Caffé Vittoria rests sandwiched in between shops and the North End’s hustle and bustle on Hanover Street.
“The Original Italian Caffé” opened in 1929 and has been serving a variety of coffee drinks, special martinis and “pasticceria tradizionale” – traditional Italian pastries – for almost 100 years.
“The coffee is authentic because we try to be consistent,” said the cafe’s manager Armando Reyes who said he started working at the cafe 30 years ago as a busboy. “When someone comes back they will get the same [consistent cup of] coffee.”
On a rainy Sunday afternoon I found myself trying the cafe’s red velvet cheesecake—something different from my usual choice of cappuccino or “cioccolatto caldo” (hot chocolate) and cannoli go-to combination.
A chocolate crust molded the cheesecake’s shape that contained layers of plain cheesecake with a red velvet cake center and cream top. The dessert was a little bit on the sweet side, but I liked it and a black cup of coffee would have complimented it nicely (I had already had a cup and a half so I refrained from more caffeine). The texture of the cheesecake was interesting and unlike that of any other I have tried due to the red velvet cake center.
I would recommend the cheesecake to a friend, but would also recommend just the hot chocolate as something more subtle for a first taste of what the cafe has to offer.
The most common dessert pairing is a “cappuccino and cannoli,” according to Reyes. The cafe offers more than a dozen Italian delicacies as well as gelato and three full-liquor bars over four floors of seating, according to the menu.
“I love everything on the menu,” Reyes said. “I used to be skinny when I started working, then I started trying everything.”
Caffé Vittoria is located on 296 Hanover St. and is open Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 7 to 12:30 a.m. It is handicap-accessible. The nearest T stops are: Haymarket (Green and Orange Lines), North Station (Green and Orange Lines) and Aquarium (Blue Line).
All photos by me (Alejandro Serrano)