It is no secret that the area south of Boston is bar pizza country, with a large section of it (including Quincy, Weymouth, Abington, Whitman, Brockton, Randolph, and Stoughton) having countless drinking spots that serve this regional type of pie. And in some ways, Brockton seems to be the central point for bar pizza, in part because one of the best--and best known--of them (Cape Cod Cafe) resides in this old industrial city of 100,000. Some of the other spots in Brockton for bar pizza are much less known then the Cape Cod Cafe, and at least one of them--a place on North Main Street called Home Cafe--approaches the greatness of that restaurant. Never heard of it? You're definitely not alone.
Home Cafe is located about a mile south of the Avon line in North Brockton, a few miles north of the Cape Cod Cafe which is on the other side of the downtown area (and on the same street, actually). Because Main Street parallels the busy Route 28 through much of the city, the road has the feel of being a bit off the beaten path even though it often comes very close to that thoroughfare (Home Cafe is only about a hundred yards away from Route 28, for instance). The neighborhood in which Home Cafe resides is a mix of residential, commercial, and industrial, and the bar itself looks a bit on the questionable side from the outside, but while it looks like a dive bar that should perhaps be avoided, it is actually a mellow spot with a long bar, pool tables and darts further back, a few booths in the front, and a separate dining room with additional seating off to the left.
Home Cafe has a number of items on its menu, including salads, potato skins, calzones, burgers, wings, boneless tenders, and more, but for most people, it is all about the bar pizza here; they are classic individual bar pies that have greasy cheese extending to the edge of the nicely charred crust (you can pay an extra 50 cents for burnt edges, by the way), a good amount of slightly spicy and rich-tasting sauce added, and a variety of toppings including linguica, pepperoni, jalapenos, black olives, bacon, and mushrooms. The pizza at Home Cafe is quite a bit like that of the now-closed Alumni Cafe in Quincy, which some considered the best of them all back in the day, and it is also similar to the Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, which is currently seen as the best of the best by many. As you might expect, the pizzas are very inexpensive here, and the drinks are almost absurdly cheap, with some of the beers costing only $2.50.
Brockton may not seem like a destination spot for dining to some, but if you like bar pizza, there are some outstanding choices throughout the city, including one of the ultimate under-the-radar places in Home Cafe. Cheap prices, easy parking, and a low-key atmosphere all make this watering hole a great option, and one that makes you feel like you're the only person who knows about it. [Ed note--Home Cafe has reopened (soft opening as of Monday, July 18) several months after closing due to a water main break.]
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