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North End Food Tour

GTopp Jun 10, 2008 02:33 PM

Visiting Boston from NYC in a few weeks and would like to take a food tour of the north end on the cheap, meaning I will guide myself, with reco's from the web/locals. Can anyone help me out with some good spots to stop at for bread, meat, cheese, sweets, etc. I don't need to know the history of the store or the food; I just want some good eats.

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  1. g
    Girl Friday RE: GTopp Jun 10, 2008 03:10 PM

    Only have a minute or two so I'll make this quick. . .
    bread. . . bova is the usual, but I like parzialles (sp) too) They are next to each other on Prince Street
    meat. . . Salumeria Italiania on Richmond Street, Monicas on Salem St.
    Cheese. . . same as meat
    Sweets. . . Dairy fresh candies on Salem st, Geletaria on Hanover st for fantastic Gelato, Lulu's and Modern Pastry for yummy pastries
    Wine (not on your list, but still think it's worth the stop in) Wine Bottega - especially the friday night wine tastings downstairs.

    Sorry this is so short, I'm sure someone will add more options

    3 Replies
    1. re: Girl Friday
      pamalamb RE: Girl Friday Jun 10, 2008 05:10 PM

      Dairy Fresh Candy has closed:

      If Geletaria has their grapefruit sorbet, it's a must-try.

      1. re: Girl Friday
        BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: Girl Friday Jun 11, 2008 02:30 PM

        I cannot in good conscience allow a recommendation of Lulu's to go unchallenged. I wanted very much to like this place, but sadly, I've come to the conclusion that with limited exceptions, their products are absolute crap. Unfortunately, those limited exceptions only rise to the level of "just okay," at best.

        Stick to Modern. The line does move, eventually.

        1. re: Girl Friday
          phatchris RE: Girl Friday Jun 14, 2008 08:00 AM

          I'd add cirace to the wine list.

        2. b
          bakerboyz RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 05:43 AM

          Pizza at Regina's in the North End.

          1. b
            Bostonbob3 RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 05:58 AM

            Agree with all of the above.

            And while it has had some (cough, cough) bad publicity lately (aka "The Cheeseman," who BTW, has been nothing but really nice and accomodating to me), Fresh Cheese on Endicott is good, too. For both cheese and meats.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Bostonbob3
              Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Bostonbob3 Jun 11, 2008 06:27 AM

              He's always been completely professional and friendly to me as well, FWIW

              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                TomH RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 07:00 AM

                Agreed, he is a very nice guy and has been nothing but helpful to me as well.

                1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                  bachslunch RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 07:02 AM

                  Have been a couple times myself and have had no problems there.

              2. t
                Taralli RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 06:04 AM

                Cirace's for wine, liqueurs, etc.: http://vcirace.com/

                1. fmcoxe6188 RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 06:49 AM

                  I have to do the obvious...and the controversial...Mikes on Hanover for sweets- in particular their ricotta cannoli, or their cream filled baba rum. To my Italian mother it just doesnt get any better than Mikes :-)

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: fmcoxe6188
                    Ralphie_in_Boston RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 11, 2008 08:19 AM

                    To each their own....but I thought it appropriate that you put "sweet" in the same sentence. One of the knocks on Mike's is that much of their product is too sweet....(and often stale)

                    For my money, Modern is the best (if one can ever reach the front of the line) and Maria's is also great.

                    1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                      fmcoxe6188 RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 08:22 AM

                      Ive read that on here- though I have to say I definitely havent ever experienced "stale", "too sweet" is unfortunately rather relative.

                      Hey- I knew it was controversial when I posted it :-)

                      1. re: fmcoxe6188
                        Ralphie_in_Boston RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 11, 2008 08:27 AM

                        well, allow me to also confess that I do go to Mike's when the line at Modern is too long (which is way too often) and when I'm looking for something Maria's doesn't carry. It's not horrible, just not the best IMO. I've also heard accusations of Mike's having frozen stuff but don't know how they prove that (unless they've bitten into actual ice crystals, which I doubt).

                        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                          fmcoxe6188 RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 08:44 AM

                          Well-if we're confessing things- I havent been to Modern. I believe that its actually a sin in my family to stray from Mikes...something like under #5 . a, subsection 8 in the commandements

                          1. re: fmcoxe6188
                            Ralphie_in_Boston RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 11, 2008 12:45 PM

                            Whew...I feel better, don't you?

                            If you're ever in Medford Square area, there's another Modern location there, usually with smaller lines. I mention this in the event that your going to Medford wouldn't be a betrayal of your family's customs in the north end.

                            1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                              fmcoxe6188 RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 01:21 PM

                              Thanks for the tip! Ill definitely try to head over there- I think that that might be more acceptable :-)

                              1. re: fmcoxe6188
                                fmcoxe6188 RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 30, 2008 07:08 AM

                                I concede- and am now done with Mikes. I had a horrible experience there this weekend (pre ordered a rum cake for my mothers birthday, was sold a SOUR cake because their refrigerator had died the night before), and I tried Sfogliatella from The Modern- and it was DELICIOUS.

                                I will not (and Im sad about this) return to Mikes.

                                1. re: fmcoxe6188
                                  9lives RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 30, 2008 07:19 AM

                                  I had the opposite experience. I'm a Modern fan and someone brought over a chocolate layer cake from Mike's. it was great.

                  2. b
                    bachslunch RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 07:01 AM

                    Mike's and Modern Pastries have both been mentioned. This list of excellent pastry spots must also include Maria's. I'd put Lulu's behind these three, though it's not a bad place.

                    1. h
                      Hambone Willy RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 07:37 AM

                      If you want your bread, meat and cheese together in a calzone go to Umberto's on Hanover. Pizza, arrancini's and mashed potato sticks, all ridiculously cheap.

                      1. b
                        bertramwooster RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 10:58 AM

                        I heartily recommend Galleria Umberto's arancini, especially if you are conscious of the folding sort of money. It helps to have a Jeeves to stand in line for you and they close when they run out of food, between 2 and 3PM, thus eliminating themselves as a dinner option for anyone below the age of 70.

                        Maria's is the most authentic pastry shop now that Modern has gone glossy. Remember the sfogliatelle are for breakfast and the lobster tails are dessert. If you confuse the two, the universe may become as unbalanced as Gussie Fink-Nottle.

                        1. Food4Thought RE: GTopp Jun 11, 2008 09:03 PM

                          Everything mentioned so far is all within about 4 blocks of one another. I am a fan of (in no particular order) Sulumeria Italiana, Fresh Cheese, Modern, Marias, Galleria Umberto and Regina and I would throw into the mix Polcari's an old school shop that carries a wide variety of whole roasted coffee beans, herbs, spices, dried beans, some cured meats and cheeses, nuts and candies. A neat shop and sells Italian Ice outside during the summer.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Food4Thought
                            GTopp RE: Food4Thought Jun 12, 2008 01:50 PM

                            Great list everyone, can't wait check them out. Thanks

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