United States Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report Boston North End Market Tour - trip report

Jump to last reply

This is something others have mentioned here and on my list of things to do - even though I live here. Run by Michele topor's company - they also do a Chinatown food tour.

My 19 year old daughter (fellow foodie) and I bought tickets on-line for a Wednesday (7/14) 10 AM tour - $50 each plus the usual silly service charge.. Indicated on website that tour goes on regardless of weather - which was threatening. Took MBTA into Boston Haymarket stop and walked about a block to meeting place. Total of 14 on tour - and at 10 AM sharp when 2 had not arrived tour guide called their cell phone and left message at tour office of our route - a nice touch both to call and to start tour on-time.

North End is tiny - about 6 blocks square - area and he said there are over 100 food establishments within this area. We visited 7 - about half of which I was familiar with, but I learned something in each one. First Maria's pastry shop - where we learned ingredients and history of perhaps 6 different pastry types - and tasted each one. Then on to several general Italian specialty markets, a cheese shop, sausage/meat shop and onto a liquor store. All involved tasting of some products. This did not feel like they were advertising various stores or products - learned about variations in olives, olive oil, types of cheeses, etc. as well as some tiny regional differences in food in various regions of Italy.

Some real positives - we were told tour company pays something to each of the shops to cover cost of tasted items - and to avoid bias in their recommendations. We also received some handouts - including map, list of various specialty shops and restaurants. So we were not scribbling down things as we walked. Ground rules were clearly explained both on website and at start of tour - very limited bathroom facilities on tour, shop after the tour so as not to delay everyone else, and we were told where to stand in the tiny shops so as not to interfere with normal business.

Attendees were all from out of town and a mix of couples, a few teens. This is not a tour I would take kids under age of perhaps 13 or so on. No strollers allowed in shops - and would be inappropriate for a baby or bored toddler - stores are too crowded with perched merchandise and small enough so there would be little room to deal with squawking kid. Walking distance is less than a mile - all flat, although sidewalks in North End are narrow and sometimes uneven. Pace is slow enough so if you are not a fast walker it is fine. Many shops had 1 or 2 steps to enter. Nearest parking and MBTA station is maybe 1/8 mile away - there is essentially no street parking for non-residents in North End and you will get a ticket. if you try Even if weather is bad, you are outside for only short periods of time (it rained on and off while we were on tour), so even in winter it would be OK.

Since we live here it will be a great resource since I now know new places I can return to shop - but even if we did not, the knowledge gained would be useful in any specialty Italian market in your own city. Highly recommend - worth the $50 fee. Take the AM tour and then shop and stay for lunch.

13 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Fodor's Go List 2015 Has Been Announced
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Dec 19, 14 at 05:08 PM
View all United States activity »
  1. 1 Tipping advice
  2. 2 3 weeks in USA in February -- final post before booking hotels
  3. 3 Arthritis and Humidity where to live?
  4. 4 Orlando to Savannah
  5. 5 Portsmouth NH to NYC
  6. 6 Road trip March from Atlanta
  7. 7 Help needed from USA experts... where to?
  8. 8 Dinner in Miami
  9. 9 After Chigago ? side trips- suggestions
  10. 10 Met Opera rush tickets - process changed again!
  11. 11 Need help planning weekend trips: Georgia, Chicago, Tennessee, Alaska?!
  12. 12 New Hawaii countdown for 2014-15
  13. 13 Any edits? San Antonio & Austin Itinerary Dec 31st-Jan 5th or 6th
  14. 14 Family Reunion Ideas for Maine Coast
  15. 15 Trip Report 62 Hikers airlifted out of Kalalau Trail
  16. 16 Seattle hotel recommendation needed
  17. 17 Utah-Arizona National Parks intinary help needed
  18. 18 fly fishing spring break - warm weather
  19. 19 Lake Rabun Hotel
  20. 20 NYT article on exploring Los Angeles without a car
  21. 21 advice on possible employment in GA or NC rural areas
  22. 22 Zion, Bryce, Page, GC South Rim, and Arches
  23. 23 Christmas weather?
  24. 24 Big island itinerary
  25. 25 New York City and New England
View next 25 » Back to the top