…Great Pizza In The Berkshires
Please Note: We are in the process of updating our Pizza Reviews. If you know of a place serving great pizza, please let us know!
Let’s face it, we all have a favorite style pizza, …or should I say “pie.” Whether it’s Deep Dish, Neapolitan, Stuffed Crust, Wood Fired, Coal Fired, Thin Crust, New York, Greek, Sicilian, or just about any other style of pizza imaginable, chances are you will find it right here in The Berkshires. And with dozens of restaurants and pizzerias to choose from, the Berkshires are truly a “pizza lovers” paradise.
Our “pizza journey” took us from Williamstown in the northwest to Sheffield in the southern Berkshires, bordering Connecticut. In all, we have uncovered 59 chefs serving us “their” version of the Berkshire’s best pizza …and although we haven’t tried each and every restaurant as of yet, we will be visiting the remaining few in the near future. Do you know of one we have overlooked? If so, please let us know and we will be happy to make a visit.
The first stop on our trip was none other than the Colonial Pizza located on Route 2, in Williamstown, which has been serving Greek style pizza in the Berkshires since the 1970’s. In fact, living in North Adams during the 70’s, I can remember ordering pizza from their location on the corner of Eagle and Center Streets, which is now the home of Village Pizza. It was great then and is still great today. They make their dough fresh everyday, grate their own cheese, serve up both white and red pies and offer “half-baked” pizzas for those wishing to finish off their pies at home.
Just a short drive west, on the left, you will find Water Street, which is home to another one of Williamstown’s great pizzas, Hot Tomatoes Neapolitan Pizza. In business since 1994, owner’s John and Angie England turn out some of the best thin crust, New York City style pizza in the Berkshires. In addition to the traditional toppings you might find at a pizzeria, they offer some interesting Specialty Pizzas, such as: Clams Casino, Shrimp Capers, Pesto Shrimp, Shrimp and Goat Cheese and Tex Mex …which by the way is fantastic. In addition, Hot Tomatoes has a second location on Tyler Street In Pittsfield.
Heading east on Route 2 brings us to our next destination, North Adams, home of Mass MoCA and MCLA. In addition to the two popular chains, Domino’s and Papa Gino’s, you will find three locally owned pizza restaurants. The first being Village Pizza, located on the corner of Center and Eagle Streets, offering up a couple styles to choose from, including a medium as well as thin crust. They use a Greek recipe, make their dough fresh everyday and have been serving both residents and visitors alike for 18 years. I found the crust to be crisp and not soggy, which was a home run with me.
At the opposite end of Eagle Street, on the corner of Main, you will find North Adams’, newest pizza restaurant, Supreme Pizza & Wings (now closed). They turn out a thin crust, crispy pizza with a great selection of toppings and have everyday pizza deals, that do not require coupons.
A short walk from either Village Pizza or Supreme Pizza, you will find Christo’s Famous Pizza on Holden Street. A quant, 7 table restaurant with table service and real tableware, which added a nice touch. Beer and wine are available. The pizza had a medium thick crust, with a sauce that had a nice, but not over powering tomato taste with a balance of seasoning.
Following Route 8 south will take you to our next destination, the town of Adams and shortly over the Adams – North Adams line, on the right is the home of Pizza Jim’s (now closed) located at 86 Howland Avenue. For nearly 20 years they have been serving up some of the best Hand Tossed Pizza in the Berkshires and they don’t skimp on the toppings. Continuing south about 5 minutes, you will find Hoosac Street on your left …our next stop …the Pizza House at 26 Hoosac Street. They do great Greek style pizza at a great price.
Continuing further south on Route 8 into Lanesboro, you will find Arizona Pizza (now closed), across from the entrance to the Berkshire Mall. They have a total of 3 locations in the Berkshires, including Lee (now 51 Park) and Arizona Pizza Lenox and do a wood fired, thicker crust pizza, with a nice balance of toppings and seasoning.
Our next stop was the Milltown Tavern (now Dewey’s Public House), located on Depot Street in Dalton. The Milltown makes their dough fresh daily, hand tosses each pie and adds a generous amount of toppings. Prices were reasonable, service was fast and there was a nice crowd of locals, including families with children. We ordered a large Mexican Chicken, which was served quick and hot, so we knew it didn’t sit in the kitchen waiting for our waitress to bring it to our table. The seasoning of the sauce and the spices of the chicken were well balanced and not overwhelming. Plenty to eat …nicely done!
Pittsfield is the center of the Berkshires and home to some of the areas greatest pizza. If you are a lover of the chains, you will find a total of 5 in Pittsfield to choose from, including Domino’s, Pizza Hut and Papa Gino’s. Our first destination was Newell Street and a couple of the cities veteran “pizza masters,” Papa Joe’s Ristorante & Pizzeria and the Eastside Cafe.
Papa Joe’s Ristorante & Pizzeria serves up some of Pittsfield’s tastiest pizza, using a recipe that goes back over 50 years …and two generations. The dough is made fresh daily on the premises, the sauce has a fabulous taste and there is no shortage of toppings. You can choose from Hand Tossed, Sicilian or Chicago Deep Dish. We thought as a nice change from many of the others we tried elsewhere, we would order a Chicago Deep Dish and went with The Corleone. This pie was delicious, the crust was perfect, it had just the right amount of eggplant and served piping hot!
Down the street a short ride from Papa Joe’s is the Eastside Cafe, a place that has been serving up coal fired, yup … I did say coal fired pizza, since General Electrics “golden days” in Pittsfield. For those that are to young to remember or are new to the area, it means they have been serving pies for a long, long time. The place is a cafe, with a long bar on one side and tables on the other, separated by a head high wall. Their pizza, which is only served Thursday through Sunday from 4PM is thin, crispy, inexpensive and addicting! FYI, they do not accept credit cards.
Heading downtown, the next stop was a “newbie” to Pittsfield, but definitely not new to turning out some great pizza in the Berkshires …Baba Louie’s Sourdough Pizza, (now closed) located at 34 Depot Street, in what was once the home of the Pittsfield Brew Works. They serve “wood fired all natural sourdough pizza” and also have a southern Berkshire location in Great Barrington. They offer all the traditional toppings, plus an interesting selection of special pies such as: Isabella Pizzarella, Abbondante BBQ Chicken Pizza, Vegetazione Bravo Spelt and Puttanesca Pizza. They clearly take pizza to a much healthier level along with some great flavors.
The next two destinations on our pizza quest are Jimmy’s Stonebridge Restaurant (now closed) and Fresco’s Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta (now closed). Both are located on West Housatonic Street (Route 20) and minutes from downtown Pittsfield, The Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage Company and the Berkshire Museum. Also worth noting is that each has its own, well lit, on premises parking.
I’ll start with Jimmy’s Restaurant, which has been serving great pizza in the Berkshires for over 25 years. Whether you choose to dine in or take out, the pizza is excellent. We chose to dine in and ordered up a large combo, which fed two of us, with a piece to spare. Crisp, delicious and you can taste the right balance of tomato and seasoning, which was excellent.
Less than a minute beyond Jimmy’s is another great restaurant serving excellent, wood fired pizza …Fresco’s Wood Fired Pizza & Pasta (now closed). We found the size of the pies to be excellent and the prices more than reasonable. We sat at the bar, so we could be close to the wood fired oven, which happens to be behind the bar. In fact you can see the oven from just about everywhere in the restaurant. Anyway, so much for the kid in me! We were tempted by a lot of great sounding items on the menu, but stuck with our mission, which was pizza and ordered a large Gorgonzola and Mushroom, which was amazingly only $12.95. It was in front of us in no time, served hot and not overcooked.
Another great place for pizza in Pittsfield is family owned Teddy’s Pizza & Family Restaurant on East Street. Teddy’s has been serving their hand made pies for many years and I must say, the service is friendly. They run a Lunch Special, which at the time we went was two pieces of cheese pizza and a fountain drink for $3.95, which is what we each ordered. My guess is that the special may change from time to time, but I don’t know for sure, so if you go, you may want to inquire. The pizza had just come out of the oven, so it was hot, there was plenty of cheese and the crust was cooked through. Would I go back? …I would …and I will.
On Route 7, north of downtown Pittsfield and just before Pontoosuc Lake, sits Zucchini’s Restaurant. A good friend had suggested we add it to our “pizza tour” as he has been there many times, so we did. They offer Neapolitan Style, wood fired Traditional as well as Specialty Pizzas. We ordered a large pizza with Roasted Red Peppers and Fresh Basil, which was excellent with the right balance of each. The atmosphere was very nice and the service was fast and friendly. Make it a point to check it out.
Our next stop was …Halpin’s Grub & Grog, (now closed) located on Route 7 just over the Pittsfield – Lenox line. It’s an Irish Pub that actually turns out a tasty pie. We ordered a Large Cheese (16″) which was very reasonably priced at $12.99. The pie came in no time and was large, seasoned just right, had plenty of cheese, the crust was not only done to perfection, it actually had a taste to it. We had all this …plus fast and friendly service for 13 bucks. A little side note, this place has a wall of draft beers and if you’re a sports fan, a TV in every direction …plus a couple of pool tables, as well as KENO….check it out.
In downtown Lenox you’ll find one of the most unique pizza places in the Berkshires, Betty’s Pizza Shack. Now I’m not sure if it’s the pizza or decor that would bring me back. Service was ok, since it was busy, but that gave us plenty of time to look at the amazing decor. Worth the trip for the atmosphere alone. They have an interesting selection to choose from, with surfing being the theme. We chose a couple slices of cheese pizza. The size was good, but I would have preferred that they had spent another minute or so in the oven. Check ’em out!
Our next stop was The Olde Heritage Tavern next door to Betty’s Pizza Shack, in Lenox center. This place is a big draw with the ‘Lenox Locals” and has been for years. I would guess for a couple of reasons, first, their prices are affordable and “non-Lenox” as they say. Secondly the pizza quality was excellent and the combinations of their Specialty Pizzas are unique and different in a good way. We opted for the large Shermanator, which is a combination of Pepperoni, Artichoke Hearts, Olives, Mushrooms and Mozzarella. The crust was cooked through, had a nice non doughy taste and the sauce and toppings were just right. We even had a chance to play a little KENO and enjoy a beer. The service was great too …so the next time your in the area, make it a point to check it out.
Next …The Locker Room Sports Bar in Lee, MA. This place has been around along time and although we have stopped a few times over the years, we had never tried their pizza, until now. As in the past, the waitress sat us and took our drink order at the same time, which I liked. By the time she returned we had decided on one of their Specialty Pizza’s …Pesto, Chicken and Tomato with a white sauce. It was a 16″ pizza for $17 and worth every penny. The combined taste of the pesto, chicken, (which there was no shortage of) tomato, garlic and olive oil came alive with every bit. Do yourself a favor and stop in …better yet bring the kids too. We’re going back and hope to see you there!
Have a question, need help finding a great nearby pizzeria or pizza restaurant, or perhaps you know of another location we should add to our “visit” list …if so, drop us an email or call us Toll Free at 1-800-772-7926.