Cantina Italiana

4.3
2054 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 2054 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
4.2
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Moderate
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TB
TomB
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience4

The personnal set ice and attention to detail was excellent

M
Mgenerelli1958
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

The service was excellent!!!!!

D
Dominic
San Diego
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food4service5ambience2

Had a reservation for 6pm but did not get seated until 6:25. Then put our food order in at 6:35 and it took about an hour to get our food. The food was great but the duration of waiting was a little much. It seems they took far too many reservations than they could handle for the night. Very loud place. I would not go here again on a Friday or Saturday night and endure a wait like that again, especially after making a reservation.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
3 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Seemed like they may have overbooked but the owner took care of us! GREAT food!

RG
RichardG
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall2food1service3ambience1

Party of 4 4:30 reservation Sat night. Hostess acted like we we're annoying her for coming in. Waitress was very sweet. Appetizers: calamari average could be from bertuccis in norwood. Entree Spaghetti and meatballs (can't screw that up right?). Meatballs ok again could be olive garden. Gravy was watery no flavor. Others had fettuccine said it was ok. 3 drinks. $180 tax and tip. I'd pass.

JA
JackiA
Los Angeles
1 review
Dined on November 20, 2021
Overall3food4service2ambience2

Worst service possible . Food however was great.

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall3food3service4ambience1

Average-above average Italian food. Solid choice.

N
Nina
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

GREAT RESTAURANT! My friend and I absolutely loved the staff and food. It was one of the only places we went to eat in Boston and if I ever am in Boston again, I'll definitely be booking another reservation. Classic, traditional Italian feel and the food was incredible.

WC
WestCoastFoodie
Portland
5 reviews
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

First time dining in the North End of Boston. Cantina Italiana did not disappoint. The mussels appetizer was delicious and my braised lamb shank with polenta and new potatoes was incredible. My wife's scampi spaghetti was a little bland, hard to imagine but it needed more garlic! The several glasses of wine were great for the price and my Passito dessert wine was incredible with the tiramisu. The highlight however was the lemon sorbet (frozen in a lemon rind, yeah kitchy but a classic). The sorbet itself was truly remarkable being sweet and lemony, almost floral, without being overly acidic as lemons often are requiring too much sugar to make them palatable. Kudos to all the staff than busy Friday night. Great fun and would definitely recommend!

OT
OpenTable Diner
1 review
Dined on November 19, 2021
Overall2food4service2ambience1

I made a reservation and mentioned it was my wife’s Birthday, but no one acknowledged it or made a special desert or anything!!! Disappointing 😔

EK
ErinK
1 review
Dined on November 18, 2021
Overall3food5service4ambience2

Food was great, service was attentive. It’s a family style restaurant with booths and very bright

HZ
vipHelenZ
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Supurb! Every facet of the dinner was great.

JB
JohnB
New England
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Lovely waitstaff and service. Food was delicious, especially the clams oreganata!

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on November 16, 2021
Overall4food4service4ambience3

Bombolotti alla vodka was wonderful.

Report
OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Loved it! Too loud though. Food was excellent!

s
silviam
Orlando
9 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

We enjoyed this place so much! Matt was amazing. The drinks were great, the meals were very original and made perfectly and although it was a bit loud, it still made you feel comfortable and you adapt to the festive ambiance. We’ll definitely come back on our next visit to Boston.

N
Ninjaturtle
New England
3 reviews
Dined on November 12, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience3

The food was exceptional. It arrived to the table hot, which is always a plus The waitress was also very attentive.
Real home style cooking

RO
vipRachelO
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Cantina is one of my favorite Italian restaurants in the North End. The food, drinks and service never disappoints. The specials are always delicious, including last nights halibut over lobster ravioli. Would highly recommend the bombolotti pasta dishes and the tiramisu.

TO
TedO
1 review
Dined on November 8, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

My gnocchi alla Norcina with calamari was delicious.

OT
OpenTable Diner
San Diego
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall2food2service4ambience1

Had a reservation but still had to wait for awhile. Food was fair. Very bland. Had carbonara, spaghetti with shrimp, pasta a la vodka…all fair. Maybe had a bad night because they were backed up? Calamari appetizer was the highlight. The meatball appetizer was also good. Won’t return. Very noisy. No ambiance. Server was nice.

CP
ChrisP
1 review
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall4food5service5ambience4

Outstanding dinner and great waitress. Great calamari and riceballs and awesome homemade pasta. Old school and well done. Oh, get the cannoli!!!

r
rmess350
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Always excellent great experience if a bit noisy.

JC
JenniferC
New England
5 reviews
Dined on November 5, 2021
Overall4food4service5ambience4

Cozy. Food was excellent. Service was outstanding.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 2, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Perfect!!!

Report
GB
GregB
Baton Rouge
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful meal. A must for great Italian food in the North End.

J
Jane
New England
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

Had a reservation, got seated right away. Service and food were amazing. Would go back again.

DM
DMMM
New England
1 review
Dined on October 30, 2021
Overall1food1service2ambience2

Not good north end Italian. Stale and cold bread, no flavor to my dish/sauce was very basic, undercooked pasta, etc etc. Just all around wasn't good, won't go back.

J
Jaswasey
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 29, 2021
Overall2food2service2ambience1

We have been eating at this restaurant for over a decade! So many fond memories! Sadly it’s changed. Smaller beer selection recipes changed poor service. Sadly I don’t think we will be making this a must anymore when we visit.

OT
OpenTable Diner
New England
1 review
Dined on October 25, 2021
Overall5food4service4ambience4

Very little pasta with the chicken parm and it wasnt fully cooked, the chicken was great though. Gnocchi was excellent

b
vipbizluncheon
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall3food3service3ambience3

It was a nightmare to get seated. They had some issues earlier in the evening that dragged on till after 8 pm. We were seated outside because nothing else was available 45 minutes after our reservation! And it was cold. None of us had fun! The lady at check in was literally screaming & instructing people to go stand in line and said “it’s common sense to know where the line is” not worth the money we spent. Our waitress tried to save the evening for us which we appreciate but our entrees took forever while we sat outside in the cold. I learnt my lesson- never again!

RH
vipRayH
Philadelphia
36 reviews
Dined on October 23, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great meal. Like all restaurants, they are busy and short staffed after covid. Be patient as the food is great and the servers and owners are doing their best to accommodate everyone. Try the cheeze garlic bread and seafood fradivalo! I will definitely be returning for another great meal soon.

b
bostondinnergirl2231
New England
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall4food5service3ambience2

The food here is amazing -arguably some of the best pasta I have had in the north end. drinks were strong and the overall experience was good. I could caution someone not to sit in the back room however. This room was crowded, hot and treated like an extension of the kitchen with staff yelling to one another over customer tables. Overall would go back but would request other seating.

JH
JenH
New England
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall1food1service1ambience1

Hostess was so rude we couldn’t believe the way she was talking to both customers and her own staff. It was really uncomfortable and such an unpleasant experience. Many people left because of the way they were treated, including us. We did not end up dining here because we were yelled at for making our reservation incorrectly online. Really horrible woman the restaurant should be embarrassed at her behavior.

JE
JakeE
New England
17 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Everything about our experience was great. The host went above expected service to assist with our elderly mother. Our server was personable and attentive. Food was served promptly, and every meal was top notch. We were never rushed and the overall experience was well worth the reasonable price e paid for dinner.

EL
ElaineL
1 review
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Definitely make a reservation. Authentic Italian food at a reasonable price.

N
Nicole11273
New England
9 reviews
Dined on October 22, 2021
Overall3food4service4ambience2

I hadn’t been to this restaurant in years…… it was nothing like what I remembered.
If you were looking for ambience this isn’t it! The restaurant itself is very old and run down aesthetically. The food was delicious, but several things that we ordered came back different than what we had specified. The waiter was great but the hostess was very rude.All it all a great place for food, but if you’re looking for a charming restaurant this wouldn’t be it.

DB
DBold
Seattle
10 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience4

This spot was recommended to us by a local woman on the street in Little Italy. We took her advice and it was wonderful. Our server, Judy, went above and beyond for us. She recommended our dishes and places to visit while we were in town. The restaurant was full of energy and it was fun to hear a variety of conversations and people interacting with one another. I would definitely return.

BE
BrianE
Cincinnati
2 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Maria was an outstanding host and gave us the ultimate Italian experience! And all, did I mention, the food was absolutely excellent!

B
vipBeverlymas
New York Area
7 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Wonderful staff and delicious food

DD
vipDonD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2021
Overall5food5service5ambience5

Great food; great service ... I've been going there since I was a kid!

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 2054 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.