The North End is known for its authentic Italian food, but there are SO many restaurants to choose from. If you haven't tried out Carmelina's on Hanover Street, I definitely recommend trying it out.

Growing up, I have always been surrounded by Italian food one way or another. After hearing about Carmelina’s, I had to try it out. I was ready to visit and eat authentic and nostalgic Italian food, but I was looking for a restaurant that had a variety of options to accommodate my family’s dietary restrictions and had a welcoming, warm, and inviting atmosphere. When my mom and I went to Carmelina’s for the first time in fall of 2020, we were definitely not disappointed. 

As you are walking down Hanover Street in the North End, you are surrounded by Italian restaurants and bakeries left and right. You have endless options that entice you and Carmelina’s is right in the middle. Carmelina’s first opened their doors in 2012 by Executive Chef Damien DiPaola and Chef di Cucina Michael Hollenkamp. The concept of the restaurant was to bring Sicily to Boston. The menu features a variety of family recipes with a modern twist.

What's On The Menu?

Their menu focuses on fresh pastas and seafood, but there's an option for everyone. They also have an extensive wine and drinks menu for those above the age of 21. With my mom’s gluten sensitivity and my shellfish allergy, we were afraid that there was not something on the menu for us. When we went upon asking, the chefs were easily able to accommodate, and we found that we didn’t feel limited to a couple choices. While Carmelina’s doesn’t have a dessert menu, they suggest that you visit one of the local bakeries, cafes, or gelatarias after you have a meal for a sweet treat!

My mom and I shared their famous Mimmo’s Baked Meatballs ($12) for an appetizer. My mom had the Garlic Shrimp in a Pan ($18) and the Roasted Beet Carpaccio ($13) and I tried the Penne Capricciose ($20). The food was very balanced and authentic. The portions were generously sized that we could also take home for another meal!

Price is something to consider before visiting Carmelina’s as it is definitely not an everyday place to eat. It is a great place for a celebratory meal or to treat yourself. The food prices range from $10-35 but are worth every penny. 

What's The Vibe?

Entering the restaurant, the atmosphere is traditional and casual, yet fresh. This notion was also carried into the layout of the restaurant. Carmelina’s features rustic exposed brick walls along three sides of their restaurant with family portraits to add a sense of history and warmth to the space. The fourth side has full length glass paneling that can be opened during warmer months to allow for the option of indoor and outdoor seating. There are high tables that surround an open kitchen to watch your food being prepared from start to finish.

Since the restaurant is small, the wait time is sometimes long. I recommend making a reservation through Yelp reservations in advance to book a spot. 


The North End

307 Hanover St.

Boston, MA 02113


Open Daily