Since 1926, Regina Pizzeria has been greeting guests in the North End of Boston with a hearty “Welcome to Boston’s Original Pizzeria!” For over three generations, Regina’s delicious brick oven pizza has been inspired by the love of good food and the special pride of the Polcari Family.
Bostonians have been calling the North End home longer than any other neighborhood in the city. Colonists first started setting down their roots there in 1630. So it should come as no surprise that one of the oldest operating ovens is situated in the compact winding streets of Boston’s “Little Italy”. The brick oven at Pizzeria Regina on Thacher Street was built in 1888, but has been used exclusively for firing pizzas since 1926, and under the proprietary control of the Polcari family for three generation. That makes Regina the oldest pizzeria in the city, and at the top of the list for oldest in the country.
The Regina’s empire now includes 22 locations that range from sit down restaurants to food court outlets. However, despite the company line that they maintain absolute product consistency across all their stores, many claim that none of the satellites can hold a candle to the original. And it’s for that reason that locals and tourists alike flock to the original North End location.
On any given day, even a week night in August, a line out the door and down the block is not an uncommon sight at Regina’s. For the tourists, Regina’s offers a real Boston experience, in a Little Italy setting where you actually hear Italian being shouted out by old men on opposite street corners, and there is a concentration of restaurants and cafes that is more like a European neighborhood than an American one. And while Boston houses two of the oldest pizzerias in the country, the lack of real pizza culture and pizza identity means that locals divide up family pizza night between Regina’s and longstanding rival, Santarpio’s. In order to understand what Boston pizza looks like, beyond the multitude of mediocre Greek pizzerias carrying the “house of” moniker, a trip to Regina’s is a must.
Pizzeria Regina’s is proud of the fact that they are Boston’s original pizzeria, and in turn Boston should be proud to be home to a place like Regina’s.
11 1/2 Thacher St,
Boston, MA 02113