When I left Paris and moved to Boston I got nothing but negative reactions from my friends and family. People would tell me ‘its too small’, ‘its too boring’, ‘its too cold’, and ’it will never compare to any of the cities you’ve ever lived in’ (Caracas, Paris, New York). However, I did get two very positive comments about the city: ‘there are so many college students, it’s impossible for you not to have fun’ and ‘the food in Boston is absolutely delicious’. Those two pieces of good news were enough to make me look forward to moving here.
Once I arrived and settled in, I asked people around about the basic “must knows”: where to eat, where to drink and where to party. The answers to these questions is too much for one post, so for now I will elaborate on an area of Boston that enamored me since the day I got here: The North End. Boston’s North End is the city’s version of New York’s Little Italy. It is one of the oldest most historical neighborhoods in New England and to this day walking down Hanover street feels just like walking in a legit European village. The North End is also famous for the amount of restaurants and cafe’s you can find in this small section of the city. Among my favorite picks in this neighborhood are:
Mare (134 Richmond Street between North and Hanover Street): Mare is an Italian seafood eatery. Just like all European restaurants, it is small and cozy and the dress code is casual. The restaurant is good for dinner and I consider it to be an amazing “date” spot, due to its warm and inviting ambiance that gives it a very romantic feel. Among the dishes you can’t miss are the Bufala Mozarella caprese, the wild mushroom spaghetti, the linguine ai frutti di mare and the truffle crusted tuna.
Strega Ristorante ( 379 Hanover Street ): You can’t walk into Strega without feeling like you’re walking into a mafia movie. The decor will remind you of a Godfather movie, and in case you don’t remember the important scenes of this classic, mafia movies play in the back of the restaurant to refresh your memory. The dress code is casual as well, but due to the enormous portions of food served, I would recommend you to visit and enjoy late lunch rather than dinner. Among the dishes you can’t miss are the: Portobello Al Forno, the Fritto de Calamari, the Papardelle Selvatiche, the Gnocchi, and my personal favorite the Casarecci di Marina.
Trattoria il Panino (11 Parmenter Street between Hanover and Salem Street) It doesn’t get any more Italian than this cozy Ttrattoria, where the food is delicious in its simplicity. The restaurant is good for any time of the day and as most other North End restaurants, the dress code is casual. Among the dishes you can’t miss are the: Melanzage alla Parmigiana, The Prosciutto San Daniele, the Linguine alla Vongole and the Paccheri al Ragu.
Mike’s Pastries Although I am not a big fan of dessert, one can’t talk about the North End without mentioning Mike’s Pastries. Located at 330 Hanover Street, Mike’s Pastries is an American version of an Italian pastry shop that is famous for its unique variety of canolis. The shop’s fame goes beyond my understanding, but I guess that if the lines outside are as long as they usually are, there must be a reason- so if you’re a brave human being who can tolerate the guilt of eating 1,000+ calories on an “okay” dessert be my guest, I personally pass.