North End

Outdoor Activity / Shopping Area
North End Home to Boston's vibrant Italian district and many historic landmarks, the North End and its narrow cobblestone streets draw everyone from pasta lovers and tourists to wine-drinking partiers. Boston United States 42.366494 -71.054518
4.29 11
North End - Outdoor Activity | Shopping Area in Boston.
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Adriana
Jonah
Emma

Party Earth Review Home to Boston’s vibrant Italian district and many historic landmarks, the North End and its narrow cobblestone streets draw everyone from pasta lovers and tourists to wine-drinking partiers. Though gentrification has... ... read full review

  • Neighborhood:

  • Address:

    I-93 and Commercial Street
    form the rough boundaries of the North End

    Get Directions

  • T Stop:

    Green Line: North Station; Green/Orange Line: Haymarket Square

  • Links:

  • Hours:

    Hours vary by establishment

  • Recommended as:

    • Day Spot
    • Night Spot

Party Earth North End Review

The Scene

Home to Boston's vibrant Italian district and many historic landmarks, the North End and its narrow cobblestone streets draw everyone from pasta lovers and tourists to wine-drinking partiers.

Home to Boston’s vibrant Italian district and many historic landmarks, the North End and its narrow cobblestone streets draw everyone from pasta lovers and tourists to wine-drinking partiers.

Though gentrification has attracted a growing number of young professionals, the small neighborhood is still home to a high concentration of Italians and Italian-Americans, as evidenced by the countless authentic eateries, cafés, and gelaterias.

By day, hordes of tourists may flock to Revolutionary War sites like the Old North Church and the Paul Revere house, but locals are more interested in the infamous cannoli war played out by rival pastry shops Mike’s (300 Hanover Street) and Modern Pastry (257 Hanover Street), both of which vehemently claim to make the city’s best cannoli.

Intimate cafés like the legendary Caffe Vittoria (290-296 Hanover Street) and classic Italian delis like Monica’s (130 Salem Street) should satisfy romantic couples and foodies, while gourmands will find that the North End nightlife has a distinct European feel, where a dinner at upscale establishments like Artu (6 Prince Street) and Lucca (226 Hanover Street) often lasts clear into several bottles of wine and late-night cocktails.

Visitors looking for a livelier scene will definitely find it at one of the area’s many freewheeling street festivals, which turn the North End into a jubilant, wine-fueled party that lasts all day and night – the perfect way to celebrate the area’s cultural heritage.

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Tip from Emma:

Plan a whole day in the North End! Start at the Old North Church and the nearby Paul Revere House, grab sandwiches at Italian deli Monica’s, stop for an afternoon cappuccino on your walk along the Freedom Trail, and finish it all off with chicken parmesan and wine at one of the great restaurants!

  • Crowd

    Creative young professionals, resident Italians, couples on dates, birthday groups, yuppies, and weekend tourists, mid-20s to late 30s+.

  • Entertainment / Music

    Street festivals on major Catholic feast days, including Saint Joseph’s in mid-July, Madonna della Cava in early August, and Saint Anthony’s in late August.

  • Food / Miscellaneous

    Several Italian restaurants ranging from affordable options like Regina Pizzeria (11 1/2 Thacher Street) and Ernesto’s (69 Salem Street) to upscale restaurants like Ristorante Fiore (250 Hanover Street) and Mare (135 Richmond Street).

  • Prices

    Average restaurant prices: entrées $15–$28, gelato $2–$4, wine $7+/glass or $22+/bottle.

  • What to Wear / Dress Code

    Casual to dressy: jeans and t-shirts during the day; depending on the venue, anything from jeans and polos to slacks, jackets, and dresses at night.

  • Hot Nights / When to Go

    Friday and Saturday nights for romantic meals, warm Saturday and Sunday afternoons for the street festivals, or any time for good food and drinks after walking the Freedom Trail.

  • Close By

    Nearby Faneuil Hall (1 Faneuil Hall Marketplace), connected to the North End by the Freedom Trail, is a great spot for a few beers after a day of exploring this Italian neighborhood.

    Or, during basketball season, ticket-holders can head to TD Garden, home of the Boston Celtics, which sits right on the west end of the neighborhood.

North End User Reviews

Average rating:
Don't come with a curfew...
Brandy A. Aug 19, 2013
With its dimly lit candles bouncing off the warm hues of frescos and exposed brick, the North End is the perfect neighborhood to sidle up to the bar and stay for awhile. Yes, it's a tourist hot spot, but many people live here (and have for decades) so no evening at the bar is spent without making a new friend or two. Don't be afraid to sit down alone; it'll only be a moment or two before a regular starts to tell you about the "good old days." Sure, there are a handful of sports bars here, but the best North End nights out are spent with people talking to each other, not watching the game. Let the bartender pour you one more glass of wine, and rest assured that the next time you come in he'll remember your name.
From Sicily to Boston...
Leah T. May 9, 2013
The North End of Boston could quite easily be considered the city's finest jewel. From its narrow cobblestone streets to its authentic cuisine and old-world shops, this section of Boston is like an intricate painting of a true Italian village. Whether you're craving fresh oysters and crisp wine from Neptune's, or a simple cheese pizza and a beer at Fiore, this area of the city offers something for every preference, mood, and taste. And its close proximity to the water evokes a natural and earthy sense of tranquility as you dine, stroll, or window-shop. Truly the perfect setting for an evening out with friends and loved ones!
A taste of Boston
Franklin J. Apr 14, 2013
The North end is the world pack in one place. you can choose from an elegant Italian diner to some nachos with jalapeños. The North end tells us what Boston really is about. Thats its not about what we are paying but how we enjoy the different cultures all in one. How we can travel the world in just one corner of Boston, its the people, the food that gets us closer to the world. We experience what others love and what makes there cultures unique in every way. The North End is what Boston really is about. union and culture and the idea that we are all connected.
Little Italy with a Modern Twist
Andrea G. Mar 11, 2013
The historic North End shares the relaxed demeanor of an Italian neighborhood with the chaotic vibrancy of its newly youthful residents. Originally an outpost for Italian immigrants in the 1950s, the “Little Italy of Boston” still retains aspects of the Italians who put the area on the map. Abounding with Italian trattorias, visitors can still see elderly Italian men conversing in Italian outside of espresso cafes. These locals are the heart and soul of the neighborhood. With the influx of recent graduates and young professionals, the North End has undoubtedly undergone a dramatic transformation, but it still remains the best area in Boston for an Italian dinner. Alongside the traditional pizzerias and restaurants are newer bars and lounges, more suited for the young professionals living in the area. On weekends, and particularly during warmer nights, the streets are packed with tourists and students. At these times, it can be difficult to see the original charm of the old buildings and historic churches. However, there is undoubtedly a rejuvenated and lively atmosphere, due to the young crowd making its way into the city. If in town, it’s best to pick a weekday to go for a stroll along the North End’s tight and labyrinthine streets. The Old North Church, the oldest standing church in Boston, and Paul Revere’s house and statue, are located right in the area. Also a must is a walk along the waterfront, which is populated with bocce courts. On nice days you can see over to Charlestown, the Bunker Hill Monument, and the USS Constitution. Though it has undergone many changes in the past years, and while it can feel a little inauthentic at times, those looking to explore should definitely go to the North End for a taste of Italy, while checking out the historical landmarks that put Boston on the map.
One of the Best Little Italy's in New England
Alyssa S. Feb 22, 2013
Though it can't contend with walking through the side streets of Venice, the ambiance and food featured in Boston's North End is quite a treat for most American Italians. From the butcheries and tiny pastry shops that feature zeppoles and capuccinos, to the homemade gnochi and pastas, you want to head to the North End if you're looking for truly authentic Italian cuisine.
Favorite part of Boston
Nick T. Sep 12, 2012
The most authentic "Little Italy" I have been to in the United States. The North end is filled with cool little Italian restaurants, nice bars (including a very cool underground cigar bar), and two famous and very good Italian pastry shops. I have had experiences with waiters and restaurant stuff in the North End that made me think they had just arrived from Italy the past week - which is awesome. Also, the views of the city from the North End are the best in the city - just an added bonus to the great atmosphere the North End provides.
Italian Restaurants Galore
Danny M. Sep 8, 2012
The North End is perfect for strolling around the cobblestone streets on a nice weather day in spring, summer, or fall. I feel like I could wander aimlessly all day stopping for pizza, pasta, and desserts (gelato!) in all of the different Italian restaurants that line the streets. The area is great for a family meal, an afternoon with friends, or a chill afternoon date with someone special. I highly recommend a stop into Pizzeria Regina – you might have to wait in line for a little while but the pizza is awesome! And if you’ve had your fill of eating, there’s plenty of historic landmarks to take in as well…maybe Paul Revere will like a cannoli.
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