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Aug 7, 2011 06:22 AM

Best old school Italian in the North Side


Coming into town briefly and want to take a customer out to some great Italian food on the north side. Suggestions?

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  1. Try doing a search on North End and you will find many many opinions to start with. That said, board favorites tend to lean towards Neptune Oyster for seafood, Prezza and Mama Maria for higher end. It's when you get to old school red sauce that opinions really vary. I like Mother Annas well enough, but find management to be rude, and I think Maurizios is quite good. My best advise would be to stroll through and see what place appeals to you.

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

    24 Fleet St., Boston, MA 02113

    Mother Anna's
    211 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

    4 Replies
    1. re: Pegmeister

      i love neptune and prezza too, but both are a far cry form old school italian. the original il panino does that pretty well and has an adorable patio.

      realize though, that it's not really what bostonians eat anymore and most places down there are touristy clip joints. good luck!

      1. re: hotoynoodle

        There are a ton of old school red sauce places there. And natives do eat at them. Sometimes you want something fancy and sometimes you just want veal parm. A couple that are pretty good are La Summa and Cantina Italiana. I would not call most places in the North End clip joints, but some do things like announce specials without prices that tend to be much more than the regular menu prices. I am never embarassed to ask the prices.

        Cantina Italiana
        346 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113

        1. re: pemma

          I've always liked the Cantina, and every time this subject comes up, people mention L'Osteria, which I must try one of these days.

          104 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

          1. re: nsenada

            L'Osteria is pretty good. The service is nice and it's very pretty inside. They do a nice job with scallops.

            104 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

    2. Let me first preface my recommendation by saying that Amici restaurant is owned by the mother of a co-worker and I have only eaten there once as part of a big group. We had a selection of appetizers and entrees and I was pleasantly surprised by how fresh tasting everything was. The menu does say every dish is made to order. It isn't really a traditional red sauce restaurant but they have a pretty traditional menu with lots of fish/seafood options.

      They are on the outskirts of the North End but get the Boston Garden crowd so can get jammed up when an event is going on there. Probably best to go after 7PM. And they are not open every day-call to make sure they are open.

      1. Try La Summa

        I think this would do the trick

        1. For "old school" style, try Saraceno's, LoConte's, L'Osteria or La Summa

          104 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

          Saraceno Restaurant
          286 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113