The North End is Boston’s Little Italy and is one of the best neighborhoods for dining in the city! Its classic Italian charm and character must be experienced by all those who visit Boston. Between bakeries and spots to chow down on Italian food, there are loads of great North End Boston restaurants.
The best way to experience the North End is with an authentic Italian meal. And, of course, no visit is complete without a stop in a famous Italian bakery. The cannoli, pizza, and pasta are all waiting, and we promise they are unforgettable! Keep reading for our recommendations for the best North End Boston restaurants and bakeries.
14 Best Italian Restaurants of the North End
If you find yourself hungry for a late-night dinner, there is no better option than Bricco. Their late-night menu is available from 11:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., and never fails to hit the spot.
Of course, Bricco is open earlier as well, but there’s something special about indulgent pizza and shareables at midnight. Bricco has an impressive menu of pasta and classic Italian entrees in addition to a mouthwatering menu of steaks and surf-and-turf specials.
Al Dente (109 Salem St. #1) keeps it simple, classic, and authentic with its minimalistic style and menu. But what they don’t hold back on is their large portion sizes! Al Dente is the perfect spot for a hearty and satisfying meal of carbonara, bolognese, tortellini, and more. Pair your pasta with some wine and indulge at this North End Boston restaurant!
Antico Forno specializes in oven-baked meals that taste just as special as they sound. The name, Antico Forno, is Italian for “ancient oven”. And here almost everything on the menu is baked one way or another.
If you love a good wood-fired pizza, Antico Forno is your place to get some of that chewy pizza crust that can be topped with your favorites. Even the pasta dishes get their time to bake in the oven before making their way to your table.
Is there a restaurant more iconic than the original Regina Pizzeria? Honestly, we doubt it! Regina Pizzeria (48 Cummings Park) is great for a casual, inexpensive meal. The founding location of Regina’s has been thriving in Boston since 1926, and you’ll understand why the second you bite into one of their unbeatable pizza pies. But, fair warning, your pizza standards will definitely be higher after trying one of Regina’s famous slices!
Lucia Ristorante (415 Hanover Street) is a family-owned North End Boston restaurant named after the family’s grandmother. Nonna Lucia was passionate about sharing authentic Italian cuisine with others.
Lucia Ristorante has a massive menu consisting of just about every Italian classic that you can imagine. Everything on Lucia’s menu is truly excellent with large portions and loads of flavor. We highly recommend their veal entrees and house-made pastas!
Galleria Umberto (289 Hanover Street) is a mom-and-pop pizza shop that offers Sicilian pizza with just the right amount of burnt crust and that amazing cheese pull. It’s not fancy though: all slices are served on paper plates and the prices are just out of this world.
Bring cash and show up early because they close by 2:30 p.m. and don’t accept payments by card. But, trust us, this place is worth an early lunch and a trip to the ATM.
The Daily Catch
Sicilian-style seafood dishes and pastas from The Daily Catch are a serious must-try when visiting Boston. The Daily Catch has three locations throughout Boston, but the North End restaurant has a special place in our hearts. The restaurant opened in 1973, and often has lines of people eager for a taste that transports you right to Sicily.
Artu (6 Prince Street) is a serious place for meat lovers, known for its savory menu of delicious roasted meats. Our favorites for lunch are the lamb and rotisserie pork panini, while the dinner menu features flavorful roasted chicken and steak. But it’s so good that you might find yourself returning for both lunch and dinner. Not to mention that they’re open until 2:00 a.m.!
A modern take on traditional Sicilian food is what Carmelina’s is all about! If you find yourself in Boston during warmer months, Carmelina’s is the perfect place to wine and dine while getting some fresh air thanks to their unique retractable walls.
Carmelina’s menu consists of affordable and fulfilling dishes like their freshly caught baked fish or classic spaghetti and meatballs.
We all love a fast, casual pizza joint that serves big slices and even bigger flavors. Ernesto’s menu features over 20 different slices of pizza, with both classic Italian flavors and Americanized tastes like barbeque chicken and cheeseburger pizza. Both locals and tourists love Ernesto’s for its relaxed vibe, fast service, and variety of flavors.
La Famiglia Giorgio’s
La Famiglia Giorgio’s is known for its massive portion sizes of unforgettable Roman cooking. They strive to make all their customers feel like family, and they want you to have extra food to take home with you!
The menu is huge and gently priced, ensuring that there is something for everyone at La Famiglia Giorgio’s. The restaurant features 10 types of homemade pasta with 21 different preparations to choose from. Not to mention the pizza and dozens of traditional meat entrees, from veal parmigiana to shrimp puttanesca! When it comes to North End Boston restaurants that transport you back to nonna’s house, La Famiglia Giorgio’s is the place to be.
Giacomo’s is a reasonably priced dining option in the North End that keeps its menu simple and delicious! The menu features varieties of fettuccine, ziti, and linguine with a list of sauces to choose from.
The fettuccine with salmon and sun-dried tomatoes in a lobster-based tomato cream sauce is the perfect marriage between classic Italian and iconic Boston tastes. Their menu also includes three vegetarian options which are eggplant parmigiana, pumpkin tortellini, and fusilli Siciliana. Giacomo’s is a great option for a group of different dietary needs!
Known as a special-occasion restaurant, Table has been hugely successful as an award-winning Italian eatery that truly lives up to the hype. Table offers seasonally rotating and beautifully curated Italian dishes. But, keep in mind that Table isn’t just a restaurant, it is an eating experience.
Unlike any other restaurant in Boston, you’ll enjoy a one-of-a-kind meal created by chef and owner Jen Royle that is inspired by Italian cuisine and seasonal offerings. Make sure to check out the menu online before visiting, because Table does not accommodate any substitutions or changes for dietary restrictions.
One of the most iconic historical sights in Boston is the Paul Revere House, and Mamma Maria is located right across the street from there! Mamma Maria is a classy, fine-dining environment with white tablecloths and upscale fare.If you’re looking to get a bit dressed up for a romantic dinner out at one of the best North End Boston restaurants, Mamma Maria is the place to go.
Reliance on local markets is a hugely important Italian tradition, and Mamma Maria is devoted to that standard. They are intentional about their ingredients, and they work hard to source locally and rotate the menu seasonally. Some menu options include rabbit pasta, veal cotoletta, and osso buco.
4 Best Italian Bakeries in the North End
Modern Pastry has all the incredible and authentic flavors of a classic Italian bakery with less of a line than its competition. You will walk inside and find the walls lined with cases of beautifully crafted Italian pastries like cakes, pies, cookies, and of course, cannoli!
Modern Pastry has been in the North End for over 70 years and they have seriously perfected each and every one of their bakery items.
Mike’s Pastry is arguably the most iconic Italian bakery in Boston, often having lines of people wrapped around the street eagerly awaiting satisfaction for their sweet tooth. If you have the time, the line is worth the wait and tends to move quickly!
A cannoli from Mike’s Pastry is like the mascot of the North End–it is a serious must-try for all people visiting Boston. Make sure to bring cash as they do not accept card payments!
What makes Bova’s Bakery truly iconic beyond its delicious desserts is that they are slinging cakes, cookies, sandwiches, and Sicilian pizza 24 hours a day! Bova’s is responsible for all of our 2:00 a.m. cannoli runs, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. This family-run bakery is a true gem in the North End.
Although this is not exactly a bakery, is there anything more Italian than an espresso after a meal?
Polcari’s Coffee was established in 1932, and offers a variety of delicious coffee brewed from their very own coffee brand. If you love a sweet coffee, we recommend their chocolate, raspberry, hazelnut, or Irish Crème flavorings. Polcari’s Coffee is the best for a little pick me up after a big day of exploring the city, and an even better way to wash down a North End meal.
Related Reading: Satisfy that Sweet Tooth–Try The 7 Best Bakeries in Boston
Counting down the days to your trip to Boston so you can start devouring all the delicious food in sight? We feel you—that’s how we travel, too.
Let’s hang out while you’re in town, preferably on our Best of Boston food tour! Let us feed your curiosity and show you our Boston – including bakeries in the North End!
Sofi Lenzi is a Freelance Writer born and raised right outside of Boston which is how she justifies her high standards for cannolis and pizza! Sofi loves nothing more than enjoying the beautiful parks of her city with an iced coffee in hand. She loves sharing with others how to make the most of their Boston experience. You can visit her website here.