Cantina Italiana

4.7
1542 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!
What 1542 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.3
ambience
4.5
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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PO
New England
2 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was our second time there and just as delicious as the first time!!

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MD
Los Angeles
32 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 3

Such great food. Sal treated me great. Great location in the heart of Hanover St./North End. The oldest of the existing restaurants.

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YT
New York Area
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 4

Food was ok. Service great. Fun Italian ambiance.

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OT
St. Louis
1 review
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Boston Marathon eve. Crowded, as expected, had reservations, but waited 45 minutes for a table. A bit noisy and no music in back area where we were seated. All staff were extremely polite and apologetic. Food was delicious! Spaghetti with little necks, chicken parmigiana and the Tiramisu was great. Enjoyed the Castello Banfi baby super Tuscan.

Will return again on a less busy night!

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Excellent service and food. They were very busy since it was Patriots Day weekend and Marathon weekend, and a Red Sox game and a bruins game the same day we were there. But they handled it well. No delays and the food was great.

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DG
1 review
Dined on April 13, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great atmosphere. Great service. Exceptional quality.

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SM
New England
1 review
Dined on April 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food, cosy atmosphere, friendly staffs! We love this restaurant! Hopefully, we will be able to visit once again.

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W
Key West
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Very pleasant, I’ll be back

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EE
1 review
Dined on April 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were observing lent so we had to order vegan dishes so they made us a custom made dish homemade fettuccini with olive oil and garlic tossed with broccoli asparagus spinach and mushroom and it was absolutely delicious!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on April 2, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 3

Reunion event. We each enjoyed our meal.

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OT
1 review
Dined on March 31, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent and the staff was very friendly and accommodating.

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

Seated at 9:05 for an 8:30 reservation. Meal was very below average for the North End, seemed liked it came out of the microwave. Dirty glasses, stale bread. Our least favorite of many North End experiences unfortunately. Our waiter was great and attentive (the one positive in the experience).

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S
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

I had not been to the Cantina in some years but all my previous experience had been excellent so I was disappointed with my recent dinner. It was a mixed bag. The service was spotty, waiter did not take drink orders and then brought them half way through the meal. Several entrees in the party were very good but the evening special was strictly OK and the chicken saltimboca was over cooked.

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MR
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 4ambience 3

Definitely a "classic" restaurant. Family style Italian in a rather seasoned building. Having dined many times in the Northend I don't see the lure as the food was mediocre. Service was very good, however.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on March 30, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Bad pretend Italian food prepared without any attention like many in this neighborhood..

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CB
Sacramento
8 reviews
Dined on March 29, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very friendly, familial atmosphere. Tight quarters but place at table to hang jackets. Waiter was very nice and attentive. Food was outstanding and very authentic Italian. I wish I lived in this part of the country so I could return to try other items!

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S
1 review
Dined on March 28, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 5

I wanted to love Cantina Italiana as the reviews I read before booking the reservation seemed mostly good. Unfortunately, I was not happy with the meal. I thought the bread, arancini and caprese appetizers were wonderful. Actually, the arancini was phenomenal. However, the meal I got with chicken in a wine sauce has the chewiest chicken ever. I picked out all the chicken because it tasted inedible and gross. It's too bad because the host and waitress were extremely sweet.

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PB
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on March 27, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

Staff is wonderful. Food is great.

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AD
1 review
Dined on March 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We had Omar as our waiter. He was well versed on the menu item, described the specials well; served, refilled, refreshed bread, came with olive oil, cheese, etc. lightening speed; and was just plain charming!
We will be back and ask for him ahead of time next visit! Our family is Southern Italian and food items and ambiance was as close to grandma's as we could get!!!

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OT
Chicago
1 review
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good food good service!

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KM
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

Each member of our party had the same comment. Fantastic meal!

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t
New York Area
23 reviews
Dined on March 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Incredible. Food was absolutely wonderful. Prego!

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G
Cincinnati
1 review
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We had the best experience here!! The food and the staff were very authentically Italian. The interior is not as fancy and upscale as some other restaurants in Boston, but the owner and staff seemed to all be family and it reminded us very much of the restaurants in Italy. They were very warm and welcoming!! I haven’t had a cannoli that good since I was in Sicily!! We will definitely go back the next time we’re in Boston!!

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RW
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined on March 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Lovely people and excellent food.

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B
New York Area
1 review
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

WHEN YOU GO THERE YOU FEEL LIKE FAMILY...From the warm welcome of the host, to the attentive wait staff. The food is also incredible!

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MW
New England
8 reviews
Dined on March 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious. The waiter was very attentive.

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T
New York Area
39 reviews
Dined on March 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Great evening good food and great service.

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JR
New England
3 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a wonderful dinner there last night. Their sangria is one of the best I’ve had. We got the meat aracini to start which was phenomenal. I got the lasagna which I thoroughly enjoyed. Everyone at the table was very happy with their meals and I’d return in a heartbeat.

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JL
New England
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was spectacular and the service was excellent, would definitely go back

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MM
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

First time eating here but won't be my last. Had reservations for 7 and sat down at 7:02. Our server was knowledgeable and attentive without hover or rushing us.

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m
1 review
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food and friendly staff. pricing in line with others in the area.

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JW
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 3

Never fails to disappoint. The Best Bolognese ever!!

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OT
New England
2 reviews
Dined on March 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent service and food

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KO
New England
1 review
Dined on March 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We love Cantina Italiana. It has lots of old school charm, while still providing new dishes. (For example, I was able to get a beautiful salmon and spinach dish so that I could stay on my diet while the rest of the family enjoyed a lot of pasta.) The food is fabulous and it is a place where you will immediately feel at home. Our server Omar provided exceptional service. We were here on a Sunday for this visit and on Sunday afternoons you will use the dinner menu. But, on Saturday afternoons they offer the lunch menu which is another great value. This is my favorite place in the North End.

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FW
1 review
Dined on March 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was very nice. The owner is awesome !!! So friendly !! Food was great, will definitely be back.

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z
1 review
Dined on March 1, 2019
Overall 3food 4service 3ambience 2

The wait staff were informal and engaging. The furniture and decor were haphazard and dated. The appetizer was tasty, the salad was fresh -- but unfortunately mine contained bits of plastic wrap. The entrees as a whole were well prepared -- a little salty -- but with a good balance. We sampled 3 dessert offerings: the cannoli was small but had subtle fruit flavors in the filling, the tiramisu and almond cakes were fresh and sizable portions. The wine list was pricey.

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KA
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Food was fantastic and service was spectacular. From the greeting at the door to the valet at the end of the night it was all such a great overall experience. I would absolutely visit again and recommend this place to anyone in the area. It’s also a short walk to Mikes Pastry’s if you’re interested!

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RM
Indiana
1 review
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Very friendly and efficient staff. Our waiter Michael was quite knowledgeable on the menu and we were happy we took his recommendations for the appetizer and entrees.

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a
Seattle
7 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

This place is extremely popular, and it does a good job for what it is it. Olde school Italian. Think huge portions and solid, if not refined even a hint of a modern twist, Italian food.

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TG
New England
2 reviews
Dined on February 23, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

If you're looking for an exceptional Italian restaurant in Boston's North End, the Cantina doe not disappoint! I was first introduced to the Cantina more than 30 years ago, and it has always delivered exquisite authentic Italian with excellent service. A true gem. My favorite North End eatery, hands down!

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