With its authentic Italian eats and old world charm, the North End may be the tastiest neighborhood in all of New England. These are the 8 greatest places to dine in Boston’s Little Italy.
Kicking off the great 8 is Galleria Umberto. This cash only, counter service spot, located on Hanover Street provides pizza perfection. Crispy crust with perfectly melted cheese over a little bit of sauce. Get there early! Once they’re out of their Sicilian pizza, panini, calzone, panzerotti and arancini, they close the doors for the day.
Beat the line! Stay the night at Hilton Boston Downtown/Faneuil Hall and walk the half mile to Galleria Umberto for a real slice of heaven.
Looking for a gem off the beaten path? Just down an alleyway off of Hanover Street is Mare. From hearty Wild Boar Pappardelle, Tagliatelle with fresh lobster, cherry peppers and shaved black truffles to crispy whole bellied clams, this hot spot is home to all of your Italian staples.
This Italian seafood spot really shines when it comes to lobster rolls. You won’t want to miss half a pound of lobster meat coupled with delicious fries. This perfect lobster roll is served on brioche that’s made fresh daily at their sister bread bakery Bricco Panetteria.
Another great 8 winner is Strega. This neighborhood mainstay serves perfect pasta dishes, an over the top stuffed veal chop loaded with fontina cheese and prosciutto, and ultra fresh seafood sourced the same day. But an Italian restaurant is only as good as its red sauce, and at Strega, they claim theirs is the best in the neighborhood.
“You can’t have a restaurant in this neighborhood unless you have a great sauce, right? 114 Italian restaurants, everyone has a great sauce,” says Nick Varano, owner of Strega and The Varano Group. “Mine, I just think is a little bit above the rest just because it was my mother’s recipe. I grew up watching my mother make that sauce every day. And that’s what we do here and it’s special.”
Make a weekend of dining at Strega and the North End. Ames Boston Hotel, a Curio Collection by Hilton is half a mile away for your new favorite neighborhood.
Vito’s Tavern on Salem Street brings a little something different to this Italian neighborhood with a menu lined with all of your favorite American comfort foods. There’s overstuffed burritos, overloaded nachos, and one completely over the top burger.
Experience six styles of wings with flavors that range from traditional Buffalo, to garlicky lemon rosemary, to an atomic wing that will knock your socks off. If you can only try one style of wings, make your choice count with Vito’s Korean Style Wings. They’re double fried so they’re extra crispy, and served basked in addictive sweet and tangy sauce.
In need of something aside from Italian? Crudo on Salem Street is a stylish, modern, two level sushi spot where you’ll find soy sauce instead of red sauce, and udon instead of spaghetti. If you’re looking for something to snack on while you sip some sake, there are over 20 “Social Plates” on the menu, perfect for sharing Asian-style tapas.
Another great 8 winner is Quattro. Situated on the corner of Hanover and Parmenter Streets, Quattro is know for its Neapolitan style pizzas, fired in a custom build Italian brick oven with tender juicy meats slow cooked on a state of the art rotisserie.
The rotisserie is really the centerpiece of this restaurant. They roast everything right in-house, from veal and lamb, to pork and beef.
The juiciest of meats is the chicken. The chicken is brined overnight in a salty solution with oranges, spices, lemons and little bit of white wine, providing ultimate flavors to this satiable meat.
A half a block away you’ll find Carmelina’s. Here you can feast on all of the family recipes of Chef/Owner, Damian DiPaola who named the restaurant after his mother. Nothing on the menu shows the love more than Carmelina’s Sunday Macaroni. Available every night of the week, this is Italian-American comfort food at its best.
Sunday Macaroni is this huge dish of pasta that combines all the elements of Sunday Dinner that you used to have as a kid. It’s a big bowl of rigatoni, in a hearty tomato sauce. Topped with meatballs, Italian sausage, short rib, and a big big dollop of whipped ricotta cheese mixed in with parmesan.
Rounding out the great 8 is Ward 8. Just on the outskirts of the North End, you’ll find this stylish spot with dim lighting, rustic wooden tables and an exposed brick wall baring the restaurant’s name.
Since it’s so close to the TD Garden, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite before a game with offerings like big juicy burgers, decadent mac and cheese, and the deliciously different Maple Chili Duck Wings.
People flock to Ward 8 for these wings. The wings are filled with maple and chili flavorings, offering a nice kick like a buffalo wing.
Stay near the action at TD Garden and the Maple Chili Duck Wings at Ward 8. Hampton Inn Boston/Cambridge is just a mile away.
With so many restaurants in Boston’s North End,, choosing a favorite is hard. We chose 8 great ones for you.
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