Cantina Italiana

4.3
2015 Reviews
$31 to $50
Italian
An iconic tradition in Boston's "Little Italy", Cantina Italiana serves the tastes that make the North End famous. Started in 1931, Cantina Italiana is the oldest restaurant in the historic North End of Boston. We boast over 90 years of tradition in providing the best in homestyle Italian American and authentic southern Italian cuisine, the freshest New England seafood, and unparalleled service and experience. Cantina Italiana's warm, charming, and traditional atmosphere gives our restaurant a relaxed setting to enjoy you meal amongst the most important parts of your dining and drink experience: family, friends, and of course...food! Enjoy and cheer among us as we would at home: Mangia, Beve, e Buona Salute!

Safety precautions

Cleaning & Sanitizing
  • Surfaces sanitized between seatings
  • Common areas deep cleaned daily
  • Digital, disposable or sanitized menu provided
  • Sanitizer or wipes provided for customers
  • Sealed or wrapped utensils used
Protective Equipment
  • Waitstaff wear masks
  • Diners must wear masks unless eating or drinking
Screening
  • Sick staff prohibited in the workplace
What 2015 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.3based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.1
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Always a favorite of mine. Took some family here who are from out of town and they said it was the best dinner they’ve had in Boston.

MD
MichaelD
1 review
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great table outdoors with a friendly staff and amazing food

M
Maryk
New England
6 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food3service4ambience3

We were orginally supposed to sit inside for the 6 of us and were stuffed in the back in a booth. Which normally would've been fine, but we up and left and asked to be seated outside, which they accomadated. First whatever that smell was out back was not pleasant and if we couldn't have sat outside we'd have eaten elsewhere. Smelled like mold/mildew carpeting or something closer to the back of the restaurant, very unpleasant, and it wasn't just me, all 6 of us could smell it. Pleasantly, we sat outside, the food was good, the server, Matt, was excellent, friendly personable and accomodating. We had the special app with Speck Burratta, roasted peppers and artichokes, all 6 had pasta dishes, no one was disappointed and 3 of us had drinks, also very good. Overall a good experience, minus the unpleasant smell inside.

PO
PatrickO
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall4food5service4ambience4

Food is always great at Cantina Italiana
Love the outdoor seating

h
hannahr
New York Area
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall2food3service2ambience3

We arrived on time for our 8:15 reservation but waited over 30 minutes to be seated. The restaurant was packed and very loud. Once we were seated the service was fairly quick but not above average. Good was very average. I got the carbonara and it was dry and room temperature.

j
jimmy
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall3food3service3ambience3

Hostess, who may have been owner, was extremely rude to everyone that was checking in. She was especially rude to people with children (and I did not bring children so I am not being biased). It seemed that she did not want children taking up space on a busy weekend night. Tons of Italian restaurants in the area. Next time I will try another.

DM
DMVW
New England
2 reviews
Dined 5 days ago
Overall4food4service5ambience3

Let me say that I would not want to be in the restaurant business right now. Between the ridiculous prices for food and the labor shortage, it has to be hell on wheels. The staff at Cantina Italiana do their very best to keep the prices reasonable and the waitstaff is pleasant and helpful. Even our hostess who has to keep the throngs of diners at bay in the bustling North End had a certain charm in her abruptness. The quality of the food was very good with very large portions. There are many restaurants to chose from in the area but I am glad we chose CI. We will be returning and hopefully will be seated indoors.

CM
ChristineM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Our meals were excellent, and waiter was attentive. We had reservations and they sat us right away. We’ll definitely be back! Great experience!

M
vipMars
New England
13 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great night and Omar as well as Maria were the best.
The food from the appetizers to the main course was delicious with the portion sizes being plenty to satisfy the largest appetite.

Thank you Cantina for making our Friday night exceptional.

-Mario C.

K
Kelvin
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on September 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cantina is my favorite restaurant in Boston and I frequent it every time I am in town. The service is great (Omar is the best) and the food is wonderful. Try their Bombolotti - it is so good! Best arancini around.

KH
KevinH
New England
5 reviews
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Our first time at the Cantina. Food was very good, not necessarily the best in the North End, but the prices were very reasonable, so can sacrifice “excellent” for very good food. We had a lot of trouble finding parking which made us very late for our reservation but once we arrived we were seated immediately. Since I was worried we would lose our table, I was pleasantly surprised (we literally spent 1/2 hour looking for parking and they still took us that late). Hostess was quite the character. Our waiter was excellent, good pace and not rushed. Overall a great dinner/experience and would come again.

K
Keam
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Italian food. We ate outside which was lovely and pleased as it looked crowded inside. We had reservations snd were told we needed to wait 20 min. But got seated quickly regardless. The cannoli was the best I have ever had!

PS
PatrickS
1 review
Dined on September 11, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Just stopped on busy Sunday evening. Very crowded. But the hostess got us a table immediately. Right outside. Our Waitress Fatima could not have been more charming and helpful! Wonderful dinner! If we are in Boston again! We wouldn’t hesitate to stop in!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on September 6, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Terrible food

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food and experience

S
vipSteven
Portland
14 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall2food4service3ambience1

Host (owner?) was super stressed out and spent most of her time yelling at customers and complaining about having too many reservations. Waited 40 minutes past reservation time for table. Not a relaxing dinner. Food was good. But not worth the stress.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on September 5, 2021
Overall3food4service3ambience2

Food was decent but overpriced for the portions. Even with reservations we waited at least 20 minutes to be seated and then it was another 45 minutes to get our appetizers and another long wait for our meals to come. Our waitress was nice and apologetic. The hostess was very loud but nonetheless entertaining.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on September 4, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience4

They were incredibly busy but the food was amazing and the hostess went above and beyond to help us feel great

MM
MichaelM
Atlantic City
1 review
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Highly recommend -- I am from a Italian family 2nd generation and this restaurant is authentic. If any issues ask for Maria -- problem solver just be nice.

MS
MarkS
New England
11 reviews
Dined on August 28, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience2

Excellent food ! Place could use a remodel
But the food was super!

N
Nammu
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Food was great! Loved our waitress :) great attitude! However, the bread was kind of stale. Would’ve loved fresh bread. The main entrees were fantastic though. Thank you!

JM
JonathanM
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Out of towner here. The food portions were worth the price. The service was immaculate and it was very clean! I will suggest to you that you arrive early or place a reservation because this is a very busy restaurant!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 27, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Fantastic. Would go back again!

S
Shamzi
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall5food5service3ambience5

Fun outdoor dining experience with great food. Service was impersonal, so longer wait if you need something, but I appreciate the privacy.

B
Beth
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on August 24, 2021
Overall2food2service3ambience3

Sad to say that the food wasn't as good as in the past. Waiter was nice, but won't be going back for some time.

RW
RodW
London
2 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This venue has the ambience of an authentic Italian local restaurant. Service was friendly and efficient, food was excellent. We would definitely go back next time we are in Boston

BJ
BetsyJ
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on August 22, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience1

Upon arrival, the hostess was not pleasant. The tables are booth like and very tight and uncomfortable A party more than 4 is too much. That all said, the most important thing is the food, It was terrible. The plain sauce with basil, was a heavy meat sauce. The veal parm was not breaded, but a veal chop also with meat sauce dumped on top. The only saving grace to our dinner was a nice wine we enjoyed. I honestly don't know how this place got the rating they got, and I'm sorry we used that to pick Cantina Italiana. With all the places in the North End, this is a bad choice. Tired, cramped, and poor food.

m
mommy3
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on August 21, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience3

We have been to Boston multiple times and always make it a point to come to the North End for Italian food. Our waiter was authentic Italian. Being Italian as well we didn’t need any explanation of the menu. Everything we had from the fritta calamari to the vitello Gino was delicious. No complaints here. Can’t review the desserts cause we were full.
Wine selection was nice as well both my husband & I had Chianti wine. Our 2 teen age girls always enjoy a good Shirley Temple. Our young adult son goes for a sprite.

Would definitely recommend this restaurant

ME
ME23
New England
1 review
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience1

The service was sub-par. The food was alright. I asked the waiter for a straw and he put it in my glass of wine then used his bare hands to take it out and put it in my water glass right in front of me. The best thing we had was the garlic bread to be honest.

B
vipBrent
Nashville
4 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic dinner, as always

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We are visiting Boston for long weekend. This restaurant came highly recommended. Our meals were fabulous and service was fantastic. I will definitely recommend this place to anyone visiting Boston.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on August 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this place, great food and great staff. Great service

TW
TiffanyW
New York Area
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful, worth the wait! The hostess and wait staff were incredibly friendly and attentive.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall1food5service1ambience5

The service was terrible. I had a 8 o’clock reservation for 8 people and we waited almost an hour for our table, THAT WE HAD A RESERVATION FOR!! The hostess made it seem like it was MY fault for inviting 8 people to dinner. They didn’t apologize or do anything to show they cared. Their food is excellent, but don’t go there with a large crowd.

B
Bostonian
New England
2 reviews
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

This restaurant was very busy. Even with reservations, we had to wait to be called. The staff was very busy and we had to wait for our water and food to serve for over 20 minutes. Our table was clean and the staff friendly. The food was good, but not outstanding.

CG
CaterinaG
New England
1 review
Dined on August 14, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My grandmother used to take me to the Cantina when I was a little girl. It was always one of my favorites. My most recent trip to the Cantina was absolutely phenomenal. I had a large party of 12, and the owner and staff went above and beyond to accommodate everyone. I can’t express my gratitude enough. As someone who grew up in the North End due to family ties, I recommend the Cantina to everyone. The food is authentic and delicious and the staff are absolutely fantastic. I can’t wait to go back again.

N
vipNewport
New England
18 reviews
Dined on August 13, 2021
Overall4food3service3ambience4

The pasta dish was excellent and was very happy to have the sausage on the side since dining partner doesn’t eat pork. Nicely split for us

The margarita pizza was different from others we’ve had. Ricotta cheese added and just sauce. Took it home and added spices, and was tasty reheated

I’d recommend this restaurant for its ambiance and history, and homemade pasta dish

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Outdoor dining on a date night with a nice Cabernet.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall3food5service3ambience1

They seemed busy and overwhelmed with the sudden downpour but we didn’t get asked for our order for 40 mins. It’s my third time there and it is delicious and I will definitely be going back! I think it was just an off day.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on August 9, 2021
Overall2food2service1ambience2

Advertised that they were participating in restaurant week but were not. Not enough staff, service was very poor.

FAQs

You can order delivery directly from Cantina Italiana using the Order Online button. Cantina Italiana also offers takeout which you can order by calling the restaurant at (617) 723-4577.

Cantina Italiana is rated 4.3 stars by 2015 OpenTable diners.

Yes, you can generally book this restaurant by choosing the date, time and party size on OpenTable. Due to local restrictions, this restaurant may not be accepting reservations at the moment.