Florentine Cafe – North End Boston

The time how now come for me to discuss the part of my trip I most looked forward to: eating Italian food in Boston.

The North End of Boston is known as their Little Italy. It hosts some of the oldest buildings in the city, including some of the sights on the Freedom Trail. What it is most known for, though, is the never-ending row of Italian restaurants on Hanover and Salem streets. If anyone knows me at all, then they would know that I am absolutely here for this.

I heard from numerous sources that you cannot go wrong with choosing an Italian restaurant in the North End. That certainly left many options of the ones my aunt who used to live in Boston. Of the ones she recommended, I was most intrigued by Florentine Cafe.

The first words that came to mind when I saw this restaurant were: quaint, sophisticated, and intimate. The restaurant sits in an old-looking building that is reminiscent of another time and place. I don’t feel like I am in the United States in 2019 but maybe even a small town in Italy. This experience validated my decision to come to Boston. I had such a strong initial desire to go to Italy, and this feels like a great compromise. I get to live in a beautiful city best suited from my studies. Italy has been here for a very, very long time, and it will still be there after I am done with school.

I loved walking through the North End. I found so many shops I need to visit when I move. I had to limit my impulse shopping because I had to fly home. One of my favorite finds was an Italian bookstore and little museum. Chris and I found so many cookbooks that we want to buy.

I needed a little rest before dinner, so we left the North End to go back to our hotel. We absolutely came back for dinner. I was not leaving Boston without getting a taste of their Italian food. Fortunately, Florentine Cafe had one table left when we got there.

We expected Florentine Cafe to be good, but we had no idea how amazing it would be. We all agreed that it was the best meal we had on the trip. I am absolutely not ashamed to admit that I was scooping my extra sauce up with my fork after I finished my dish. It was that good.

We started our meal with some Italian bread and olive oil, and splitting a bottle of Chianti. I came to love wine by drinking Malbec straight from the vineyards when I studied abroad in Mendoza, Argentina. I thought I could never find I wine I loved more than Malbec…until I met Chianti.  That’s not to say that Malbec isn’t still my go-to wine, because it is. I just love to smooth bodied Chianti when I am eating Italian food. There is no better accompaniment to Italian food.

The bread we were served was reminiscent of focaccia. It wasn’t, but I don’t know how else to label it. It was like a mix of Italian bread and focaccia. There was a saltiness to the exterior that paired so well with the high-quality olive oil they gave us. This was the perfect start to the meal.

We each seemed to have something we really wanted to order, but we ended up ordering someone else’s second choice. I love when that works out because you get to eat what you really wanted the most but also get a taste of something else you wanted to try. I can’t actually verify exactly what we ordered because this restaurant has such a fresh and unique menu that it changes daily. I will say that everything we tried was divine.

I ordered the mushroom ravioli. The ravioli was stuffed with mushrooms and ricotta, and they were topped with a cream sauce with loose mushrooms floating around. This dish was delectable. We agreed that I got the best tasting dish. I can still feel that velvety sauce in my mouth from this perfect dish.


Andrew ordered a seafood pasta dish. Served with a red sauce, this dish was comprised of pappardelle, clams, shrimp, and a lobster tail. I found this dish to be the most aesthetically pleasing of the night. The pasta was absolutely perfect, and I tried a bite of the lobster. This was a very well-composed dish.


Chris got some sort of fish served over a creamy risotto with red peppers and topped with asparagus. First of all, this was a really good risotto. The fish and asparagus complemented the risotto nicely. This dish just felt so fresh. It’s like they dumped a garden and the sea onto a plate (in an intention and organized way). I know this dish is right up Chris’ alley.


The moral of this story is that Boston rocked our world with their Italian food. I cannot wait to be immersed in this all the time. My last word’s before leaving this restaurant was, “Can I come here and become a pasta apprentice?”

*This post reflects my honest views. I did not receive any compensation or other incentives to post this review.

Florentine Cafe
333 Hanover St.
Boston, MA 02113
(617) 227-1777