Best Spots for Italian Food in New England
Wondering where to find the best Italian food in New England? Whether its pizza, pasta, or cannoli – we’ve got some “inspiration Italiana” for you! Mangia!
“Little Italy” Neighborhoods
The North End – Hanover and Salem Streets in Boston, MA
I dare you to ride the T in Boston without spotting at least one passenger toting a string-wrapped bakery box from Mike’s or Modern Pastry in the North End. Thanks to its more than 75 clustered Italian eateries, bakeries, and markets, the North End draws both locals and tourists alike. From cafes to gelaterias, family restaurants to upscale dining, choices for Italian cuisine are unlimited. Its placement roughly halfway through the Boston Freedom Trail route (the popular Paul Revere House, Old North Church, and Copp’s Hill Burying Ground are North End stops) also makes it a great place to stop for for a mid-trail lunch, or at least a slice from the original Pizzeria Regina.
Federal Hill – Atwells Avenue in Providence, RI
CNBC named Providence one of America’s “Top 10 Cities for Foodies,” and the city’s Italian offerings make good on that title of recognition. One of the most densely populated Italian neighborhoods in the country in the early 20th century, Federal Hill is still dominated by Italian markets, delis, bakeries, and restaurants. In warm months, De Pasquale Square has outdoor tables and flowers everywhere–even a large European-style fountain and opera concerts. Grab something to go and enjoy it outside, like lunch fixings from Venda Ravioli and satisfying sweets from Scialo Brothers Bakery.
Wooster Square in New Haven, CT
Wooster Square in New Haven may be home to numerous Italian cafes, restaurants, and bakeries, but its claim to fame is truly terrific thin-crust pizza. The most famous varieties come from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana and Sally’s Apizza — just two blocks apart from each other. Visit both, then weigh in on your pick for which is best in the unofficial (but well-publicized) New Haven Pizza Wars. Then, if you have room, pick up pastries from either Libby’s or Lucibello’s for the trip home. Read more about the New Haven Pizza Wars!
Recent Editors’ Picks
Want to skip the neighborhood and go right to a Yankee-approved Italian eatery? These picks made the cut in our 2011 “Best of New England” list.
Liuzzi Gourmet Market in North Haven , CT
Bring the good stuff home and make an Italian meal yourself thanks to our 2011 pick for “Best Italian Deli.” Liuzzi’s Italian cheese masters also stock their shelves with imported pastas, olive oils, and other Mediterranean fare, as well as processed and fresh meats. Can’t wait to eat? Order sandwiches stuffed with capicola, prosciutto, or mortadella; then add homemade mozzarella and find the perfect spot for a picnic.
322 State St. 203-248-4356; liuzzicheese.com
Il Casale in Belmont, MA
Within the walls of a converted firehouse in Belmont, you’ll find our 2011 pick for “Best Old-Country Italian.” Chef Dante De Magistris brought Italian family cooking to his hometown as if it were called Belmonte. Diners who like to nibble skip the big dishes and order lots of sfizi–tiny plates, from arancini (rice balls) to zucchinata (grilled zucchini strips).
50 Leonard St. 617-209-4942; ilcasalebelmont.com
Dalla Cucina in Provincetown, MA
With all there is to do in P-town, we still don’t think you should to miss our 2011 pick for “Best Cape Cod Italian.” Chef Michael Ceraldi presents a Cape Cod-infused menu, using lobster and fennel in a sweet risotto or serving local striped bass Sicilian-style with olives, tomatoes, rosemary, and capers. Even the gorgonzola on the dessert list is drizzled with Cape Cod honey.
404 Commercial St. 508-487-5404; dallacucinaptown.com