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Il Buongustaio (CLOSED)

370 Huron Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138

Photo of Il Buongustaio, Cambridge, MA Many restaurants in the Boston area are little-known simply because they are blink-and-you-miss it types of places. Take, for instance, Il Buongustaio; this tiny storefront in the heart of Cambridge's quiet, charming Huron Village is so narrow that you almost have to turn the pizza sideways on your way out the door. What Il Buongustaio lacks in physical space, however, it more than makes up for in big, robust flavors. And yes, the pizza is good--so good, in fact, that Cambridge might not have many better pizza places than this.

Step inside Il Buongustaio and not only do you feel that you have found a true hidden gem, but you also feel transported to the great Italian pizzerias of Brooklyn or Queens. Indeed, this little dining spot feels a bit like a friendlier version of Sal's Pizzeria in Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing. And friendly they are at Il Buongustaio. Every time this writer orders a pie here on a Sunday afternoon after football or on a weeknight after a long day at work, the people behind the counter go out of their way to make sure you feel welcome.

Il Buongustaio actually has much more than pizza; the menu includes such items as lamb sausage, puttanesca, gnocchi, and pasta alla pomodoro, all for under $10.00. And how are their entrees? Honestly, I don't know, as it is impossible to get past the mouth-watering, New-York style thin-crust pizza here. From the classic margherita to the gooey tre formaggi, these pies are absolutely irresistible. If the entrees are anywhere near as good in quality, this dining spot may have to be listed under the "Italian" section as well. Stay tuned...

Huron Village has itself a winner in Il Buongustaio. Great pizza, friendly service, and reasonable prices make this a must for diners in the Cambridge area. Furthermore, unlike most of the rest of this bustling city, there are usually a few available parking spots on the street in front of the restaurant. Note that most people who come to Il Buongustaio order takeout, since there are only a few (narrow) tables inside. However, it is likely that you will be carrying many a sideways pizza out the door time and time again once you get a taste of what Il Buongustaio has to offer.