What brings you to Boston? Is it the Freedom Trail? A Red Sox game? How about a date night on the town?
If you’re after a delicious sit-down dinner, we recommend you check out some of these intimate Italian restaurants in Boston.
It’s no surprise that the majority of these restaurants are located the city’s historic North End. There in the heart of the city’s Italian community you’ll find centuries-old cobblestone streets, gorgeous architecture and some ideal spots for dinner.
1. Giacomo’s, 355 Hanover St., North End
Arguably the most well-known of Boston’s Italian restaurants, Giacomo’s has a reputation for attracting long lines come dinner time, so be prepared. The food inside more than makes up for the wait, though.
Like many of the old North End restaurants, Giacomo’s only accepts cash, so be sure to visit an ATM before heading out for dinner. If a trip to the North End isn’t in your plans, Giacomo’s also has a location in the South End on Columbus Avenue.
2. Panza, 326 Hanover St., North End
At Panza, you can’t go wrong with the tarragon fettuccini ($25) — it’s served with grilled lobster tails. Authentic Italian food mixed with New England’s biggest culinary specialty, fresh seafood? What could be better?
Like many of Boston’s best restaurants, Panza is rather small, so you may want to make a reservation.
3. Rino’s Place, 258 Saratoga St., East Boston
Known for its homemade pasta and “fist-sized” ravioli, we highly recommend Rino’s Place. You’ll find an extensive dinner menu that includes a half-dozen veal dishes and spicy calamari. Folks on Yelp rave about the gnocchi and the lobster ravioli, so be sure to consider those dishes.
4. Casa Razdora, 115 Water St., Financial District
Casa Razdora offers basic Italian menu fare, with a notable distinction: pumpkin tortellini and pumpkin ravioli ($10, plus $8 for your choice of sauce). That’s not something you see every day.
Casa Razdora’s prices are very affordable, and diners create their own pasta dish by combining their preferred pasta with one of more than 25 different sauces. Sauce options range from the usual suspects like alfredo, pesto and marinara to more unique creations like boscaiola, which is made with ham, cream, peas, black pepper and parmigiano. Sounds delicious.
5. Piattini, 226 Newbury St., Back Bay
Visiting Boston on a pleasant summer day? You should pay a visit to Piattini’s outdoor patio. Piattini means “small plate” in Italian, so this is the perfect place to order a few small dishes, relax and enjoy a glass or two of wine from their extensive selection.
6. Al Dente, 109 Salem St., North End
Start with a shrimp cocktail (and sip a glass of wine as you look over the extensive menu). Good luck making up your mind on which pasta dish to order.
7. Modern Pastry, 257 Hanover St., North End
After you’ve dined on some of the best Italian food you’ll find in New England, it’s time for dessert! Modern Pastry attracts a line out the door and down the block with good reason. They’ve been making self-described “Old World-style” cannoli, babas, ganache, cookies, pies and more since 1930. So grab your favorite pastry and finish the night the right way.
This is by no means a definitive list. Fortunately, Boston is a highly walkable city, so take a walk and you’ll find your new favorite spot in no time.
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