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South Shore Bar Pizza | Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, MA

South Shore Bar Pizza | Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, MA
6 votes, 4.33 avg. rating (85% score)

Like any good American, I love pizza, and have since the day I was old enough to chew. In the 30 odd years since then, my pizza tastes have expanded from thin Papa Gino’s and thick Greek-style “House of Pizza” slices to brick oven Neapolitan-style slices with blobs of fresh mozzarella and gourmet-topped flat-breads. Add in homemade pizza and the occasional thick-square Sicilian bakery slice, and I thought I had Massachusetts pizza pretty well covered.

It was only when I met my boyfriend John that I realized what I had been missing.

new england bar pizza

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
Bar Pizza, one of the greatest gifts of the MA South Shore.

Not having grown up in the section of Massachusetts stretching south and east of Boston to Cape Cod (known as the “South Shore“) like John did, I had never had South Shore bar pizza, the variety found in (as the name implies) many of the bars and pubs throughout the region. Cooked in 10-inch individual, well-seasoned pans, bar pizzas have a crust that’s often described as “cracker-like,” with a good balance of crispy and chewy, and a browned layer of cheese (a mozzarella/cheddar blend) that stretches all the way to the edge, forming a charred and lacy border. With just one visit to John’s hometown bar pizza spot, the Central Cafe in Middleborough, I was, as the saying goes, hooked.

A few miles north, the Lynwood Cafe in Randolph is often considered the most legendary place for bar pizza, although other contenders include Town Spa in Stoughton, Cape Cod Cafe in Brockton, and the unfortunately-named Poopsies in Pembroke. With its nondescript exterior, and just slightly less-so interior, the cash-only Lynwood delivers flavor without fuss, and for its generations of loyal customers, that’s just fine. A handful of tables and booths make up the dining area, with a jukebox in the corner and a few neon beer signs on the walls. It’s a basic bar that dates back to 1949, and looks like one, but the pizza is anything but.

lynwood cafe

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
The Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, MA.

lynwood jukebox

Photo/Art by Aimee Seavey
And like all good bars, Lynwood comes with a juke box.

Inside, we study the laminated, single-sheet menu and keep it simple with a plain cheese for my sister, and a mushroom and onion for me. It was only after I ordered a beer that I encountered my first ever Lynwood disappointment. This being a bar, a beer seemed the most appropriate and delicious beverage to wash down my pizza, but after asking for ID (at 32, this happens less than it used to, but still plenty enough), the waitress informed me that Lynwood does not accept out-of-state drivers’ licenses as a form of ID. This hadn’t happened on previous visits, and since the bar is well-known and within an hour’s drive of both Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where I live, it seemed especially confusing, but there you have it. Take note — If you want a beer with your bar pizza at Lynwood, bring your Massachusetts ID, or settle for soda.

The pizzas, as always, were bar-pizza perfection. Bar pizza slices are small, sturdy, and splendidly greasy.

Please Note: This article was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Aimee Seavey

Author:

Aimee Seavey

Biography:

Assistant Editor Aimee Seavey is a staff writer for Yankee Magazine and assists in the development and promotion of content for YankeeMagazine.com through blogging and social media outlets.
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7 Responses to South Shore Bar Pizza | Lynwood Cafe in Randolph, MA

  1. Valia August 2, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Fifty-five years ago started with Cape Cod Café pizza. Have been going to the Lynwood for forty-six years and it is definitely THE BEST!

    Love the Bean Special, laced and well done, with chopped, raw onions in addition. Mushroom, onion and pepper is also another great choice. It’s even good cold for breakfast!

  2. Dan September 5, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Aimee, I loved the story and want to try the recipe you put in the magazine but I think someone took my issue. What month was that so I can try to find one? Can I find it online? I even ordered rimmed pans to give it a go but now no recipe.
    Thanks for any help.

    • Aimee Seavey September 5, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

      Hi Dan. Thanks so much! We never ran a recipe for bar pizza in Yankee, but the amazing and talented folks over at Cook’s Country (part of America’s Test Kitchen) developed a recipe for Lynwood-style bar pizza and it’s in their August/September 2014 issue! It’s on my list to try!

  3. Dan September 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Aimee, thank you for restoring my sanity. I couldn’t believe that I lost an issue of Yankee that easily.
    I have the Cook’s Country issue in my hands and the story written by Christin Walsh is equally enticing as yours.
    I think I will attempt the home recipe first, then take a ride to The Lynwood for comparison.
    Thanks again and keep me longing for another great find and story.
    Great work.

  4. melissa October 1, 2014 at 8:49 am #

    I grew up in Middleborough, MA on S.Shore and we have so many good bar pizza places. The Central Cafe, The Hideaway and the Royal are just a few. Also Middleborough House of Pizza is not a bar but same style and so good. I live in Central FL now and this is one of the things I miss the most!

  5. Paul October 4, 2014 at 5:56 am #

    BBC makes a decent bar pizza. Middleboro may have decent bar pizza, but it isn’t part of the South Shore.

  6. Dave H. October 25, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I’ve tried them all, The Central Cafe in Middleboro is by far the best.

    Crunchy with a chew – mellowy flavored crust that contains some secret ingredients that I haven’t been able to duplicate.

    The linguica ground up into small piles of flavor that releases an explosion of moist meat in your mouth when you bite into it. Of course the slightly sweet sauce and a mixture of cheesiness splatter painted onto the edge of the golden crust just teasing you to not leave a crumb behind.

    40 years ago; One would have to dodge around bar room brawls – deafeningly loud talking – couples sneaking into the ladies restroom for guess whats – all to get at a Cold Beer n “Pizzah” – a one size pie with a golden crusted slice of heaven. Hmmm, I can taste it now.

    (live in CA now, but bring back as many as possible when I visit.)

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