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Explore Boston: The North End

Global Immersions Recruiting - Friday, June 07, 2013

Boston’s North End

You better be ready to eat, because our next stop on our Explore Boston series is Boston’s North End! It has the distinction of being the city's oldest residential community, settled in the 1630s. Though small, the neighborhood has nearly one hundred establishments and a variety of tourist attractions. It is known as the city's Little Italy for its Italian American population. If you’re looking for the best pizza or gelato in Boston, look no further than this little slice of Italy!

Now, with over 90 restaurants crammed into such a tiny space, a visitor to Boston might be rather overwhelmed. Where do you start? Well, we here at Global Immersions are here to help! In this post you’ll find a list of the top five North End pizzerias. Try them out and tell us what you think. Do they make the cut?

Boston's Oldest Pizzeria! 

  1. Pizzeria Regina: Boston’s number one pizzeria. It was founded in 1926 and has been serving the community its delicious pies ever since. Fun fact: the building was originally a bakery before it became a pizzeria; the original oven still remains—it’s over 130 years old!
  2. Galleria Umberto
  3. Antico Forno
  4. Trattoria Il Panino
  5. Ernesto's Pizza

Pizza is fantastic if you want to grab a slice on the go, but sometimes you just need something to satisfy that sweet tooth. The North End is also home to numerous bakeries, filled to the brim with several varieties of cannoli and other desserts.

Here are the bakeries that were voted top five in Boston’s Little Italy:

Best Cannoli in Boston!

  1. Mike’s Pastryone of the biggest tourist stops in the North End. The tiny shop is always filled to the brim with visitors and locals clambering for Mike’s famous cannoli. They’re huge! Don’t be afraid to dive right in to the crowd—persistence is key!
  2. Bricco Panetteria
  3. Modern Pastry Shop
  4. Parziale’s Bakery
  5. Bova’s Bakery

The North End is not just entirely about food and restaurants—there are plenty of historical sites to visit. For those of you interested in American history, you can visit the home of the famous Paul Revere! Built around 1680, this house is the oldest building in downtown Boston. It served as the home of silversmith Paul Revere and his family from 1770 to 1800. He is famous for his "midnight ride" to Lexington, Massachusetts informing Samuel Adams and John Hancock that the British were coming to arrest them. In the 19th century, hundreds of Irish, Italian, and Jewish immigrants to the North End lived in the Paul Revere House and in the 20th century, the house was restored and converted to a museum.

Following Paul Revere on his midnight ride will take you to the Old North Church. It became famous on the evening of April 18, 1775, when the church sexton, Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord by sea and not by land. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution. The Old North Church and its significance are best remembered in the poem “Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride”:

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

So if you’re in the mood for good food and exploring a bit of American history, the North End is the perfect place to be!

Sources: wikipedia, yelp

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