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Best North End coffee/pastry? Not Pompeii's!

Science Chick Nov 13, 2007 11:54 AM

We decided to hang out for a short while in the North End on Sat. afternoon and get a quick coffee. Mike's was absolutely packed, and I really wanted table service....so we decided to sit down at Cafe Pompeii. Haven't been in a VERY LONG time, certainly not since the renovation. The cappuccinos were awful.....so watered down I couldn't even taste the coffee flavor (just WAY too much milk). A cheesecake was marginally ok (albeit a bit gummy on the ends), and a chocolate cannoli was far too sweet, couldn't taste the nice tanginess of the cheese at all.

I guess I should have known better....but my question to hounds is: Where is the best place to sit down in the North end and have a nice coffee and pastry???

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  1. p
    patiofixture Nov 13, 2007 12:13 PM

    Unfortunately, they're not necessarily the same place.

    Coffee: I really like Graffiti and Vittoria
    Pastry: The Modern

    If you want both at the same time, I'd give the edge to Vittoria over Graffiti. Both are better than Pompeii, IMHO.

    5 Replies
    1. re: patiofixture
      Science Chick Nov 13, 2007 12:19 PM

      Yes, I love the pastry at Modern......Vittoria is ok.......Any hidden gems we are missing though?

      1. re: Science Chick
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 13, 2007 01:55 PM

        Modern at this point has at least half a dozen tables, with table service, and they do coffee. Since it's a given that the pastry at Modern is the best, why not just sit there and have your coffee and pastry?

      2. re: patiofixture
        k
        Kate Sylvester Nov 13, 2007 12:21 PM

        Graffitti is closing at the end of November

        1. re: Kate Sylvester
          j
          joebelt Nov 13, 2007 01:37 PM

          yep so they can put in a new restaurant. what a shame.

          1. re: joebelt
            Joanie Nov 15, 2007 04:48 AM

            Is it the same owners who want a new restaurant or a whole new thing?

      3. k
        Kate Sylvester Nov 13, 2007 12:20 PM

        modern pastry and lulu's

        1. b
          bachslunch Nov 13, 2007 02:01 PM

          I'll agree that Caffe Pompei is terrible.

          Caffe Vittoria is to my mind the best espresso/cappucino and a pastry sit down place in the North End, with the best second choice being Caffe Paradiso. Boston Beanstock is an excellent standard coffee and muffin spot in that area. Mike's, Modern, and Maria's all do excellent pastries but aren't exactly sit and linger places in the mold of Caffe Vittoria or Caffe Paradiso.

          You're welcome to check out my North End research on this thread, which among other things addresses these types of spots:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/448599

          3 Replies
          1. re: bachslunch
            p
            pollystyrene Nov 13, 2007 09:02 PM

            I agree that Caffe Vittoria is the best combination pastry/coffee place. I believe they get their cannoli from Modern, so if that's you're favorite for pastry you're in luck. I prefer the pastry at Mike's and think it's an interesting place to park for a while, but I haven't had coffee there.

            1. re: pollystyrene
              d
              dlavery99 Nov 19, 2007 05:16 AM

              modern is the best, definately. Pompeii is horrible, owned by The Saraceno/Bela VIsta/Assaggio people.

              1. re: dlavery99
                b
                bachslunch Nov 19, 2007 01:11 PM

                To be fair, I like Saraceno and Bella Vista very much (especially for standard red sauce stuff) and think Assaggio is also good. But Caffe Pompei is another matter -- awful food, weak service, and clip joint shenanigans which I've never encountered at the other three spots.

          2. k
            Kate Sylvester Nov 19, 2007 09:13 AM

            Modern

            1. NiKoLe1625 Nov 19, 2007 11:28 AM

              Modern Pastry is the best bakery in the north end. without a doubt.

              1. z
                Zabelle Nov 19, 2007 01:06 PM

                Graffiti makes the real espressos and machiatos - havent tried capucino there.
                The new place with a lot of gelato (maybe gelateria italiana) makes good espressos as well.

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