Emma’s Pizza

How in the world did I let this blog exist for so long without telling you about my favorite pizza place?

It’s not like I’ve never gone there in the past few years. Maybe it’s because it’s so dark in there I was never satisfied with my pictures. Or maybe it’s because I always order the same thing so I had a hard time writing a proper post about the rest of their menu. Whatever the reason, I’m terribly terribly sorry.

So let’s not wait any longer.

Now, I know pizza can be a very polarizing topic, and everyone has an opinion about how an amazing pizza should taste. Personally, I’ve always had an affinity for super thin, crispy crusts and interesting toppings. I also love local, cozy restaurants that are fun and full of character.

Emma’s is the perfect combination of all of those things.

How so?
First, the food is fantastic. They offer a nice selection of sandwiches, salads, and (of course), pizza. Their pizza’s delicious ultra-thin crust and interesting toppings elevates it above most pizzas in the area. Second, the ambiance is cozy (tight!), friendly, and full of character. Their walls are adorned with all sorts of fun pizza paddles (see first picture above) designed by members of the Emma’s community, both customers and employees!

Emma’s is not newcomer to the neighborhood. In fact, Emma’s has been in Cambridge since the 1960’s, when Emma and her husband Gregory moved the restaurant from Revere Beach to Huron Ave. A couple years later, it moved to Hampshire Street, where it has been ever since. It has changed ownership a few times, but the core essence of the pizza (and the restaurant) remain.

We almost always order the “Famous Fling” salad ($7.50), which has baby spinach, Granny Smith apples, blue cheese, red onions, almonds, and their special (and secret) house dressing. I love how the almonds and apples add a textural component to the salad that makes it much more interesting. I also love the secret dressing and wish I knew how they made it!

The antipasto is also quite good, and includes sliced prosciutto, dressed baby arugula, roasted red peppers, hot pepperocinis and shaved Parmesan cheese. ($9.95)

Pedro’s Guacamole and baked pita chips ($8.95)

The pizzas here are the stars. The crust is super thin, with the crust almost resembling a cracker. You can choose between whole wheat or normal crust, and you can also choose between Traditional Sauce or Garlic Rosemary Sauce (definitely worth trying!). The seemingly simple pepperoni pizza takes you by surprise with its inclusion of hot cherry peppers, which gives a gloriously spicy kick. Unusual ingredients like roasted sweet potatoes and goat cheese work surprisingly well on a pizza. You can also design your own pizza, and choose from a wide variety of toppings such as cilantro, crispy smoked bacon, sliced red bliss potatoes, thyme roasted mushrooms, and many, many more.

Our favorite (the pizza we order every single time), is “number 4” ($20.75 for a large) which has crispy smoked bacon, roasted Yukon gold potatoes, cilantro, dried cranberries, and mozzarella. I love the interplay between the smoky and salty bacon, the sweet cranberries, the creamy potatoes, and the herbacious cilantro. For some reason, it just works. Really really well. I never tire of this pizza, and I find it’s almost always the most popular one whenever I order a variety of pizzas from Emma’s.

Overall I love this place.

It’s a small restaurant, and they don’t take reservations, so be prepared to wait if you come during peak times. They have a nice takeout window up front, so you can always order take-out instead if you don’t feel like waiting. As for pizzas, I personally highly recommend “number four,” though I actually think most of their pizzas are quite good. You really can’t go wrong here. :)

40 Hampshire St
Cambridge, MA 02139
Emma's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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