If you go to Boston, don’t be a fool. Make sure you go to Mike’s Pastry up in Little Italy at the North End of Boston.

This bakery literally DEFINES the neighborhood. Local Bostonians know all about this family-owned Italian bakery so you won’t get lost looking for it. If you don’t live in Boston, you can buy their amazing pastries online too!

Walk in to the store and you’re greeted by display cases FULL of colorful marzipan and shelves full of biscotti!

Mike’s specialties include: Traditional Italian pastries (cannoli’s!), Biscotti, Cakes, Cookies, Torrone’s, Gelati, Marzipan, Cookies, you name it! Here’s a preview of JUST a few of the cookies available:

Raspberry Macaroons
Apricot Macaroons
Green Cherry Macaroons
Plain Cherry Macaroons
Green Nut Macaroons
Red Nut Macaroons
Assorted Petit-fours
Chocolate Rainbow
Raspberry Linzer
Pistachio Butter Cookie
Pink Dipped Butter Cookie
Green Dipped Butter Cookie
White Dipped Butter Cookie
Yellow Dipped Butter Cookie
White Chocolate Florentine
Cinnamon Crumb Cookie
Amaretto Cookie
Peanutbutter Tartlet
Pistachio Nut Macaroon
Golden Venezia Fingers
Chocolate Chip Cookie
Chocolate Florentine

You get the idea! Check out the shelves of goodies.

Every single pastry is made fresh on the Mike’s Pastry premises, they even hand select everything from fruits, to sugar, to the cinnamon sticks. Now, time to tempt your taste buds.

Chocolate Covered Ricotta Stuffed Cannoli $3.50 apiece

My description: A freshly fried cannoli shell is coated in dark chocolate, then stuffed with whipped sweet ricotta cheese and its sides dipped in semi-sweet mini chocolate chips.

Tastiness: A. I have never been a huge fan of cheese in my desserts and I was almost afraid the shell would be soggy or greasy, but holy moly this is the best cannoli I have ever tasted. The ricotta was fluffy and lightly sweet, while the shell was firm, crunchy, and (as crazy as this sounds) – refreshing! The chocolate coating was thick and indulgent, not too bitter, yet not too sweet, and complimented the cold creamy cheese as if they were an old married couple.

Words cannot describe how indulgent this dessert tasted, but the richness became a little overwhelming after a while. I think it’s perfect for sharing. After sharing this one, Nick went back to buy himself another one.

I brought home a box of treats just for me…and finished it within 4 hours of purchase with dinner stuffed in somewhere in between those hours.

Let’s start from the middle…

Plain Almond Biscotti

Also comes in dark almond nut biscotti, chocolate-dipped, and plain anise flavored biscotti. I got the plain because original flavors tell you leaps and bounds about the quality of ingredients.

Tastiness: A. I’m not biased, I swear. Not everything at Mike’s was amazing (see below), but this almond biscotti was incredible. You can literally smell the freshly ground nutmeg and cinnamon in this cookie from several feet away. It’s not the best looking biscotti I’ve seen, but it was stuffed with whole roasted almonds and it was so crunchy you definitely need a hot chocolate or coffee for this dunker. Next time, I’m going for a dark almond nut biscotti, but this was amazing.

Chocolate Covered Crucanti Macaroons

My description: A crunchy cookie composed of layers upon layers of sliced almonds held together by a sticky sweet almond paste and dipped in dark chocolate, then sprinkled with crushed almonds.

Tastiness: A (+)? Life changing is all I can say. The dark chocolate coating was a perfect match to the crunchy outer layer of the cookie, yet if you eat from the bottom, there was a soft “give” to it from the almond paste. The layers of almond were densely packed and ultra fun to eat if you like pulling apart your food bit-by-bit to see what it’s made of. My only complaint is that the sticky almond paste was definitely a little bit too sweet. I had intended to eat half and save the other half for the next day, but once I started…I devoured it ALL.

Vanilla Florentine (Cookie)

My description: Two freshly baked Florentine cookies sandwiching a thick creamy layer of vanilla (the left-most pastry)

Tastiness: B-. The Florentine was FAR too sickly sweet and was so crunchy it was hard to enjoy the actual flavors of the Florentine itself. Additionally, the vanilla coating didn’t add anything to the overall flavor profile of the cookie…I had to force myself to finish it because it was just way too sweet. I feel my teeth begging for mercy.

***

RATINGS:

Taste: 4.5/5 (The Florentine killed the experience, but I want to go back for other pastries!!)

Originality: 5/5 (Classic Italian, a spin on the classic, American, a spin on American, oh my gosh…they have everything you may want…at least upon the 1st visit)

Plating: N/A

Value: 5/5 (Well worth every dime)

Service: 4/5 (Despite the jam-packed store, Mike’s staff does a great job of getting to their customers as quickly and as politely as possible!)

Overall – If I lived in Boston, I’d be feeding on Mike’s and…be 400 pounds. Don’t spend your money at the Quincy market bakeries – those pastries are smaller, more expensive, not as fresh, and probably not as delicious as what you’ll find at Mike’s.

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And click here if you’re a Yelper.

Or Click here if you’d like to order yourself some Cannoli’s!

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