When reviewing Boston-based eateries, the North End is the gastronomical epicenter of the city. It was left as an enclave by the first Italian immigrants in Boston, so you’ll find plenty of pizza, pasta, deli and cannoli options along the narrow streets. Bova’s Bakery is one of the neighborhood’s staple bakeries.
It’s a tiny shop on the corner between Salem and Prince Street next to Monica’s Mercato (which has delicious, massive Italian sandwiches). There is always a line trailing out the door, but thankfully it moves pretty quickly. The staff inside the shop are friendly, although they are pretty no-nonsense because it is always busy inside, so you should have your order ready to go!
Bova’s cannolis rival the famous giant ones at Mike’s Pastry a few blocks down, but if you want authentic Italian cannolis, Bova’s is the place to go. They have a variety of cannoli fillings: classic ricotta, ricotta with chocolate chips, coffee, oreo, nutella, peanut butter, pistachio and florentine (honey and almonds), as well as a variety of shells: toasted, caramelized and chocolate. The filling is dense and flavorful and the shell is perfectly crunchy. My personal favorite is the ricotta-filled, chocolate shell cannoli.
I also tried one of Bova’s hidden gems that I read about on TripAdvisor and Yelp, the pistachio macaroon, which was unique and flavorful. They are square-shaped and taste a bit like marzipan with an intense pistachio extract flavoring — definitely a must-have if you’re looking for something you’ve never tried.
Bova also sells calzones, pizza and pasta, although I personally have not tried them. They are not as well-known for their entrée options (at least during the day-time, but since they stay open 24/7, you have plenty of cheesy or sugary options after a long night out!).
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Photos by: @joannvitaliphotography @visitingnewengland and @bovasbakery retrieved online