The Best {Slightly Hidden/Illegal} Spots To Get A Good Instagram In The North End

Boston's North End is one of the most magical places on Earth. 

First off, it smells like straight up warm bread. All. The. Time. It's both a scary and wonderful neighborhood to meander around while hungry. 

Thankfully, there is no shortage of food options, because the street is literally lined with dozens of tiny, hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurants that have been owned by the same family for decades (with the exception of my favorite sushi place). In fact, there are so many eateries to choose from, that I recommend just closing your eyes and letting your nose lead the way or you'll find yourself very overwhelmed with pasta-based decisions. 

In addition to its mad food/Italian reputation, the North End is also known for its high-prices. I mean, you get what you pay for when you're paying for homemade pasta, but its hard for us average income folk to afford a $50 meal all the time. 

Thankfully, there are tons of ways to explore and experience the North End without totally going broke (or hungry).  Even if you don't have the cash to spend on an expensive, authentic meal, you can still soak up all the magic this neighborhood has to offer — and get a good 'gram. 

No, I'm not talking about weed (though I'm sure you could get that there too if you wanted), but there are tons of cute, hidden spots to document your North End visit. Some may require you to stop traffic, but hey, what's a night out if you don't?

North Bennet Court

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Yes, technically speaking, this is sorta the front of someone's apartment. But there are no "private property" signs (or none that I saw), and I don't think it's illegal to twirl around someone's light post for a pic. Feel free to email me if I'm wrong. 

Becky and I found this hidden patio thing by chance while strolling down one of the North End's side streets. Which is another reason I love this neighborhood. I could walk around it a million times and find something new and beautiful to gawk at every sing time. 

Pull back and get a nice artsy shot through this little tunnel like we did or get up close and personal and pretend you live there. Bonus points if you take one on the steps. 

The Corner Of Prince Street & Salem Street

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This Instagram spot is a more for the brave-at-heart/I-do-not-care-if-a-thousand-people-see-me-do-this kind of people. Which, by the way, you should all totally be because like, everyone does it and also who cares? 

I've always wanted one of those classic but candid photo of me confidently strutting my shit through the city, and this corner was my chance to make that dream come true. Watch out for traffic (obviously), and look over your shoulder for a nice "Omg, didn't see you there" pose.

But like, close your mouth or you'll end up looking like me. 

The Wall On The Backend Of Ristorante Villa Francesca

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Hidden right off all the craziness that is Hanover Street is a little Italian restaurant with this adorable sign painted on the back of it. Get up close and personal with the retro handwriting or have your candid photographer (aka your boyfriend) get up on the staircase behind it and get the full North End view. 

You'll smell garlic bread and people will probably honk at you, but hey, that's the North End baby. 

Bova's

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A quick Google of where to get a cannoli in the North End will tell you to wait an hour in line a Mike's or Modern Pastry. Both are good, but Bova's is better. 

Thanks to Alex and his born-and-raised Bostonian friends, I was quickly directed away from the massive tourist crowds from above and led a few blocks down the street to this old school, quiet, busy but not packed little bakery. I've had my fair share of cannolis there (more than I care to disclose) and the Nutella one is my favorite. The sea salt caramel flavor comes in a very, very close second. 

They run about $4.50 a piece, and will make you feel like a real North-End-er (stop me if that's not what they call themselves).