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Slice of Life: Pizza in Harvard Square

In case anyone reading this was unaware, Harvard is located in Harvard Square, a bustling plaza full of shops and historical sites and tourists. It reminds me of the open air shopping malls back in California (i.e Victoria Gardens), but with more attractions and less space. It might take you only 10 minutes to walk Harvard Square from end to end on your short journey. And if you’re hungry, like I often am, you’ll have your fair pick of any number of eateries. The market for food here is saturated, yet restaurants don’t seem to go out of business. In Harvard Square, there are five assemble-to-order Mexican restaurants (Felipe’s, El Jefe’s, Chipotle, Qdoba, Zambrero), six burger joints (Mr. Bartley’s, Shake Shack, Tasty Burger, Flat Patties, B. Good, IHOB), and 10 cafes (Starbucks x3, Dunkin Donuts x2, Peet’s Coffee, Capital One Cafe, Crema Cafe, Tatte, Flour).

This plaza is also home to six pizzerias.

Pizza is often the foundation of a college student’s diet, and when you are at Harvard you’ll have a lot of options to choose from. I’m going to give you my top five picks for all the pizza places here in Harvard Square, but ultimately it will be up to you to decide which one you prefer.



Honorable Mentions:

Cambridge 1 - I have never eaten here and honestly found out about it while I was doing the “research” for this blog post. It doesn’t have a large presence on campus, but feel free to check it out.


&Pizza - This store is coming soon, so it keep it in the back of your mind until it opens.


5. OTTO Pizza

Exterior of OTTO Pizza
Above: I saw this sign outside my window every night as a first-year. Sometimes the temptation was too much to bear.

My main compliments for this restaurant are that the slices are large and it is located across the street from my first-year dorm. The pizza crust is very thin and there are many pizzas with unusual toppings, such as Butternut Squash, Ricotta & Cranberry and Blue Cheese, Roasted Pear & Arugula. I am not very adventurous with my pizza so I’ve only eaten the cheese and pepperoni pizza here. The amount of tomato sauce is very aggressive, which doesn’t make for a good sauce to cheese ratio. I do think it is a great place to satisfy late night hunger cravings (I have only ordered from here at night). Overall I think the pizza here is fine. However, even though this is fifth, I went there enough times to fill up a rewards card, which, yes, I am a little mad about.


4. Domino’s

Domino’s Pizza, the international fast food pizza delivery chain. It’s Domino’s, which means it’s good and cheap (plus the wings are great). They are always throwing around specials like two medium pizzas for $8 each, which is music to my ears. Back in California Domino’s wasn’t my favorite (Papa John’s took that spot, unfortunately), but in Cambridge I’ve found myself ordering it more than a few times. It’s open the latest and is the easiest to get delivery from.


3. Stoked Pizza Food Truck

This food truck is actually part of Stoked Wood Fired Pizza Co, which is a restaurant located in Brookline. During the week, the food truck sets up shop in the Science Center Plaza. This truck is often one among many trucks, but I do think it is one of the best. They cook all the pizzas on a wood burning oven which can make the wait time a little rough, especially during the lunch rush. However, you end up with a delicious whole pizza that is a little charred on the bottom. Yum!


2. Oggi Gourmet

The sign for Oggi Gourmet Pizza

This poor place has been hidden by the extensive construction that is going on for the Smith Campus Center, and as a result I used to only scurry past this place on my way to doctor’s appointments. The pizza here is pretty good, if a little pricey at $3.00 per slice. The restaurant is cozy and I love eating here during the middle of the day when all the professionals are on their lunch break.


1. Pinocchio’s Pizza & Subs

The Entrance to Pinocchio's Pizza.
Above: The one, the only Noch’s


I’m going to keep it honest: taste-wise, Pinocchio’s is not my favorite. However, this is the unofficial pizza of Harvard. It is everywhere. I have never actually bought Pinocchio’s because every event will entice students to come by bringing in boxes of this stuff. Pinocchio’s has been open for 30 years and I do believe every Harvard student should try it at least once. The pizza is big on the dough and shaped in a square, which is great because the corner pieces have extra crust. Sometimes, when I give tours, people ask me what one of the quintessential Harvard foods is, and I always say Pinocchio’s.


About the author

Hello all! My name is Kez. I am from Chino Hills, a city in the wonderfully sunny southern part of California. I am a junior studying Sociology and working towards a citation in Chinese. I... View full profile

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