Nico

4.6
2952 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Nick Varano invites you to enjoy superlative and classic Italian fare in this boldly colored and romantic atmosphere. NICO’s friendly and enthusiastic staff set the bar for quality customer service. The kitchen is under the direction and expertise of celebrated Boston chef, Salvatore Firicano.
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
Italian
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Hours of operation
Lunch and Dinner Served Daily
Sunday - Thursday 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Friday & Saturday 12:00pm - 12:00am
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Phone number
(617) 742-0404
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Business Casual
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Executive chef
Salvatore Firicano.
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Between Harris St. and Hanover Ave.
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Public transit
MBTA Blue Line

Aquarium, Government Center

MBTA Orange Line

Haymarket Station
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Entertainment
Join us on Tuesday nights for Street Magic!
Additional
Bar Dining, Beer, Entertainment, Non-Smoking, Private Room, Wine

Specials

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Sun - Thu 4:00PM - 5:30PM 8:45PM - 11:00PM
Fri - Sat 4:00PM - 5:00PM 9:00PM - 11:00PM

What 2952 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.6based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.5
service
4.3
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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JL
New York Area
12 reviews
Dined 2 days ago
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 4

This is a neighborhood gem in the North End of Boston. You only get these types of old-school Italian restaurants in the Northeast... usually NYC, Boston or Philly. The food was first-rate and the service was attentive. I would definitely go back...

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JB
New England
1 review
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Although the majority of the reviews for Nico are highly rated and positive, after reading some of the recent reviews I was a a bit nervous that my own experience would be less than ideal. However, I was pleasantly surprised with my dining experience.

We arrived about 10-15 minutes prior to our reservation and grabbed a drink at the bar while we waited for a table to open up. Based on other reviews, I requested a table upstairs and away from the door since it was stated that the upstairs was a bit classier than downstairs and was better for a special occasion/date setting. The upstairs was very nice and we were satisfied with the setting, but I would argue that the downstairs is more desirable due to less tables, less noise, dimmer lighting, and the presence of only one TV. As more people began to arrive at the restaurant, it became quite loud upstairs and difficult to have a private conversation without speaking loudly. The bar being upstairs also contributed to this noise and had several TVs which were a bit distracting at time.

Recent negative reviews about the waitstaff also worried us a bit, but we were beyond thrilled with our waiter Alessandro. Although he was busy, he still took time to answer questions about the menu and to give his personal recommendations on dishes. We were never left waiting or wondering where he was. The hostess, bartender, and other waitstaff we interacted with were also fantastic.

We started with the arancini and both thought it was spectacular. My better half ordered chicken and fettuccine Alfredo, which we both thought was amazing. I ordered the sirloin wrapper in prosciutto, which I also loved. Although the steak was a bit smaller than I would have liked for the price, the fettuccine ended up lasting two meals. Overall we were very satisfied with the food and would recommend pasta dishes for the best value.

Aside from the noise being a bit louder than ideal, we had no issues whatsoever and would definitely recommend Nico.

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DJ
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 2

Food was great as was the service. The ambiance was not ideal. We were dining downstairs in a relatively small dining room. There was a television in the dining room that was on showing some movie on mute. It was extremely distracting and seemed very unnecessary in a fine dining establishment like Nico. I asked the hostess to turn it off and they did. So it became a non issue, but initially it was off putting.

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DT
New England
1 review
Dined on January 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We lucked out; came in on a weeknight (with a reservation). It’s small and very nice; the food was beautiful and plentiful! Great service and wine recommendations from the knowledgeable staff. Pricey for us but totally worth it.

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f
New England
1 review
Dined on January 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Definitely a place to return. Excellent food and service. It was a very enjoyable birthday dinner with family!

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KM
New England
1 review
Dined on January 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I went on a Monday night with my boyfriend and we loved it! Rosato was our server and he was very personable and great at explaining the specials. We were told the chef was named Angelo and we loved everything we had (risotto, carbonara and stuffed veal chop Special). We ended the night with two espresso martinis made by Gina which were icing on the cake! We both work in the Restaurant industry and were blown away by the service and cuisine. It was nice having every course spaced out. We highly recommend it to anyone looking for an intimate dinner with great authentic Italian cuisine.

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OT
1 review
Dined on January 6, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

Very pleasant, our waiter (forget his name) was very nice and attentive. Reasonable value for some good Italian food. Would definitely come back

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SD
New England
1 review
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 3

Food was great but the service was not. My folks asked for the least expensive bottle of Sauvignon bland and received a higher priced bottle. After two beers I requested another and was brought a completely different type. Waiter was uninterested in customer service and clearly didn’t want to be there. Pushed us along from the start.
Again, the meals were wonderful. Perhaps we just got the wrong server on the wrong night - everyone has a bad day.

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D
New England
7 reviews
Dined on January 5, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful experience. Very attentive staff. Amazing food-husband loved the gnocchi, I had a spicy marina. Wonderful evening out with my husband.

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J
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Really good food, nice ambiance, right in the North End

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RS
1 review
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Nico was great . Food & service was excellent. Would highly recommend checking it out.

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MB
Philadelphia
2 reviews
Dined on January 4, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 2

We really enjoyed the food. Real Italian and freshly made. It was a bit noisy and it is a small restaurant so I would not reccommend going there if you want a quiet dinner. I went with my family and it was fine. Well worth the food you get.

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D
1 review
Dined on January 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We almost didn’t go because of the unfavorable comments from New Yorkers. Small restaurant so seating is limited. Reservations are a must.

We went on a Wednesday at 4:30pm - was seated immediately had a delicious dinner and dessert. Service was excellent. Very attentive staff. Pace was very good. Highly recommend just note that seating and parking are extremely limited - so plan on public parking somewhere; but it is the North End - so that is expected.

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OT
Pittsburgh
10 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and service!!

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OT
New England
6 reviews
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Really nice date night restaurant

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DM
New England
1 review
Dined on December 31, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

Atmosphere was great! Service was excellent. My daughter and I both had different steak dinners and both were over cooked. We asked for medium rear and got medium to medium well. All other food in the party was excellent. They all had pasta options.

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D
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Delicious food and our waiter, James was super! Highly recommend the chicken Parmesan!

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OT
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Favorite Italian spot in North End. Food and service has always been perfect here! Thank you

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LD
New England
4 reviews
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

Food and service fantastic. Large party next to us celebrating a birthday and they were very loud.

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OT
New England
1 review
Dined on December 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Everything was great. Late at night the valet can be slow.

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MM
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on December 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were a group of 14; from the moment we walked in and were greeted and seated to the moment we left, we were treated very well; our server was upbeat and attentive, our water glasses were continually and promptly refilled, and the food was delivered to all of us at the same time. The food itself was delicious; everyone enjoyed their meal! The room is cozy, the seating comfortable; I would definitely return to Nico.

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FI
Pittsburgh
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Overall...a wonderful experience. Quality of food was 2nd to none.

Only issue was more logistical....having never been to this restaurant before, I was not aware that there are dining tables right next to bar seats AND the front door.

In addition to being cold and drafty, it was very crowded feeling and loud. Of course, that ended up being our ( first) table. I knew it would not work.

My issue to share - the host made this my problem...saying “if you didn’t want a specific table, you should have let us know”. OK...I will learn to read minds next time

Happily, after a tense “ you will have to wait now for the Next available table”, he regrouped and we were seated quickly. He did remind me to be more specific next time.

Still had a great meal.

Minor issue in the overall scheme of the evening...but, hey, it’s feedback...

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OT
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

As ever the food was delicious. It was busy and the service was negativity impacted. Pretty inattentive, which is not the norm; but disappointed as it was a special occasion we were celebrating and we are quite frequent customers at Nicos. The waiter was new, a nice guy, but seem overwhelmed at times. We had to ask several times for bread service, flag him down when we needed things, etc. The infamous expresso coffee machine was as usual (for about a year now) out of service. Come on guys, you can do better. Hopefully the slide in service is temporary and not a sign of things to come, as Nico’s has been for a long time one of our “go to” restaurants.

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d
New England
9 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was excellent. I had a Veal chop which was very tender and flavorful. The wait staff was great. We had a large party which they don't accommodate well.

Overall, I would recommend!

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D
Philadelphia
18 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was some of the best Italian cooking I have ever experienced. The special meatball is the most amazing creation - served with fresh ricotta and basil. Absolutely amazing. They made a special ravioli for my son that was so very delicious- and save room for dessert- it’s so worth it! Wonderful service from everyone. One of the best dining experiences!

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MN
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on December 27, 2018
Overall 1food 3service 1ambience 1

Overall, this restaurant was very disappointing and not recommended. We arrived early for our reservation and were told that it would just be a few minutes until the group currently seated at the table finished up. We waited at the bar, but it's a small place, so we were constantly in the way. After 10 minutes, another party arrived late for their reservation and was given our table, even though we were early and our reservations were both at 7. The host said that the other party hadn't even confirmed their reservation. Regardless, the host was very rude and favored that party because they were all white men/women, and we had a mixed party that included 2 Korean Americans in a restaurant with no other minorities. We requested to speak with the manager after 15 minutes, but he was incompetent and not helpful. They refused to apologize for the wait and for giving away our table. After 35 minutes, we were finally seated. The only reasons we didn't leave were that I had a $100 reward being redeemed and didn't know if I could have it refunded to use elsewhere, and it was prime time for dinner on a cold night and wasn't sure we'd find anything good nearby that didn't have a long wait.

The wait staff was friendly. The food was good, but nothing special. They probably spit in our food after the dispute, as the restaurant seemed that unprofessional. The poor attitude of the host and supposed manager was unacceptable. There was another party of 3 that arrived before us that was seated 40 minutes late, and another party that arrived right after us that was seated 1 hour late. We actually talked to that party, as they were next to us, and they were in agreement that the attitude was very poor. This restaurant seems to believe that they don't need to offer good service, but their food and ambiance isn't enough to make up for the lack of good hospitality in a city with many good Italian restaurants. Don't waste your time or money here, especially if you are a minority.

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s
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 5

all was great except the restaurant mislead us when it came to valet parking. They stated that they did not know the cost and that they thought it was only a tip. We should have known better, but FYI the valet parking is $25.00.

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SS
New England
5 reviews
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great family restaurant!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??

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d
New England
1 review
Dined on December 26, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 2ambience 3

My family of 7 had a very mediocre, disappointing and overpriced meal on Christmas. The food was quite bland and tasteless. The appetizers were the best part. I had the Cioppino special. The broth was clear and watery and without any spice that I could taste. There was not any fish included. Also, one of the waitstaff rudely told my son in law to remove his hat as we walked in the door. It was quite cold outside and he hadn't even had a chance to get settled and remove his coat and hat.

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SZ
Memphis
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food. Was pleasantly surprised...just needed someplace open on Christmas before heading to the Celtics game. Not that many choices were available so I just picked one. Food was amazing! Would have preferred to sit upstairs, but it was really busy so didn't have much choice. Downstairs is OK, but ask for upstairs if want a little nicer atmosphere

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CH
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Went on Christmas with the family and the food and service was amazing! Our party was a running a few minutes late and the hostess was very accommodating and pleasant. I would highly recommend Nico if you’re looking for authentic Italian cuisine in the North End.

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L
Chicago
13 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 4ambience 1

The food was really fresh and tasty but there is not enough seating on the first floor and we had to sit in the basement. They put a curtain next to our table to avoid watching the restroom. Very unpleasant.

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MM
New England
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 3

Fantastic and attentive service... this coming from a former fine dining server.

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F
Naples
4 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 3ambience 2

Poor hostess wanted to seat us downstairs next to rest room. Tv was on downthere also. I said we needed to be moved to another table. She did move us or we were leaving all 6 of us. Food was ok. Our server was excellent that was the only good thing of the afternoon.

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OT
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was great

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Was amazing food
Only negatives were they don’t serve mixed drinks or coffee.

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T
New England
66 reviews
Dined on December 25, 2018
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 2

We went on Xmas Eve and it was busy. When we arrived and gave our name the host said he was setting up our table downstairs. I told him that I had SPECIFICALLY requested UPSTAIRS (main floor) in my reservation. He did give us the next table for 2 that opened up on the main floor-which he had intended to give to someone else who had complained about being seated downstairs (but they hadn't specified anything in the reservation.) Not a good beginning! We found the food to be ok but not memorable. We shared a caesar salad first and it was ok but rather small for $11. I had the fusilli with shrimp which was very good. My husband had the sauteed shrimp and scallops in black truffle cream sauce and was very disappointed. He said the sauce had no flavor and was like milk. Tiramasu for dessert was disappointing-it was the type that comes in a small cup rather than cake-like. So all in all we found the place to be very overrated.

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KD
New England
2 reviews
Dined on December 24, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 2ambience 4

This is the third time I have been to Nico and as usual the food was amazing! However, the service was unusually poor. We were told our table wasn't ready when we arrived for our reservation. We expected this since it happened last time we came, and gladly sat at the bar for a drink while we waited. We waited at the bar for more than 30 minutes though, and then finally asked the hostess if our table was ready. She looked surprised and said that it had been ready for a while, and then sat us right next to the door. Our food came out very quickly, so I guess they were trying to make up for their mistake. But we felt rushed. Overall it wasn't a bad experience, but I won't be going back. So many amazing places in the North End to try before returning here. Also, they never checked us in, so I got an email from opentable saying I was a "no-show".

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LD
New England
3 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food. Great spot! We chose it randomly and were very pleased.

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CM
New England
1 review
Dined on December 22, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Attentive and friendly service ! Pasta was delicate and delicious .. a nice dining experience .

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