As regular customers of the place know, there is a sign on the wall at Monte's Restaurant in Lynn that says, "If they don't have pizza in heaven...then I'm not going!" Well, whether there is pizza in heaven or not remains to be seen (let's hope that there is--fingers are definitely crossed), but what does seem certain is that the old industrial city of Lynn surely has its own heavenly pizza place and restaurant that should be on the radar for pizza lovers not just on the North Shore, but also throughout the entire Greater Boston area.
At first glance, Monte's doesn't look like a whole lot (though it looks a bit nicer than it did before renovations were recently done to it), and it is adjacent to a rather sinister-looking railroad bridge that crosses over Eastern Avenue a few blocks away from Lynn Beach. But the interior is completely different from the outside, as it is a warm, old-fashioned, friendly place with plenty of seating in the comfortable dining room and a few more booths in the bar area. The menu at Monte's has a number of items, including garlic bread (you can get it with bacon and cheese, by the way), pastas, fried seafood, steaks, burgers, and chicken. But what Monte's is really known for (and has been since just after World War II) is their terrific bar pizza--relatively small personal pizzas with a dry, slightly browned, cracker-like crust that is one of the best that you'll find on the North Shore. The sauce is spicy and hearty, and the cheese, which extends all the way to the edge of the crust (typical of a bar pizza), is golden brown and delicious.
Although Monte's Restaurant might have one of the best bar pizzas in the Boston area, it has almost zero name recognition outside of Lynn and neighboring Swampscott. Perhaps it is because of its location (Lynn, like other old mill cities such as Lawrence and Brockton, sometimes gets an undeservedly bad rap). Or maybe it is because the building it is housed in doesn't really scream out to people. But the bottom line is, Monte's is a nice place in a decent neighborhood, and it should definitely be on people's short lists of great pizza places in the Boston area. If you're looking for a little slice of heaven north of Boston (or maybe 2 or 3 slices), Monte's is worth a visit.
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