Enjoy a more authentic side of Boston’s famous North End with a walking tour! No need to wait in lines for pizza or pastries. There are plenty of delicious spots that tourists simply walk by without realizing. This offbeat walking tour includes all of the essentials of the North End, without the hassle or the crowds. Get a slice, a cannoli, a coffee and see the best sites in the city like the locals do.
(Image: Ernesto's)

(Image: Ernesto’s)

69 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-1373

Forget all of the tourist traps with long lines. For people seeking good, authentic North End pizza without the hassle, look no further than Ernesto’s on Salem Street. For those starting their walking tour at the Rose Kennedy Greenway, simply walk down Salem Street for less than a block and Ernesto’s will be on the right. Try a slice with ricotta cheese, or one of the specialties like the ever-popular chicken bacon ranch.
(Image: Bova's Bakery)

(Image: Bova’s Bakery)

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

While most tourists head towards Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry, this tour takes you to the local favorite: Bova’s Bakery. Bova’s is located at the corner of Salem Street and Prince Street, which is a block and a half past Ernesto’s (so you only have a short walk to work up an appetite). Bova’s has excellent cannoli, tiramisu, Italian cookies and cakes, but it real specialty is its homemade bread. Bova’s actually supplies bread to many of the restaurants in the neighborhood.
Old North Church (Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton)

Old North Church (Photo Credit: Kristen Fenton)

Old North Church
193 Salem St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 523-6676

Getting to the Old North Church via Salem Street provides a new perspective of this historic landmark. On the Hanover Street side, which is the typical path for people visiting the North End, visitors are greeted with the towering Paul Revere statue, street performers and, of course, hoards of people. The Salem side offers a different feel. Passersby could almost miss the church if they’re not paying attention because it looks so quaint and natural from this side. This gives people a better feel of how it would have been a hundred years ago.

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Christopher Columbus Park on the Harborwalk (Image: iStockphoto)

Christopher Columbus Park on the Harborwalk (Image: iStockphoto)

Commercial St. onto the park
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 994-9000

After exploring Old North Church, return to Salem Street and continue down to Charter Street, take a right down this residential street and then a left on to Henchman Street. This heads down to the waterfront and is a great way to get to the wharfs and find an entrance to the Harborwalk. The Harborwalk offers unparalleled views of Boston Harbor and is an absolute must see for anyone visiting the North End or Waterfront areas. The Harborwalk is beautifully maintained and wraps behind the city on the water, weaving around even the New England Aquarium before eventually crossing over into the Seaport District and South Boston. But for this walking tour, stick to the North End area.
(Image credit: My Cousin's Place)

(Image credit: My Cousin’s Place)

My Cousin’s Place
396 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02109
(857) 350-3029

Tired after a big meal and walk along the harbor? My Cousin’s place on Hanover Street is the perfect place to stop for a pick-me-up. While heading back up Hanover Street from the waterfront, My Cousin’s Place will be on the right at the corner of Charter Street. My Cousin’s Place has an authentic, low-key Boston vibe. In the small sandwich and coffee shop, customers get that warm feeling that they’re really part of the neighborhood. The coffee is great, especially the iced coffee (for true New Englanders all year round). This is the place to go to hear a real Boston accent and get some of the best coffee in the city. It is the perfect end to an offbeat walking tour of the North End.

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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.