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Traditional, old school Italian in North End

We're looking for a good, traditional, red-sauce/comfort-food Italian restaurant in the North End that the locals would favor. Down-to-earth, unpretentious, but delicious stuff. Any recommendations?

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  1. H\\i think the best old italian style and traditional food
    in the North end where the locals go like myself growing up in the north end are--L"osteria on salem st. is my favorite--then the others that the locals go to are Pagluca;s, Lasumma, ricardo's, the italian cantina, Joe tecces and MOther Annas.

    ii also would recommend Giacomo's on hanover st.
    Frankie Imbergamo

    2 Replies
    1. re: frankie Imbergamo

      I really like L'Osteria too - very simply done basic dished and a reasonable wine list. http://www.losteria.com/

      1. re: gini

        HI Gini im glad you like L'osteria too!!
        they are the only restaurant in the North end that make
        Shrimp Parmigan!! try it out it is awsome!!
        Frankie Imbergamo

    2. For "classic North End" I really like Mother Anna's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: cmd

        Mother Anna's just added some outdoor seating. Will be very nice when (if) the park is completed.

      2. Definitely Mother Anna's. Also, I agree with frankie about Pagliuca's, L'Osteria, and Cantina Italiana.

        I also like Al Dente on Salem Street (excellent red sauce) and Antico Forno, also on Salem Street (outstanding brick-oven pizza). And a friend of mine swears by Ida's on Hanover Street.

        I think my #1 pick would be Mother Anna's for old-school Italian, though. The Chicken Creation there is amazing!

        1. Hi,

          My pick is La Summa on Fleet St. They take reservations, which makes it easy to dine there. Also, the food is wonderful. They make their own pasta in house, and any of the dishes with the homemade pasta are wonderful. My favorite is the Pappardelle with Eggplant.

          They also have other southern Italian comfort food like Arancini, Chicken Parm, stuffed artichokes, etc.

          1. I would recommend la Famiglia's on salem
            basic Italian food; very casual
            not pretentious at all!

            Food is very good; large portions - think of Italian Grandma's house on Sunday dinner
            has been around for 16 years

            1. I'm not a big fan of La Familglia's. Sure, they have giant portions. But then you have to eat it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Bostonbob3

                I agree. It's not awful, exactly, but it tastes like convention food to me.

                I don't know if it's still there, but there was a place on Hanover that also was called La Famiglia something (the one on Salem is La Famiglia Giorgio) and that was truly disgusting.

              2. I recently moved out of the North End after twenty years there... definitely agree about L'Osteria, my favorite red-sauce comfort food place. IMO, the edge over the others mentioned, except for Antico Forno's pizza.

                Particularly love L'Osteria's house salad dressing, antipasto, and the veal agrodolce, which I never saw anywhere else in the neighborhood.

                If you want fresh sauce to take home, go to Monica's Mercato, on Salem St. just off the corner w/Prince. Truly outstanding red sauce. Until they stopped bottling it, my brothers in the midwest were always begging me to ship some out. (for some reason they now only sell it in plastic containers.)

                Marcuccio's at the end of Endicott St. near the Charlestown Bridge is also very good, but don't pick a night when there's anything on at the Fleet Center, or whatever it's called now.

                La Familigia - went once. Given all the other options in the N. End, I will never go back.

                1 Reply
                1. re: pasuga

                  "Marcuccio's at the end of Endicott St. near the Charlestown Bridge is also very good, but don't pick a night when there's anything on at the Fleet Center, or whatever it's called now."

                  I think you mean Massimino's? good restaurant

                2. For many of these discussions it's probably worth being clear about

                  authentic italian as it would be made in Italy


                  "traditional, old-school" = different things to different people???


                  "red-sauce/comfort-food Italian restaurant" = Italian/American