Favorite North End restos? [Boston, MA]

I’m in town for the weekend for a show at the City Winery, and was thinking of having dinner first in the North End. Any recommendations for Italian restaurants in the North End?

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It’s not Italian, but Neptune Oyster is my favorite spot in the north end.

I haven’t been to either since before covid, but Prezza and Carmelina’s were good Italian spot in the north end.


We love Neptune Oyster, and it is sort of Italian. Very small, no reservations. Try to go off hours.

The last time we were at City Winery, we ate at Alcove, near the Garden. The walk over was not too bad. And the food was really good. Not Italian, but a nice spot, especially sitting at the bar.


I haven’t been in a long time, but we have always loved The Daily Catch on Hanover St. for Sicilian seafood, especially calamari. Very small, might still be cash only, and restrooms across the street.

Recent review

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Out of curiosity, is The Daily Catch still open? Haven’t been in that area since pre-pandemic, and generally haven’t dined in the North End even longer. Most of my DCs complain about the parking, so we usually opt else where. This came up in a meeting with a few of out of state vendors this week, and the vendor mentioned wanting to come back to this place when he makes his way to Boston in 2023.

Devra First reviewed The Daily Catch in early November as part of her return-to-starred reviews, all 5 star review series. I provided the link.


I think you and I must’ve crossed paths. I loved that cozy corner at the bar that was perfect for 2-3 friends. Friends used to love that oozy egg ravioli thing-y but I can’t stand eggs and would get terrorized by them (in a jovial way). I haven’t been in ages and didn’t know it had survived the stoopid ass pandemic.

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I like Prezza, too.

Our Northend Dinner group used to enjoy Prezza’s table for 8 up in front of the windows & Mamma Maria’s 2nd floor corner room overlooking North Square for a larger group - all pre-pandemic, sigh.

We loved the hospitality at Alcove when we stopped in before a City Winery show, prepandemic. Charles Draghi, who is highly regarded for his now-closed Erbaluce, is now Alcove’s executive chef. Alcove is not an Italian restaurant as you note, but do I see that Draghi’s carbonara is on the menu at Alcove.

If the OP doesn’t find a table/reservation in the North End that suits, perhaps Alcove may appeal.

The food and beverage offerings at City Winery itself felt expensive to us for what you get, so that’s one option I myself would not suggest.


Thanks. I used to eat at the DC a lot when I lived in Boston. I’ve been back occasionally, and agree that it’s still excellent. We were looking for something a little more classic on this occasion.

Hi, Kobuta, Yep, they’re still there. I ate there last year, and it was pretty much as always, i.e. very good, similar menu.

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I will preface this by saying that I don’t really like the North End that much and very much fall in the lines of ‘this is a touristy area with overpriced everything in most instances’ but there’s still a few spots that are worth going to including the absolutely awesome Salumeria Italiana which might be the best Italian deli in the greater Boston area, surpassing Bob’s in Medford.

For restaurants, Table from Jen Royle is worth trying out if you can handle family-style. I’ve had decent meals at Strega, as long as you overlook the fact that the waiters and staff will try to more or less scam you by adding lobster to dishes where it doesn’t belong, all in hopes of surcharging you for your meal.

Cantina Italiana is kind of fun if you want a classic that’s been around since 1931. Trattoria Il Panino is also pretty good.

Honestly if you want Italian food, your best bet is still to venture out of the North End and head to spots like Rino’s in East Boston or Gran Gusto in Cambridge


For reasons too tricky to explain right now, I’m likely to be incarcerated – I can hear the HO cheering already – at the Marriott Long Wharf on the nights of the 18th (Fri) and 19th (Sat). On the 19th I have a dinner reservation at the waterfront Daily Catch.

Time is tight on the 18th, but are there places very close (<7 minute walk) where one can get a latish lunch on the 18th and a decent dinner around 8 that day? I’ve eaten at Prezza, and I like it, and it’s a possibility for dinner on the 18th. State Street Provisions seems an unexceptionable, although also unexceptional, choice for lunch that day, but is there better nearby? Even a good sandwich would do, preferably a terrific one.

For the lunch I could always load myself with some superb charcuterie from Formaggio Kitchen – lamb liverwurst anyone? – and eat it on a waterfront bench. Now that I think about it, it’s unlikely I could do better – but am open to alternatives.

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I love Neptune Oyster. Haven’t been since the pandemic. I have loved every time I’ve been there, sitting at the bar, sometimes waiting in line. Lots of tourists around now, and Neptune I’ve read appears in on many tourism sites. The feasts are going on in the North End now (I think, check); I don’t know if that means it would harder or easier to get in. Neptune does not take reservations.

Sounds like you might not be driving. Parking is horrible. However, parking is validated for $3 for 3 hours at the Boston Public Market if you go in and purchase something (parking garage is underneath the Boston Public Market). You could pick up some cheese, etc. other take out at the Boston Public Market and enjoy it on the Greenway.

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You’re right, I won’t be driving.

Neptune is always on my radar and I was tentatively thinking of hitting it on the 20th for lunch before leaving the area.

The link to the festivals useful, and I will see if something fits into the 18th.

To echo other sentiments along these lines, the North End is an appalling place to eat. My biggest disappointment (not the worst food, but the worst bad-food/reputation ratio) was the “waterfront” Daily Catch.

  1. It’s not on the water.
  2. It’s basically a food factory, not a serious restaurant. Our fried calamari, obviously from a pile that had been sitting under a heat lamp, came out suspiciously in seconds. One of our entrees was lost in the order. The seafood in their signature seafood pasta (67 bucks) was uniformly overcooked.
  3. What’s Sicilian about the place? At best, it’s very vaguely Italian.

We had, for the sake of expensive comparison, a similar meal from the H^2 Hourly Oyster the next day. Everything was vastly superior, especially the lobster cooked to pretty much perfect texture (i.e. no actual texture, just melting tenderness).

People, don’t ever eat at the Daily Catch.

I also ate at State Street Provisions the night before. The food was much worse, but the disappointment less.


I haven’t been to the Daily Catch in a very long time. It used to be good with various squid preparations. I’m sorry it was so dismal for you. I will avoid!