Boston's North End (Image: iStockphoto)

Boston’s North End (Image: iStockphoto)

There is so much to love about Boston’s North End. It is beautiful, charming and totally walkable. Intersected by the Freedom Trail, the North End is a Boston neighborhood much loved for its history and Italian flair, but most of all for its food! Whether you’re looking for a quick sandwich, a romantic candlelit dinner or one of the best cannoli in town, the North End is the spot for you.

Pizzeria Regina
11 1/2 Thacher St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-0765
www.pizzeriaregina.com

Pizzeria Regina is hands down the best pizza in town. Its pizza is well known across the northeast, especially because it has opened many new locations over the past decade. However, the original spot in the North End is as cozy and authentic as ever. Even its address speaks to a time gone by. Pizza lovers will definitely enjoy this thin-crusted specialty. Note that this destination is popular for locals and tourists alike, so it may be wise to call Pizzeria Regina ahead of time to avoid waiting a long time for a table. Another idea is to order pizza for takeout and enjoy an outdoor picnic at the nearby Rose Kennedy Greenway, which has a few picnic tables and benches.

Bova’s Bakery
134 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-5601
www.bovabakeryboston.com

There’s the every popular debate between Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry, but lovers of Bova’s Bakery know what’s best. Bova’s makes incredible cannoli, including seasonal flavors – like pumpkin in the fall – and traditional Italian cookies and breads. In fact, Bova’s supplies bread to many of the restaurants in the surrounding area. Plus, unlike some of the neighborhood’s other bakery options, Bova’s accepts credit cards and is open 24 hours. It is the perfect place to stop for a late-night dessert.

Monica’s Mercato
130 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 742-4101
www.monicasboston.com

Monica’s Mercato is a North End favorite. Step into this market and you’ll feel as if you are being transported back in time. This spot sells traditional Italian items including cold cuts, cheeses and Italian sodas. It also makes killer sandwiches, but there is no menu, so be ready to tell the guys behind the counter what you’d like to get on your sub. The sandwiches are so large that they can either serve as the perfect hangover cure or feed more than one person for a great lunch.

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Taranta
210 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 720-0052
www.tarantarist.com

Looking for a spot to have your next romantic dinner date? Try Taranta, one of the North End’s higher-end venues on Hanover Street. Taranta is unique from many of the other restaurants in the area because the food is Italian-Peruvian fusion – meaning you’ll find it nowhere else. Plus, the restaurant is the only one in the North End to be certified by the Green Restaurant Association for its efforts in sustainability and climate change action.

Bricco Salumeria and Pasta Shop
11 Board Alley
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 248-9629
www.homemade-pasta.com

If you don’t have time to eat in the North End, at least pick up some fresh-made pasta and homemade sauce to make yourself a North End-style meal at home. Bricco Salumeria is the best place to get fresh ingredients for any Italian dish you can dream of. This shop is home to the recently renovated version of DePasquale’s Pasta Shoppe, which closed last year. In addition to pastas and sauces, customers will find breads, cheeses, cured meats and olive oil. The shop is a little tricky to find because it is located in a tiny alley off Hanover Street. But a visit to the shop is well worth the risk of getting lost!

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.