Cantina Italiana

4.6
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1670 Reviews
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$31 to $50
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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 North End of Boston. We boast over 80 years of tradition in providing the best in homestyle Italian American cuisine, the freshest New England seafood, and unparalleled service and experience. Cantina Italiana's warm and charming 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!

Specials

Christmas Eve Special Menus & Offers

Join us for Christmas Eve dinner as we will be featuring a spectacular seafood menu in the Italian American tradition of the Feast of Seven Fishes! Our full dinner menu will also be available.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

New Year's Eve Special Menus & Offers

Join us to ring in the New Year as Cantina Italiana is accepting reservations for NYE dinner! Our full dinner menu is available as well as special features for the evening. Complimentary prosecco toast, party favors, and much more! Reserve early as space is limited and fills fast.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

What 1670 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
91% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined a day ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed our meal at Cantina Italiana. We were a party of five adults and found the ambiance perfect for us. The restaurant was a little busy (not overly crowded) but the noise level was still quiet enough for us to enjoy a lively conversation. The food was delicious. We had the chicken and broccoli dish in a white wine sauce. It was really good! Full of flavor and the pasta was cooked perfectly. I will definitely get this again. Cantina is a nice authentic Italian place with prices appropriate to the quality and quantity or food they serve! Would definitely recommend!

OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Overpriced for mediocre food

A
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

My husband and I love this place, good drinks, great food, excellent servers, you cannot beat it. It is loud so if you’re not willing to talk over people it may not be for you on a Saturday night. However the food is to die for! I’ve had several dishes and have never been disappointed. The drinks are strong and always tasty so that’s a bonus. I’ve never made it to dessert, due to fullness, but I’m sure that’s amazing too!

M
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

An excellent dining experience, just wha we wanted from eating in the north end! Will be back!

CD
1 review
Dined 7 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Awesome!!! Waiter was excellent. Homemade pasta was perfect.

KB
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience2

Great service, but the atmosphere was drab. The food was good. The pizza was fantastic, but the chicken parm was just the usual that you'd get anywhere. Still good, but nothing exceptional.

OT
Miami
15 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2019
Overall4food5service3ambience4

Great food. Slow service. Don't expect drink refills.

SD
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was wonderful except the noise level makes it hard to chat.

J
New England
19 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

The food was wonderful and the specials for the evening were really special. The service was good. The restaurant was typical North End crowded and very energetic (aka loud). We were meeting friends for an evening of good food and conversation and were pleased with this choice. The only drawback was that because they wanted the table to turn over to get more guests seated, we felt rushed by wait staff clearing the table as soon as we were finished (or before), asking to take our water glasses off the table, and bringing the check without asking about coffee or desert. Still a positive experience.

BE
Philadelphia
7 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

We’re from out of town. Took my newly vegetarian freshman son here for Parents Weekend. We were able to snag a late reservation on a busy Thursday night. Valet parking took the stress out of finding city parking. He didn’t want fancy Italian, just really good, simple, classic southern Italian comfort food. The polpette was delicious, the pasta was fresh. He got the ravioli. My husband got the veal parmigiana. Everybody was happy. This is a small intimate place with maybe 10 tables.The waiter was outstanding. Everybody was very happy.

JT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 24, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Anniversary celebration and going to see Lion King at the theater.

CT
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2019
Overall4food4service3ambience4

Food was amazing. Though we found the service slightly unusual - there were tables empty yet they tried to rush us out of the restaurant.

MM
New England
8 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

I have been coming to the Cantina for over 30 years. Simply the most consistent restaurant in the North end, 5 stars across the board every time. I got a chance to spend some time with John the new owner of the Cantina what a fantastic guy to talk with he really cares about the product he servers and the customers. Best of luck John!!

EF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Great food! Server was so nice! It was very busy and kind of loud but a great time. It was crowded when we went but were able to get drinks at the bar while we waited.

B
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fabulous birthday dinner. Food was amazing, waiter was probably the best waiter ever. Value was great. Loved it and will go back there.

H
New England
27 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience2

Let me start by saying that Cantina is my favorite restaurant in the North End. However if I have to judge only by last evening’s visit, I wouldn’t go back.
The food was as always good. I believe the problem was that they were extremely busy. That affected the service and the quality of some components of the meal. We were a party of 5 and were seated in a booth that is barely enough for 4. We struggled through the evening to be able to eat. The waiter never came to ask if we needed anything. We have to call out for water three times. We were never able to order bottles of wine because he never came on time. He barely explain the specials of the day. He was obviously tired or upset. One of the meals came too salty but we were never able to reach the waiter on time to complain. At the end all we wanted was to get out of the restaurant because it was so noisy and crowded that it became a nightmare. Again, too bad because I really love Cantina. The service has always been great. I will blame it on how busy the night was. However, we rather have our reservation declined because there is no space than having a bad experience coming in.

L
Charlotte
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience3

Great food just toooo loud! Bring ear plugs!

JD
New England
4 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We arrived right at the time of our reservation for six and were seated immediately. The service was fantastic and the food was Amazing. The Veal chop Parmigiana was outstanding as were the appetizers . No pressure to eat quickly and was One of our best north end experiences ! Highly recommended .

JF
1 review
Dined on October 13, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience4

Fantastic!! Our waiter was simply the best. Very memorable dinner with family.

B
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We reserved a table for 3 on Saturday evening of Columbus Weekend. The restaurant was crowded, but we were seated promptly. Our server was friendly and efficient. We ordered the antipasto which was delicious - best mozzarella we have ever had, and we ordered fried calamari which was tender and crispy. I had pollo Gino which was excellent, my husband had saltimbocca which was also excellent, and our grandson had veal chops parmigiana which he loved. The food was piping hot and delicious. We visited Boston over a year ago, and at that time we ate at Cantina Italiana; and we will surely dine there the next time we are in Boston.

DF
1 review
Dined on October 12, 2019
Overall3food3service3ambience2

Service was slow, place was not very clean (dirt splatters on the wall next to the table, which we had to try to ignore), but the worst part was that the food did not seem hot. Arancini was tasty, but only lukewarm. Same with the gnocchi. The server was pleasant, but she never came back to ask how anything was, so really no opportunity to discuss the temp of the food. It took forever to get our order in, but once we were finally served, we felt rushed, as if they were in a hurry to turn the table over. I think it's unforgivable if it's obvious a person is still eating (fork in hand, with food on their plate) and TWO different servers come by and ask if they can take your dish away. I've been here on more than one occasion, and while it's not ever been up to "fine dining" standards, it was reliable and good. This visit did not even meet those standards. Hoping it was just an off night.

GH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 10, 2019
Overall5food4service5ambience5

I would definitely recommend this restaurant. The service was exceptional drinks and food
were very good. I would like to thank Fillipo for a wonderful experience.

OT
New England
1 review
Dined on October 7, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

It was a great experience, the staff was great and super nice while dinning. Will be going back very soon.

ED
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service4ambience4

It was crowded and loud when I went but the food is absolutely worth it. It was so delicious!!!! Definitely recommend going.

Cantina Italiana
Responded on October 7, 2019

Thank you, we are humbled

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SD
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Had a delicious meal and server was excellent. We will be back

Cantina Italiana
Responded on October 7, 2019

Thank you!

Report
e
New England
139 reviews
Dined on October 5, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience3

Delicious food and best calimari we have ever had. Quite loud but you can hear your table

Cantina Italiana
Responded on October 7, 2019

We serve only domestic Calamari fresh from Montauk Bay, makes a huge difference. Thanks for noticing! Also working on the ambience, stay tuned.

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MB
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was so delicious!! The kitchen was so accommodating for a vegan and our service was super great. Definitely recommend.

OT
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall1food3service2ambience2

Huge letdown. Arrived 30 min early for reservation and was not seated till 45 min past reservation. Food was meh. Service was meh. Very loud. Feel like we got sucked into a tourist trap. :(

R
Dallas
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing food! Be sure you make reservations before and don’t go here if you are in a hurry. However, this place is well worth the wait and is in a neat part of Boston. Definitely highly recommend Cantina Italiana

KS
New England
1 review
Dined on September 28, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely amazing. The general manager was so wonderful! We had my 90 yr old mother visiting from Idaho and she was so kind and accommodating. She made our North End experience memorable. Our server, the sweet gal who kept our water glasses full, the amazing food equals one brilliant experience! Thank you!

JI
New England
55 reviews
Dined on September 26, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

I love this place. It’s just real. The food is great. The service is great. To me, his restaurant defines the North End.

BA
New England
3 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience5

I would definitely recommend Cantina Italiana to a friend, but I definitely do want to express my disappointment in how the restaurant overbooked so badly. We had to wait an entire hour before we were seated and the bar area was PACKED with other people waiting and made the restaurant feel very crammed and disorganized. I would suggest the restaurant to anticipate that not everyone eats in an hour, people like to sit and talk. They should take that into consideration, especially when all of this pressure is put onto the hostess and staff.

LS
New England
1 review
Dined on September 20, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great Historic restaurant. Kind staff and GREAT traditional Italian cuisine!

R
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 19, 2019
Overall4food5service4ambience4

9/19/19 Good friends visiting Boston & north end for first time. Could be best clams with white sauce we’ve ever had & a wonderful veal Marsala. Very reasonable lunch prices

OT
New England
29 reviews
Dined on September 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

OUTSTANDING. We had lunch here yesterday. Ten of us, all Italians, and we were all thrilled with both the table, the food, and the service (Omar!). Can't recommend it more highly!

OT
Raleigh
3 reviews
Dined on September 14, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent. The waiter was excellent. The hostess who spoke fluent Italian and Spanish was above excellent.

h
New England
17 reviews
Dined on September 13, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Love this restaurant!! Whenever we are in Boston, this is the place to go!!

TF
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on September 6, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Absolutely delicious food, professional and friendly staff, reasonable prices... a North End gem!

N
New England
6 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall3food5service2ambience3

Unfortunately we did not have good service. We were seated and after 10 mins the waitress came to ask if we had decided on our meals. But we hadn’t even got the menus yet. So we ordered drinks and got menus. After some time she came back and took our order. We ordered an antipasto and our meals. After about 30 mins our meals came out. We told her we hadn’t got our antipasto yet. She was very apologetic and offered to get it. But we decided to just cancel it. The food was delicious and we will go back. Hopefully it was just a very busy night.

m
New England
4 reviews
Dined on September 1, 2019
Overall3food4service1ambience3

I’ve been coming to the restaurant in the last couple years because I believe it’s the best Italian restaurant in Boston but they can not manage and deal with the crowd of people wanting to eat there. And it’s usually great. I made reservations 3months in advance to make sure I had reservations. I was getting my kid into a college. I understand it’s a busy weekend with college students rolling in but they should know and deal with it better. Our 7pm time turned into 7:20. Ok I understand. Then we couldn’t get drinks for 30min. The waiter who we have had before is great but he was running around so much trying to deal with other tables. The waiter never had time for you. He would constantly rush and we would have to order quickly. Very Understaffed. My veal chop parmesan was terribly dry. I had my whole family with me. What am I going to do, complain and make the whole evening terrible for my whole family. I sucked it up and dealt with everything so my family would be happy. I will start trying many of the other Italian restaurants now. I may try again but will go at 5pm instead of 7. What a shame.