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Galleria Umberto

The line is always daunting at Galleria Umberto, a lunch-only Italian joint in the North End that draws locals by the dozens. On any given day, expect to wait 10 to 20 minutes for unbelievably cheap Italian goodies. It's worth it, but get there early -- the doors close when the food runs out (usually around 2 p.m.). Calzones ($2 to $2.50) come in four varieties: spinach; spinach and ricotta; ham and ricotta; and sausage, spinach, and ricotta. They're tasty and very filling, and usually gone by 1:15 p.m. The pizza is made Sicilian-style with fresh mozzarella and assorted toppings, but try only one slice (50 cents to $1) so you can sample the arancine (meat-filled corn fritters), panini (ham-and-cheese-filled breads), or pizzette (round, meat-filled breads topped with melted cheese). Each of these edibles costs only $1. Glasses of wine (75 cents) are available, as well as sodas, bottled waters, and Snapple (50 cents to $1.50). Whatever combination you choose, you're guaranteed a hearty Italian lunch for under $5.

Galleria Umberto, located at 289 Hanover Street in the North End, is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call 227-5709.

-- Theresa Regli

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