#22 Regina Pizzeria, Boston (Melanzane)
It may now sport some 20 locations, but the original Regina Pizzeria has been a local hot spot since 1926 when it opened in Boston’s North End. Pizzas are made from dough with an 80-year-old family recipe, sauce, whole-milk mozz, and natural toppings with no preservatives or additives, and all cooked in a brick oven. They offer a variety of nearly 20 different pies, some made in a more traditional manner, while others, like the St. Anthony’s pizza with Regina sausage, sausage links, roasted peppers, and garlic sauce, are unique. But the pie singled out by Regina as their most popular was the Melanzane, which features homemade ricotta, a light, yet spicy marinara (seasoned with a hint of aged Romano), red onions, basil, Pecorino Romano, eggplant, oregano, and their aged whole-milk mozzarella, which Regina’s claims gives their cheese factor its distinctive flair.