A slice of life: a pizza tour of Gloucester

A slice of pizza from Captain Hooks located on Washington St.

Sofia Orlando

A slice of pizza from Captain Hooks located on Washington St.


Pizza, an iconic dish originating all the way back to Geata, Italy 997 AD,  has made an impressive footprint on the food industry. And with the meal being an Italian classic, it only makes sense that it makes its way to Gloucester and its local pizzerias. Between the melted cheese, sweet yet savory sauce and perfectly crunchy crust, each pizza is definitely perfect in its own special way. But, with a surplus of these restaurants occupying the city, I intended to find the best.

For context, my taste in pizza is probably different from yours, but I should probably establish my criteria for the most perfect pizza. What I will be looking for is a sweeter sauce, melty yet set cheese, and a crust that is crunchy but not so that it cuts my mouth open after one bite. And, since I wanted to be fair, I would only be ordering a plain cheese pizza for each place I went, even though these places have various options for toppings. 

Sofia Orlando


My first stop of this journey was Gloucester’s own Captain Hook’s. I have to say that this pizza definitely set the bar high for its competitors. Starting off with the presentation first, it was pretty close to perfect. The cheese wasn’t falling off the slice and everything looked promising. The only thing that derailed its almost perfect appearance was the small puddle of grease sitting near the middle of the slice. With its contents however, the cheese was incredible. Perfectly set, toasted and didn’t even fall off after the first bite, which was pretty impressive. The sauce was probably the best its ever been considering Hook’s has a pretty good track record with their sauce. It was perfectly sweet, pairing wonderfully with the savory taste of the cheese. The crust was also superb, being not only flavorful and crunchy, but also soft enough that it didn’t cut my mouth open. Overall, I’d say this slice is definitely a contender worthy of the “best pizza in town title” even though its little hiccup in the presentation department.

Presentation – 9/10

Cheese- 9.5/10 

Sauce- 9/10 

Crust- 9/10 

Average Grade: 91 (A-)

Sofia Orlando


Day 2 was an evening trip to Sebastian’s,  and I was pleasantly surprised. I hadn’t been there in quite a while so it was nice to taste some quality pizza again. The presentation of the slice was wonderful, from its looks you could clearly see that the cheese was set and that the crust was golden brown and perfectly toasted. The only downside was the grease-stained box, but that’s really my fault for not getting a plate. Anyway, the cheese was set perfectly, melted and stuck nicely to the slice, it also had an incredibly savory taste that really just made the whole slice. The sauce was also wonderful, it had the right amount of sweetness that paired ever so perfectly with the savoriness of the cheese. It had limited tomato chunks which was also a nice touch. The crust I have to say was good, but it wasn’t the best it could’ve been. My only main criticism is that it didn’t really have any crunch, it was just soft and doughy and although that was nice, I would’ve preferred a crunchier crust. In sum, Sebastian’s made an incredible pizza and this slice is in full consideration for the best slice in town.

Presentation- 8/10

Cheese- 9/10 

Sauce- 9/10 

Crust- 8/10 

Average Grade: 85 (B)

Sofia Orlando


Considering this is a pretty new restaurant in town, I have to say I’m not really that impressed with Bravo. Although its presentation may make it seem as though this pizza was appetizing (besides the sad paper plate), I would have to say it is almost the opposite. The cheese basically slid off as soon as I picked the slice up, already docking this pizza down a few points in that department, although its savory taste redeemed it. The sauce however, ultimately threw me off with the amount of tomato chunks that occupied it, making this pizza an almost texture nightmare. The crust is deceiving though, because although it looks to be thick, dough and crunchy, it is just thin and slightly over cooked, giving an almost burnt taste throwing off the entirety of the pizza. Unfortunately, after this I probably won’t be visiting Bravo again unless somebody really insists on going but, overall, a fine try at being the best slice in town.

 Presentation- 7/0

Cheese- 7/10 

Sauce- 5/10 


Average Grade: 60 (D-)

Sofia Orlando

Cape Ann Pizza

Another stop on my journey for the perfect slice was Cape Ann Pizza. I did enjoy this pizza but I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s my favorite. At first glance, this pizza looks pretty promising, with the cheese all nice and set, the crust a golden brown and the sauce all covered evenly by the cheese for the most part and it definitely upholds its already promising rating. The cheese tastes almost exactly how it looks, which would be very savory and the right amount of meltiness, along with being a pretty thick layer of cheese to begin with. The sauce however, I am sad to say, was my least favorite part about this slice since it didn’t really feel like there was enough of it to balance out the amount of cheese that already occupied the slice. It did have a compelling taste though, a nice amount of sweetness with a hint of spice. The crust however, was crunchy and toasted to perfection. Its only major downfall was that it tasted almost too bland, as if there was no taste at all other than the dried small bits of sauce that had made its way there during preparation. Overall, this pizza definitely wasn’t the best, but it was still an excellent contender. 

Presentation- 7/10

Cheese- 8/10 

Sauce- 7/10 

Crust- 6/10 

Average Grade: 70(C)

Sofia Orlando


My fifth stop on my pizza journey was Poseidon’s, and boy was it underwhelming. The first thing I noticed about this pizza when I first received it was the alarming amount of grease that was glistening under the lights of my kitchen. Not to mention the cheese was drowning in sauce at the point of the slice, so needless to say this pizza’s photo is not doing it any justice. On to its actual taste though starting with the cheese. Despite the point of the slice’s cheese being drowned in sauce, it was really thin and incredibly melty, along with the grease just ultimately throwing off the whole taste. Its sauce however, is probably one of the weirdest tastes I’ve ever had. It wasn’t sweet, yet it wasn’t savory either. It was almost sour in a sense, and to say the least the lack of it throughout the slice was probably for the best. Onto the crust, which was very bland, it tasted like I was taking a bite out of lightly salted cardboard, which was a contrast to its texture, which somehow tasted as though it was overcooked with no signs of burnt anywhere. In summation this was a pizza not even worth the taste, I appreciate its effort but I most certainly wouldn’t consider this the best slice of pizza in town. 

Presentation- 4/10




Average Grade: 53 (F)

Sofia Orlando


My final stop was definitely a stop that ended my journey on a good note. I have had Maria’s before and have been slightly disappointed but with the pizza I got it definitely redeemed its questionable reputation in my book. With its presentation, I am thoroughly impressed. Yes, it may look slightly overcooked, but I would say this is perfectly well done, both looks and cooked-wise. This slice was also on the lighter side in terms of dough overall, which in this case was a nice relief from the usual thicker pizza’s I’ve eaten. The cheese was incredible, not the absolute best, but still. It was perfectly toasted and set and had a wonderful taste and was the perfect amount of it for this slice. The sauce was not my favorite, due to it having an imbalance of sweetness and savoriness but it paired nicely with the rest of the slice. The crust was totally my favorite part of this slice since it was crispy and crunchy. And even though it was pretty thin, I really enjoyed it and it now just may be my favorite crust in town. Overall, this pizza has opened my eyes to the world of thinner crust pizzas and I would have to say could be considered some of the best in town. 

Presentation- 8/10




Average Grade: 80(B-)

Overall, this whole experience was definitely a fun one and has opened my eyes on where to order pizza from the next time I get to choose what’s for dinner.  My complete ranking is listed below and yes I may have been harsh on a few places but hey, that’s just all the more reason for you to get out there and try one of these great local restaurants and decide for yourself.

Final Ranking: 

  1. Hook’s
  2. Sebastian’s
  3. Maria’s 
  4. Cape Ann Pizza 
  5. Bravo 
  6. Poseidon’s