Plenty of cafes and restaurants across Boston have battled for the title of best cannoli. In case you’ve been living under a rock for a lifetime, cannolis are an Italian pastry made from fried tube-shaped dough filled with ricotta. Just like that one cop in The Town, we’ll look the other way when it comes to the calories as we settle the debate once and for all on who has the best cannolis in Boston.
And the winner of best cannolis in Boston goes to Mike’s Pastry. It’s hard to compete with the consistently thick, perfectly-fried pastry shells and the picture-perfect ricotta. Mike’s has been a North End staple since 1946 and they’ve done a great job upholding their reputation as ‘home of the cannoli’. Dessert seekers can choose from fillings and flavors such as traditional, pistachio, peanut butter, chocolate-dipped, limoncello, and more.
Has anyone tried the Harpoon’s Mike’s Pastry Cannoli Stout?
Outdating Mike’s by a decade and a half is our choice for second place, Modern Pastry. Size does matter when it comes to cannolis! Modern’s smaller, thinner shells paired with significantly restricted flavors were of no comparison for their cross-street rivals. If this was a contest on underground bars the results would be different.
One of the only spots around Boston open 24 hours a day, Bova’s Bakery has probably saved your life at least once. Where witnessing lines of customers out the door is commonplace at Mike’s (and at times Modern), crowds at Bova’s are few and far between making them a great cannoli alternative. Overall, there’s better options than Bova’s but they’ve locked down the title for best crème brûlée cannoli in Boston.
While mostly known for the wicked awesome gelato and wake-the-F-up shots of espresso, it’s the made-to-order cannolis at Caffé Paradiso we’re here to talk about today. These small, fresh, and fluffy creations are some of the best cannolis in Boston and they’re still under-the-radar — meaning you won’t be waiting in a line out the door to try one.
Parziale and Sons Italian Bakery
Parziale’s first opened in the 1920’s within shouting distance of Bova’s Bakery. Somehow, this Italian pastry and bread shop remains on Hidden Boston lists despite their incredible cannolis! While Parziale’s may not be a household name like Mike’s and Modern, once you try one of their cannolis you’ll understand how they made our list. Want to know how Parziale’s and Bova’s history intertwines?
In a shocking turn of events, we’re leaving the North End with the final contender for Boston’s best cannolis. While the Cannoli Bar is closed for the time being, the Cannoli Cart is open at the front of the Prudential Center on weekends.
Honorable Mention: Maria’s Pastry
While Maria’s Pastry may have closed its door in 2019 breaking the hearts of Bostonians everywhere, their cannoli legacy lives on. Maria’s served up simply delicious cannolis with a focus on traditional Italian ingredients. Can someone please check on Maria and let her know we miss her cannolis!?