The first food related to Cambridge in Massachusetts wasn't pizza but shellfish harvested from Massachusetts Bay by the Algonquian tribe who lived there. British settlers arrived in the early 17th century to establish several missions in the area, and Cambridge was one of the spots they chose to build and attempt to convert the Indigenous natives to their religion. It wasn't a peaceful transition and the pioneers were forced to build a blockade to help prevent loss of life from the ongoing battles for the lands. Cambridge remained relatively isolated until after the construction of a bridge over the Charles River. This enabled easier movement between Cambridge and the state capital, Boston, which benefited the community greatly but was disastrous for the Algonquian whose numbers were devastated by infectious diseases. As Cambridge moved into a period of peaceful existence, more and more Europeans were enticed to move there. Among the migrants were a number of Italians whose descendants went on to open their pizzerias there.
Cambridge is the home of Harvard University so the city has a high number of students among its population. Young people's appetites take a lot of appeasing even with pizza, and the thicker the dough the better. That could be the reason why Cambridge has become known for thick crust pizza but it could also be because the city's pizza chefs like to stick to tradition. Thick crust pizzas haven't changed much over the years. They're the ones that most Italian families would have eaten before migrating to the United States and are the kind that the majority in the homeland continue to consume today. Thick crust pizzas are basic pies with a rustic homemade appearance that taste so good they might have dropped straight out of heaven after being made by angels. It's no wonder the simple combination of a crusty dough base slathered with tomato sauce and topped with cheese has always been a winner.
When you order in a pizza it shouldn't have to be a plain old Margarita and that's for sure. It won't be if you try one from the Cambridge Pizzeria on Brookline Street either. What you'll get from them can only be classed as the best delivery pizza in Cambridge and that might even be an understatement. Delivery pizzas from the Cambridge Pizzeria are in a class of their own so don't expect anything less than a gourmet experience. Their premises are more kitchen than dining area with only a couple of tables inside and a small area with patio furniture at the front. As the kitchen is where the work is done that's a factor in their favor, as it means they're geared to getting orders out as quickly as possible. That's good because if you've ordered one of their Chicken Alfredo or Farmer's Special pizzas you won't want to be waiting long for it.
There's plenty of pizzerias in the city where you can grab a take-out pie, but to get the best take-out pizza in Cambridge you need to go to Oggi Gourmet on Dunster Street. They really are talented pizza chefs with a flair for innovative creations that will make deciding what you want to eat a difficult, if not nigh-on impossible, decision. They go all out to be outstanding when it comes to topping combinations, so be prepared for an authentic Italian culinary treat. Oggi's premises may be a little sparse on comfortable furnishings, but the view of Cambridge through their panoramic front window is something to keep you visually occupied while you're waiting for your order to cook. Describing Oggi's pizzas here would take up half the memory on the internet, but to give you an idea of what to expect on your pie, think roasted mushrooms, goats cheese, toasted almonds, jerk chicken, and scallions, and you won't be far wrong.
Cross over the Charles River and spend the day exploring Boston. There's so much to do there you wouldn't see it all even if you were there for a month. Browse superb museums and art galleries, watch the sea life swimming around in the New England Aquarium, or take a pleasure cruise. The list is endless but whatever you do make sure you finish the day with a pizza from Ciao! Pizza and Pasta on Williams Street.
If you're studying in Cambridge then a great spot to escape to over a weekend is the Mystic Lakes State Park near Arlington. The park is only a few miles drive north and covers acres and acres of land with a plenitude of outdoor recreational facilities. Swim from the beach, go hiking, kayaking, boating, or fishing. If you camp overnight and need food you can pick up a pizza from Otto's on Massachusetts Avenue to eat by the campfire.
For any student of history or literature, a visit to Lexington has to be somewhere on your list of must-dos. For historians, the place to explore is the Minute Man National Historical Park and for the literary, Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House and Museum. If gathering knowledge gives you an appetite, stop off at the Upper Crust Pizzeria on Waltham Street for a pie.
Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best veggie pizza in Cambridge?
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Q: 🍕What restaurant has the best white pizza in Cambridge?