Best Places to Live in Boston: North End

A view of the historic facades on a North End street
Photo by Mark Boss on Unsplash

Wondering where to live in Boston? Today we’re touring the North End, Boston’s most historic neighborhood. Between the amazing food, easy access to transportation, and historical architecture, the North End is a great neighborhood for graduate students. 

Housing and Transportation

The North End is only a 10 minute subway ride or 20 minute walk from Emerson. Plus, the rent is average for Boston, with a  three-bedroom apartment going for about $1,400 per person

Close to North Station,  Government Center Station, and Haymarket Station, the North End has easy access to Boston’s subway. The city’s subway system is organized by color, with the Red, Orange, Green, and Blue lines branching over the whole Boston area. Both North and Government Center stations are on the Green Line, and North Station also connects to the Orange Line. If you’re looking to travel out of the city, North Station connects to the Commuter Rail. You might also catch the Blue Line at Government Center, which will take you to East Boston

Incredible Food

Known as Boston’s Little Italy, the North End is home to many amazing Italian restaurants. With most restaurants on Hanover and Salem streets, it’s easy to find the food in the neighborhood.

If you’re looking for a nice dinner, look no further than Bricco, famous for their artisanal entrees like their pumpkin tortelli and famous gnocchi. With over 1 million espresso martinis sold and an award-winning wine list, you’ll also have a great drink pairing for your order. Some other local favorites are Arya Trattoria, Carmelina’s, and Lucca’s, all located on Hanover Street.

For a more casual meal, simply walk down Hanover and stop in Dolce, a cafe owned by the same family as Bricco. Serving sandwiches, pizzas, pastries, and delicious coffee, there’s something for everyone here. 

Getting late and looking for a snack? Bova’s Bakery is open 24 hours a day and is known for their delicious food. Between their authentic Italian cookies, award winning cakes and pastries, and delicious calzones, you can’t go wrong at Bova’s. 

Worried you might miss one of the North End’s many great restaurants? You might even take a food tour through North End, where you’ll be sure to see the best spots around town!

Hanover Street, where many of North End's famous restaurants are
Hanover Street, Photo by Sydney Angove on Unsplash
Inside the Boston Public Market

Activities and History

In addition to the central location and delicious food options, the North End has plenty of historical landmarks. Home to Paul Revere’s house, a famous patriot in the Revolutionary War, and the Old North Church, you can get lost in the beautiful architecture here. This neighborhood also boasts Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Boston’s largest colonial cemetery.

If you’re a fan of tours, the Freedom Trail has a guided tour of the North End. You’ll get to see the different landmarks in the North End that were important to the Revolutionary War. 

The neighborhood is also home to the Boston Public Market, a year-round indoor farmer’s market. Here you’ll find local New England artisans selling meals, produce, and specialty items. Plus, they’ve got special events all year, so be sure to keep an eye on their schedule.

Between the history, accessible transportation, and amazing food, the North End is a great place for a graduate student to settle into Boston. For more ideas on where to live in Boston, be sure to check out our blog series or take our quiz to find the best neighborhood for you!

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Olivia is a second-year student in Emerson's Communication Disorders MS program. Originally from Ohio, she is loving Emerson and city life. When she's not writing for the Grad Life blog, she loves to read, bake, and crochet.

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