Someday soon ó maybe in five years, maybe in 10 ó Haymarket will go upscale, with luxury condos and swanky bistros crowding out the halal butchers and basement grocers. But for now, Haymarket remains one of the few appealingly gritty spots in central Boston. And Haymarket Pizza, thank God, is still serving what may be the best pizza slices in the entire city.
Each component is perfect. The crust is crisp and chewy, with just a hint of sweetness. The sauce is potent, but for all the right reasons: it tastes of oregano and fresh tomatoes, but thereís no excess saltiness or acidity. Haymarketís mozzarella isnít the limp, gooey stuff youíll find elsewhere ó the cheese has an almost meaty chewiness, and yields plenty of flavor (and a fetching sheen of grease). Aggressive baking provides the final touch. While Haymarketís slices are never burnt, theyíre always cooked with appropriate aggression. The meat and vegetable toppings are tasty and cheap: a cheese slice runs $1, tax included, and additional toppings are 50 cents each. (The sausage is especially tasty.) As good as they are, though, these extras are almost unnecessary, given the excellence of the core ingredients.
The décor is an added plus. If you dine in, youíll eat at a battered common table, surrounded by stacks of pizza boxes and unadorned red-brick walls. Talk to your neighbors, sidle up to the Galaga/Ms. Pac Man game tucked into the corner, or just watch silently as all manner of shoppers file outside. This is what an urban pizza parlor should be.
Haymarket Pizza, located at 106 Blackstone Street, in Boston, is open Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 7:30 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday, from 7 am to 6 pm. Call 617.723.8585.