Are you looking into homes for sale in the North End of Boston? This little neighborhood, which covers less than half a square mile of land, is home to big development projects, tons of history and culture, and a growing population of Bostonians. Once you see what the North End has to offer, it will be easy to see why the popularity of this neighborhood continues to grow.
Living in the North End of Boston
Are you looking into homes for sale in the North End of Boston? This little neighborhood, which covers less than half a square mile of land, is home to big development projects, tons of history and culture, and a growing population of Bostonians. It is home to 10,131 residents (about 5 percent more than there were in 2000) who live in this dynamic and exciting Boston neighborhood. Before you check out listings of homes for sale in the North End of Boston, check out this overview of everything you need to know about living there.
A historic neighborhood
If Boston distinguishes itself by being a city dense with rich history, then the North End is the most impressive neighborhood in Boston. It is the oldest residential neighborhood in the entire city and was home to a bustling community as early as the 1600s. By the 1700s, the North End was a popular community for Bostonians from all occupations, from laborers and servants to wealthy families.
It was also, in the 18th century, home to American revolutionaries. The Stamp Act required British colonies in America to produce documents, newspapers, and other printed materials on a special paper produced in London and stamped with an official seal When Great Britain passed the Stamp Act of 1765,rioters attacked a mansion belonging to British Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson forcing him to escape through his garden for safety. The revolutionaries were furious at the tax burden the Stamp Act caused.
The North End from the 19th Century to Today
The 19thcentury was a troubled time for North Enders. It started with a great deal of commercial and business activity, but, by the mid-1800s, living conditions in the North End were crowded and people were impoverished. Boston’s cholera epidemic in 1849 hit the North End hard, which exacerbated the already harsh conditions. By the 1870s and 1880s, life in the North end improved. Charitable groups started to intervene and collaborate with the neighborhood’s residents to assist with job training, building parks, and improving living conditions. The worn-down wooden tenements were replaced by beautiful brick apartment buildings, many of which you will find among listings of homes for sale in the North End of Boston now. Over 150 years later these buildings are still sturdy and provide homes.
Every school in Massachusetts teaches about the Great Molasses Flood of 1919. The Purity Distilling Company’s tank broke down and spilled 2.3 million gallons of molasses onto the North End’s Commercial Street. The wave of molasses was approximately 25 feet tall. The tragedy killed 21 Bostonians and injured 150 victims. Local legend says that if you stand on Commercial Street and face the waterfront on a breezy day, you can still smell the molasses.
In 1934, the city built the Sumner Tunnel connecting the North End to Logan International Airport in East Boston. In the 1950s, the city built the John F. Fitzgerald Expressway. Boston’s famously ambitious Big Dig project rendered both the tunnel and expressway defunct. However, the Rose Kennedy Greenway carries traffic in and out of the North End.
Geography of Boston’s North End
The North End is a small but mighty neighborhood – just 0.36 square miles. Landfill projects over the years have softened the boundaries of this former peninsula. It juts into Boston Harbor on the east and the outlet of the Charles and Mystic Rivers on the north. To its northeast, connected by the Callahan Tunnel and Sumner Tunnel, sits East Boston. Since East Boston is the site of Boston’s Logan Airport, many jetsetters want homes for sale in the North End of Boston to provide a convenient route.
To the northwest is the neighborhood of Charlestown. The West End is west of the North End, and Downtown Boston is, rather surprisingly, just adjacent to the North End on its southern side.
As for the interior of the North End, the streets can feel like a maze lined with houses, storefronts, churches, and other buildings from another era. For a neighborhood of less than half a square mile, getting lost is surprisingly easy. However, the interesting routes that you will discover just add to the charm. Keep an eye out for Copp’s Hill, the highest point in the North End in the center of the neighborhood. You will easily reorient yourself so you can find your way to the homes for sale in the North End of Boston.
Transportation around the North End
With its narrow streets and pretty sidewalks, walking is the best way to get around the North End of Boston. However, if you are looking at homes for sale in the North End of Boston, you probably want a few different transportation options.
For drivers, there are several main routes out of the North End. To get to East Boston, head up Route 1A through the Callahan Tunnel. To get to Charlestown, take the North Washington Bridge, or North Washington Street. If you are heading to the West End, drive along Causeway Street, and if you want to get to Downtown Boston, Hanover Street is your best bet. To view the beautiful waterfronts along the North End’s edge, drive along Atlantic Avenue or Commercial Street.
Street parking or publicly available parking garages are rare in the North End. If you are checking out homes for sale in the North End of Boston, you might want to look into renting a parking space to avoid the hassle.
The North End covers such a small surface area it is hardly worth getting on a bus or train to get from one part of the neighborhood to another. However, there are plenty of public transit options to get from the North End into other parts of the city. The MBTA Number 4 bus route connecting North and South Station runs along Commercial Street. North Station, a few blocks outside the North End to the west, is a major transportation hub, servicing four commuter rail train lines, the Orange and Green Line local MBTA trains.
Haymarket Station, which is one block out of the North End along Sudbury Street, is another spot where North Enders can catch the Orange and Green Lines. North Enders catch the Blue Line MBTA train at Aquarium Station in Boston Harbor. In addition, 17 bus lines run through the North End – the 4, 89/93, 92, 93, 111, 117, 191, 192, 193, 325, 326, 352, 354, 424, 426, 426/455, and 428.
There are also some scenic ferry rides connecting the North End to nearby destinations. From Long Wharf, one can catch a boat to Hull, Hingham, Charleston, and Logan Airport. From May to October every year, there is a ferry from Long Wharf to Provincetown on Cape Cod. Ferries from Long Wharf to Salem, and from Long Wharf to the Boston Harbor Islands, also operate seasonally.
Other Modes of Transportation
Since 2017, the North End has become even more bike-friendly, with three BLUEBike stations at the intersections of Commercial and Fleet Streets, Hanover and Cross Streets, and Atlantic Avenue and Long Wharf. These bike-share stations allow Bostonians to rent a bike on the fly.
Therefore, if you are checking out homes for sale in the North End of Boston, you have transportation options, whether you prefer to drive, bike, or take public transportation.
Homes for sale in the North End of Boston
The real estate market in the North End is a competitive one, with many people from Boston, greater Massachusetts, New England, and even other parts of the country coming in to buy homes for sale in the North End of Boston. Renters comprise 67 percent of residents and only 33 percent own their North End, Boston homes.
The median market value of homes for sale in the North End of Boston is $700,305, but about half (42 percent) of the homes for sale in the North End of Boston are listed for more than $750,000. Another 41 percent are between $400,000 and $749,000. Just 15 percent are between $200,000 and $399,000, and the remaining 2 percent of homes for sale in the North End of Boston list for less than $99,000.
Most of the homes for sale in the North End of Boston are condominiums. However, some larger investment properties also occasionally go on the market.
Schools near Homes for Sale in the North End of Boston
There is one public school in the North End of Boston, and it has a fascinating history. The John Eliot Elementary School, operated by the Boston Public School system, is the oldest school in the city. It is the result of a merger between the North Writing School, which opened in 1713, and the North Latin School, which opened in 1790. The school is very highly rated. In 2012, Governor Deval Patrick publicly praised it as an innovation school after a four-year improvement program yielded major improvements in standardized test scores and other metrics.
There are also two private schools near homes for sale in the North End of Boston. The first is St. Johns School, a private school located at 9 Moon Street. St. Johns offers pre-K, kindergarten, and grades one through eight. There are 272 students enrolled, and the school has been open since 1873.
Lastly, the North Bennett Street School, founded in 1881, is a private vocational school, which offers the following nine programs: bookbinding, cabinet and furniture making, carpentry, jewelry making and repair, locksmithing and security technology, basic piano technology, advanced piano technology, preservation carpentry, and violin making and repair. The North Bennett School offers both full-time programs and shorter workshops. Its students are adults who have completed a secondary education.
Parks in the North End of Boston
For a small neighborhood, the North End of Boston has tons of green space! Check out one of these favorite local parks to get a taste of what the North End has to offer its outdoorsy residents.
Head up Commercial Street and make your way toward the harbor for some spectacular views of the water. Langone Park has a baseball field that the local little league uses every year, a playground, and three bocce courts. Most importantly, it has plenty of benches to take in the beautiful waterfront.
Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park
Another option for pretty waterfront views, Christopher Columbus Park is nestled near Downtown Boston on Atlantic Avenue. There are pretty, colored lights in the evenings, manicured gardens, and a bubbling fountain. On warm days, locals love to take a book or journal and then wander over to one of the many stores and restaurants nearby.
Rose Kennedy Greenway
Just near the border to Downtown Boston between Cross Street and John F. Fitzgerald Surface Road sits Rose Kennedy Greenway, full of manicured lawns, benches, fountains, and pretty views. It is a great place to bring a picnic.
Visit the Paul Revere Statue
Paul Revere is a huge part of the North End’s claim to fame. To honor this Revolutionary War hero, the city commissioned a beautiful statue. Built in 1940, the statue of Paul Revere sitting astride his horse commemorates his bravery. It is in a pretty, manicured square with a playground nearby, and looks especially charming during the autumn with colorful leaves all around. Talk about New England charm!
Historical Sites near Homes for Sale in the North End of Boston
History buffs and architecture enthusiasts are never bored in the North End! Check out these historical landmarks, all of them on the National Register of Historic Places, right near tons of homes for sale in the North End of Boston.
Old North Church
This iconic building has stood at 193 Salem Street since 1723. While its architecture is stunning and its interior beautiful, Old North Church’s biggest claim to fame has to do with Paul Revere’s midnight ride in 1775. The famous phrase “one if by land, two if by sea” referred to the lanterns that Boston patriots hung on the steeple of the church to indicate the direction from which British troupes were approaching. You can hear all about Old North Church’s history on Boston’s Freedom Trail tour.
The Old North Church has an interesting history itself. A National Historic Landmark, it is the oldest standing church in Boston. There is a bust of George Washington in the church that portrays an exact likeness of the president. There is also a great deal of history under the church. Archeologists estimate that there are 37 tombs containing approximately 1,100 bodies buried beneath the church. Undertakers buried the bodies between 1732 and 1860. Beneath the altar are Timothy Cutler, the original rector, and his wife, Entombed there is also British Marine Major John Pitcairn, who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill. Buried there is also Captain Samuel Nicholson, Commander of the USS Constitution.
Paul Revere House
Speaking of Paul Revere, did you know you can visit the house where he lived? Built in 1680, the Paul Revere House is at 19 North Square. Beautifully preserved in its colonial style, it is now a museum run by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. It became a National Historic Landmark in 1961. It is now the oldest house in downtown Boston.
After you tour the Paul Revere House, walk next door to the Pierce-Hichborn House! The same nonprofit that operates the Paul Revere house manages this house. Built in 1711, it is a gorgeous example of early Georgian architecture.
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground
Sitting at the highest point in the North End is the second oldest cemetery in Boston. Established in 1659, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground is the final resting place of many well-known revolutionaries. Students studying United States history will find this cemetery to be very informative. Some of the famous people buried there are Prince Hall, Samuel and Increase Mather, Phyllis Wheatley, and Cotton Mather. In 1974, the National Register of Historic Places added the Copp’s Hill Burying Ground to its list.
Things to do in the North End of Boston
There are a large amount of fun activities available in the North End.. Check out one of these events, points of interest, or activities before you browse homes for sale in the North End of Boston.
There are two summer festivals in the North End of Boston – one for the Feast of St. Anthony and the other for the Feast of St. Agrippina di Mineo. There are marching bands, food vendors, crafts, and colorful parades through the streets of the North End.
North End Music and Performing Arts Center (NEMPAC)
This nonprofit music school is located at the Paul Revere Mall and is committed to offering music and arts performances for the community. They present performances on the waterfront in the warmer months, which include dance, movement, and theater as well as live music. Along with performances, NEMPAC offers a broad array of private and group classes for children and adults. You can study a musical instrument, yoga, dance, theater, singing, improvisation, and more.
Locals never get bored with the shows at the Improv Asylum at 216 Hanover Street because the shows are constantly changing. The theatre produces multiple improvisational and scripted sketch comedy shows that run most nights every week. However, its main-stage show is the most popular. Stop by and laugh until your sides hurt!
Exhale Boston – Battery Wharf
Stress is a part of all of our lives. In the cold Boston weather, sometimes you just need a spa day. Try Exhale Boston’s Battery Wharf location and see if you do not feel like new again. With fantastic amenities, services, and décor, this is the perfect place to rejuvenate after a rough week.
Best places to eat in the North End of Boston
Aside from its colonial and revolutionary history, the North End is perhaps most famous for its cuisine. Try some of these tasty spots near homes for sale in the North End of Boston and you will quickly see why!
This bustling Italian restaurant feels homey and serves up generous portions of simply delicious pasta, seafood, and even vegetarian entrees. There is a bit of a wait, but the meal is worth it especially if you leave room for the tiramisu and a cappuccino at the end of your meal.
Do the gorgeous views of Boston Harbor put you in the mood for fresh seafood? Try this popular raw bar at 63 Salem Street. Along with the raw oysters, there are fresh seafood pasta dishes, the ever-popular lobster roll, fried clams, and more delectable entrees.
This family owned bakery should be your go-to for every birthday, holiday, and random craving! Serving up cakes, pies, biscotti and other delectable treats, this family-owned spot at 257 Hanover Street is nothing less than a North End institution. There is another location in Medford, but let us be honest, the North End original is worth the trip.
This friendly restaurant looks and feels as if you walked into the 1920s. It serves thin-crust, brick oven pizzas that will make your mouth water. Stop by 11 ½ Thacher Street and, once you hear the friendly staff cry out “Welcome to Boston’s original pizzeria,” order a large pie with all your favorite toppings. You will not have any leftovers.
Theo’s Cozy Corner Restaurant
Head to 162 Salem Street if your group simply cannot decide what kind of cuisine they want. You will have your pick among American, Italian, and Brazilian meals in a comfortable, well-lit setting. This is a beloved local breakfast and lunch spot.
North Street Grille
This American restaurant specializing in big, hearty plates of breakfast and brunch fare is a favorite among Bostonians. Whether you are dropping in for late night comfort food or a heaping plate of eggs and home fries, North Street Grille is sure to satisfy. Do not forget the mimosa!
Walk over to 417 Hanover Street for a cozy, romantic Italian meal complete with atmospheric red drapes and carefully curated wines. Rated by Zagat as one of the best restaurants in Boston, Nico Ristorante is so lavishly praised you have to taste it to believe. So, what are you waiting for? Taste it!
Fun Stores near Homes for Sale in the North End of Boston
shake the tree
This store is located at 67 Salem Street and has been extremely popular for over 20 years. The owner and curator of this shop, Marian Klausner has stocked it with treasures from, and inspired by, countries around the world. A gift from this store will always be special. The owner has a magnificent collection of global cookbooks, baby gifts, clothes, stationery, handmade jewelry, and craft cocktail supplies. She will even validate parking at Parcel 7 Garage!
In 1932, Anthony Polcari established this amazing coffee shop on Salem Street. It was a family labor of love and has always been a friendly, neighborhood business. They carry some wonderful flavors such as Antigua Guatemala, Brazilian Santos, amaretto, butterscotch, chocolate raspberry, chocolate almond, and coconut. This shop is a great way to start the day.
Hailed as the best Italian sub shop in Boston, this Italian deli/grocery/sandwich shop is another one of the North End’s family owned establishments. This place is popular with both tourists and locals. Brothers Jorge, Frank, and Pat Mendoza run the place together. The Medozas arrived from Argentina in 1984 and spent their childhoods in the North End. They learned the restaurant business by working in restaurants but learned about food from their mother, Monica. She taught them all about the northern Italian specialties that she cooked at home. The market provides all the ingredients you need to make an authentic Italian meal. If you do not have time to cook, they have homemade products that you can take home.
Ibyees “Everything Honey”
This unique store is located at 120 Salem Street. The amazing owners of this store farm their own bees and hives. They produce up to four different organic, raw honey flavors. They sell healthy products that make great gifts. Natural Honey and Miswak Toothpaste is one of their more interesting products. Miswak is a cleaning twig from the Salvadora tree that reduces the bacteria in the mouth. They also have skin care and hair care products made from their raw honey.
Heart and Sole
This lovely, mother/daughter owned store is located at 354 Hanover Street. They carry contemporary clothing and shoes. Their one-of-a-kind jewelry is often from local North End artists. This is a great place to shop for someone who does not like run-of-the mill clothes or accessories. While you are there, you will probably find a great gift for yourself!
Check Out Homes for Sale in the North End of Boston
We’ve told you everything you need to know about Boston’s famous North End, except for the thing we do best – the latest and greatest listings of homes for sale in the North End of Boston! Start browsing our listings now or get in touch with one of our expert real estate agents. Whether you are searching for a cozy condominium or a smart investment property, Boston Pads is here for you.