Arts pizza column

The greatest pizza is the simplest

Boston Kitchen Pizza is an unexpected find in Boston’s Chinatown

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Slices of spinach and feta pizza and barbecue chicken pizza from Boston Kitchen Pizza.

Boston Kitchen Pizza
Pizza, $
1 Stuart St.
Boston, MA 02116
Monday – Friday 10:30 a.m. –12 a.m.
Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

There’s something so satisfying and comforting about going back to my hometown in New Jersey. I walk into a bagel shop or small pizzeria and just feel relaxed. Most people probably have comfort foods they associate with childhood; mine is not really my mom’s home cooking (sorry Mom), but a tiny hole-in-the-wall pizzeria, filled with the smell of burnt cheese and bread. There are slices on display by the counter — you point to order, and the slice is reheated in the oven to become somehow better than a fresh pizza.

While I’ve had the most trouble finding a real bagel shop outside of the New York area, I’ve also had trouble finding the pizza of my childhood: no pretension and lots of grease. I’ve talked in a previous column about how much I love Area Four’s pizza, but sometimes I’m not in such a fancy mood. I just want my comfort food.

Enter Boston Kitchen Pizza. I first discovered this place on the edge of Chinatown after a concert at the Royale nearby. One might not expect to find one of my favorite pizzas in Boston in Chinatown, but the vibe at Boston Kitchen Pizza is the closest I can find to home. I walk in, and on the right are refrigerator cases with sodas; the menu offerings include pizza, pasta, subs, salads, and falafel. There are napkin dispensers and parmesan, red pepper flake, and oregano shakers on the tables. Behind the counter are pre-made pies with various toppings, and you can just get a slice! Just one slice! Imagine that. It’s the perfect walking food as you explore Chinatown in search of boba or egg tarts, or Downtown Crossing in search of those perfect new shoes from DSW.

Like a lot of smaller pizzerias back home, Boston Kitchen Pizza gives you a great value for your money. For $3.70 each, Vivian and I got truly huge slices of pizza with toppings (spinach and garlic for me, barbeque chicken for Vivian). I ate just one slice and felt like it was a full meal, but even if I had wanted two slices we still would have had a $7.40 lunch in the center of Boston.

The pizza is almost exactly what I’m looking for. My only real qualm is the end crust, which didn’t have very much flavor. But that same crust held up really well in the center, bending enough to fold the slice but not so much that it was impossible to eat, which was impressive especially given the size of the slice. The crust was very thin but still had a bit of chew to it. I’m not sure what the cheese blend was, but there was the perfect amount of cheese. My spinach and garlic slice had full garlic cloves that weren’t quite cooked, but besides that, the flavors of the sauce, cheese, and crust came together to form something greater than the sum of their parts that I can’t really describe and don’t quite want to. This isn’t a slice of pizza that I really want to break down; I just want to enjoy it in its simplicity. More than any other food I’ve eaten in Boston, this slice made me feel at home here.