Quite an honor was bestowed upon the North End’s own Galleria Umberto as the James Beard Foundation selected the pizzeria to receive one of the five 2018 America’s Classics awards. This national recognition is given to “regional establishments, often family-owned, that are cherished for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.”
289 Hanover Street, Boston
Owners: Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio
North End used to be a neighborhood of winding cobblestone streets. Italian immigrants began arriving here in the 1860s from Genoa, then Campania, Sicily, and Abruzzo. Umberto Deuterio founded Galleria Umberto in 1974. Sons Paul Deuterio and Ralph Deuterio run it today. The interior is straightforward, dominated by a counter and a hand-painted wall map of Italy. The Deuterios make arancini and calzones, but the main draw is crisp-edged squares of Sicilian pizza. When the pizza runs out, the shop closes for the day. They also close Galleria Umberto in July to maintain the business and spend time with family. Much has changed in the North End, but $1.85 here still buys you a slice and a taste of the old neighborhood.
See the JBF website for more on this year’s winners, who will be honored at the James Beard Awards Gala at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 7.