Mike’s Pastry

Cannolis

As I have mentioned time and time again, I love going to the North End in Boston. If we are hosting visitors from out of town, inevitably we will take them to the North End.  For example, this past weekend, we took the in-laws, who were visiting from California, to Prezza and Mamma Maria (on separate days!!) to try some of the best Italian food in the North End.

Of course, we never order dessert when we dine in the North End.

If you have ever been to the North End, you know there are three places that will have a HUGE line in front, without fail.  Pizzeria Regina’s, Giacomo’s, and Mike’s Pastry.

MIke's Pastry

This Italian bakery, situated right in the heart of the North End on Hanover Street, is definitely the most well known pastry shop in the North End.  They are especially known for their cannolis, a deep fried pastry shell filled with sweet ricotta cheese.

They also make a wide variety of Italian cookies, pies, cakes, and gorgeous marzipan.

It is always super crowded, and often there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the line.  Well, from what I can gather, there really is no exact system.  There are several people working the counter, so technically there should be several lines.  However, sometimes it just looks like a big crowd inside with one long line snaking out the door.  Many in line are tourists, and thus have no idea what is going on.

Mike's Pastry

The best thing to do is to find the shortest “line” if you can find one.  If it’s really hard to figure out what’s going on, just keep walking in (if there’s room inside), and find your way up to the counter so you can order.  The “line” (mob) moves pretty quickly.  Anyway, you may be so overwhelmed by all the choices that you might just prefer that the line take a little while so you can figure out what you want to order.  :)

I always get a few cannolis – my favorite is the plain one, although I agree with Bryan that the chocolate covered ones keep a bit longer.  The cannolis get soggy within a few days, so it’s best to eat them as soon as possible.  Nothing beats a fresh cannoli with a crunchy exterior and a beautiful creamy center. Yum.

Mike's Pastry

I also like getting the ricotta pie, which has a filling that resembles that of the cannoli, but less creamy and less sweet.  Really nice in a different sort of way.

It’s an age old debate whether Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastry (just down the street on Hanover) makes better cannolis.  Modern pastry fills their cannolis on the spot, whereas Mike’s Pastry pre-fills them.  This supposedly means that the ones at Modern are more fresh.

I’ve had cannolis from both places (although not side by side), and I like them both.  I don’t think I have ever noticed Mike’s cannolis being any less “fresh,” but then I do devour the cannoli soon after purchasing, so they taste pretty fresh to me.  Some say that the cannolis at Mike’s tend to be sweeter, with a filling that’s denser, smoother, and creamier compared to the more textured, less sweet filling from Modern’s cannolis.

Ricotta Pie

From personal experience, I have found that the cannolis from Mike’s Pastry keep longer.  The shells seem to stay relatively crunchy for at least one whole day (overnight), whereas the Modern Pastry cannolis get soggy in less than 24 hours.  This could be because the Modern shells are smaller, lighter, and more delicate than the heftier, cookie-like shells from Mike’s.

Both are delicious, and I think you can’t go wrong going to either one.  In fact, you really can’t go wrong just by visiting the North End while you are in Boston.  It’s such a vibrant neighborhood, the food is fantastic, and the cannolis are unbeatable.

Mike’s Pastry
The North End
300 Hanover St
Boston, MA 02113
Mike's Pastry on Urbanspoon

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Comments

  1. says

    I loved this place when I visited Boston! People were lined up out the door and down the sidewalk! Cannolis are by far my favorite Italian treat :) Thanks for this post!

  2. says

    Maybe the coolest thing about my Dad is he gets Free Mikes Pastries. Very underated and he brings them home alot because he works close.

    Im a chocolate mocha guy and or a canoli here and there. I like how you left room for Modern which is very solid and often less crowded. We got a few other places for whoopie pies and such but anything in that area is mostly GOLD! good post

  3. says

    I’m going to vote for Modern but I also like Maria’s I’m hoping to do a taste off. Send three friends off to each of the bakeries and meet at a table in the park to taste test the cannolis as they were handed off by the bakeries.

  4. says

    I lived in Boston for seven years, and have been down here in GA for 2 years. I have to say, good cannoli is hard to find down here. It has me tempted to try my hand at making my own…Reading this has me practically drooling, though. I miss the North End, and I miss Mike’s!

  5. Katy says

    I check foodgawker obsessively and I was so excited to see your post! I live in Boston and am a student at Berklee and I must say that Mike’s is one of the best things I’ve discovered on the East Coast! I love it!

  6. says

    Those desserts look crazy good. My favorite cannoli so far is the one stuffed with pistachios. One of my coworkers just recently made some fresh cannolis using marscapone cheese and whipped cream. Delicious.

  7. says

    I love Mike’s. Back when we were first dating, my husband and I would walk up to the North End, grab some cannolis, and then sit down in the Fanueil Hall area to eat them. And we too take every out of towner there when they come visit.

  8. Anonymous says

    Sorry, Modern is where it’s at. Less sweet and not pre filled. Never buy a prefilled canoli, eat promptly and do not refrigerate. That goes for sfogliatelle too: buy at Modern and not refrigerated–trust me- I’ve always followed these rules–and I’m 83!

  9. says

    I have fond memories of the North End too. Sadly, due to the weather, I had to move away. Mamma Maria’s was our fave place too! I once got a big box of goodies from Mike’s Pastry, one of each of their desserts. On the same street there was a place that sold whole ricotta pies. Oh my goodness they were sinfully good. Sigh.

  10. says

    I have fond memories of the North End too. Sadly, due to the weather, I had to move away. Mamma Maria’s was our fave place too! I once got a big box of goodies from Mike’s Pastry, one of each of their desserts. On the same street there was a place that sold whole ricotta pies. Oh my goodness they were sinfully good. Sigh.

  11. says

    I have fond memories of the North End too. Sadly, due to the weather, I had to move away. Mamma Maria’s was our fave place too! I once got a big box of goodies from Mike’s Pastry, one of each of their desserts. On the same street there was a place that sold whole ricotta pies. Oh my goodness they were sinfully good. Sigh.

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