Best Pasta in Boston

September 3, 2015
·
by Zagat Staff

These Italian joints in Boston are churning out housemade pasta that tastes like it came straight from Rome.

La Summa
Italian · North End · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

"Generous portions" of "nicely executed" pasta plates and other regional Italian eats anchored in Sicilian tradition drive this "gem" "hidden" "off the strip" in the North End; the unexceptional space looks like a "typical mom-and-pop shop" , but add in a "friendly, attentive" staff and it’s "always a great value."
Sportello
Italian · Seaport District · $$
Food 4.5 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.3

Restaurateur Barbara Lynch offers a "unique" , trattoria-inspired experience at this "sleek" Fort Point destination, which "never fails to satisfy" with its "creative pasta dishes" and "great wine selection" ; some find the distinctive "diner-like setting" with most seats around two U-shaped counters a little "awkward" , while others consider it a "fun way to watch" the "hip" , "friendly" staff at work in the open kitchen.
Rino's Place
Italian · East Boston · $$
Food 4.6 · Decor 3.5 · Service 4.4

"Generous" portions of "delicious, old world–style" Italian dishes (notably "homemade pastas" ) doled out by an "attentive" team make this "affordable" East Boston "destination" a "consistent" go-to; with reservations only taken for parties of six or more and "lines out the door" , it’s "a beast to get into" , but it’s "worth the wait" as long as you expect a "cozy" joint that’s all about "the food and atmosphere – not the decor.
Florentine Cafe
Italian · North End · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 3.9

With its "wonderful" menu of homemade pastas and other accessible Italian standards, this North End "favorite" delivers the "experience you’d expect" on restaurant-packed Hanover Street, the heart of the Hub’s Little Italy; servers are "pleasant" , and the corner space features floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the sidewalk, drawing everyone from "tourists" to local people-watchers.
Bricco
Italian · North End · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.3

The "classical" hits at this contemporary North End Italian range from "upscale" standards like "tasteful" pastas to "fresh-prepared" sandwiches and "delicious" breads baked in the back-of-house panetteria; "busy" as the bi-level setting is, it has the "right mix of hum and glow" with its "nice" staff and "rustic" white-tablecloth atmosphere.
Trattoria di Monica
Italian · North End · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Even with the "long waits" , these Italian stops (with a more casual pizzeria sibling) are a "must-try" for "generous portions" of "inventive" , "well-thought-out" takes on red-sauce classics at "reasonable" prices; if the candlelit, shoebox-sized Trattoria gets "crowded" , the bright, contemporary Vinoteca feels "roomier" , while the take-out Mercato hawks "great imported" groceries upstairs and unique pies downstairs.
Giulia
Italian · $
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.5

"Fabulous" homemade pasta steals the show at this Porter Square Italian, where fans praise the "great care" evident in "exquisite" , "thoughtfully prepared" plates with "precise flavors" and seasonings that work in "symphonic harmony" ; "unpretentious, attentive" service enhances the "comfortable, stylish" oak and brick–filled space – that is, "if you can get in" ; P.S. the pasta prep space is repurposed as a chef’s table at night.
No.9 Park
French · Beacon Hill · $$$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.5

Barbara Lynch "deserves sainthood" for her "consistently great" Beacon Hill "classic" , a "stellar" French-Italian "destination" where each "elegant" dish is "beautifully presented" and "served with style and grace" in "fancy but comfortable" surrounds; though tabs are "expensive" , "you get what you pay for" "all substance, not flash."
Vinoteca di Monica
Italian · North End · $$
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

Even with the "long waits" , these Italian stops (with a more casual pizzeria sibling) are a "must-try" for "generous portions" of "inventive" , "well-thought-out" takes on red-sauce classics at "reasonable" prices; if the candlelit, shoebox-sized Trattoria gets "crowded" , the bright, contemporary Vinoteca feels "roomier" , while the take-out Mercato hawks "great imported" groceries upstairs and unique pies downstairs.
Scampo
Italian · West End · $$$
Food 4.5 · Decor 4.5 · Service 4.5

"Classy chef" Lydia Shire "is a queen" of Boston’s dining scene, and "you will pay homage" at her "wonderful" West End "favorite" , where "creative" and "exciting" Italian-inspired cuisine is delivered by a "talented" staff; the "big" , "beautiful" dining room in the Liberty Hotel, a historic former jail, can get "noisy" , but that’s all part of the "fun" , "celebratory" mood.