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Let's open a can of worms!! Best North End?

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I lived in Boston in the mid 90's and I'm coming back in a couple weeks for 5 days in the North End!! What do you guys have for me? I can do w/o a bunch of marinara and mozz on some kind of breaded meat! I used to love Antico Forno, or at least one of the servers and Terra Mia!! P.S. Save your dessert choices! I'm heading to Cafe Vittoria for the best Tiramisu EVER!!!!

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Antico Forno
93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

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  1. Neptune Oyster or Taranta would be my votes. I admittedly don't spend too much time in the North End but when I do, it's to visit one of these two spots.

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    Neptune Oyster
    63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

    1. Vinoteca di Monica and Prezza

      I also like Lucca but I'm not sure it's up there with these two or Neptune and Taranta.

      1. My favorites are Bricco and Taranta. I try others, but nothing seems to measure up.

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        Bricco
        241 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

        1. Skip the NE and go to Rino's in Eastie.

          2 Replies
          1. re: treb

            And wait for 3 hours thanks to DD&D

            1. re: jgg13

              I was kinda hoping that wore off, I guess it totally ruined that place, I'll have to retreat back to Vinny's.

          2. I like Rabia's on Salem Street. Nice mix of Southern Italian, Northern Italian, and Mediterranean fare.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hiddenboston

              Taranta and Rabbia's are both really good and don't think you'll be disappointed with either of those.

            2. Yes, a can or worms indeed. You know you will never get a concensus on "the best". But, anyway, for non-red sauce Italian, Mamma Maria is still a reliable old standby.

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              Mamma Maria Restaurant
              3 North Sq, Boston, MA 02113

              1. I think there should be a definitive list of "non red sauce Italian-American" restaurants. Contrary to the latest fad of hating on the North End (like skipping the north end and heading to Rino's in eastie) there are plenty of good restaurants as long as you know what to stay away from. What have I missed?
                Neptune Oyster
                Taranta
                Prezza
                Lucca
                Bricco
                Monica's/Vinoteca di Monica
                Marco
                Mare
                Mamma Maria
                Terramia
                Artu (some I-A dishes, but not all)
                Carmen
                Lucca
                Pomodoro
                Rabias (not one of my favs but not red-sauce)

                4 Replies
                1. re: Beachowolfe

                  If I may tag onto this thread, we are going to the North End for the first time this weekend on a visit to Boston, BUT we will have our (well behaved) seven year old son with us. Which one of these would be the most child friendly? AND he doesn't eat pizza, but loves veal scallopine!

                  1. re: bawc

                    if you don't mind an old-fashioned red-sauce place, L'Osteria on Salem St. is kid-friendly, very good food and reasonable prices. We've had positive feedback on the board before from visitors who were looking for somewhere to go in the North End with their children. Recommend their veal agrodolce (sweet & sour) and the big salad with all the cold cuts and veggies (almost one am and I can't think of the word!) I would rule out Prezza, Mama Maria, and Monica's - all fairly expensive and formal. If your son likes seafood then Neptune is wonderful, but go early - it's very popular, very small, and they don't take reservations.

                  2. re: Beachowolfe

                    I'd add Damiano's. I haven't had a chance to visit in a while but it was fantastic both times I've been and the small plates idea is a nice addition to the variety of dining experiences on offer in the neighborhood.

                    1. re: Beachowolfe

                      For red sauce you can do a lot worse than Locontes and Galleria 33. Also Regina, Artu, Ernesto's and Puschcart for pizza.

                    2. You may find this topic exhaustively covered with searches of the boards.

                      My opinion on the North End: Why make the effort? I can burn garlic at home.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: enhF94

                        Well, good morning sunshine!

                      2. I'm still obsessed with the grilled calamari at Piccolo Nido.

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                        Piccolo Nido
                        257 North St, Boston, MA 02113

                        1. Definitely not Bricco, they only treat you well there if you tell them you are a guest of the Ritz Carlton hotel. I would recommend Lucca, Mare, Neptune Oyster or La Famiglia Giorgio. If you want a mix of good italian food plus great pizza go to Antico Forno. Mare is great as its not all covered in thick sauce and it full of flavor. Lucca is great (make sure you get Billy as your waiter), Go see a girl named Kristin at Neptune and everyone is great at La Famiglia Giorgio.

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                          Neptune Oyster
                          63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

                          Antico Forno
                          93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

                          Lucca Restaurant
                          226 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

                          Bricco
                          241 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113

                          La Famiglia Giorgio's
                          112 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113