by Nick Argires
The two best areas of any big city are Little Italy and Chinatown, and this post isn’t about Chinatown. Little Italy in Boston isn’t unlike the other Little Italys’ of the world — there’s meat markets, bakeries and old Italian people who probably don’t like you. Meandering through Boston’s Little Italy was not too different, but that’s why you go.
The first stop was Boston’s oldest cafe. Café Vittoria, established in 1929, it’s the first café in Boston and it’s in the heart of Little Italy. Café Vittoria has four floors, including a basement cigar bar, but the main attraction is the ground level which serves up the must-order espresso and biscotti.
The next stop, almost right next door to Café Vittoria, was Mike’s Pastry. In Boston, not all lobster tails are created equal. “Lobster Tails” from Mike’s Pastry come in at a little over a pound, are filled with a whipped, creamy-ricotta concoction, and are wrapped with a shell that tastes like an eggier pâte à choux. Bring a friend, or prepare to eat this at the next couple of meals. And if you are going on the weekend, be ready to be wait in a line that wraps around the corner.
“Don’t take my picture.” The first thing I heard from the lovely Italian baker from behind the counter at Parziale’s Bakery. She was actually most likely the owner, so I’m just glad I didn’t get kicked out. The group of locals behind us couldn’t help but point out the lemon cookies on the top of the counter. “They only make these a couple times a year,” they shouted with excitement! We got excited too after the first bite. They’re more accurately called “lemon drop cookies” and are the perfect balance between a cake and a cookie. Absolutely perfect. But I may be bias since I only ordered one and that lovely owner didn’t charge me. We’ll never know…
Obviously after gorging on pounds of sweets we need something salty. Enter Salumeria Italiana. We grabbed a few bites to-go: A few quarter pounds of capicola, roasted pork, fennel salami, and fennel sopressatta to enjoy as we walked. All was right in the world.
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