Follow your guide to some of the best Italian markets this side of Rome:
- Discover a pasticceria that offers the best biscotti, sfogliatelle, cannoli and other confections.
- Check out a neighborhood deli known for the best prosciutto; learn how to select the freshest olive oil and how to identify "real" balsamic vinegar. We'll discuss the different types of cheeses and tell you how to distinguish artisan pasta from the commercially produced varieties.
- Savor the scents of an 80-year-old coffee and spice shop while learning about Italian coffee culture and various old-world ingredients.
- Stop at a greengrocer to learn about select seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Tour an enoteca to learn how to select aperitivi to begin, wine to complement, and digestivi to conclude your meal.
- Relive memories of growing up in an Italian household.
During this European-style tour, you will not be eating your way through the neighborhood. Rather, our goal is to provide you with an understanding of the Mediterranean diet and methods of identifying and buying authentic Italian ingredients.
"It’s like visiting Italy…no passport required!" Your world and dinner will never be the same.
What Is Not Included?
|Sort by:||Date Attended||Gender||Age||Where From||Group Type|
|bpeeples||Sat, Feb 6 10:00 AM||Male||60-69||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
Really enjoyed the experience provided by our guide, Beth and the beautiful North End. Would recommend to everyone !!
|meganc215||Sat, Jan 30 10:00 AM||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified|
Could not recommend this tour more. VERY informative and we had such a wonderful time! We went on a colder day and ended up with just one other couple in our group. It felt like our own personal tour of the North End. Thank you so much!
Interesting, fun and delicious
|MDonovan32||Sat, Jan 30 10:00 AM||Female||40-49||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
The history of the North End, the authentic shops we went into, and the background of some of the traditions gave us a delightful look into this area of Boston. There were only 4 of us on the tour. Our tour guide engaged all of us in her presentation. We loved being introduced to some of the owners of the different shops. Monica's was a great stop and the owner was very enthusiastic and engaging. We loved all the stops along the way. The guides first hand knowledge of the area added an authenticity to our tour. GreatTime!
|Agancarz||Wed, Jan 13 2:00 PM||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified||Unspecified|
It was a cold, windy afternoon and Jackie treated myself and colleague to a walking tour that warmed the heart and captivated the mind! The warmth of the bread and vigor of the walking made it the experience of a lifetime! It is clear that passion for food and teaching is what this is all about. I would recommend without hesitation: professional, timely, kind, informative, memorable...what else could a person ask for. Superb!
|NickiMaher||Sat, Jan 9 10:00 AM||Female||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
This was a gift that I had purchased for my family for xmas. I knew it would be something we could experience together and served as a way for us to lock in a plan for a full day with quality time--interruption free :) we loved everything about it--how interactive the host was as well as how informative the tour was. We fell in love with some of our stops and products we were introduced to. I had reserved a table at Vinoteca Di Monica and it was EXCELLENT--clean plate club all around. We left Boston with a full belly, desserts to go (from Maria's) and some fruit and veggies from the farmers market across the street. Perfect outing for adult groups, family and/or friends. Highly recommend it :)
|MegLumia||Fri, Jan 8 3:00 PM||Female||50-59||Domestic Tourist(s)||Family Without Children|
I like it a lot. Learned about the history of the North End, food, little out of the way places to shop. After the tour we got a fabulous recommendation for dinner. I would recommend.
Second time on the tour
|NJGeib||Sat, Jan 2 2:00 PM||Female||50-59||Local||Group of Friends|
This tour was a Christmas gift to our good friends visiting from Florida! They loved it! It was my second time doing this tour and I learned so much - again!!! Highly recommended! One suggestion ~ don't eat right before the tour! There is enough to fill the tummy during the tour and then you'll have room to have dinner in North End afterward! We were so full, we just had antipasto and drinks before getting in the T!!
|Lauwalker||Sat, Jan 2 2:00 PM||Female||40-49||Local||Family With Children|
I took my sister, mom and daughter on this tour...so from age 16 to 75. We learned a lot about the neighborhood and the food. Can't wait to go visit some of those restaurants on our own.
|jps21046||Wed, Dec 30, 15 2:00 PM||Male||30-39||Domestic Tourist(s)||Couple on a Date|
Good food and learned good information. Would recommend the tour.
Awful weather, my wife and were the only tour goer
|fbriber||Wed, Dec 30, 15 10:00 AM||Unspecified||60-69||Local||Family Without Children|
We thoroughly enjoyed our small group tour. More shopping time might have been appreciated.
- Do I have to purchase tickets in advance? Can I pay cash?
- Tickets must be purchased in advance, and tours often sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day and time you prefer, please book well in advance. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa, Mastercard or AmEx. Cash is not accepted.
- Do you require a minimum number of tickets for the tour to take place?
- Yes, we only run our tours with at least 4 people. Since this is a very popular tour, this is not usually an issue, but during the winter months it may happen a bit more frequently. If you would like to go on a tour that has not yet met the minimum, and you do not wish to purchase 4 tickets, you may place yourself on the wait list by clicking on the "place your group on the wait list" link on the purchase page. We will then contact you if the tour opens up so that you can purchase your tickets.
- If a tour is sold out can I get on a waiting list?
- We do not provide a waiting list. If a date is sold out, it is likely that we will add an additional tour. Please contact us via e-mail at email@example.com or by clicking “Contact MicheleTopor” to let us know what date you are interested in.
- Do you offer custom private group tours?
- We welcome custom group tours from 10-60 people on Monday, Tuesday or Thursday. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or click “Contact MicheleTopor” to the left of the page and let us know the details of your request. A North End Market Tour representative will contact you shortly.
- Does the tour include lunch?
- While we wil be tasting specific Italian food ingredients so that you have benchmark flavors, lunch will not be provided, so please plan to eat before or after the tour - think of it as an antipasto to whet your appetite.
- What if I have dietary restrictions?
- We will be tasting specific Italian food ingredients so that you have benchmark flavors. If you have dietary restrictions (vegetarian, diabetic, kosher), you could just simply refrain from those particular tastings.
- Can I shop on the tour?
- We ask that you wait to shop until after the tour so that we can spend more time learning about the fabulous Italian food ingredients and enjoying the tastes we have arranged. Hopefully, you will allow yourselves some extra time at the end of the tour to return to your favorite stores.
- What is the maximum number of people on a tour?
- Since the shops are very small, we limit the regular tour to 13-14 depending on the day. Saturday tours before Christmas and Easter may be limited to 10 people.
- What if it rains or the weather is inclement?
- The tour is held rain or shine. If the weather is very inclement, e.g. heavy snow or hurricane, the tour may be cancelled. Refunds will be offered in the extremely rare event that the company cancels the tour, but in all other situations, no refunds will be provided.
- Who will be leading the tour? Can I register for a tour that Michele will be conducting?
- Most tours are led by Michele’s personally trained assistants (guides). Depending on availability, Michele might be leading a tour but there is no way of knowing beforehand. Rest assured that Michele's standards are very high - her assistants are terrific and each one brings their own special style.
- Are gratuities for the tour guide included in the ticket price?
- Gratuities (tips) for your guide are not included in the ticket price. If you enjoyed your tour, tipping your guide is acceptable, optional, and always appreciated.
- Where do the tours start?
- Upon registration you will receive a confirmation indicating where you are to meet the tour group.
- Where do the tours end?
- The tour route will depend on how busy the stores might be on a given day. The weekday and regularly scheduled Saturday tours will usually end at the corner of Richmond and North St. The 3pm Saturday afternoon tour and any other added tour will end at the corner of Fleet and Hanover St.
- I’m Italian American and have shopped in the North End for years – will the tour offer me anything new?
- We have had many local North Enders on tour and they have been amazed at their new food finds. And most important, they are able to relive memories of their childhood and learn how their food culture evolved.
- What if I don’t live in Boston, why would I want to take the tour?
- To learn about one of the most vibrant ethnic neighborhoods in this country. Since the tour is like a walking cooking class, you will learn about how Italians eat, the best ingredients and how to buy them, special cooking tips, and what a feast for the senses! Since most of the stores also sell online, you will learn about great sources for ingredients. Your world and dinner will never be the same.
- Is the morning tour different from the afternoon tour?
- Both tours offer the very same information and food tastings. If you plan on staying in the neighborhood to revisit many of the stores after the tour, you might want to do the morning tour, keeping mind that most of the stores generally close at 6pm. Otherwise, many tour participants just want to stay on after the tour to enjoy dinner at one of our many fabulous restaurants.
- I took the tour a couple of years ago. Has anything changed?
- The discussion of the most important ingredients remain the same. Some ingredients change according to the seasons, especially during Easter and Christmas, when the neighborhood is most festive. As we learn more, we do our best to improve upon and enhance the tour.
- Will there be any place to sit during the tour? Is it a fast paced tour?
- Only one store has limited seating. The tour involves standing and walking as we wind our way through the neighborhood, visiting about 6 stores. You should plan to be on your feet for the length of the tour, so wear your comfortable walking shoes. We do walk at a relatively quick pace. The neighborhood is a bit under 1/3 square mile and we walk up and down about 8-9 blocks.
- Can you accommodate people with disabilities? What about strollers?
- Some of the stores have a step up to enter and are not wheelchair accessible. Most of the stores are also very tiny. If you are able to leave the wheelchair outside of the store and enter with a cane, the tour can accommodate you. Strollers will also have to remain outside the store. There is no problem with their safety outside the door of the store.
- What about taking children on the tour?
- We love introducing children to Italian food and culture. The age of the child and their interest level and attention span will help you decide. Will they be bored over several hours with adults? Will they impact the other guests' enjoyment? Please consider the tiny congested stores, the amount of standing in place while listening to the guide, and the other participants on tour. You know your child and can help ensure that everyone has a great tour.
- Do you visit restaurants on the tour?
- We don’t walk into restaurants but we provide you with a handout of our favorite restaurants and point out our favorites as we pass by. Remember, this is a very subjective commentary.
- Are the tours offered only in English?
- Yes, we only offer tours in English. If you would like to make arrangements for your own interpreter to join the tour, please contact North End Market Tours by clicking “Contact MicheleTopor” or e-mail us at email@example.com.
- Are gift certificates available for the North End Market Tour?
- Yes, gift certificates are available for the North End Market Tour, and they make a perfect gift for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate for the North End Market Tour please click on the "Gift certificates: Purchase" link in the box above.
- How is my gift certificate delivered? Can I print it out now and give it to the recipient myself?
- Yes, you can! When you purchase your gift certificate online, you will be presented immediately with your gift certificate so that you can print it out and deliver it. If you buy it over the phone, a link to your gift certificate will be emailed to you as soon as your purchase is completed.
- What if I want the gift certificate emailed to the recipient instead?
- That's no problem, either! When you purchase your gift certificate, just select the option to have the certificate emailed directly to the recipient and provide their email address. You'll even be able to decide whether you want the email sent immediately or if you'd prefer to schedule it to be emailed on a future date. (For instance, if you want to buy it today so you don't forget, but you don't want it emailed to the recipient until their special day!)
- Can we take photos during the tour?
- Still camera shots are welcomed and with the characters in the neighborhood, you could find yourself with some memorable photos. Video cameras are not allowed.
- Are bathrooms available during the tour?
- Except for emergencies, bathroom stops are not available during the tour. Prior to the tour, all coffee shops have bathrooms for customers.
- Do you offer discounts for travel agents?
- The standard travel agent discount is 10% for up to 4 people. This discount is valid for travel agents who will be attending the tour, and requires the agent to provide a business card at the start of the tour. To use this discount, please contact North End Market Tours by clicking “Contact MicheleTopor” and providing your travel agency’s name and contact information.
Michele Topor, Inc.
Since Michele is not available to conduct most of the tours, she has personally selected and trained her guides to convey not only the secrets of the cuisine in the high quality of ingredients but also the sense of regional tradition, the healthfulness of the Italian diet, and that very Italian love of life.