5.25.2011

Santarpio's vs. Regina's - Which One's Better?

I took a brief break this week from trying to find the best burger in Boston and moved on to trying to find the best pizza in Boston.  Since I love a good food fight, I pitted two popular pizza spots in the city, Santarpio's in East Boston and Regina's in the North End, against each other to see who one puts out a better pie. (Pardon the pictures, by the way, they were taken from my Blackberry!)

Pizzeria Regina
Let's start with Pizzeria Regina, shall we? Tucked away in the North End but easily spotted by the crowds of people that line up around the corner, the decor is pretty lackluster and outdated but in a charming (for lack of better word) way. The dining room is packed and the pies are served up with a little attitude and a thick Boston accent. Regina's boasts a vast menu that is simple and traditional but also offers other combinations for those that crave more toppings. Keeping it simple, I opted for the Margherita pizza, which is a classic combination of tomato sauce, mozzarella and romano cheeses and then topped with fresh basil. We didn't have to wait long for the pizza to come out, hot and with the cheese still bubbling. At first bite, the crust is killer. It's everything you'd want a good crust to be. Soft and crispy at the same time, doughy but not in a bad way and with a flavor that is slightly sweet. The sauce and cheese were a great compliment, lightly gracing the top of the pizza in a way that wasn't too overpowering. I finished the pizza and found myself still hungry for more. However, this certainly isn't the type of place where you hang out for hours. Once the last bite is taken, you get rushed out, the table is quickly cleaned off and new patrons are seated before you're even out the door. Can't say I blame them. After all, they've got a mob of hungry customers waiting.

Santarpio's 
Moving over to East Boston, in another unassuming corner of the street, sits the famed Santarpio's Pizza. Less touristy and with an atmosphere that is slightly grittier then Regina's and service to match, Santarpio's is known not just for good pizza but for its BBQ as well. An interesting combination but it seems to work just fine. Seated at a rickety wooden booth, the pizza came out piping hot and nicely charred. Because I was with a larger crowd, I got to sample both their Italian Cheese Pizza and the Pepperoni Pizza. A little greasier than Regina's, it was also more generously topped with a thick layer of richly flavored tomato sauce and melted cheese. With the pepperoni pizza, the topping was generously served and hidden under the layer of cheese. The crust was much crispier and less doughy and the bottom was heavily dusted with cornmeal that popped with each bite. The ever popular lamb barbecue (which was strongly recommended to me) was charred nicely but under seasoned and lackluster.

While both are definitely a great pizza and well worth the trip if you haven't been, for me, I chose Regina's by a nose and accredit its win to its superior crust. I'd love to hear other's opinions, either on these two particular pizza spots or any others that you think are good in the city...let's get the discussion going!

Santarpio's Pizza on Urbanspoon
Pizzeria Regina on Urbanspoon

12 comments:

In and Around Town said...

The crust at Regina's is delicious, but I really am looking forward to trying Santarpio's!

Megan said...

I still have not been to Santarpio's but love Regina's. I grew up near New Haven though... so Regina's is basically the holdover until I can get home for real pizza.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

I went to school in Hamden...which is you're favorite there? Pepe's? Sally's? Another option?

PigTrip said...

Totally agree on Santarpio's "BBQ" fare, which has only the flavor of charcoal with no smokiness or rub or marinade to balance that out. As for the pizza, the crust goes to Regina's, but so does the sauce and by a mile. Santarpio's sauce tastes really muted.

To a much lesser extent, these two pizza joints are the Bartley's and O'Sullivan's of pizza. They've been around forever and made their name when few others were doing it.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Agree and love the metaphor, PigTrip only I think that Regina's is actually good for a no-frills pizza and I pick it over Santarpio's. The others aren't worth the hype in the burger world in my book.

Joe said...

Sorry, Katie. I hadn't had the lamb before, just the steak and sausage (mind you that was a couple of years ago, but I thought it was good).

But, I do agree that between the two, it's still Regina. The waitresses love you when you don't need a menu and just order a pizza and a pitcher. Makes you seem like you're not some daytripper, you know?

Daisy said...

Reginas for the win! I love their pizza. In the north end I also love Il panino express because its just a litttle closer walking distance and a little less expensive. but I agree regina's crust is top notch. Never been to Santarpios though!!

Jena said...

Santarpios is by far my favorite!

Boston Food Diary said...

Santarpios has a certain..."Boston-ness" that you just don't find many other places. They aren't rude and abrupt because its a schtick- its cause they just are. Makes me love Santarpios just for being them. That said- I'd have to do a side by side comparison to rule a winner :-)

Anonymous said...

Santarpios hands down

Drug Offences said...

It is an interesting comparision between Santarpio's vs. Regina's pizza. According to me Regina is the best than Santarpio. I like the pizza because of its amazing taste.

leather wallets said...

Pizza is my most favourite food. I like to eat MacDonald's pizza. I think we never comparison between two different taste of pizza.

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