Sitting in Santarpio’s Pizza’s dining room last week, longtime owner of the neighborhood pizza dynasty Frank Santarpio sat back and smiled when ask about his approved expansion to Logan International Airport’s Terminal C.
In his usual fashion Santarpio had a great answer.
“We built Santarpio’s in 1903 and once we started serving pizza it was so good they had to build an airport around us to fly people in to get our pizza,” he joked.
By 2019, Santarpio’s will join other local favorite’s like Kelly’s Roast Beef in Revere and Sullivan’s Castle Island in Southie as part of MarketPlace Logan, an affiliate of Boston-based New England Development and the developer and manager of the Boston Logan Concessions Program, program which allows travelers to experience the culture from surrounding neighborhoods like Eastie, Southie and Revere.
“In all seriousness we are really excited,” said Santarpio. “I don’t think it will affect our business at all in Eastie, but it will give people flying and changing planes between terminals to enjoy a little slice of the neighborhood in their travels.”
At the very least it will allow the flying public to see what all the fuss is over a Santarpio’s Pizza–especially if they can’t get out of the airport and into Eastie during a vacation or business trip.
“We already get people from all over the globe because they’ve read about us or saw us on television,” said Santarpio. “Having a place in the airport will let more people sample our pizza and maybe, when they have time, they’ll stop by the original location in the old neighborhood.”
This year an online food magazine has told America what Eastie residents have known for decadesÑSantarpio’s Pizza has one of the best pies going in the U.S.
In the Daily Meal’s annual ‘101 Best Pizzas in America’ list named Santarpio’s #29 on their best pizza in the country list.
The Daily Meal named Santarpio’s Mozzarella, Sausage, and Garlic pie a must have.
“The local favorite has already seen its fair share of fame after winning the Best Traditional Pizza in New England award from Boston magazine seven times in the last 20 years, including last year,” read the article.
Santarpio’s still sticks to their traditional roots when it comes to their famous slightly chewy, and satisfying slices. Their menu consists of a variety of options, but also includes a list of customers’ favorite combinations, like a pie that pairs sausage with garlic, ground beef, and onions, and even “The Works”: mushrooms, onions, peppers, garlic, sausage, pepperoni, extra cheese, and anchovies. If you’re a first-timer, order Santarpio’s most popular pie: mozzarella, sausage, and garlic.
For decades Santarpio’s, or ‘Tarps’ if you’re an Eastie resident, has gained the reputation of being an unpolished oasis that has refused to age with the time.
“When you first come here you’re either going to love it or you’re never coming back,” Santarpio has said time and again. However, on Friday and Saturday nights the line to get into Santarpio’s stretches around the block so Santarpio has always been unapologetic about the ambiance and simple menu.
The bill of fare has been unchanged since it was turned into a pizza place officially in 1966 and there’s only been a few deviations from the main staples of pizza, grilled lamb or sausage and beer.
And Santarpio says that what a hungry traveler should expect when they finally open their third location next year.
“It’s a recipe that’s worked for this long, so why mess with it?” he asked..