Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Bova's Bakery in Boston's North End

Red velvet whoopie pie from Bova's Bakery in Boston, MA
A number of us recently went to the North End of Boston, stopping at Bova's, a bakery that has been around since the early 1930s. This is a favorite of mine in the North End neighborhood, partly because it is a bit off the main drag (Hanover Street) and is is generally not quite as touristy or busy as places such as Mike's or Modern. For those who haven't been to Bova's, the space is set up like your typical bakery, with lots of plexiglass display cases on both sides of the shop showing a huge array of pastries and baked goods. A variety of freshly-made breads are stored in bins to the right, while pizza and calzones can be found toward the back of the place.

Because we were such a large group, we were able to try a number of different items at Bova's. A few of the highlights included some rather decadent chocolate chip cannoli; equally sinful chocolate-covered biscotti that were crisp and had a slight anise/licorice taste; half-moon cookies that were just a bit on the dry side, though the chocolate and vanilla frosting made up for the dryness by adding a deep richness to the cookies; a red velvet whoopie pie that was also slightly dry, but rich tasting due to the cream filling; a light and creamy Napoleon (a type of puff pastry); and several different Italian cookies. Service at Bova's was friendly and quick, and prices were pretty reasonable, especially considering how expensive many places in the North End can be.

There isn't much not to like about Bova's Bakery, and there is one more thing that makes this a good option, especially for those of you who are night owls--the place is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is a rarity for food places in the Boston area, and elsewhere in New England, for that matter. It may not be the best bakery or pastry shop that I have been to in the region (it is tough to beat Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline), but Bova's is well worth seeking out.

The address for Bova's is: Bova's Bakery, 134 Salem Street, Boston, MA, 02113. The phone number is (617) 523-5601. And the website can be found at

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