Anyone who is from the Boston area can tell you about the rivalry that exists between the two of the biggest Italian pastry shops. Situated in the heart of the North End, both serve delicious desserts, especially cannolis.
Last week, my wife and I tried the cannoli and chocolate mousse from Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry. To get an unbiased answer, I did not reveal which dessert came from which shop.
Mike’s cannoli is significantly larger in size than Modern’s, and has more cream inside the shell, but the appeal factor was more for Modern’s. Modern’s cannoli looks more rustic and homemade, and is crispier than Mike’s. While presentation does matter when it comes to food, it all comes down to what it tastes like! Both cannolis were extremely fresh, but the cream in Modern’s was softer, creamier, and sweeter. It didn’t take us long to determine that Modern has the superior cannoli. Perfect crispy shell stuffed with creamy ricotta. Simply delicious!
The next test was for the chocolate mousse cake. This one was really tough, and we went back and forth between the two with every bite. Modern’s consisted of 5 layers, whereas Mike’s consisted of 6 layers. Modern was slightly sweeter, but wasn’t too sweet by any means. What helped us make our decision was how Modern’s Chocolate Mousse just melts in your mouth with every bite. Sorry Mike, this was really close, but Modern was better.
In terms of customer experience, Modern was hands down better. Their staff was courteous, willing to help and patiently waited for me to take a decision. While the staff was professional at Mike’s Pastry as well, but the experience was quite rushed in general and the staff wasn’t as courteous and helpful. Another huge plus for us is that Modern Pastry has a satellite location in Medford which has ample on-street parking and saves you from th e hassles of going to the North End, dealing with the traffic and parking situation.
So while this was a tough call, and you can never go wrong with either one, Modern Pastry is definitely better than Mike’s Pastry.