The distinct character of the North End — a.k.a. Boston's Little Italy — stems from the combination of its rich Italian heritage and traditional, historic New England setting. Old brick buildings house cafes, bakeries, red sauce gems and beloved pastry shops. Dine at one of the dozens of cozy Italian joints or tiny restaurants serving fresh seafood, or pick and choose from different purveyors to create a custom picnic basket to enjoy in one of the neighborhood squares. There are several options, but whatever you choose, don’t leave the North End without a cannoli.
Tiny and lined with pressed tin, subway tiles, and etched glass, the retro-charming Neptune Oyster is exactly what a classic East Coast raw bar. There’s always a wait for a marble-topped table during peak hours, but grab a seat at the bar if you can. Here you can sample fresh, local oysters such as Wellfleet, Cotuit, Island Creek, and Glidden Point. A chilled glass of wine pairs perfectly. Don’t miss the lobster roll, one of the city’s most lauded.
An old-school haunt in the heart of the North End, Fiore’s rooftop bar feels like a European café crossed with a small sports bar, with wrought-iron seating and an exposed-brick bar. Over at the sit-down tables, an enormous wine list joins forces with a classic Italian menu, though a glass of prosecco and a margherita pizza are all you need to complement the breezy atmosphere.
Walk the streets
In a city full of scenic, strollable neighborhoods, the North End might just be the most enjoyable for a walk-through. You’re likely to encounter colorful locals, international tourists, and more Italian restaurants than you’ve ever seen. For a sense of the neighborhood’s history, stop by the Paul Revere House.
Boston Marriott Long Wharf
Just a short walk from the North End, this large, waterfront property is ideal for first-time visitors to the city. Guests enjoy easy access to numerous popular destinations, and can even pop outside in their PJs to say goodnight to the New England Aquarium’s resident seals. During warmer months, Tia's bar and patio is one of the most popular after-work spots in the city.