While Cambridge probably isn’t the best place in the Boston area for pizza, it does have a number of good options, including such well-known spots as Emma’s and Area Four in Kendall Square and Otto, Cambridge 1, and Pinocchio’s in Harvard Square. A few other lesser-known places can be found hidden in other neighborhoods, including Gran Gusto in West Cambridge and Angelo’s between Harvard and Central. And then there is a really hidden pizza place in the heart of one of the city’s quietest neighborhoods—Huron Village—and while Armando’s doesn’t look like much from the outside, their pizza is among the best, if not the best, in all of Cambridge.
Huron Village is home to a number of small independent shops and restaurants with no real sign of chains along Concord Avenue or Huron Avenue, and right where these two streets intersect is where Armando’s resides, though its tiny and unassuming storefront makes it extremely easy to miss. The interior of the place has “sub shop” written all over it, with hard tables and bench seats, slightly harsh overhead lighting, and a little counter where customers place their orders. The setup may make one think that this is one of countless Greek pizza places found in the Boston area—and perhaps this is one reason why Armando’s isn’t all that well known—but the truth is that the pizza here is much, much different from your typical house of pizza.
Armando’s is actually known for two types of pizza, including a terrific foldable New York-style thin-crust pie with a rich house-made sauce, a mix of cheeses, and a slightly charred crust. Its Sicilian-style pizza is every bit as good, with the thick squares having more cheese than some of the other Sicilian/bakery slices out there, though they have about the same amount of cheese as those found at Galleria Umberto in Boston’s North End, which many believe is the best place in the entire area for this type of pizza. The thin-crust pizza at Armando’s generally seems to be the more popular choice, and in some ways it is a bit like that of Santarpio’s, though it’s not quite as heavy on the sauce as that legendary East Boston joint and the crust here has a bit more of a crunch to it. Prices are about what you would expect for a pizza place/sub shop (cheap), and the help at Armando’s can sometimes be a bit gruff when it’s busy but are more often than not friendly, and they are especially nice with young kids who come in with their parents.
The fact that the pizza at Armando’s compares favorably to both Santarpio’s and Umberto’s should tell you something about the quality of its pies, but even after so many years in business in Huron Village, Armando’s remains an under-the-radar spot. If you like pizza (and who doesn’t), definitely check out this little jewel of a place in one of Cambridge’s most laid-back neighborhoods.
ARMANDO’S PIZZA. 163 HURON AVE., CAMBRIDGE.
Marc is the founder of @hiddenboston, a textbook editor, a hike leader for @AppMtnClub, and a food and travel writer and commenter for DigBoston, NBC/NECN, WBZ, WMFO and indie617.