Yesterday felt like summer here in Boston and I was able to enjoy some of the sunshine with an afternoon full of Italian. My cousin was in town visiting, so we had lunch at Antico Forno in the North End. The food was amazing and the restaurant itself fits in perfectly with the European charm of the North End. The restaurant is located on Salem Street, which is crowded with restaurants and people.
After lunch, we walked over to Hanover Street and joined the mass of people outside of Mike’s Pastry. I am not a cannoli expert, but I can tell you that I have enjoyed the cannolis I have had at Mike’s. Modern Pastry just across the street usually has a line to rival Mike’s. I haven’t tried it yet, but I certainly will. I’m sure there are also plenty of other places in the North End that have amazing Italian desserts. I definitely plan to hunt down some gelato. If you’ve ever been to Italy then you understand the near obsession that can develop towards gelato. Dark chocolate and coconut were always my go-to flavors. I may have even had gelato for breakfast once.
Joining the crowd at Mike’s is part of the experience and part of the fun, I think. The line, though long, moves fairly quickly. There are usually six or eight employees working behind the case and they have quite the system.
This time I decided to try the peanut butter cannoli. It was delicious. The filling was light with just enough of a peanut butter flavor to compliment the chocolate drizzle on top. The cannoli shell had a crunch to it, but was still soft enough so that it didn’t completely crumble when I was trying to eat. The other thing I love about Mike’s cannolis is that they are giant. As a dessert fan, I appreciate this.
I also really like the variety of flavors that are on offer. I tried the hazelnut on a previous visit and stole a bite of my sister’s oreo flavored cannoli. There are flavors like classic ricotta, limoncello, pistachio and chocolate chip. If cannolis aren’t for you, Mike’s has gelato, cupcakes, cookies and other sweet treats.
Mike’s Pastry has become a famous and popular destination in the North End. Try it for yourself to see if it measures up to the hype.
Photos by Jessica McWeeney.