Caffe dello Sport might never be the most popular bakery on its block. Just one door over from the shop is Mike’s Pastry, a Boston landmark known widely for its cannoli. But the cafe, located in the heart of the North End, is a lesser-known culinary gem that offers authentic fare imported from Italy.
The menu boasts several wines, beers, and panini, as well as gelati, a wide selection of hot drinks, and a formidable array of pastries.
Michael Spencer, owner of Caffe dello Sport, said more than 80 percent of his products come from Italy.
“I try to keep it Italian traditional,” he said. The imported products include cold cuts, gelati, and tiramisu.
The latter ranks as a must-have dish at Caffe dello Sport. Like all pastries at the restaurant, the tiramisu costs $5. It is sweet but not overly rich, layered but still light. Mousse and several different cheesecakes are also served at the cafe.
A traditional cannolo sells for $3.25. A mini cannolo costs $2 and a chocolate-dipped $3.75. The cannoli feature a tasty filling that is noticeably sweet but not overpowering.
Those looking for a cooler dessert can buy a small gelato for $3.25 or a large gelato for $5.75.
Most drinks at the cafe cost about$3. The cappuccino ($3.25) is strong and satisfying with an impressively rich flavor. The hot chocolate ($3) is served with a healthy scoop of whipped cream.
The inside of the restaurant is inviting, with warm red walls and small round tables surrounded by black chairs. True to its name, Caffe dello Sport often shows European soccer games on two flat-screen televisions. The devotion to soccer is what Spencer said sets his cafe apart from similar establishments in the North End. A schedule of televised games is located prominently by the entry to Caffe dello Sport and Spencer said he also supports local soccer.
“I sponsor a few soccer teams throughout the year,” he said.
Caffe dello Sport is located at 308 Hanover Street. The closest T stop is Haymarket Station. The cafe is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Saturday, and from 7 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Sunday. Call (617) 523-5063 or visit www.caffedellosport.us for more information.