After having a delicious Italian dinner in Boston’s historic North End, we absolutely could not finish the night without getting cannoli from an Italian bakery. This was my one other ‘must’ for this trip to Boston.
We checked out Bova’s Bakery, just a short block away from Florentine Cafe where we dined to our heart’s content. This bakery came highly recommended by the director of BU’s gastronomy program. I was told that Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry were the two most popular bakeries in Boston. She said they are good bakeries but a bit over-hyped. They both sit in a prime location on Hanover Street, while Bova’s Bakery sits one block behind on Salem Street. She said Bova’s Bakery is truly the best bakery in Boston, and it tends to not have the long lines that the other two have.
This reminds me of Georgetown Cupcakes in DC. I enjoy a Georgetown cupcake every once in awhile, but they are rather overrated. The lesser known outside of the DC area Baked & Wired is my preference.
I am glad I took the advice of my program director. Tucked in on a street corner, Bova’s is located on the less crowded Salem street, which is also a gorgeous street full of old buildings. I walked into the bakery and immediately felt like I was in my late grandmother’s kitchen (but on steroids).
The bakery sells just about every Italian baked treat you can think of, both sweet and savory. On the savory side, they have pizza, subs, calzones, and the biggest arancini (risotto balls) that I have ever seen in my life. We were not here for savory food since we just ate dinner, but I so badly want to go back to try the arancini.
They also sell a variety of breads, including Italian, Tuscan style, and Easter bread (egg bread). We were here three days before Easter. Bova’s was ready for Easter, as evidenced by the Easter bread in the shape of a cross. If it wasn’t already obvious that we were in the Italian neighborhood, it certainly was then.
The bakery offers just about every Italian delicacy imaginable, including a number of cookies, cakes, and pastries. I have never seen so many Italian cookies outside of Christmas. They have snowballs, pizzelles, amaretto cookies, and biscotti, just to name a few. My dad is going to be so happy to come to this bakery when my parents visit. This is like the bakery of his dreams.
Bova’s also has a variety of pastries, including cannoli and Tiramisu. They apparently have the best Tiramisu in the country. I will have to let my dad be the judge of that. Tiramisu is among his favorite Italian treats. They also have some cream-filled pastries that my mom would really like cream puffs, eclairs, and lobster tails (a New England specialty).
As for cakes, they have so many delicious treats. These include red velvet cakes and whoopie pies, rum cake, and Boston Cream Pie cake and donuts. The Boston Cream Pie donuts looked so good. We really wanted to take some home to have for breakfast, but it didn’t seem like the best choice before a flight. That just means we need to come back another time.
Now, let me go back and talk about the cannoli again because that is why we were there in the first place. I was surprised to see how many flavors of cannoli they sell, including traditional chocolate chip, peanut butter, chocolate dipped, nutella, and espresso. I would like to try a variety of flavors, but I couldn’t resist getting the traditional chocolate chip.
We ordered three cannoli (one for each of us). Chris and I both chose the chocolate chip, while Andrew ordered the peanut butter. Our cannoli were handed to us in a plastic container put inside a bread bag. It was a neat packaging idea.
I absolutely loved the cannoli. They were nothing short of perfect and just what I wanted. The shell was crispy and light. It broke easily when I bit into the cannoli. The filling was wonderfully creamy and not too sweet. These cannoli were everything I hoped for and more. I am excited to be in a city that has such amazing Italian treats. I predict that Bova’s Bakery will soon become my favorite place to stock up on Italian treats.