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
I-93 and Commercial Street
form the rough boundaries of the North End
Green Line: North Station; Green/Orange Line: Haymarket Square
Hours vary by establishment
North End, Boston –
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.
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!
Creative young professionals, resident Italians, couples on dates, birthday groups, yuppies, and weekend tourists, mid-20s to late 30s+.
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.
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).
Average restaurant prices: entrées $15–$28, gelato $2–$4, wine $7+/glass or $22+/bottle.
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.
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.
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.