The rich history of Boston’s North End, the oldest neighborhood in town, began with its settlement in the 1600’s and includes the legendary patriot Paul Revere’s home. Today, often known as “Little Italy,” it still retains its narrow, cobblestone streets and is loaded with charm and modern day delights, from family-owned Italian restaurants to historic sites and sweet boutique shops.
Home-Style Italian Food, Craft Beer and Cannolis
First things first: for proper caffeinating, George Howell Coffee hits the notes with artisan beans and light fare. Wander into Boston Public Market, where the 40-plus local vendors carry everything from seafood to ale. Find warm hot chocolate at Taza’s Chocolate Bar, salty handcrafted peanuts at Q’Nuts and wash down everything with a Hopster’s Alley Leaf Blower light ale.
Locals love the beloved family spot Limoncello for its veal saltimbocca, chicken parm and of course, the passed-down family recipe for meatballs. The smaller, white table-cloth option, Mama Maria’s, set in a 19th-century row house, is known for refined Italian dishes like osso buco and Meyer lemon panna cotta.
While Boston Beer Works is revered for its ample selection, drop by Ward 8, a buzzy gastropub with a full menu, stellar brew selection and mixed drinks. For dessert, Gigi Elaterid has you covered for authentic gelato, Mike’s Pastry is the spot for cannoli and warm grab-and-go cookies are found at the 24-hour family gem, Bova’s Bakery.
Denim lovers will appreciate the cheeky-titled in-jean-ius that carries over 30 hip labels from Joe’s, Hudson and J Brand. For fun, stylish jewelry pieces, clothing and homewares, Shake The Tree has something for everyone.
Luke Aaron has lovely dresses and bridal gowns while Sedurre carries lingerie, whimsical clothing and shoes. Just next door, their sweet sibling boutique, Sedurre XO, stocks jewelry.
A Touch of History
A large part of the 2.5 mile Freedom Trail (with its 16 sites) winds through the North End, perfect for taking in Boston’s rich Revolutionary-era history.
Close your eyes and imagine the night of 1775, from the top of the historic Old North Church, where two lanterns were held high to signal the British were coming and thus commencing the American Revolution.
Near Faneuil Hall, make a reflective, touching visit to the outdoor New England Holocaust Memorial, constructed of granite and glass to honor those who died in concentration camps. And of course, Boston’s beloved silversmith Paul Revere’s colonial house, built around 1680, remains a vintage piece of American history. Located a short stroll away, both the Kimpton Onyx Hotel and Kimpton Nine Zero Hotel are great options for making sure you can get to everything on your list.