Whether you are seeking a cultural experience or simply wish to escape from campus for the afternoon, Boston’s North End is the perfect area to visit. Most known for its authentic Italian cuisine, quaint architecture and old-world charm, this neighborhood offers countless dining and entertainment options. And since it is just a short walk from both the Government Center and Haymarket T stops, the North End is easily accessible for us as BC students (if the green line decides to cooperate, that is).
Most of the North End’s points of interest are located in close proximity to one another, so a large amount of walking is by no means necessary in order to enjoy all that the neighborhood has to offer. To fully experience the charisma and deliciousness that is the North End, try sampling a few – or all! – of the eateries and attractions mentioned below:
The Original Regina Pizzeria – 11 ½ Thacher Street
It would be a crime to visit the North End without eating at Boston’s original Regina Pizzeria, founded in 1926 and famous for its delicious brick-oven goodness ever since. Although there is usually a line due to its popularity, the reward is well worth the wait.
Mother Anna’s – 211 Hanover Street
Mother Anna’s is a traditional Italian restaurant with a casual atmosphere, including patio seating, which offers a great view of the city skyline. Open for lunch and dinner, it is an excellent option to include in your exploration of the North End.
L’Osteria – 104 Salem Street
This restaurant, while on the fancier side, has a warm and friendly atmosphere, making it the perfect place to eat with a larger group of friends and family. The menu offers an array of classic dishes, with a large seafood selection as well as pasta and other standard Italian meals, at a higher-than-standard quality.
Improv Asylum – 216 Hanover Street
Located in the basement of a CVS, Improv Asylum is a go-to entertainment venue in the North End. There are multiple shows every Friday and Saturday night, which usually begin at 7:30 pm and run until midnight. Tickets range from about $20-$30, which is a small price to pay in order to see the exceptionally dynamic cast & crew perform top-notch improv shows. For those 21+, there is a bar in the main lobby.
Mike’s Pastry – 300 Hanover Street
Mike’s Pastry is arguably one of the best-known bakeries in Boston, famous for its giant Lobster Tails and cannoli. Each one of its menu items is made fresh on the premises, and it offers a large selection of coffees and specialty drinks to accompany your favorite baked goods.
Modern Pastry – 257 Hanover Street
While Modern Pastry is lesser known than Mike’s, its baked goods are equally delicious. Plus, the bakers fill their cannoli especially for each guest so that you can have a freshly customized treat. If you are pressed for time, try Modern over Mike’s, as the line is usually shorter.
The Thinking Cup – 236 Hanover Street
This café, located just a couple doors down from Improv Asylum, is bursting with eclectic charm. Grab a specialty coffee drink in one of the over-sized mugs and relax at one of the tables, each of which is covered with vintage newspapers for an authentic feel. (Feel free to Instagram a pic of your drink – it will look too pretty to pass up the opportunity.)
Caffé Vittoria – 290 Hanover Street
Established in 1929 as the first Italian café in Boston, Caffé Vittoria is known for its cappuccino and espresso drinks. The old-world atmosphere gives you the “feeling of being in a romantic café in Bella Italia.” Naturally, gelato and pastries are staples of the menu as well.
Images via Flickr.
Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons.
Native Massachusetts girl with an addiction to coffee in all its glorious forms. In love with cities she’s not yet visited & shamelessly obsessed with anything J. Crew. Proudly owning the term ‘basic.'