Cantina Italiana

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4.6
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1577 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 1577 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
4.6
food
4.7
service
4.3
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
88% of people would recommend it to a friend
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H
Philadelphia
19 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service! We will definelty go back the next time we are in Boston!

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New England
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Brought family visiting from Alaska to enjoy the experience of the North End. As usual, Cantina Italiana did not disappoint. Food, service and environment were exactly what we were looking for.

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LH
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Love this place! We come here every time we are in Boston. Food is delicious and staff is great.

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New England
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Always great

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AT
Pittsburgh
43 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 3ambience 3

Was looking for traditional Italian in the North End and found it. The check in process was, well, not great. It was almost combative with people jockeying for position behind a cramped bar. Once seated, the service was acceptable and the food was awesome. Exactly what we wanted. It's tight in there and a little noisy so be aware if you are looking for quiet, well, it's not here on a Saturday night. But the food was top-rate.

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W
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you to our children who treated us to a grand celebration dinner at Cantina Italiana for my 80th birthday. It was spectacular. At a big table near the window, I opened gifts and we all enjoyed the spectacular food: beautiful mozarella and prosciutto antipasta, beautiful salads, the seafood and pasta with sweet lobster claws, delectable chicken parm, and assorted pasta dishes, as well as wonderful drinks. A special thank you to Omar, our chef, who provided such perfect service: friendly, informative, and so professional. We all left with happy tummies and big smiles. A perfect birthday party!

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Engagement celebration , and the food was delicious as always! Very friendly staff that never rushed you out!

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New England
3 reviews
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great place. Will definitely come again. Omar is a fantastic waiter! We had a terrific time. Food is delicious!

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PM
Columbus
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place is old school Italian with unique and Fabulous choices. This is my second time here and first time with family. The service takes this restaurant to another level. I just love that they are the oldest restaurant in the North end yet still maintain an amazing quality across the board.

Awesome. Omar our waiter was so good to my kids they can’t stop talking about him.

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LM
New England
1 review
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Anniversary dinner. Excellent meal. Tiramisu was delicious.

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VJ
1 review
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

In a city known for chowdah and lobstah, Cantina Italiana is a surprising gem. From the interior, decor, menu, and wine selection, Cantina has a rustic "Old-World" Italian feel. I made a reservation, and was surprised with a follow up courtesy call, letting me know of possible parking issues. I thought this courteous and professional. This was my second time in Boston, and my second time at Cantina. The food is fresh, and the service makes you feel you are the most important customer there. The wine selection is lengthy, and can be on the expensive side. I will always visit when I am in Boston.

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t
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 1food 1service 1ambience 1

I made a reservation and checked in with the host a few minutes before the reservation time. My friend and I were told that we'd be seated in a few minutes. 15 minutes later we were still waiting while 3 different parties came in after us and were seated immediately. The host came back a while later and asked who was next in line. I said that we were and told him we'd been here for 15 minutes waiting. He then got in my face saying I was being rude and reluctantly sat us at a table. He then went back to the people who had walked in to announce loudly I was being rude for bringing up our wait time. We left and didn't bother eating there. This is unacceptable and rude service to customers. When a patron brings up that they've been waiting its rude to get in their face and then embarrass them. Hardly a positive experience. I wouldn't recommend this restaurant because of this poor treatment of customers. There's plenty of amazing Italian restaurants right around here with good service.

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C
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Still trying to decide if this is the same Cantina that we used to go to 45 years ago when we were first married and living in Boston. The food is still very good and the waiters are still amazing. Most like a neighborhood restaurant atmosphere than the high end restaurants in the neighbor hood. Had the Vitello Fiore, veal with eggplant, Husband had the gnocci - both meals delicioso. Very friendly family atmosphere.

Cantina Italiana
Responded on May 30, 2019

so grateful, and we are very gracious for such kind words

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IT
Salt Lake City
5 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

This is a tourist place. The menu is traditional Italian fare, but the quality is mediocre. Sauces are fine but have little flavor.

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OT
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

We were seated quickly and service was great. Food was very good!

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CR
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

Had a reservation and they still couldn’t accommodate our party of 8 so split us up to 2 tables.

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RW
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful Graduation dinner for 17 with special thank you to our server Omar and all the staff at Cantina Italiana! I knew thefood would be excellent from previous visits and they did not disappoint! Appetizers were served promptly and entrees were all delicious. Omar ensured everyone had a great visit. To top it off,we had their delicious and fresh cannolis all around. Couldn’t have picked a better spot to celebrate 🎉. Thank you Omar and CI!

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BB
New England
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent, locally run restaurant with authentic Italian food and personality. Food was amazing, service was great and the atmosphere was terrific

Cantina Italiana
Responded on May 30, 2019

thank you so much

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New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Some of the best food in the North End
Amazing service
Great ambience
Overall a 10/10 would highly recommend

Cantina Italiana
Responded on May 30, 2019

so gracious, and we are truly grateful for our second family - our guests

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New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on May 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great Place in the North End. Food is Terrific and Service is Great. Ask for Omar...

Cantina Italiana
Responded on May 30, 2019

you are amazing, thank you

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TO
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service. We've been here several times over the last year and Cantina Italiana never disappoints!

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MP
New England
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Five us all had fantastic meals and food arrived quickly after ordering. Only negative was that we were seated very close to the table next to us.

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RG
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Service was great and the food is awesome. But overall if you haven’t experienced the Cantina you should.

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KH
New England
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The restaurant was packed. We waited about 15 minutes after our reservation time. But it was so worth it. The food was incredible. There were 6 of us, and everyone's food was delicious.

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AK
Raleigh
5 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 1ambience 2

The restaurant was jammed with a few bigger parties that wouldn't leave even thought they were well past completing their meals. Waited 90 minutes past my reservation time, which while annoying would have been less so if parties without reservations weren't seated ahead of us, not to mention the parties with later reservations that were also seated ahead of us. The host kept saying just a few more minutes.

Once we were seated, table service was mediocre and indifferent, never refilled our water, cocktails took 20 minutes to get, and we had to ask the server to take our entree order.
The entire staff was in the weeds.
The food highlight was the bread and olive oil, which sums it up pretty well.

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DS
New England
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 2

Our reservation was for 7:30. We were not seated until 8:30. There is nowhere to wait, it was chaotic, and we could not get a drink. I understand it was a busy Saturday night, but a one hour wait is unacceptable. The food was good, but we won't be back.

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HH
Atlanta
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Dining in tight packed in atmosphere with medium to high noise levels. Terrific service and recommendations were spot on.
If looking for a great Italian meal in the North End, give this a try. It was delicious.

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CR
New England
6 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I would absolutely recommend Catina Italiana to a friend!! We had the most ultimate early dinner this past Saturday! We sat in front by the open window and the food was Amazing!!! Our server, Omar, was terrific and attended to our every need! I give Cantina Italiana the highest possible recommendation! Can't wait to go back!!

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HM
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Good service and food. They were very accommodating.

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KD
1 review
Dined on May 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

My son began his studies at Boston University a couple of years ago and we make it a point to go to Cantina Italiana EVERYTIME I am in town! First off, the staff there remember me, we have generally been seated at the same table. They make you feel like family! The food is out of this world good! I can’t say enough about how wonderful the food, staff, atmosphere is!

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BC
Detroit
5 reviews
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

One of the top italian restaurants in the North End, but not pretentious like some of the super hip fusion places. Classical italian dishes prepared excellently, and a great wine list that won't make you broke to go with it.

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RY
New England
27 reviews
Dined on May 4, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 2

Food and service were great, sat at table near kitche

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c
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great: was expecting some issues with a party of 9 but everything from the service to the food - the entire experience - was fantastic. Friendly waitstaff, amazing food and great ambience made for a wonderful evening.

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D
Baltimore
5 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

A classic in the old North End of Boston. Greeted by an older gentleman who could not be more charming. Amazing waitress who knew everything about the menu and about the specials of the day. The food was AMAZING... I had a veal dish with prosciutto and a white wine sauce..

Would return in a heartbeat if it was not an hour+ round trip visit from my home in NH.

Highly recommend.

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C
New England
2 reviews
Dined on April 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Easter Sunday...great service for a very busy day. Waiter was attentive and they had our food out at a reasonable time. Noise was up due to many conversations and excitement. Always recommend

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PO
New England
3 reviews
Dined on April 20, 2019
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
34 reviews
Dined on April 19, 2019
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 on April 19, 2019
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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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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