By Ryan LaRosa


Boston is home to a wide variety of specialty coffee shops and roasters. In recent years, the scene has grown across the city, with some older shops expanding to multiple locations and new shops popping up quickly. Here at Boston University, Starbucks is a mainstay, with many locations across campus. While convenient, there’s so much more to coffee than Starbucks. Whenever you have a second, take the opportunity to venture away from campus for a moment and enjoy one of Boston’s many great coffee shops.


The North End is bursting with culture and interesting people. Dozens of restaurants spill off Hanover street into side alleyways, each with something unique to offer. Whichever restaurant you wander into, you’re probably in for a good time. But some North End locations bring an extra old-world charm and comfort.


Caffe Vittoria at 290 Hanover St. is such a place. Easily one of my favorite establishments in all of Boston, Caffe Vittoria has been serving up classic Italian cafe favorites since 1929. As the oldest Italian cafe in Boston, this location brings a style and atmosphere like no other. They have a classic menu that features excellent coffee and amazing pastries. This place truly honors Italian espresso and coffee culture.


One quick thing to note is that Caffe Vittoria is cash only. Here are a few ideas on what to order the first time you head to Caffe Vittoria:



Caffe Vittoria has won a number of awards including from the Improper Bostonian and Phantom Gourmet for best cappuccino in the city. A rich, dark espresso serves as the base for a wonderfully creamy, frothy cappuccino. The light sprinkling of cocoa and cinnamon has you asking for another.


Hot Chocolate

Along with being known for their excellent cappuccino, Caffe Vittoria has gained quite a bit of acknowledgement for their classic, Italian-style hot chocolate, making its way onto Travel and Leisure’s best hot chocolate in America list. This iteration is extremely rich and creamy, finishing with an extremely bold chocolate flavor.



Easily one of the most classic shots of espresso in all of Boston, stopping by Caffe Vittoria for a quick shot of espresso is sure to please even the most discerning espresso drinker. There’s no fancy single-origin coffee or multitude of options here, just an absolutely classic shot of Italian espresso. If you don’t have much time to spend at the cafe, just pop in and stand at the espresso bar for a minute and enjoy.