Cantina Italiana
Cantina Italiana

Cantina Italiana

  • Dining Style: Casual Dining
  • Website: http://www.cantinaitaliana.com/
  • Phone: 6177234577
  • Hours of Operation:
    Lunch: Monday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00pm; Dinner: Monday - Saturday: 4:00pm - 11:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 10:30pm
  • Payment Options: AMEX,Diners Club,Discover,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Executive Chef: Charles Colella
  • Dress Code: Casual Dress
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Entertainment, Non-Smoking Area, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Takeout, Wine
  • Entertainment: We are offering a special menu on SUNDAYS from 12:00pm-10:30pm, 2 courses for $25.00.
  • Special Events: "2 for $25 Sunday Special" Cantina Italiana will be offering a set menu on Sundays from Noon-10:30 pm. An appetizer and an entree all for $25 per person.

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Fleet Street
  • Public Transit: Closest stops are North Station and Haymarket
  • Parking: Valet
  • Parking Details: We offer valet parking after 4:00pm daily. The cost is $20 per car. We also validate @ the Parcel 7 garage near Haymarket Square.
A word from Cantina Italiana
A tradition in Boston’s historic North End. We have been serving generations of families,locals and tourists in the North End since 1931. People crave the taste of our food. Some say their mouths water just thinking about eating here. That’s why when we change even the slightest thing,they let us know it. Some things should stay just as they are.
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Cantina Italiana reviews from OpenTable diners
93 reviews since May 1, 2014
Overall Rating4.3
  • Food4.4
    Service4.4
  • Ambiance3.8
    Noise LevelModerate
92% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
neighborhood gem (55)special occasion (33)good for groups (29)fit for foodies (28)romantic (23)kid-friendly (17)notable wine list (13)great for lunch (8)hot spot (7)vibrant bar scene (3)late-night find (3)scenic view (1)Show More
  • Over sauced
    bostonflyboyVIP
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Yesterday I had a wonder pasta dish that I raved about: broken up fennel sausage, rabe, with a light sauce that just coated the rigatoni. Here the pasta with salmon and peas was totally over sauced. Too much,too rich and just too much pasta. The sauce overpowered the salmon, which was surprisingly tender in same bites. There are too many other good italian restaurants that prepare pasta dishes with just the right mix of pasta. intriguing ingredients and sauce to draw me back here.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • One word -- Bombolotti
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/24/2014
    This was the second time I've been to Cantina Italiana. The last time was probably 3 or 4 years ago (I don't live in the Boston area), but I couldn't forget their signature homemade pasta - Bombolotti - which is long uncut wagon wheel pasta. This is the dish I had both times and loved it! Straight from the menu: "Bombolotti alla Buongustaia - Homemade Bombolotti pasta, tossed with spicy Italian sausage, fresh basil and marinara sauce, topped with parmigiano and fresh goat cheese, baked to perfection." Many of the pasta types are homemade. Everyone in my party of 6 was happy with their choices ranging from seafood pasta to gnocchi.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A night out
    ParrinoNightout
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    Had a great time and really enjoyed the great food.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time ... Will go back
    CathyVIP
    Dined on 8/23/2014
    The food and service were both OUTSTANDING! The restaurant is dated but it almost added to the charm. We would go back for the great food. Very casual dining
    Special Features:
    good for groups, hot spot, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Shecky
    Shecky
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    Have never had a bad meal at this place. Had dinner there Friday night, 8/22. I had Veal Saltimboca. Absolutely delicious. My companion had Veal Parm. Also delicious. Service was superb, as always. There are a lot of newer, fancier Italian restaurants to go to in the North End, but we prefer the Cantina. It never disappoints.
    Special Features:
    romantic, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food as always!
    BobO
    Dined on 8/20/2014
    We absolutely enjoyed our dinner at Cantina Italiana. We were celebrating my daughters last day of interning at the statehouse and wanted to have dinner at a place we knew would be great. The wait staff was very attentive right from greeting us to explaining the outstanding specials for the evening and making sure we had everything we needed. The lasagna is a favorite and did not disappoint. The seafood ravioli special which was recommended by our waiter was delicious beyond my expectations. We can always count on a memorable experience when we visit the Cantina....
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great dinner
    JXP70
    Dined on 8/17/2014
    Last minute reservations for 6 people. Food and service were both great. Veal parm was excellent. No trendy stuff here.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    everything from food to service was very good.shrimp appetizer was very good and different.two different veal dishes were excellent.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Food!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2010
    Dined on 8/9/2014
    Very good food and service was great. everyone was so friendly!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    This was my fourth visit and every time it has been excellent. The bolegnes is wonderful!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, scenic view
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • AWSOME food and service
    Pauldigi
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Loved the service. Third time going in past 6 months. The broccolirabe was AWSOME. Gluten fee pene tasted like regular pasta and loved the sauce and sausages with it. Wine selection was decent. They had two nice Sauvignon Blancs to choose from. Chianti Classico reserva always a good standby. Omar was a terrific and very attentive waiter. Only problem was the noise level as we were seated next to a party of 10.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Tourist Trap
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008VIP
    Dined on 7/31/2014
    This is a TOURIST TRAP. There are plenty of other good options that are much better and reasonably priced. Average cost of a dish is 20$ and the price does not match the quality of the food. It's not bad but its not anything I'd write home about. The waiter got my order wrong and tried to blame me. When I placed the order he repeated what I said and yet blamed me for the mistake. He wasn't a jerk about it but he could have owned up to it. I don't think I will be going back. I was offered the dinner that came out mistakenly to be packed. When I left the restaurant I never got it. Guess they changed their mind.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Classic North End Spot
    Ctowntransplant
    Dined on 7/29/2014
    Cantina Italiana was the PERFECT place for dinner with out of town guests to show them what the traditional North End was all about. Great food - OUTSTANDING service from Andrew - reasonable prices and a good wine list. Couldn't have been happier!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Was Highly Recommended
    TiffanyB
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    This restaurant was recommended by our tour guide after our tour of Boston. The food was very good. The service was excellent and the ambiance was very authentic for Little Italy. Our only con was the Calamari. Ugh! You just cannot serve chewy rubberband calamari when so many restaurants out there get it right. This restaurant got Calamari very wrong. Such a shame since Calamari is a family favorite of ours and we rarely get bad Calamari. The Lasagna was exceptional. The Veal very tender and flavorful. The seafood pasta dishes were amazing. We really enjoyed this restaurant and would recommend it to all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good traditional Italian
    Tlev
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    With all the newer upscale Italian restaurants in the North End (many of which I love btw) it is great that Cantina Italiana has held to a their more traditional feel and menu. It is a really comfortable place that reminds me of the great Italian places my parents would take me when I was little where my dad would talk Italian to the staff it felt like an extended family dinner. The food is very good (freshly made pasta, more than solid sauce, nice wine list) and like I said, the atmosphere is relaxing and very welcoming. It's the kind of place to go to when you want good traditional Italian food with the family or friends without.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Jackie
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    thing was great, we arrived much earlier than our reservations but they still took us without issue.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Lunch on a Sunday was not busy.
    luv2dineout
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Service was great. Food was ok, but not as good as other North End restaurants we have tried. No free refills on soda...$2 each adds up with thirsty kids. When you pay $20+ per meal they could at least give you a free refill.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2012VIP
    Dined on 7/12/2014
    We eat here several times a year (at least 15x) and have never been disappointed in service or the meals.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Not bad.
    mike492
    Dined on 7/8/2014
    I was looking for an old-school North End dining experience. Not the new, trendy, hour-wait, latest Big Thing restaurants. That's what I got. Relatively quiet. Staff was very welcoming, friendly and helpful with suggestions. I ordered the Bistecca di Manzo, hoping for steak with an Italian spin. I got a so-so steak and mashed potatoes for $33. I ordered it rare, and it came out fine. Just a bit gristly and more fat on it than needed for the flavor. Next visit I'll try the chicken parm. My buddy had the veal parm and said it was ok, but nothing to rave about.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Skip the tourist spots
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/5/2014
    Great dinner without the tourist mobs. Skip the lines and you'll have a great meal here. Authentic. Good service. Quaint.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • First time but not the last!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/4/2014
    Great atmosphere; an attentive waiter and delicious food! Large portions and everyone sampled each others dishes. We agreed that they were ALL good! Can't make a bad choice here. I would certainly recommend this restaurant for anyone who wants authentic Italian food at a responsible price in a great environment!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great food, great server!
    ChrisVIP
    Dined on 7/3/2014
    The food is delicious, but I especially want to thank our server, Omar. Simply put, he is the best server we have ever had, hands down! I felt like we were old friends by the time our meal was over.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Business lunch
    dinner4two
    Dined on 6/30/2014
    The occasion was a business lunch and Cantina Italiana worked perfectly . The air conditioning was the perfect, the wait staff attentive and informative and ambience relaxed for a three hour lunch. Not a crowd of tourists ........old school North End Italian !!!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for lunch, late-night find
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Favorite restaurant!!!
    Jaswasey
    Dined on 6/28/2014
    Food here is traditional Italian & delicious! Good size portions. Comfortable atmosphere.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A Great Evening
    OpenTable Diner Since 2007VIP
    Dined on 6/25/2014
    I am so happy to report that Cantina Italiana is back! The last time I was here was an unpleasant experience but is spite of that, I still brought a colleague from Denver here for dinner. The service was outstanding, the food delicious - everything that I remembered from previous years. Will be going back next week! I still wish they had a full bar, but it remains a North End destination.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • We loved it!
    BostonNewbie
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Everything about this place is wonderful. Our waiter, Omar, provided expert service. His recommendatons were spot on. The food was incredible -- possibly the best pasta I've ever had. My husband had the chef's special risotto with scallops and loved it. The chef's special antipasto plate was truly special. Get there early. By 7:30 it was noisy and crowded. This is an old school gem amidst hundreds of other Italian restaurants.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem, hot spot
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Never experienced this before
    Arett
    Dined on 6/14/2014
    I have never been charged for iced tea refills in a restaurant before. The food was Good food but when you get a small glass and then are charged for a refill l'll go somewhere else next time.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Wonderful dinner
    Elsa
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Tired of all the hyped restaurants in North End, where people are endlessly lining up, we found this wonderful Italian restaurant on Hanover street which, after the Union Oyster Bar, appeared to be the oldest restaurant in Boston! Not only was the service outstanding, also the food was excellent. This place deserves more recognition!
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2004VIP
    Dined on 6/7/2014
    Food was fabulous and our waiter was fabulous, but the ambience......not good.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • great food. too busy
    jd37
    Dined on 5/31/2014
    Food wzs great, the place was packed, very noisy, service suffered.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it!
    Mevita
    Dined on 5/30/2014
    Everything about our experience here was wonderful--and I'm picky about Italian food. I can see why it's been a fixture in the north end for almost a century!
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, fit for foodies, romantic, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • authentic Italian food
    Hides
    Dined on 5/23/2014
    I felt like I was reading in a joint in the 1970s. Did and servings were impeccable! Beer list was not great but the wine list was extensive.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Will visit again when in town
    OpenTable Diner Since 2013
    Dined on 5/18/2014
    Loved this place! Very accommodating and food was scrumptious! We had a large group celebrating a college graduation and everyone enjoyed. We will visit again when back in town. My only complaint was that the bar was very small and selection was extremely limited. Otherwise, I would recommend this restaurant to all.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great service !
    BostonItalian
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We travel and dine a lot. This was my first trip to Boston. My husband wanted to treat me to the same kind of experience with Italian food he had. This restaurant was exactly what he was looking for! The food was homemade and Good. The service made the experience! We made a reservation for 830 and were running 30 minutes late. I tried to change the time on open table but it wasn't possible as they were booked. My husband called and told the hostess she said on see you when you get here. The place was packed and there was a line waiting. Before we had our drinks we were seated. We had Andrew as a server he was very attentive and informative along with a great personality. Andrew is one of the best servers you will find!
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Graduation Day 2
    blueboy
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We had to change our reservation time because we were waiting for my son to arrive from NY. When we did arrive at the changed reservation time, we had to wait for about a half hour. I'm sure this is the norm for the North End of Boston. Two of us had a pasta dish and two had veal. The Bombolotti was truly an original--I enjoyed. Everyone was happy with their entrees and the calamari appetizer. The waitress was helpful and the restaurant had a certain charm. We had a booth, and there was ample room.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem, notable wine list
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Loved it except for the noise level
    TheRoseVIP
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    We do plan on returning here, but we'll seek a night when it isn't so busy as the noise level was outta sight! We had to yell to one another across the table. They could use some acoustic tiling on the ceiling. The food was great, the service was terrific.
    Special Features:
    kid-friendly, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Frozen Ravioli
    Genia
    Dined on 5/17/2014
    The staff at this restaurant were great. However the food was lacking. I ordered the Ravioli. The actual ravioli itself tasted like it came from the supermarket frozen food aisle. There was very little flavor. The sauce was also lacking in flavor. My companion ordered chicken with ziti in a white cream sauce. The flavors in this were bland as well. The restaurant seems lovely if you plan to sit at the bar and order drinks but I would recommend trying other options in North End.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Nothing special
    bbq222
    Dined on 5/16/2014
    That we were able to get a reservation with no problem on a Friday night should have been an indicator. To be fair, we recently relocated to New England from Dallas, one of the premier restaurant cities in the country. Over the last 2 months our dining experiences have left much to be desired and we hoped Boston could offer something more worthwhile, but our search continues. Food was fair to poor. The Saltimbocca di Pollo was so overcooked it was akin to shoe leather. The Ravioli Ripieni di Ricotta had a tangy tomato sauce with a nice bite, but the pasta was overcooked. The lasagna was good as was the Pollo Abruzzese, though neither were worth writing home about. We were pleased with the service and ambiance, though not likely to return.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Solid Meal with Good Service
    NymovingVIP
    Dined on 5/12/2014
    The food was typical of any Little Italy neighborhood restaurant in any large city with one......nothing to complain about....the food was good....the service was good (even though the server forgot to order our 2nd-course salad).....nothing EXCELLENT.....nothing disappointing....I'd go back & have another GOOD meal.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Spot for Special Occasion
    chompers
    Dined on 5/10/2014
    The food here is outstanding but not flashy. This is genuine southern Italian food. I grew up in a southern Italian family and the food here is spot on. The ambience is the same as hanging out at my grandmother's house. Well kept but not flashy. I took my parents here for dinner for a special occasion and they loved it. Service was excellent and very attentive. Food was ordered and delivered in a timely (but not rushed - I hate being sped through a meal) manner. The owner also owns Fiore which is down the street, another great spot. Pricewise, this place is very reasonable for the portions you get. There are a lot of other great places in the North End, but this one is the most true representation of what the NE is all about.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate