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The North End: Battle of the Cannoli’s


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Regan’s Boston office is located in the historic North End, which is personally my favorite neighborhood in Boston. Between the rich history like Paul Revere’s birthplace or the delicious food, the North End is a must-see when visiting the city. Tourists come from all over the world to enjoy the delicious and authentic meals at North End staples like Strega North End and Bricco, and then hit the crowded streets for a sweet tooth fix to complete the perfect meal. And there’s only one way to end a proper Italian meal, and that’s with one of the North End’s legendary cannolis. You may have seen the Mike’s Pastry’s line out the door (and snaking onto the sidewalk) so you assume that has got to be the crème de la crème, and the best cannoli the city has to offer, but as we all know, a long torturous line doesn’t necessarily reflect a superior product.

The Battle of the North End Cannoli’s

The time old debate between locals, pitting Mike’s Pastry vs. Modern Pastry (and let us not forget Bova’s) has been going on for decades—you’re either a Mike’s fan or a Modern fan. There’s no in between, or both. But how do we know which is truly the better cannoli? Lucky for you I take my desserts very seriously, so I did the leg work on this, and you can sit back and reap the benefits from my all-telling cannoli blind taste test.

North End Cannoli
Bova’s via @sophoeats


To begin, I had a reliable third party purchase a cannoli from each shop, and hide the goods from me. This was crucial as I did not want to prematurely judge a cannoli based on appearance and preconceived notions. I went for three of the classics; a plain ricotta from Mike’s Pastry, Modern Pastry, and Bova’s Bakery. Now after being carefully blindfolded, I dug into a very tasty experiment. 

Mike's Pastry via @rachlovestv
Mike’s Pastry via @rachlovestv

My methodology was calculated. I took a bite out of each to taste the shell with filling combination, and I then took a spoonful of each to taste only the filling. After being utterly stuffed, I made my decision.

In my unbiased opinion (DISCLAIMER: my opinions do not reflect the feelings of the whole Regan Communications team), Modern Pastry was hands down my favorite. The filling was fresh and flavorful without being too sweet or overbearing with vanilla, and the shell was crunchy and delicious. Bova’s and Mike’s were a respectable 2nd and 3rd place, but lacked a certain punch that Modern’s delicious dessert delivered.

Modern Pastry @modernpastry
Modern Pastry @modernpastry

Although I have my own personal favorite, all three desserts were, of course, delicious. You really can’t go wrong with an authentic cannoli from Boston’s North End. Don’t agree with my taste-test decision? Which is your favorite go-to bakery in the North End? The next time you’re in our neighborhood conduct your own taste test. Regardless of the results, trust me, you won’t be disappointed.



This blog post was written by Team Joanna’s Kirby Franzel. Follow her on Twitter.

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