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NU Bucket List – #13
Take a Cannoli Tour
Prepare to silence your sweet tooth for good. We’ve rounded up the North End’s most amazing cannoli (in no particular order), each chosen lovingly after lots and lots of taste tests. But don’t take our word for it, spend a Saturday roaming the neighborhood and sampling for yourself!
First things first:
Cannoli: a traditional Italian dessert consisting of a fried pastry dough shell and creamy ricotta filling; they often appear in a variety of flavors and with toppings such as chocolate chips/coating, nuts, or powdered sugar. See: delicious.
Mike’s Pastry: 300 Hanover Street
Mike’s is probably the best known pastry joint in the area, and for good reason. They have incredible variety and focus the show on their cannoli, although the other delicacies for sale are also quite yummy. It’s THE tourist stop for cannoli, so be prepared to wait!
We suggest: Chocolate-Covered Espresso Cannoli ($4-5)
Modern Pastry Shop: 257 Hanover St
Discerning Bostonians have debated for years whether the best cannoli in town is served at Mike’s or Modern. Modern tends to be less crowded, and has a better, old-school coffee shop vibe. They’re just across the street from one another, so there’s no excuse not to try both!
We suggest: Classic Ricotta Cannoli ($3) and an espresso
Maria’s Pastry Shop: 46 Cross St
This unassuming little shop has taken Boston Magazine‘s top cannoli honors a few times of late, probably because all cannoli are fresh out of the kitchen. You’ll watch a baker fill your cannoli right when you order, meaning the shell retains its delicious crunch. There’s also generally less of a line than at Mike’s or Modern.
We suggest: Chocolate Creme Cannoli ($3-4)
Bova’s Bakery: 134 Salem St
Bova’s Bakery is one of the older institutions in the North End, and has been serving mouth-watering cannoli since 1926. In the intervening years, they’ve pretty much nailed their recipe. Their Florentine cannoli shells, made with honey and almonds for some extra crunch, are particularly amazing. They’re also famous for their tiramisu, so pick some up while you’re in there. It’s open 24/7 just in case you have a 3 am ricotta craving.
We suggest: Traditional Ricotta Cannoli with Florentine Shell ($3-5)
Parziale’s Bakery: 80 Prince St
While they’re not very well known for their cannoli, Parziale’s is definitely the North End’s hidden gem. They base their trade on their delicious pizza and Italian breads, but there’s still a substantial pastry section on the premises. Way less crowded than the cannoli hubs of Hanover Street, they make their cannoli shells on site and fresh daily…and fill them right before your very eyes. Yum.
We suggest: Classic Ricotta Cannoli with Chocolate Chips