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.
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.
For more than 30 years, Countryside Deli, Pizzeria & Caterers has mastered a vast menu of comfort dishes from America and Italy. Diners stroll up to the counter in Countryside's simple dining room to order hot or cold sandwiches, cheesy pizzas, or plates of gnocchi with eggplant and mushrooms. Its catering selection is equally diverse, featuring trays full of tortellini alfredo, chicken marsala, and eggplant rollatini, as well as sandwich platters and giant subs perfect for serving a bunch of fans watching a football game or one football player after a football game.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Michael Falzone is so steeped in Italian culinary traditions that his name rhymes with "calzone." It's been his plight since 1978, when his father opened John's Pizza. Since that time, Michael has made sure that the process for creating each hand-tossed pie hasn't changed much. He still uses his father's recipes for the dough and tomato sauce, and his staff shreds the cheese daily to ensure freshness. Calzones, oven-baked subs, and pastas round out this old-school Italian menu, which also features handy icons, such as a red pepper to indicate spicy items and a thumbs up to designate the most popular choices.