Editors’ Choice (Tie)
Your pizza is not burned; those blackened bits on the crust are quite intentional—and quite delicious. Pies spend just 90 seconds at a scorching 925 degrees in that beautiful hand-tiled oven, a centerpiece of the space. Thought and care go into everything from watching the weather (which can affect the dough) to the sometimes crazy toppings. Pizzas are smallish—around 11 inches—and so tasty you’ll want one all to yourself.
288 Derby St., Salem, 978-594-8709, bambolinarestaurant.com
Short & Main
If you like spicy pizza, this is the place for you. More than half of their pizzas include hot pepper. Pizzas are cooked in a wood-fired oven, which imparts a nice smokiness—a technique the chef/owners learned while at the storied Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Any toppings that can come from the North Shore do come from the North Shore. And if you like, you can get some oysters to go with that pie.
36 Main St., Gloucester, 978-281-0044, shortandmain.com