North End Sweet Treats – Boston, MA

Boston, Food Adventures

So everyone knows that there is no shortage of cannoli in Boston’s North End, but since Martin has a sweet tooth, we decided to dedicate our limited stomach space to checking out other Italian dessert places. Our adventures led us to Caffe Vittoria, right in the heart of Hanover Street, and Parziale’s Bakery, a hole-in-the-wall situated off the beaten path among neighboring beautiful old brick buildings.

Gelati

Gelati at Caffe Vittoria

IMG_6253Martin had had a craving for gelato since before we even left LA,  so we definitely had to track it down while planning our North End visit. A quick Yelp! search led us to Caffe Vittoria. When we first walked in, we could not help but admire the shimmering stainless steel espresso machines, taking a seat next to this particularly crazy-looking contraption.

There were plenty of tables open on that Thursday afternoon, but I would imagine that Caffe Vittoria is a bustling hotspot for after-dinner (for no-frills places like Giacomo’s which does not feature its own dessert menu) and weekend patrons.

Coffee and Cappuccino Gelato

Coffee and Cappuccino Gelato

Martin loves coffee-flavored ice cream, so when he spotted the availability of both coffee and cappuccino flavors on the Gelati list, he seemed pretty excited. The gelato is homemade and bore an interesting texture – fluffy and creamy like ice cream but also a bit dense the way gelato should be.

Spumoni

Spumoni

Meanwhile, I spotted spumoni on the desserts list and knew I had to have it. Just seeing the word harkened good memories of my first spumoni experience – a little fancy scoop of tricolor ice cream topped with a maraschino cherry, lighting up my 4th-grader eyes during a field trip meal at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Caffe Vittoria’s spumoni is a wedge of hard-frozen gelati dotted with pistachios and cherry bits and served drizzled with some of the maraschino syrup straight from the jar! The ribbons of color were beautiful (that red really pops!) and the flavors were great.

Parziale's

Parziale’s

After devouring our frozen treats and feeling officially chilled to the bone, we continued our adventure, cutting through smaller streets and navigating away from the main throngs off Hanover.

Parziale's Store Front

Parziale’s

After we found the quaint little storefront, Martin took a moment to glance through the beautiful display of the window. The pastries beckoned to us and we quickly answered their call.

Pizzelle

Pizzelle

Pizzelle, an Italian crunchy waffle cookie. We picked up a package to bring home. The ones here are flavored with aromatic anise and taste delicious with ice cream. Hint: if their round shape seems familiar, it is because pizzelle cookies, freshly baked, can be rolled up to form cannoli shells!

Florentines

Florentines

The friendly woman behind the counter also convinced us to try the florentine cookies and boy are we glad we did. The crispy, lacy texture carried the essence of toasty caramelized sugar. Dipped in white or dark chocolate, these were amazing!

If you’re hanging out in the North End, grab some gelati or relax with a latte from Caffe Vittoria. Or pay a visit to a century-old bakery (seriously – they opened in 1907!) and bring home some cookies that are sure to please.

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Check out Caffe Vittoria: vittoriacaffe.com

296 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113

See their Yelp reviews here!

———————

Check out Parziale’s Bakery: parzialebakery.com

80 Prince St
Boston, MA 02113

See their Yelp reviews here!

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