With Boston’s rich Italian history, it’s not surprising that there are plenty of great places to get real Italian food — the tricky part is finding the best ones. Obviously the North End has some really delicious, authentic Italian delicacies, but some other parts of Boston and the surrounding areas have a lot to offer as well. There are hidden gems all throughout the city that have their own unique cannoli style, but all of them are worth a visit. A simple survey of Boston area pastry fans reveals Boston’s most craveable cannolis.
Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve never been to this one, but word on the streets of Beantown is that Parziale’s knows what they’re doing — even Mayor Menino himself swears by their homemade bread.
Parziale’s is a place not traditionally known for their cannolis, but once you know about them, you’ll wonder why you never tried them before. So if you have room after eating some of their bomb homemade pizza or bread, then definitely snag yourself one of these bad boys.
Maria’s was voted best cannoli of Boston in 2012 for a good reason. Their homemade shells are filled with chocolate or vanilla cream to order so they’re guaranteed fresh. Maria’s is also a family tradition in the North End, and the Merola family has been killing the cannoli game since 1982. Next time you’re in the North End and you feel like switching it up from Mike’s or Modern, swing by Maria’s and try one of their award-winning cannolis.
Village Kitchen is very near and dear to my heart because it’s located in my hometown. This spot is a family run, very humble, and somewhat understated Italian restaurant in the Boston area. Not only is the pasta (my favorite is the il Buongustaio) and pizza here A+, but the cannolis are a hidden gem.
Like Modern, they fill the cannolis to order so you’re guaranteed the crispiest of shells and the freshest of fillings. The only slight drawback is that they don’t have any variety of cannoli— just a straight up classic — but damn is it good. So if you ever find yourself in Cambridge craving a cannoli trust me on this and go to the Village Kitchen, it won’t disappoint.
It’s often a heated debate between Bostonians whether Mike’s or Modern is better, so for those who haven’t had either — it’s up for you to decide.
Let’s get educated. Modern Pastry and Mike’s Pastry are very similar because they’re both owned by Italian families and are even right down the street from each other which makes for some pretty stiff competition. Like Mike’s, Modern usually has a line out the door and has a crazy variety of flavors.
Modern’s cannolis are smaller than Mike’s, a little more delicate, and in my opinion, less greasy. Modern also gets bonus points because they fill their cannolis to order, so no soggy shell while they wait to be purchased.
There’s a reason Mike’s is what comes to mind when you think of a Boston cannoli— because these cannolis are some of the best. Not only is it a go-to spot for authentic Italian pastries, but it’s basically a rite of passage for a true Bostonian. Nothing completes a night of legit Italian food in the North End like a Mike’s dessert.
Yes, waiting in a line that goes out the door for 30 minutes doesn’t seem all that appealing, but when you finally get that perfect shell of creamy goodness — oh mama — you’ll forget all about your time spent in line.
While thinking about the monstrous cannolis that lay ahead, the hardest part is choosing just the right one from the 17 variations offered. Whether you choose a classic plain ricotta filling, Oreo, or even limoncello, you are sure to be in creamy heaven. The best part about Mike’s is that you don’t even have to be in Boston to fulfill your cannoli needs — you can now order online and enjoy anywhere.
No matter what your favorite cannoli spot may be, Boston knows how to make a damn good cannoli.