It’s hard to spend a single day in Boston without spotting an out-of-towner toting a string-wrapped box filled with cannoli from Mike’s Pastry. But Mike’s is the rarest of the rare: a tourist magnet worthy of its status.
You won’t have any trouble finding it: Just stroll down Hanover Street until you see the line. It may look obnoxious at first, but it moves with surprising speed and turns into several shorter (if occasionally anarchic) lines as it moves under the tin ceiling and illustrated cannoli menu that spans the length of an entire wall inside.
You like cannoli? Cool. You have nineteen choices here, running the gamut from original Plain Ricotta Cheese to the decadent Chocolate-Covered. The crunchy, flaky shells are handmade in-house and stuffed with enough filling to incite a dam-break on the other end with every bite.
Workers move with hypnotizing efficiency as they select, sugar, and box pastries in a human assembly line that’s a pleasure to watch. Note the rounded white or blue balls that resemble water buoys and hang from the ceiling—they’re filled with the string used to tie up every box.
A wide range of other treats—from profiteroles to homemade gelato—are offered. But to paraphrase a certain famous film, we advise you to “leave the gelato, take the cannoli.”
Cash only, so come prepared.
There are two other locations in Harvard Square and Assembly Row that are less likely to draw long lines.
Pop in to Caffe Victoria—a classic Italian café next door that’s been operating since 1929—for a post-dessert espresso kick.
Bill Clinton stopped by Mike’s while campaigning in 1992, promising to return if he was elected president. Eighteen months later, he was back to buy 75 cannoli for his entire Air Force One staff.
Tastes of Mike’s Pastry
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