Not every pizza place has a mascot, much less one who’s a pug from outer space. But Flying Saucer Pizza Company insists Charlie the Space Pug is truly from beyond our planet. He promotes delicious pizza through Flying Saucer’s array of gourmet pies, all crafted from dough that is made in house every day. Each ball of dough is hand stretched before it is topped with a variety of fresh, locally grown ingredients, such as arugula, ghost-pepper salami, and goat cheese. A variety of vegan and gluten-free pizzas ensure that just about anyone can chow down while enjoying a slew of available draft beers made in New England. The eatery’s fun-loving staff and owners can often be found making pizza and taking orders amid the interior’s space-themed murals or delivering pizza and proving gravity wrong on Flying Saucer’s custom spaceship-design bicycle.
The chefs at Tasty Foods compile a smorgasbord of sustenance that showcases fresh, natural ingredients and soups, pita bread, and sub rolls sculpted from scratch. With New York–style pizzas, some crowned with zesty toppings such as chicken and feta, and authentic pastas, the menu exudes a distinctly Italian flavor despite not being written in marinara sauce. But stuffed grape leaves, meat-laden subs and wraps, burgers, and seafood fried to a golden brown also represent Greek fare and other global tastes.
Featured by Billy Costa on the show TV Diner, on which Costa calls the restaurant a landmark and a legend, Prince Pizzeria has been slinging sauce over pies for half a century. Beneath the unmistakable soaring model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, owners Steven and Trisha Castraberti oversee a menu piled with homemade marinara and pies lauded as the Best Pizza of the North Shore. Diners bite into specialty pies such as the greek, whose spinach and feta cheese combine with black olives and tomatoes ($15.95), or the primavera, on which eggplant and roasted red peppers lounge. Arturo’s classic marinara ladles daily-made tomato sauce over spaghetti or ziti ($8.99), and patrons lounging amid yellow and red walls slice into a tender, breaded veal cutlet hiding beneath red sauce and mozzarella ($13.99).
Though Bacci’s is in Saugus, a car ride or several Orange Line stops away from the North End, its menu of Sicilian-style pizzas and pasta dishes adheres to the historic Boston neighborhood’s renowned culinary tradition. The family-owned shop bursts with the aroma of baking dough and simmering Italian sauces. The chefs toss specialty pizzas by hand and layer subs, wraps, and paninis with an array of mozzarella, meats, and vegetables. Bacci’s also hosts “Make Your Own Pizza” parties, during which diners can try their hand at designing their own pies without the hassle of milking the dough from the cows themselves.