Restaurant Review | Family-run Mike’s Pastry: a sweet experience
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 08:02
The best things in life are sweet. Two puppies cuddling on the carpet? Pretty sweet. Old people in the park holding hands? Sweet enough. Stopping in at Mike’s Pastry on Hanover Street for a couple of cannolis with your friends — that’s really sweet. Crowds normally swarm Mike’s all day and the line of customers can stretch out the door, but, on a drizzly Sunday morning if you’re very, very lucky you just might get the chance to give the dazzling confections the attention they deserve. The display cases at Mikes are full of delightful desserts that make you feel as if you’ve wandered into Honeydukes by mistake.
There are cream puffs as big as your fist, French macaroons, slices of tiramisu and fudge cake and of course — of course — there are the cannolis. The cannolis at Mike’s are famous, and with good reason. Big, sturdyb overflowing with filling, they come in a variety of unusual flavors including Oreo, pistachio, chocolate-dipped chocolate chip, yellow or chocolate cream-filled, strawberry, amaretto and espresso. Try to make your choice ahead of time though, because at peak hours you will be trampled by the hungry crowds! At only $3.80 apiece for each fresh-baked, handmade treat, these confections are a hot-selling item that flies off the trays. Just be sure to bring cash, as Mike’s does not accept cards.
Though you will likely be quite distracted by the sights and smells engulfing you, you will need to be able to think on your feet and clear out fast, because tables are scarce and the crowds can make the medium-sized shop feel a little bit overly-cozy. Luckily there is plenty to see and do in the North End, if you’re up to forgo seating in favor of a stroll.
The only thing that might rival Mike’s Pastry’s offerings is its enviable location. Mike’s is nestled in the North End within walking distance of great shopping areas including Faneuil Hall and the Galleria Mall, perfect for working off a creamy treat and enjoying your sugar rush with a friend. On Fridays and Saturdays, Haymarket, Boston’s open-air market boasting local fruits, veggies and seafood, is in full swing just one street over from Mike’s.
If you want to add dinner or lunch to your busy day, Mike’s is right in the heart of the Little Italy section of Boston and is surrounded by a variety of restaurants asking a good range of prices for pasta, pizza and more.
A business like this could only be a family affair, and indeed it has stayed in the Mercogliano family since 1946. The original owner, Michael Mercogliano, passed away this winter at age 90, but the shop has stayed faithfully with the family and is still going strong today.
Some people may worry that Mike’s Pastry cannot live up to the hype of its devoted fans. While it is true that even the Eiffel tower or the “Mona Lisa” can suffer from their inflated reputations, Mike’s Pastry has enough going for it in terms of variety, taste, price and location that it is simply not to be missed. Sure, Mike’s is going to have a few tourists and more than a few visiting friends being dragged in by Boston locals, but they have all come to Mike’s for a reason and you can be sure they will not leave disappointed.
People are beginning to talk about Modern Pastry, which has its home just across the street, in the same breath as Mike’s, but so far there is no competition. For a fun time with friends, a romantic evening with your sweetheart or just a beautiful day in Boston, head to Mike’s Pastry and make your experience sweet.