Just call it pizza paradise: on Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14, 30 of the best pizzerias from the Boston area and beyond will gather on City Hall Plaza for the third year in a row to dole out slices and pay tribute to the food that’s always good, even when it’s bad.
Among the participating local shops are The White Bull Tavern, Fiorina, Upper Crust, Wicked Cheesy, and Pasta Beach. Fans of the shuttered Cucchiello’s Bakery in East Boston will be happy to learn that the pizzeria will be making a comeback just for the festival as well. There will also be more than a few visitors from the place where it all started: Italy. Pizza e Fantasia, Langella Pizzeria, Da Peppe e Figli, and Starita e Materdei are all making the journey from Naples to sling their sauce-and-cheese specialties.
From Neapolitan to Sicilian, just about every style will be represented. Yes, that includes inventive “pizza cones” and dessert—there’s even an entire booth dedicated to Nutella pizza. All of the pies will be cooked on-site in a handcrafted Marra Forni oven, and since hot pizza is best enjoyed with cold refreshments to wash it down, beer, wine, and Aperol spritzes will be served alongside the slices. Have dietary restrictions? No problem—gluten-free options will be available.
The family-friendly festival activities and entertainment will be appropriately pizza-themed, too. They include “pizza acrobatics” performed by the famous Jersey Pizza Boys, pizza-making demos, and a pizza-tossing station for little ones to hone their skills. Live bands will also play tunes throughout the weekend.
The festival—which now holds the title of largest pizza event in the country—was founded by Raffaele Scalzi, owner of Casa Mia Cucina Italiana in Marblehead, and Giancarlo Natale, who has an extensive background in event coordination. The duo’s goal in creating the event was to celebrate their heritage and share their passion for the beloved food.
Admission to the festival is $15 per person, and each slice is $2. If you want to go big and kick things up a notch, there’s a $50 VIP option that will give you early access to the festival, free pizza from 11 am to noon, and an exclusive gift bag filled with goodies from vendors. To find out more about the Boston Pizza Festival and buy tickets, visit bostonpizzafestival.com.