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Best Carbonara in town

  • c

Inspired by the "Best Bolognese in town" thread, who serves a knock-out carbonara? I love Sportello's, but they don't always have it on the menu. Prezza's was meh, and too many resto's serve a cream based glop.

Plus for guanciale!

And plus plus for any resto serving knock-out bolognese and carbonara! Yes, I know carbonara is simple to make at home, but I love both bolognese and carbonara. Where can I go to face an agonizing choice between a lusciously light yet rich egg-cheese glaze versus the deep concentrated meaty bolognese flavors?

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  1. Sportello will sometimes make carbonara upon request, even if it's not listed on the menu

    1. Have you tried Al Dente's? Benevuto's? I don't care for bolognese sauce from Prezza...there is a weird herb in it. I'm always in search for a good bolognese and carbonara. My husband makes a great carbonara.

      1 Reply
      1. re: surferbettygal

        I like guanciale in my carbonara. Bolognese is sometimes tasty. There is homemade pasta at Monica's.

      2. I love the uni carbonara at Coppa.

        1 Reply
        1. re: meatluvr

          +1 on the uni carbonara at Coppa.

        2. Dante and Belmont sibling Il Casale do very fine gunciale-based, no-cream versions of spaghetti carbonara, and they make their own pasta (chitarra at Dante).


          5 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            A no-cream prep is what I associate with an authentic carbonara. We will have to try those versions out.

            1. re: Gabatta

              from my own experience and recent CH disses i have read, i would warn you againt dante, but il casale is a delight and i wouldn't hesitate to steer you there. nice people, nice room, excellent food. (but fyi, can be very very loud.)

            2. re: MC Slim JB

              I'll second the carbonara at at II Casale in Belmont. Best I have had in town in the last few years.

              1. re: Gordough

                Alas, the carbonara was off for me last week at Il Casale; I'd gotten it based on my excellent carbonara at Dante a couple years ago. It might have been sitting around a bit; it wasn't *bad* just not great. (The rest of the meal was very good though.)

                1. re: newyorker1

                  The one time I ordered carbonara at Il Casale it was quite watery compared to carbonara at say Sportello

            3. If anyone is interested in a road trip Osteria La Civetta in Falmouth does a great carbonara. They make their own pasta, but use pancetta not guanciale. Still taste great and is only on their lunch menu.

              1. Tavalo. Tell them light on the cracked pepper

                1. As with the Bolognese thread, I must promote Pasta Beach on this one. They do an outstanding job. Outside of Italy I have not had better.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: StevieC

                    Agreed, though I believe the Pasta Beach version uses pancetta.


                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      Yes, that is true. I personally prefer pancetta, though. Guanciale has a lingering smokiness that I find unpleasant.

                      But to be clear: I would never turn down a (properly made) carbonara because it was made with guanciale!

                      1. re: StevieC

                        I have to say I've yet to have a guanciale version that makes me prefer it *over* pancetta (as opposed to liking it just as much). I don't know why, but I believe that in carbonara, its virtues are oversold. If you get a generously fatty piece of pancetta, it's marvelous....

                  2. Villa Francesca, on Richmond St. in the N. End makes a very good version. We sometimes get it as an app. and split among 4 or 6. people. Delicious!

                    1. Bina used to make a great version.

                      I don't see it on the current menu but they might make it for you.

                      1. I agree with the Dante and Teatro suggestions.

                        I also really enjoy a steaming plate for breakfast from Caffe Nuovo in the North End. Pancetta, though, not guanciale, but nice al dente pasta.

                        I also remember enjoying Rabia's version a couple of years ago, but remember it being a bit too saucy.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bear

                          Gotta disagree with the Tavolo rec. AVOID ! Soo disappointing; including overcooked/reheated pasta