A North End pizza joint just got a major national award

It was named one of "America's Classics" by the James Beard Foundation.

Pizza is served at Galleria Umberto in the North End. Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff

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A North End restaurant — and a Boston institution for more than four decades — was just named one of “America’s Classics” by the James Beard Foundation.

Along with the James Beard Awards (basically the Oscars of the food world) the James Beard Foundation annually dubs five restaurants “America’s Classics,” defined as “regional establishments, often family-owned, that are cherished for their quality food, local character, and lasting appeal.” In other words, it honors neighborhood establishments that have served great food for a long time but are generally overlooked for other James Beard Awards.

This year, the JBF bestowed one of its America’s Classics awards upon Galleria Umberto, a popular cash-only pizza joint that often sees lines out the door for its Sicilian-style slices.


“When the pizza runs out, the shop closes for the day,” JBF editors wrote. “They also close Galleria Umberto in July to maintain the business and spend time with family. Much has changed in the North End, but $1.85 here still buys you a slice and a taste of the old neighborhood.”