Someone recently tipped us off Galleria Umberto, a hole-in-the-wall sort of place at 289 Hanover Street in the North End. Fortunately, it’s a pretty deep hole in the wall: a queue of 4 or 5 dozen(?) stretched out from the counter, all waiting placidly, all knowing the drill. Business casual types, cooling-and-heating types, and secretarial types united in the shared satisfaction of a first-rate and dirt-cheap lunch (Umberto’s is open only from 11 until around 3, which is probably why we’d never been there). In line, we overheard the Sicilian pizza ($1.25/slice) likened to crack, presumably for its addictive qualities; upon trying it ourselves, we had to concur. The sauce was pleasingly sweet, the cheese, perfectly browned and greased (dabbing it off would have been an apostasy). The frequent patrons knew to order the arancini (meat or rice-filled fried goodness, $2.50/each) and panzarotti (small calzones, $1.25/each), and we vowed to do so next visit: For now, we just couldn’t get over the pizza. Umberto’s likely also offers the cheapest midday buzz: small glasses of wine cost $1.50-$2, but as for the quality, we cannot vouch for it.
Galleria Umberto [Chowhound]
[Photo: Galleria Umberto pizza/Bostonist]