The Cannoli Crawl: A Showdown of the North End's Best Cannoli Bakeries

Boston, MA

  • The chocolate chip cannoli from Modern Pastry. Photo: Phantom Gourmet.
  • The cannoli from Maria's Pastry, stuffed with ricotta filling.
  • The front of Maria's Pastry Shop.
  • The Nutella and Oreo cannoli sitting behind the case at Bova's.
  • Italian cookies at Bova's.
  • A chocolate chip cannoli from Mike's Pastry.
  • A lobster tail cream cannoli from Mike's Pastry. Photo: Emma Schultz
  • Cool, classic signage for Modern Pastry.
  • The chocolate chip cannoli from Modern Pastry.
  • Cappuccino and cannoli at Caffe Paradiso.

1 hour
0.4 mi
Guided by Jason
Jason Donahue


The North End is home to cappuccino bars, homemade pasta shops, mafioso types and some of the greatest cannoli in the country - sweetened ricotta-filled fried pastry shells. It sounds simple but much science, tradition, timing and precision are hidden inside the cream & crunch. Thankfully for us, we just get to enjoy them. Come on a crawl of five quintessential North End cannoli spots, from Maria's to Modern. Along the way, we'll discuss the origins of this Italian pastry and how to know if there is a good one in front of you. Buon appetito!

About Your Guide

I am all about exploring local history, architecture, food and art to learn about how places came to be. You can find me in search of hidden places, tasty dim sum, high-design speakeasies, skyline vistas and other ingredients to build the perfect day.

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Guide Points

  1. Maria's Pastry Shop

    We begin our crawl with what is considered the most-authentically Italian cannoli of the bunch. Maria's Pastry largely attracts a local, No…

  2. Bova's Bakery

    Bova's is a full scale Italian bakery with calzones, rectangle slices of pizza and rice balls, not to mention pastries.

  3. Mike's Pastry

    Mike Pastry sets the standard for North End cannoli. It is easily the most popular bakery in Boston, as evidenced by the iconic white box w…

  4. Modern Pastry

    Bostonians tend to be in one of two camps as to who produces the best cannoli: Modern Pastry or Mike's Pastry. I'll let you conduct your ow…

  5. Caffe Paradiso

    Our final stop, Caffe Paradiso is the real Italian's go-to spot. Step on in and note the soccer scarves hanging from the ceiling.

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