Cantina Italiana

4.5
1993 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 1993 people are saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
96% of people would recommend it to a friend
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K
Katherine
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Delicious, if a bit loud. You need to have all members of your party at the restaurant in order to be seated

CM
CarolM
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful North End dining. Enjoyed outdoor seating, every dish we ordered, and the overall ambiance. Highly recommended.

MT
MichaelT
Charlotte
1 review
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Food was terrific and excellent service. Atmosphere of the restaurant was also top class. Large portions and such good flavor. I highly recommend this in the North End.

GA
GAETANOC
Charleston
4 reviews
Dined 6 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Good as always. I have not been there in more than five years. Glad to go back.

LD
LindaD
Charleston
17 reviews
Dined on July 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cantina Italiana is our favorite Italian restaurant in Boston. So whenever we are there for a visit dinner there is a must. We are never disappointed. Food is always great. Niro our
server was very nice.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Minneapolis
2 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was amazing! Caprese made a great app & we loved the lasagna! Great wine and espresso martinis. Service A+++

GF
GregFromToronto
Toronto
5 reviews
Dined on July 24, 2021
Overall3food3service2ambience2

Average. Lots of other choices in the city foe the same price.

RC
vipRoxanneC
Tampa
9 reviews
Dined on July 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We were recommended to this restaurant by our hotel. It was wonderful. The server was honest about selections and our meal choices were excellent. Would definitely go back.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food5service4ambience5

For some reason they told OpenTable that I no-showed which I didn’t. My date was late, but I was there at the reserved time (830pm EST), and they were fine with me sitting at the bar until she got there, and then they sat us and we had a nice meal. Not sure why they reported this as a no-show but I have the credit card statement to prove, otherwise very nice dinner tonight

p
pandb2
Miami
31 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food4service3ambience2

It was a very busy evening in the North End. Our reservation was for 8:00 pm and we arrived early and were seated. However, the restaurant was full and the kitchen and staff were behind. All in all, the food was excellent but we waited almost an hour for it. Will return on a less-crowded evening.

F
Foodie22
New England
17 reviews
Dined on July 21, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

This is a comfortable authentic Italian establishment. Our party of four sat in a large comfortable booth inside but they also have an outside patio. The food was excellent - although the menu can vary slightly from the menu on the website. Service was very good. We enjoyed our dinner. If you are looking for a genuine North End experience, the Cantina is the place!

RB
RileyB
1 review
Dined on July 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

super nice server. amazing food. loved it! definitely recommend if ur in the area

JD
JohnD
New England
32 reviews
Dined on July 18, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My wife and I shared the veal chop parmigiana.. it was large enough to do so, and came with a luscious bolognese sauce and a bombolini pasta. We paired it with a side of the mushrooms. trio and garlic bread. Really tasty. We had a class of red wine each.. The meal, including, tax and a tip, came to about 100. It was definitely worth it.

D
Delicious617
New England
2 reviews
Dined on July 17, 2021
Overall1food5service5ambience5

We went here for my wife’s Birthday and while the food was great the overall experience was not great. The woman working at the outdoor desk told me check in for the reservation was at the bar which it was not it ended up being at the outdoor desk. The same lady came up to me when I was going back to the check in and grabbed me very inappropriately. I asked for a manager and the worker I asked introduced me to Omar as a manager. Omar was very apologetic but the lady seemed to not care at all. When we finally checked in for our reservation the workers out there were apologetic. My point is if you are going to spend $$$ on a nice night out don’t roll the dice on possibly getting a lady who is going to be rude with unwelcome touching. It’s sad because for special dinners this was our place for the past 6 years and now it’s not.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, great staff. Amazing!

OT
vipOpenTable Diner
Seattle
34 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience3

The place is very crowded, many tables in a single small room, very tight to seat, and because of that is very noise. The food was average, nothing out of the ordinary, but I would say that the service was excellent, our waitress did the best she could to help us!

EC
EmilyC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

So wonderful!!! Highly recommend. Food is excellent and staff is wonderful!!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on July 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food, excellent service

S
vipSquagg
New England
6 reviews
Dined on July 15, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

This is our favorite place in the North End and it got even better last night. Our waitress, Maria, was great in recommending apps and dinners.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall5food5service4ambience5

Excellent authentic food and generous portions. Will definitely come back.

MC
MichaelC
Sacramento
2 reviews
Dined on July 13, 2021
Overall3food3service1ambience4

Food was Ok, but nothing special. Service was slow and servers inattentive. Overall, disappointing.

HF
HowardF
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall1food2service1ambience1

Horrible service. Waited an hour for main courses. Food was mediocre. Tourist trap.

GH
GregH
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

All the pasta dishes are amazing and fresh the homemade meatballs for a appetizer are delicious real authentic food and the Tiramisu was to die for to top off the night the only down side is it is in the north end there is no where to park you will park pretty far and walk there but it’s worth it the real deal o and the beer is ice cold 5 stars

w
wfbjr
1 review
Dined on July 10, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Excellent Sat meal for two. Terrific service. Will return

P
Paatalover
New England
12 reviews
Dined on July 9, 2021
Overall4food3service5ambience5

We love the ambiance, great Italian music, nice wine selection be the glass. Lots of homemade pasta, but sauces were heavy. Risotto side was not very creamy, and too lemony, but would've been good with a picatta. Service was friendly and attentive. We will be back!

MB
MaryB
1 review
Dined on July 8, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience5

This place has heart. From the menu, to the space itself, if you're looking for that classic North End experience, look no further. This may not appeal to those looking for a gourmet experience - it's more of a warm place to enjoy the experience of a home-cooked Italian meal.

OT
OpenTable Diner
Birmingham
1 review
Dined on July 7, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience2

The new ownership ( 5yrs ago) have ruined what was a staple in the north end ..my last visit before this was amazing about 8 years prior as I do not live in Boston any more..My wife and I dined here then and the food was amazing, fresh and house made…not the case any more…used have a pickled eggplant and spec prosciutto on the anti pasto…replaced with mortadella !!! Sliced !!!! Servers in cut off shorts and logo polo’s …explains why it was empty when most of the other restaurants were not….

Cantina Italiana
Responded on July 21, 2021

Sorry you feel you had a bad experience. Restaurant has been the busiest its been in its history and regarding the food we have the same chef that has been here for 30 years. The quality of our food has never been better as the owner goes above and beyond in assuring the highest of quality foods, farm vegetables, and only imported salumi. The night in question we were unfortunately, as many are understaffed because the workforce is still not back at the capacity we need.

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
Jacksonville
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Excellent, fresh meal, would definitely return.

DC
DanielleC
1 review
Dined on July 6, 2021
Overall5food4service5ambience5

Great traditional Italian food. Server was very friendly, the large Windows were open and it was a beautiful summer night

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on July 4, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Awful, food was terrible and service was so bad never saw our waiter after she took our order.

t
viptdaulton
Dallas
15 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Great food and service. Fun atmosphere and location.

JS
JS91
New England
7 reviews
Dined on July 3, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

fantastic service, great food - classic Italian dinner in the beautiful North End of Boston

JC
JerameC
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall1food3service1ambience1

We went there for my wife’s 40th bday because we wanted to have a nice romantic dinner. We were seated in the corner behind the bar at a VERY small table. So small our plates would not have fit, if we would have stayed for dinner. We waited 20 min before I got up and asked if we could have someone bring us some water. The spot we were sitting was so small the server could not fit behind the other guests to get to us. The bartender finally yelled over to us and asked us what we would like to drink. Once she made our drinks, she handed them to the gusts at the bar, who then had to pass them to us. The service was horrible. We were there for a total of 40 min and we never had a waitress come to our table once. We left and went down the street and had a wonderful dinner with great service at a different restaurant.

MC
MiaC
1 review
Dined on July 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Food was excellent, service was great! I will definitely be back!

SC
StephanieC
1 review
Dined on July 1, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Waitstaff was friendly and helpful. Food was delicious.

J
James
1 review
Dined on June 28, 2021
Overall2food1service4ambience3

The food was waaaayyy too expensive my chicken parm was overcooked and burnt, the calamari was mediocre, the pasta was way too big and not good an overall disappointing and expensive experience definitely not worth $75 i could spend much less money at a place where I could get much better food

JA
JeffA
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Very friendly and hard working staff. Food was fantastic! Definitely eating there again!

AB
AllyB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 27, 2021
Overall2food1service3ambience3

Came here for dinner. It was good that we were able to make a last minute reservation. However, the meal did not meet our expectations. The bread wasn't very good. I expect better from an Italian restaurant. The Arancini was good, but the temperature was inconsistent. The bolognese was good, but the pasta wasn't cooked enough. The gnocchi was possibly the worst I've had in my life. The sauce was good, but something was wrong with the pasta. The service started out good, but as they got busier throughout the evening we ended up waiting over 20 minutes for the check. I found the ladies room to be a little dirty for my liking.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on June 25, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Best meal we as a family have had in the Northend. Love it!

OC
OliviaC
New England
1 review
Dined on June 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Amazing waitress and the food was amazing! Great drinks too

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 4.5 stars by 1993 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.