Best Cannoli in Boston
Before my trip back to Boston this summer I spent hours researching on Yelp & talking to several Bostonians in search of the best pastry shops. When I finally narrowed down the list to just four, I knew it would be hard to compare them by picking a different dessert at each one, so I decided to judge the all-around favorite Boston dessert - the cannoli.
The four shops that seemed to be the most popular were Mike's Pastry, Modern Pastry, Bova’s Bakery and Maria’s Pastry. Each shop was in an area called the North End, one of the oldest parts of Boston, known for its incredible Italian food and history. Boston is big on its pastries, but even bigger on its cannolis, which is why I knew this foodie mission was a must. It took over two days but I successfully tried some of the best cannolis in Boston - I am fulfilled and stuffed to say the least.
The first place I went was Mike’s Pastry shop, one of the most famous pastry shops in New England and the first shop out of everyone’s mouth when I asked where the best pastries in Boston could be found.
If you ever get the chance to go to Mike’s, make sure you go during the morning or middle of the day, because you will have to wait in a line all the way down the street to taste these pastries. Although, it’s definitely worth the wait.
The shop carries not only a choice of almost 20 different kinds of cannolis, but also hundreds of different kinds of pastries, brownies, cookies and macarons. I chose to order three cannolis, Espresso, Chocolate Mousse and Pistachio. The cannolis themselves were giant and absolutely mouthwatering, they are very filling so make sure you have an empty stomach before ordering three.
The second stop luckily was right down the street from Mike’s. Modern Pastry has a much smaller cannoli menu than Mike’s but it makes up for it with incredible custom cakes, chocolates and a coffee bar. The cannoli menu gives you a choice of four different shells to choose from, four fillings and three toppings. I chose a plain shell with traditional ricotta filling topped with chocolate chips. I also ordered an iced cappuccino topped with cinnamon before heading over to a nearby park to enjoy the treats.
The ricotta filling was creamy and delicious, the shell a bit smaller than the ones at Mike’s but still fresh and crunchy. Be warned, if you go on a cannoli adventure you will end up with powdered sugar all over yourself.
The third pastry shop I ventured to was Maria’s Pastry Shop, which offered not only traditional Italian pastries and sweets, but also breads, gelato and espresso. The menu was similar to Modern’s, where you could individually choose the shell, filling and topping. This type of cannoli ordering was growing on me because it meant that each cannoli was freshly filled and customized right before it was in my hands.
I chose a chocolate dipped shell filled with ricotta and a plain shell filled with chocolate. The cannolis were tasty and crunchy; plus the view from Maria’s is by far the best out of all the shops and has seating both inside and outside, which none of the other shops offered.
Finally, I walked to my last stop - Bova’s Bakery, which is a 24 hour bakery and by far the most eclectic of all the shops I visited. The cannoli menu offered everything from salted caramel to nutella cannolis and my head was spinning on what to choose. Eventually I decided on a peanut butter cannoli and a creme brulee cannoli. Once in my hands, I headed down the street to a little coffee shop called Caffe Vittoria to find some seating and enjoy a cappuccino topped with cocoa powder while devouring the last of my cannolis.
After trying all of the cannolis, I had a big decision to make - I needed to choose a favorite. This was not an easy task. Each of the cannoli shops offered something that the others did not, and all were delicious in their own ways. Buttttt if I have to choose, I would say Mike’s Pastry Shop has the best cannolis in Boston. There is a reason the line is out to the street every day, filled with hungry patrons waiting to taste their renowned desserts. After this foodie adventure I need to take a break from cannolis for a while but I know I will be back eventually!
This post was written by This Babe Eats contributor, Michaela.