Boston North End Little Italy
Food and drinkHistory, art and cultureOn a budgetTips and advice
Katie Sagal

Guide to Boston's Little Italy

Boston’s Little Italy, known to locals simply as the North End, is always a popular neighborhood to explore. The local population in this area is largely Italian — many have been in Boston for generations.

The North End is a neighborhood filled with sumptuous authentic cuisine, engaging cultural events, and historic buildings. We hope our guide to Little Italy will help you get the most out of this slice of Boston. 

Boston North End intersection

Where is Little Italy in Boston? 

For starters, remember that it’s really called the North End. Locals don’t refer to it as “Little Italy”. Asking for directions to that neighborhood may get you a few blank stares. The North End is in the area of the peninsula north of where Highway 93 runs through and under the city. 

Bordered by Massachusetts Bay on the other three sides, the North End is a small but densely-packed neighborhood, with very narrow streets and barely any parking. To get there, we recommend taking the T (the local subway train system) to Haymarket Station. 

Boston Little Italy

Best Restaurants in the North End 

It’s hard to narrow it down to just a few of the best Italian restaurants in Boston. But we’ve picked a few to get you started. They range in price and vibe, with most falling somewhere in the mid-tier price point. Due to the historic nature of the neighborhood, most are in smaller structures, with unique layouts and cozy dining areas. 

Little Italy in Boston signs

Best Pizza: Regina Pizzeria 

Locals will wait in lines for over an hour after the bars close for a slice at this iconic Little Italy pizza joint. But if you time your visit well, you won’t need to wait so long. Regina Pizzeria has been serving up delicious brick oven pizza in the North End since the 1920s. Keep in mind that it’s a counter-serve place, so you won’t find much seating indoors. 

Pizza in Boston

Best Southern Italian Restaurant: Antico Forno 

Antico Forno is a modestly-sized venue with a relaxed vibe. It is a mouth-watering spot for Southern Italian cuisine and Neapolitan-style pizza. They also boast a great wine list and delicious cocktails. The atmosphere is a perfect mix of classic Italian décor and historic Boston charm. 

Boston Little Italy houses

Best Date-Night Spot: Mamma Maria 

Mamma Maria is a romantic little venue in a beautiful townhouse. Travel experts regard it for its locally-inspired cuisine. The restaurant is organized around five private dining rooms, so it's an intimate setting for that special date. Local food critics love it too, making it a smart choice for visiting foodies. 

Best Special Occasion Restaurant: Tresca 

It doesn’t get much more Bostonian than a high-end Italian restaurant owned by one of the most famous athletes in the city’s history: NHL Bruins player Ray Bourque. The restaurant itself is elegant and upscale, offering mouth-watering cuisine with Tuscan inspiration. It’s the ideal spot for a special treat. 

Boston Little Italy North End

Best Italian Pastry: Mike’s Pastry 

Another place with lines out of the door on weekend nights. Mike’s Pastry is a legend on the Boston dining scene. It’s a small bakery but the display cases are chock full of classic Italian pastries. You'll find everything from cookies and cannoli to zeppole and tiramisu. Founded in 1946, Mike's Pastry have since opened a couple more locations in the Boston area.

Pistachio cannoli

Best Chain Italian Restaurant: Maggiano’s Little Italy 

This is technically located south of the North End roughly in the Back Bay area. Maggiano’s Little Italy is a reliable spot for family-style Italian cuisine. It’s a relatively upscale place but not too expensive, offering what feels like an elevated dining experience in a beautiful downtown neighborhood. 

Italian cuisine in Little Italy

Take a "Little Italy" food tour

Short on time, but still want to tuck into all the tasty treats the North End has to offer? Opt for a "Little Italy" food tour. You'll venture down old-world cobblestone streets, take in the aroma of fresh bread from bakeries, and taste some of the most authentic pasta dishes around. 

🍴Book the tour🍴 

Hotels Near the North End 

The North End is also close to a number of hotels. A few include the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown / North Station, Boston Marriott Long Wharf, citizenM Boston North Station Hotel, Kimpton Onyx Hotel, The Boxer, and the Bostonian. You’ll also find Bricco Suites in the North End itself. Just keep in mind that these hotels will come at a premium price due to their location. 

Hotels in the North End, Boston

Boston Attractions in the North End 

As a historic neighborhood in Boston, the North End offers plenty to do before (or after) you’re enjoying that special Italian meal. Want to make a day or a weekend of your visit to the North End? Check out a few of these popular spots. 

  • The Paul Revere House: Home of the famed silversmith best known for warning the Americans of incoming British troops. This historic house is open for tours and serves as a museum of the American Revolution. 

  • Old North Church: Dating back to 1723, this is where Revere ordered two lanterns to be hung to signal that British troops were coming by sea. It’s actually the city’s oldest surviving church building.

  • Copp’s Hill Burying Ground: A 17th and 18th-century burial ground, you can find many historical graves here, including the Mather tomb. Iconic Bostonians were laid to rest here, including Prince Hall, the anti-slavery activist. Edmund Hartt, the master carpenter who owned the shipyard that housed the USS Constitution is also buried at Copp's Hill.

  • Great Molasses Flood Plaque: Although it won’t take you long to look at this memorial to one of the most bizarre tragedies in Boston’s history, this plaque is also right near the waterfront, where you can see loads of ships sailing.

Boston North End sign

Save on North End Attractions 

Discover our full line-up of Boston attractions including the View Boston Observation Deck, the USS Constitution Museum and the Salem Witch Museum.

🤩If you want to see and do as much as you can, our All-Inclusive Pass is for you.

😎If you want to pick just a few attractions and visit at your own pace, our Explorer Pass is the perfect option.

Boston Harbour

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