Savoring Cannolis from Mike’s Pastry
When I told my neighbor Adam that I was traveling to Boston, the first thing he told me was “You have to try cannoli at Mike’s Pastry.” As booth a foodie and native of Massachusetts, I trusted his recommendation.
I made sure to leave room for dessert after our first lunch in Boston. My husband and I headed to the city’s North End and it wasn’t too difficult locating Mike’s among the slew of brick rowhouse cafés and pizzerias of Little Italy. The crowd gathered outside the establishment was a clear indicator that the shop is a local favorite.
The interior was swarming with people, but the lines moved fast and efficiently – plus I needed time to make up my mind. Thankfully there were paintings of all the different varieties on the wall behind the counter to help me choose, that is when I wasn’t distracted by display cases of other Italian desserts: giant boconnotto cream puffs, traditional cookies, and decadent slices of rum cake. Must…stay…focused.
I was staying with my best friend and her family which gave me an excuse to purchase a large assortment to split and share. At $4.00 a piece, they didn’t seem cheap, but they were much bigger than any I had eaten before. Cannolis aren’t my go-to treats of choice, but Mike’s didn’t disappoint. It’s not a surprise that a business that’s been making pastries since 1946 would have its recipes pretty perfected.
Mike’s Pastries makes its desserts from scratch, in-house every day. The secret blend of fresh ricotta and cream was balanced perfectly – not too sugary nor too dense. The handmade shell was flaky and crispy – no sogginess here. Even the ones we saved for later in the evening kept their form. When it came to flavors, I found myself to be a bit of a purist. Of all the ones I tasted, I gravitated towards the classics: chocolate mousse, chocolate chip, and plain ricotta. The elaborate versions like Oreo and peanut butter seemed to throw off the simplicity and delicacy of the cannoli.
If you have a sweet tooth and are in Boston’s Little Italy or Cambridge’s Harvard Square, definitely give Mike’s a try. I also noticed lots of other authentic-looking pasticceria in the neighborhood that I may have to try when I return. For me, there’s no such thing as too much dessert.
Where have you had amazing pastries? Leave your recommendations for other travelers below.
300 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113
There’s also a second branch at 11 Dunster Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Open Sunday thru Thursday, 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Open Friday thru Saturday, 8:00 am – 11:30 pm
Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of discovering the world. She recently relocated to Seoul, South Korea, where she hopes to explore some of Asia for the next few years. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as a freelance graphic designer. In her spare time, she contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, is an ambassador for FIG Clothing, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, instructs Zumba, practices yoga, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.