Boston’s North End Market Tour – a fun culinary experience!

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A streetcorner in Boston’s Little Italy

I took The North End Market Tour of Boston’s Little Italy with a group of friends over Labor Day weekend in 2008. It was one of the best things to do while we were in Boston!

I was with my sister-in-law and her gourmet club; I have to say that I am not a cook by any stretch of the imagination – but I do enjoy eating!

And that’s the beauty of this tour. It’s not a cooking class and it doesn’t teach you how to make Italian food. But this half-day walking tour of the historic Italian neighborhood goes to bakeries, corner grocery stores – even a wine shop – to teach about the history of Italian immigrants in the neighborhood, their culinary traditions, and finding authentic ingredients for your own recipes.

I don’t remember the names of the shops we visited (but then again, if I did you wouldn’t take the tour!). We started at a great little bakery off Hanover St. It wasn’t one of the bakeries that’s likely to be listed in your tourist guide – that’s the beauty of the tour; they show you places the locals patronize, not the tourists. The bakery had the best cookies, breads, and cakes! We also visited a corner grocery for spices, a butcher shop for meats and real balsamic vinegar, and a wine and liquor shop. We had a taste at each shop, along with the information provide by the guide.

The guide, by the way, was charming and funny as well as informative. The tour was very entertaining and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

The tours are run by Michele Topor and they can be booked through They also do a similar tour in Chinatown.

This post is contributed by Judy Christensen

More About Tours in Boston

If you’re partial to a good tour, whether to learn history, local zoo or simply to experience the best Boston has to offer, you can explore other great options on our Boston Tours page.