Whether you’re a tourist or a local to the city streets of Boston, the North End is an area of the city that you won’t want to miss. The pizza shops and elegant restaurants complete with scenic views and rustic feelings have enough great food and wine to last all winter. If I haven’t drawn you in just yet, there are also two magnificent pastry shops serving classic Italian treats on the very same street.
Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry Shop are on opposite sides of Hanover Street. Both places are easy to spot because the lines will mostly likely be stretching out the doors. Have no fear — the lines move quickly and are definitely worth the wait. So what’s the difference? If you only have time (or room in your stomach after a delicious Italian meal) for just one cannoli, which place should you pick?
Luckily, TwentyTweeters, I’ve been to both. (But please note: I’ve only ever had a cannoli from either place; however, I’m not against going back for biscotti, butter cookies, cakes, cream puffs, and other Italian desserts if you were hoping for a more balanced review ) Anyways, here’s my take:
Mike’s: The shop itself is quite an experience — bustling staff who move the line quickly and efficiently. The glass counters full of treats below signs describing the different flavors are most helpful to any newbie. And the cannoli? Oh. My. God. The pastries are everything you ever wished for, plus more. Not into the typical ricotta? No problem. I’ve had pecan caramel, chocolate mousse, and hazelnut. All to die for. Name a flavor, and they probably make it. The pastry is huge and filled to the brim. Flakey crust and a smooth, smooth filling. Delicious.
Modern: This shop is a bit smaller than Mike’s, but just as popular. (I’ve even heard that it’s the local favorite). There’s a smaller display case because the cannoli are filled right on the spot – keeping the shell even crispier against the creamy filling. The pastries are smaller, but just as tasty. I opted for the chocolate filling and this is a decision that I definitely don’t regret. So smooth, so perfect.
What’s my consensus? Which shop would I choose if I had to pick just one?
Again — if I HAD to pick one — I’d pick Mike’s. Although Modern seemed more personal and more at-home, there’s something about Mike’s that I can’t imagine passing up. Call me a tourist, but I love it. The overly huge pastries and the variety of flavors? It’s an experience in itself, you’ll see. And if you have time for both… Why not try two? Don’t let me be the judge… Decide for yourself!
Next up on my to-try list is a black and white cookie from either place. Both make them fresh and as a Cookie Monster myself, I just have to try them. Not going to be in Boston anytime soon? Both places ship (shells and filling separately!)
Have you been to either pastry shop? Which was your fave? Share below or @20sTweet!