HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


I must admit: I love the North End

I wish more people would review North End restaurants. I love spicy red sauce, the aroma of garlic, and divine spaghetti served up hot and sassy. They never quite seem to get their due. When I want a hearty, nourishing, no-frills meal, it's to the cozy North End I go. Especially to L'Osteria. Bring on the clams in spicy red sauce!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I had one of the best and most memorable meals of my life at The Daily Catch.

      1. Ah....you are bringing me back to those years I lived in the North End. The bet part was walking out of my apartment door on Lewis St and smelling garlic in the air (and the funny this is, I really wasn't right next to any restaurants).

        I miss take out on the way home from Artu....you are right, there isn't enough love on the board for the hood.

        1. i think those deserving get their due, but there are 100+ restaurants down there and many are downright mediocre.

          off the top of my head: mama maria, carmen, prezza, neptune (yeah, yeah, not italian) artu, l'osteria, monica's, galleria umberto, antico forno, il panino, taranta, daily catch and terramia get mentioned ALL the time when visitors ask for recs.

          for a very few square blocks that's a high number of what would appear to be board favorites.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hotoynoodle

            Yours is a very good list imho. For another middle of the road place, I have had some good luck at Artu as well.

          2. I grabbed a couple pizzas from Locale last night. It's worth a look next time you want pizza in that neighborhood. Very solid Neapolitan style pies.

            1. I hardly ever see anyone mention Ristorante Limoncello mentioned and I've had some really good meals there.
              Their menu reminds me of the old school north end Italian red sauce and sauté seafood meals so you won't find anything creative, but I've never had a bad dish.
              Excellent eggplant parm. for all you eggplant fans.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Infomaniac

                I love Limoncello.. They have a great lunch menu. Ask for Antonio for your waiter.

                1. re: 9lives

                  You're the only one I've ever seen that mentioned Limoncello.
                  I'll ask for Antonio next time I'm there...thanks!

              2. I also like the NE, just not in the summer months with all the feasts, tourists etc. Daily Catch is always a winner and I like Antico Forno, brick oven dishes only. Lastly, Galleria Umberto for anything on their menu.

                1. I don't eat out that much for dinner but I'm in the North End a lot.

                  I get my coffee and some other things - dry beans, spices - at Polcari's. I think their Italian roast is excellent - and it's $10/lb. And Bobby and Nicky are keeping up one of the few really old places left. Cash only.

                  While not Italian, Thinking Cup, Bread + Butter, and Boston Common Coffee all have good sandwiches. And Bricco makes excellent bread - sign on Hanover, go down the alley and down the stairs.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lergnom

                    +1 on that Bricco bakery behind the restaurant - it's really fresh and really good - but also pricey - in fact, when I had it, it was different and markedly better than the stale thin slices they brought to our table for dinner

                    1. re: rlh

                      The baguettes are only $2. The other things tend to be pricey. The olive bread is excellent.

                        1. re: phatchris

                          To add a bit of backstory: they had a baker - named Ben Tock - who developed the recipes. (His picture was on the ad outside.) He's a bread fanatic, totally devoted to the craft. Loved to talk bread and hydration levels, would show some of his experiments. He moved on to Bread Alone in upstate NY, one of the first artisan bakeries. He was looking for new challenges and said Bread Alone was moving into more challenging grains. The current crew, which is mostly Italians - Marco is from Napoli, etc. - is doing a great job with the recipes. I haven't eaten some of their more recent creations. The dough for the French and Italian baguettes is the same but they're baked a little differently and the Italian one weighs more so it puffs up differently.

                  2. I'm a fan of about a dozen North End places, most of them frequently cited here.

                    I find myself wondering how hard the North End will be hit as the Seaport / Fort Point boom continues to draw tourists and suburban customers away. The Waterfront has added thousands of seats, and thousands more are on the way. I imagine there are a bunch of marginal North End places in that vast, mostly undifferentiated tier of Jersey-Shore-red-sauce-Italian-American places that won't survive.


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: MC Slim JB

                      maybe some local food purveyors can move in (like butchers and fish and cheese shops), but then it does seem that the real city market near Haymarket will actually happen.....

                      1. re: Madrid

                        feh. i fear it'll be more stores for yoga pants in the north end.

                        i've been going to the butchers on salem st. (across from neptune) for decades and they are barely hanging on.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          I will make point of going to those butchers very soon. Just wish the parking was easier. Last time I went to Neptune it was Labor Day and we were able to park right in front. If I weren't disabled with multiple joint replacements, I'd be happy to go by T and carry the stuff home on the orange line. Those old neighborhood stores are treasures.

                          1. re: Madrid

                            Same here - my family was introduced to that shop when the current proprietor was the "junior" butcher to an older guy named Morris, in the late 60s or early 70s. In later years I've tended to favor the now-defunct Abbruzzese or Sulmona, but I'd hate to see D&R go under!

                    2. While I don't in as often as I used to, I still enjoy the North End, even in the summer. My new favorite has been Beneventos. They do a great job with mussels. When I want to relax and sit at the bar my choice is Artu. For pizza even though I like Regina's I'm much more apt to go the Waterfront Cafe. When it's chicken parm I want my choice is Antico Forno. There is always a stroll afterwards with a stop at either Maria's or Paradiso.

                      1. I must admit I love it too! If the weather reaches 50 like some are predicting this weekend, I'm headed in for a stroll around to see what's new since Fall. I can already smell the garlic wafting in the air ♥