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Best "Red Sauce" Italian in the city?

What do you think is the best Italian-American "red sauce" restaurant place in the city of Boston? Don't care about ambiance as much as I care about the food.

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  1. The North End is a good place for this in Boston proper. Some worthy options there would include Pagliuca's, Antico Forno, Saraceno, Rabia, La Summa, and Massimino's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: bachslunch

      the original il panino on parmenter st. too.

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        Am very reluctant to recommend Trattorio Il Panino because they always pull the trick of refusing to serve patrons tap water. Then, if the customer refuses to buy a beverage, they pester the patron to buy something to drink. I don't like such shenanigans when I dine out.

        If they've changed their tactics, that's a different story -- I for one won't return there or recommend them until they do. There are so many places in the North End that play fair with their customers, so I see no reason to patronize the ca. 10% who don't.

    2. I'd consider any of these:

      Rino's, East Boston
      Al Dente, Massimino's, Pagliuca's, L'Osteria (all in the North End)

      2 Replies
      1. re: hiddenboston

        I second both Rino's in East Boston and Pagliuca's in the North End SUCH good sauce! (And I'm Sicilian so you know I'm not messing around...)

        1. re: hiddenboston

          I opened this thread to specifically suggest Rino's in Eastie. i'd take it any day of the week and twice on sunday over the north end.....

        2. I can't comment on "the best," but when I'm in the mood for red sauce, I love Antonio's on Cambridge Street across from MGH.


          3 Replies
          1. re: Blumie

            I agree. Antonio's is great. Family run, great food, generous portions, reasonable.

            1. re: Blumie

              I am not a real red sauce person, but I DREAM about Antonio's veal special (which you can get with chicken). It's scrumptious. Their other dishes are good, as well.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                Maybe I order wrong there but Ive never been very impressed with their offerings. LAst time I went we got the anti pasto plate and it was abysmal. It all seemed old, flavorless, and just poor quality...

            2. For great Italian, I love Giacomo's. You can get there pastas with four different types of red sauces. The restaurant is small, and the waiters know how to get you in and out, but if you are not looking for a fancy sit-down meal, its a great place.

              6 Replies
              1. re: marn209

                I enjoy Cantina Italiana on Hanover St. for old school atmosphere and red sauce.

                1. re: pemma

                  lol, like so old-school looking it's almost a cartoon.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    LOL is right.
                    And you can almost bet your sweet patootie that their Chef de Cuisine refers to it as GRAVY! That being said, I've gotta go with marn209's rec of Giacomo's four ways.


                    1. re: Harp00n

                      "chef de cuisine"? lol, again.

                      let's all warn the op about the very long wait potential at giacomo's. outside.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                        Yes, I meant to comment on those lines as well :-(


              2. I've always had good meals at Mother Anna's at the beginning of Hanover St.

                1 Reply
                1. re: BackBayGirl

                  You know, I rarely go there, but when I do, Mother Anna's is always a very good, tasty, red-saucey, comfortable experience. Really pleasant and friendly service, too. (And it's close to Pete's/Durty Nelly's.)

                2. Don't forget about Vinny's at Night and Lil' Vinny's on the other side of the river. The former is especially sketchy - why would an Italian grocery need so many video cameras? Service is way better at Lil' Vinny's.

                  Love the pork chop with peppers, homemade fusilli and mafalde, etc. And the apostrophes in their names.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fecalface

                    Another yummy dinner at Vinny's at Night - simple prep of grilled or broiled haddock with a really flavorful tomato basil sauce over the homemade fusilli - more yummy things from the antipasto table - a reasonably priced bottle of red Italian wine - heaven!

                    (Also of note - tried to go to Pescatore first, and they were full up on a Friday night at 8:30 and asked if we had made reservations - good to see and good to know )

                    1. There are plenty of good "red sauce" eateries in the burbs. For purposes of this thread, Euno in North End, Carlo's in Allston, and Little Vinny's in Somerville are all good places.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ShelT54

                        I enjoy both Locontes and galleria 33, which happen to be right across the street from each other on Salem in the NE.