Cantina Italiana

4.6
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1687 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 1687 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
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Fantastic as always. Best restaurant in the North End

OT
Washington DC
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My family has been coming here for decades and there is a reason we keep coming back! The food is always amazing and the people could not be more friendly! Omar in particular was absolutely fantastic and took great care of us!

RM
San Francisco
6 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great place for authentic Italian-we will be back on future trips. Pastas and sauces all housemade.

JC
New England
6 reviews
Dined on November 30, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent service and very accommodating. Despite arriving an hour early for our reservation, they seated us very quickly and made us feel welcome.

JR
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great place . I have been coming here for years. One of the oldest established Italian restaurants in the North End. Muscles appetizer is incredible as a way to get it started!

LO
New England
7 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything was great! Outstanding service and food!

BC
Seattle
1 review
Dined on November 29, 2019
Overall4food5service5ambience3

We experienced attentive staff and fantastic food! The decor was cute if not somewhat dated (could use a spruce in certain areas :)) ... did not detract greatly from the experience!!

KD
1 review
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

A wonderful authentic Italian Resturant. It just had an old world field to it and the staff is just great! Highly recommend

OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 27, 2019
Overall4food4service4ambience3

It was good
Not great.

JT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This is our favorite restaurant in Boston's North End. We have been going there for over 15 years whenever we are in Boston (2-3 times per year). The food and service are consistently good. It has the feel of a popular neighborhood eatery. Be sure to try the Osso Bucco when they have it.

OT
1 review
Dined on November 23, 2019
Overall3food3service4ambience4

Server was fantastic great guy and extremly hepful
the food was all you would expect and nice presentation , calamari was ok but all else was very nice
reasonable price for the north end
Great historu as my wife used to go here as a child
the bar area was a little crowded to move in
adjust some stools

MM
Munich
40 reviews
Dined on November 22, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had an amazing family dinner this past weekend. I’m from out of town so I did a fair bit of research before booking.

Everything was perfect. Classic Italian restaurant - exactly what you would hope for in Boston's North End.

Men was varied and included everything you could imagine. Great variety of classics, as well as some more modern twists on the entrees. Pasta is all made in house.
Best veal parmigiana I have ever had - hand’s down!

The service was excellent. On a very busy Friday night, our table of eight was well taken care of!

Can’t wait to return!

OT
Dallas
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The food was excellent as always with fabulous service.

CL
New England
16 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2019
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Great table in the front. Service was very attentive and helpful. Used valet parking which sure makes life easier!

T
New England
7 reviews
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The staff were friendly, the manager and host team were very welcoming. The food was devine. Our server Omar too great care of us. Omar is a rockstar.

I
New England
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2019
Overall3food3service5ambience4

Pesto was too salty and Caesar salad tasted like mayo. Disappointed as it had good reviews. I am a foodie and can say that it was average. Staff was very friendly though!

MM
New England
4 reviews
Dined on November 15, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience5

An excellent experience all round. Food & service were outstanding. Met John the owner, great guy. If you're going to the North End, go there.

OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2019
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 on November 11, 2019
Overall3food2service4ambience3

Overpriced for mediocre food

A
1 review
Dined on November 9, 2019
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 on November 9, 2019
Overall5food5service5ambience4

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

CD
1 review
Dined on November 6, 2019
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
9 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
29 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.