Located in the Italian section of Boston’s North End, Caffè Vittoria is the city’s first Italian café. If you’re looking for authentic biscotti, tiramisu, cannoli, or gelato, this is the place to go! Built in 1929, Caffè Vittoria has a charmingly vintage atmosphere: the walls are lined with framed antique photos, ornate mirrors, and relics from coffee-making’s yesteryears, the ceilings are pressed tin, and the wooden bars and tiles floors immediately give a sense of the building’s legacy. The Stanza dei Sigari cigar bar, which the owners opened in 1995, is the last remaining cigar bar in the city. We didn’t visit the cigar bar section, but supposedly it was haunted as a result of the building’s former use as a baby farm before the present owners bought it. Baby farming, if you’re not familiar, was a Victorian practice where caregivers were paid lump sums to care for infants or children, which frequently led to the caregivers either neglecting or murdering the children outright to make a better profit from their initial payment.
Thankfully, our investigations revealed no signs of baby farming at Caffè Vittoria today, but we did find some pretty excellent tiramisu and limoncello cake. My wife, who is a better judge of these things than I am, raved about the tiramisu and hot chocolate, saying they were some of the best she’d had. As you might expect, the restaurant was packed at 5pm, but there were still cozy corners to nestle in on a date and while the service was a touch slow it was understandable given the circumstances. We also enjoyed the holiday decorations; both the interior and exterior were festooned with wreaths, garlands, lights, and ornaments, and the effect, combined with the décor, really added to the atmosphere. Caffè Vittoria feels like stepping back into the 1930s or 1940s, and is a charming spot that should be on everyone’s “Must Visit” list when they’re sightseeing in the North End.
Matthew Christopher MA Boston Feb 14, 2023 Food Nostalgia Places to Visit