North End cannoli: Mike’s Pastry vs. Modern Pastry

We thought we'd weigh in on the big Boston debate. | Photo by BOStoday

We thought we’d weigh in on the big Boston debate. | Photo by BOStoday

To get a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry or Modern Pastrythat is the question, and it’s probably one you’re familiar with.

We set out to taste test a classic chocolate chip cannoli from each North End spot and share our humble opinions, take ‘em or leave ‘em.

City Editor Sara’s take

Both pastry shops serve excellent cannoli, but I have to choose Mike’s Pastry as the best of the best. The shell is filled with the exact right amount of ricotta for my taste, and I found it slightly fresher than Modern’s. The Modern cannoli is also much smaller.

The caveat? While I like the cannoli at Mike’s better, I prefer Modern for other pastry items, like cupcakes + macaroons.

City Editor Jess’ take

After sampling both cannoli, I couldn’t pick a favorite, so I will take the note from Christine Tobin and opt for whichever has the shorter line. Both locations offer creamy fillings, a variety of toppings if chocolate isn’t your favorite + crunchy shells.

When it comes to atmosphere, Mike’s Pastry has a grab-and-go style while Modern Pastry offers a limited number of tables to eat your dessert there before hopping to your next spot.

Pro tips

Whichever cannoli you prefer (and there are no wrong answers), check out these tips and tricks for your next sweet adventure.

  • Both locations are cash-only.
  • The North End shops are on Hanover Street, just a quick walk from the Orange Line Haymarket stop. We recommend taking the T, since the stress of finding parking might spoil your appetite altogether.
  • There’s another popular bakery in the areaBova’s Bakery. It’s one of the few spots in Boston open 24 hours a day, serving up tons of Italian treats and fresh bread.
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