Southshore Bar Pizza @ Lynnwood Cafe, Randolph

So I’ve heard a lot about South Shore bar pizza the last few years but somehow never managed to make it down there to try one. Being a pizza fan, and after making and really enjoying the Chicago-style thin crust bar pizza that J. Kenji Lopez-Alt has been widely publicizing recently, I managed to convince the spouse to go to take the trip south to visit the Lynnwood Cafe, perceived by many as the ultimate SS bar pizza establishment in the area.

The place is as described - an old bar, been around about 75 years, some formica tables and booths, fluorescent lights, a juke box and one of those old bowl-a-rama arcade games. The decor was minimal and the place was quite busy on a Saturday at lunch time ; in addition the takeout side of the restaurant was quite busy. It was a hoot to be in.

The menu is interestingly small. Besides drinks, they sell pizza. That’s it. There are a dozen or so toppings, and only one size - 10". These are individual pies, the rule is apparently 1 person - 1 pie, so everyone is expected to order their own (they are cheap). Based on the clientele when we were there, drinking bottles of Bud or Miller Lite are the beverages of choice. There is a wall of liquors for mixed drinks and a few drafts beers but don’t go there expecting to find any craft beers or cocktails.

As for the pizza, it is generally expected that it will have a buttery, cracker-thin crust and the cheese — usually a mix of cheddar and mozzarella — that stretches all the way to the outer reaches of the dough and touches the pan as it cooks inside a deck oven to form a crispy, lacy edge.

I would say that what we got fits the description well other than the slices weren’t as crisp as I expected - they clearly drooped when held with one hand.

And after tasting the pizza, my opinion was…eh. Definitely not a fan of the crust which almost had the consistency of having been leavened with baking powder/soda (it hadn’t) and the toppings were fine I guess although cheddar is not my first (or even second or third) choice for a pizza topping. And I didn’t love whatever brand of pepperoni they use.

So I’m glad that I went and experienced south shore bar pizza but don’t think that style is for me.


It does look like a legit exemplar of its genre but I share your feelings about it generally. Thanks for the entertaining report and photo!


In a twist of fate, this email came into my inbox today. I suppose that I have to try baking it now and see how a home version is. Sigh.

1 Like

I dunno. If you are happy with Kenji’s I would stick with that.