According to Denise Taylor of the Boston Globe, the "scrupulously vegan" Peace o' Pie eatery is run by vegan foodies who "refuse to skimp on taste," adding that Daiya’s "tapioca-based mozzarella lives up to all the hype. It really does stretch, brown, and satisfy in a way close to real cheese." The pizza's dairy-free cheese—along with other fresh ingredients and totally vegan ingredients—have garnered rave reviews from diners and critics alike. The intimate gourmet bistro was the first runner-up in PETA's national Best Vegan Pizza awards, and the Phoenix bestowed it with the Best Restaurant, Veggie award in 2011, predicting that "even carnivores will be impressed." Peace o' Pie has also earned six awards on CityVoter, including being named the Best Vegan restaurant in 2010 and 2011 and a top finalist in the Best Pizza-Slice and Best Pizza-Upscale categories in 2011.
In addition to using ethically minded ingredients on the menu, the vegan owners avoid honey and refined sugars, and opted to use eco-friendly materials during the building's remodel. They chose a sustainably produced bamboo counter front, a countertop of 100% recycled office paper, and ceiling tiles with 65% recycled content. The team also uses compostable, biodegradable packaging and supplies and illuminates the space with energy-saving light bulbs wherever possible.
Richies provides hearty helpings of handmade Italian cuisine crafted using fresh market ingredients and premium Boars Head meats and cheeses. Specialty sandwiches such as the chicken parmesan are built on a foundation of house-made focaccia ($5.99), while the baked veggie lasagna is an immovable feast for fit for any green-blooded plantavore ($9.99). The relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere is great for kinship-bolstering dining sessions, or debating the mysterious cosmic origins of the calzone ($6.99–$16.99) or the 10-inch cheese pizza ($4.99). Check out the full menu to get a head start planning your meal, or composing your firm, yet gentle breakup haiku to the neighborhood pizza boy.
La Befana Pizzeria's staff hand-tosses dough and smashes ripe, Northern California tomatoes to create edible palettes of Neapolitan style pizza for an array of toppings. The cooks hand-roll dough daily and allow it to mature overnight for the best consistency and least mid-toss swearing. Pick up a thirst-slaking 12-ounce soda to wash down a couple of hunger-staving slices of cheese (a $5.95 value for combo). Customers can carve out a spot at the communal butcher-block table, befriending fellow diners or the parmesan-cheese shaker.
Though it may look like a humble, deli-style eatery from the outside, Brookline Spa rewards those who venture into its cozy interior. In a 2005 review in the Boston Phoenix, Liz Bomze called the eatery "much more than your basic sub shop," praising its reasonably priced pizza slices and wide selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The family that has owned and operated the shop since 1995 serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, making its own pizza dough and bringing the generous handfuls of cheese to golden-brown fruition inside the oven. The family of foodsmiths assembles a variety of mafia-themed wraps and a "Top 25" sandwich with salami, capicola, mortadella, and prosciutto known as Old Blue Eyes—a reference to the infamously dreamy gaze of popular 18th-century crooner, President John Adams. The primarily carryout establishment also offers an assortment of domestic and imported beer.
Since its founding in 2001, The Upper Crust Pizzeria has fashioned artful thin-crust pizzas in 19 storefronts with modern, architectural touches. Chefs craft specialty pies inspired by local landmarks, from the sundried-tomato cobblestones of the Beacon Hill to the pesto-painted walls of the Green Monster. Diners can opt to spread sweet sauce over a regular or whole-wheat crust or request that any pie be served white without sauce, and combine slices with crisp salads or pounce on the geometric goodness of a spinach square or half moon-shaped calzone. Restaurant interiors are accoutered with modern flourishes such as flat-screen TVs and pan-decorated ceilings, allowing one to lie down and admire their reflection before a postmeal nap.