The North End
As many of you read in my recent post on Mike's Bakery, there is no question that the best pastries in Boston can be found in the Italian North End district. The consensus seems to split up from there - some swear by Mike's, while other's refuse service to anyone except Modern. This post is about the mom & pop contender: Bova's Bakery. We trudged through the "polar vortex" in Boston just to get to these treasures. Read on to see if it was worth the trip!
Bova's, open 24 hours a day, has a distinctly family-owned-&-operated feel. Compared to Mike's large stainless steel interior and bustling lines of tourists, this cozy mom & pop joint greets you with a genuine smile when you walk in.
Unfortunately they do not condone interior pictures, so allow me to paint a picture of my experience at Bova's: One baker is yelling in a thick Bostonian accent across the corner shop, just to check up on the cashier to ask how her cousin is doing. The shop is small - no more than 5 customers could comfortably browse - but filled to the brim with delicious sweet and savory concoctions. There are piles upon piles of cookies, cannolis, bread loaves, woopie pies, even savory bakes like pizza and these mysterious spreckled spheres that I'm determined to go back and try soon.
Mini Red Velvet Woopie Pie & Chocolate Chip Cannoli
I ordered the Mini Red Velvet Whoopie Pie and a Mini Chocolate Chip Cannoli. The woopie was heavenly, with a perfectly soft red velvet outer layer and a light filling. Sometimes red velvet can be overpowering and too rich, but this one was just right. The cannoli had a great flaky crust that managed not to crumble in your hands, and the filling was divine.
As it stands, Bova's Bakery takes the cake (or should I say the cannoli?) so far as Boston's best bakery. I appreciate the genuine family-run, local atmosphere, as well as the variety that Bova's has to offer. It seems that Mike's has more of a focus on cannolis, so if you are a die-hard cannoli fan, I would suggest checking them out first. We're really comparing the best with the best, so you'll be in good hands either way. Our trip through the polar vortex to get to Bova's Bakery was definitely worthwhile in the end!