Boston - Around Town : North End & the Waterfront (part 2) - Italian Bakeries & Grocers, Restaurants & Bars

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From Narrow Byways to the Sea


From the Haymarket “T”. follow Hanover Street to Richmond Street and continue to North Square. Stop at Paul Revere House for a glimpse of the domestic life of the revolutionary hero. Return to Hanover for an espresso and some prime people-watching at lively Caffè Vittoria . Continue up Hanover and turn left through Paul Revere Mall to Old North Church . The bust of George Washington inside is reputedly the world’s most accurate rendering of his distinctive face – compare the resemblance to a dollar bill. Then stroll up Hull Street past Copp’s Hill Burying Ground for a great vantage point of USS Constitution before continuing to the waterfront. Grab a bench in Puopolo Park to watch a match of bocce, an Italian lawn bowling game. Walk south along Commercial Street and stop for an al fresco waterside lunch at Joe’s American Bar & Grill (100 Atlantic Ave).


Resume your waterfront stroll, stopping off to enjoy the roses in the Rose Kennedy Rose Garden before whiling away an hour or so in the New England Aquarium where highlights include the swirling Giant Ocean Tank. Then relax with a sun-downer and watch the harbor activities from the patio of the Boston Harbor Hotel (70 Rowes Wharf) before head to Sel de la Terre for a Provençal dinner.

Italian Bakeries & Grocers

  1. Mike’s Pastry

    Large glass cases display a huge selection of cookies and cannoli (crunchy pastry filled with a sweet ricotta cream). Purchase a box to go, or grab a table and order a drink and a delectable pastry.

    • 300 Hanover St

  2. Salumeria Italiana

    This neighborhood fixture is a premier stop for esoteric Italian canned goods and rich olive oils, as well as spicy sausages and cheeses from many Italian regions.

    • 151 Richmond St

    • Closed Sun

    • No DA

  3. Modern Pastry

    House specialties here include rich ricotta pie and nougat made on the premises, as well as chocolate truffles from Italy and delicate Florentines. Modern makes a thinner cannoli shell than Mike’s.

    • 257 Hanover St

  4. Polcari’s Coffee Co.

    The premier bulk grocer in the North End, this charming store has sold Italian roasted coffee since 1932. It’s still the best place to find spices, flours, grains, and legumes.

    • 105 Salem St

    • Closed Sun

    • No DA

    Polcari’s Coffee Co.
  5. Bova’s Bakery

    Fresh bread emerges from the ovens at all hours. When the bars and coffee shops close, night owls head to Bova’s for hot sandwiches and cookies.

    • 134 Salem St

    • No DA

  6. V. Cirace Wine & Spirits

    The North End’s most upscale seller of Italian wines and liqueurs stocks both fine wines to lay down and cheerfully youthful ones to enjoy right away.

    • 173 North St

    • Closed Sun

    • No DA

  7. Monica’s Mercato

    Linked to a nearby restaurant, this salumeria has the usual cheeses and sausages, but its specialties are prepared foods such as cold salads for picnics and pasta dishes for reheating.

    • 130 Salem St

    • No DA

    Monica’s Mercato
  8. Martignetti Liquors

    One of the city’s most comprehensive wine and liquor stores, Martignetti imports wines from many small producers in Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The store is particularly known for its broad selection of Nebbiolo-based wines of the Piemonte.

    • 64 Cross St

    • Closed Sun

  9. Fresh Cheese

    This shop serves fresh ricotta and mozzarella with rare, imported Italian cheeses.

    • 81 Endicott St

    • Closed Sun

  10. Napoli Pastry

    Other bakeries aim for variety, but Napoli sticks to a narrow but select line of perfectly fashioned sweets. As the name suggests, it should be a dessert lover’s first stop for a Neapolitan.

    • 120 Salem St

    • Closed Sun

Unless otherwise specified, all bakeries and grocers are open daily

Restaurants & Bars

  1. Maurizio’s

    A cozy, buzzy spot where chef Maurizio Lodo draws on his Sardinian heritage to create dishes that often include brilliant preparations of fish.

    • 364 Hanover St

    • 617 367 1123

    • Closed Mon

    • No DA

  2. Taranta

    An artistic blend of Sardinian and Catalan cuisine spells intense flavors (pork with vinegar peppers and broccoli).

    • 210 Hanover St

    • 617 720 0052

    • Closed lunch Sun

    • No DA

  3. Daily Catch

    Fans of garlic and calamari dishes line up on the sidewalk for the tiny tables at one of the area’s friendliest restaurants.

    • 323 Hanover St

    • No DA

  4. La Brace

    Don’t let the modest decor deter you. Chef Mark Fredette creates superb North Italian dishes, such as veal chop with gnocchi.

    • 76 Salem St

    • 617 523 8820

    • Closed lunch

  5. Pizzeria Regina

    The original Regina’s thin crust, old-fashioned pizza is far better than the pale imitations served at its other branches.

    • 11½ Thatcher St

    • No DA

  6. Bricco

    This lively, stylish trattoría is a very popular spot for socializing over Abruzzo-style pastas or rabbit casserole.

    • 241 Hanover St

    • 617 248 6800

  7. Neptune Oyster

    The delicate raw bar oysters are almost upstaged by large and bold roasted fish and pasta dishes in this tiny, stylish spot. Tables turn over quickly.

    • 63 Salem St

    • 617 742 3474

  8. Ristorante Fiore

    Traditional southern Italian cuisine with a strong Italian-American accent has made this a popular dining spot, especially with its outdoor rooftop terrace.

    • 250 Hanover St

    • 617 371 1176

    • Closed lunch Sun

  9. Sel de la Terre

    Sunny tastes of Provence – down to homemade tapenade and hearth breads – make this a must for gourmets at lunch and dinner.

    • 255 State St

    • 617 720 1300

  10. Prezza

    One of the longest wine lists in town guarantees just the right glass to accompany hearty Tuscan fare as well as sinfully rich desserts.

    • 24 Fleet St

    • 617 227 1577

    • Closed Sun

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