Must-Eat Foods In Boston

There's more to this New England city than baked beans

Boston is a historic city, and many of its most famous bites have also stood the test of time. From Italian treats in the historic North End to more modern tastes across the Charles River in Cambridge, here are four bites you must try while exploring Beantown.

Sicilian Pizza at Galleria Umberto

While most Boston pizza debates involve arguing the merits of either Regina Pizzeria in the North End or Santarpios in East Boston, family-owned Galleria Umberto is notable for offering slices that are a little bit different. The menu, which highlights thick squares of Sicilian pizza and a few other items from the Mediterranean island, has remained mostly unchanged since 1974. Although the nondescript North End pizzeria doesn't open until 11 a.m., customers begin lining up at 10:30 because the hefty slices of focaccia-like pizza, heaving with melted cheese, are available only until they run out. If you're lucky enough to make it the counter, don't forget to grab some arancini oozing with meat ragù and a few potato panzarotti scented with rosemary.

The Burger at Craigie on Main

Head to Cambridge early for this legendary burger sold exclusively at the restaurant's bar. The luscious grass-fed beef patty, made using chef Tony Maws's personally designed blend of beef cuts, arrives on a homemade milk bun and is topped with melted Vermont cheddar and homemade ketchup and pickles. With so much work going into a single burger, it's no wonder it's sold in limited quantities, adding to the allure. 

Cannoli at Mike's Pastry

With its bright-yellow sign and recognizable pastry boxes tied up with string, this Italian bakery has been a favorite of both tourists and locals since 1946. Customers regularly wait in line for a chance to peruse the glass cases bursting with everything from cookies to lobster tails to colorful marzipan treats shaped like fruit. But it's the sizable cannoli bursting with cream in flavors like chocolate mousse, cheesecake and the standard ricotta that genuinely put Mike's on the map.

Boston Cream Pie at Parker's Restaurant

Although the Boston cream pie has been the official Massachusetts State dessert only since 1996, the recipe dates back to 1856 when, according to legend, legendary French chef Augustine Francois Anezin developed it shortly after this restaurant opened within the Omni Parker House. This "pie" (which is, of course, technically a cake) famously has two layers of golden sponge cake filled with pastry cream and slathered in chocolate.

Meredith Bethune is a food and travel writer based in Belgium. See how many different beers she can possibly try while living abroad on Instagram at @meredithbethune.