Santarpio’s Pizza

Pizza | Tavern
legendary
Worth driving from anywhere!
Save

Arriving on battered metal trays carried by a staff of take-no-prisoners waitresses (who are as efficient as they are brusque), Santarpio’s thin-crusted pies are a joy to eat. The outer rim of the pizza is a balance of bready crunch and chew, featuring an occasional blistered-black spot from the oven; and while the inside of the circle tends to soften and become unwieldy under a lot of toppings – leading to the heartbreak of cheese slippage – even the flexible part of the crust has a taste that makes you want to keep on eating, then ordering more. Curiously, the most powerhouse toppings (garlic, onions, anchovies) do not seem to pack a really wicked flavor wallop on Santarpio’s pizzas; these are tomato and cheese pies with plenty of soul, but with a mild, creamy disposition. In our experience, one pie, ranging from simple cheese or cheese and garlic (the latter with a hale of oregano on top) to a deluxe combos of sausage, mushrooms, etc., is just about enough to satisfy one normal appetite.

But if your appetite is bigger than normal or if you are a large party in search of culinary fun, then you need to know about Santarpio’s BBQ. Yes BBQ (although here they spell it barbeque). BBQ in Boston? Don’t worry. In this case, barbeque is not the slow, southern ritual of smoke-cooked meat. It refers to meat cooked on a grate over charcoal – lengths of homemade Italian sausage and skewered hunks of lamb, or what Italians know as spiedini. The sausage is spectacular – a long, taut tube with the flavor of the charcoal fire insinuating its succulent, high-spiced insides. Many folks get it as a pre-pizza hors d’oeuvre – one long char-crusted sausage on a plate with hot cherry peppers and some crusty Italian bread. The barbeque lamb has a vivid flavor – for lamb-lovers only – and it ranges from a pleasant chew to a serious chaw. Plates of sausage and lamb, with peppers and bread, are the ONLY thing other than pizza on Santarpio’s menu.

The barbeque adds immeasurably to Santarpio’s atmosphere. Literally. The meat is cooked on a grill that is just inside the front door, and its wonderful aroma harmonizes with the smell of tomato sauce, cheese, and crust from the pizza ovens in back to make this place the most appetizing bar we’ve ever found. And make no mistake, it is a bar: smoky, raucous, a little unkempt, with boxing posters on the wall and 1960s Motown tunes setting a sassy beat.

Note: A second Santarpio’s is located at 71 Newbury St. in Peabody. (978-535-1811). The Peabody restaurant accepts credit cards.

What to Eat
Santarpio’s Pizza, Combo Plate
Combo Plate
Must-Try
BBQ combo plate: pork sausage and lamb chunks with hot cherry peppers and Italian bread
Santarpio’s Pizza, Sausage Pizza
Sausage Pizza
Must-Try
This cheese, sausage and garlic pizza has a kick.
Santarpio’s Pizza, Pizza
Pizza
Must-Try
Santarpio's superb Neapolitan crust, teetering on burnt at its edges, is crisp enough to audibly crunch when bitten.
Santarpio’s Pizza, Barbeque Lamb
Barbeque Lamb
Must-Try
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday11:30am - 9pm
Monday11:30am - 9pm
Tuesday11:30am - 9pm
Wednesday11:30am - 9pm
Thursday11:30am - 9pm
Friday11:30am - 9pm
Saturday11:30am - 9pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
12 stops | 46 MILES | 3 hr

Tradition-bound and cutting edge, Boston has restaurants for every taste, including some of the finest ice cream parlors in the country. Always on the hunt for flavors unique to a particular place, Roadfood likes these eateries because they offer experiences that you'll always remember as distinctly Bostonian. Here are the 12 best hidden gem restaurants…

Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner, Late Night
Credit Cards Accepted
No
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
No
Website

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Oxford Creamery

    Mattapoisett, Massachusetts

    New England summer seafood at its best. Oxford Creamery lobster rolls are legendary; fried clams are superb, too. A Mattapoisett, Massachusetts restaurant gem!

  • Blink’s Fry Doe

    Hampton, New Hampshire

    Blink’s is a popular stand on the Hampton, New Hampshire, boardwalk, selling long strips of fried dough with creative toppings.

  • Lyndell’s Bakery

    Somerville, Massachusetts

    Lyndell’s of Somerville, Massachusetts is one of America’s oldest bakeries, known for dense buttercream frosting and soft sponge cakes.

  • Virgilio’s

    Gloucester, Massachusetts

    Bread baked on site forms the base for unique and memorable sandwiches at Virgilio’s of Gloucester. The bakery’s desserts are also a must-try.

  • Mike’s Kitchen

    Cranston, Rhode Island

    Inconspicuously located in a VFW hall, Mike’s Kitchen is a great seafood restaurant with a Rhode Island / Italian accent.

  • Nick’s Famous Roast Beef

    Beverly, Massachusetts

    A well-stacked pile of soft pink roast beef inside a giant rectangular roll studded with onion has made Nick’s a north-of-Boston legend.