ($13.25 for the 10” - all prices in this article are before tax and service charge so add about 25%), the toppings are so extensive, I couldn’t even finish it in one sitting. The first thing that is immediately apparent is the freshness of the ingredients, the cheese, the broccoli, the chicken and every other vegetable that made its way onto the slice was incredibly fresh and flavourful.
All this is packed onto a unique crust that finds the perfect balance between density and lightness. To go with your meal, Regina has an extensive list of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages across wine, beer and soft drinks. A 16oz Peroni beer was $6 or $16 for a pitcher. With all this in mind, Regina is slightly more expensive than the average pizzeria in Boston, but well worth the few extra bucks.
The staff manage to cultivate a true Italian family atmosphere inside the restaurant, and seeing the owner and his staff interact as pizzas were escorted around the room added to the overall ambiance nicely.
Overall Regina was a superb family establishment that will fill your desire to get a real Boston experience, and fill your stomach with some of the best pizza you’ll ever eat. After all, it’s been around since 1926.
Regina Pizzeria (Boston North End)
1 Thatcher Street (Quincy Market)
Nearest train station: Haymarket