Boston Globe Calendar

July 18-24, 2002

Hit of the Week: Insider’s North End

If you spent a lifetime in the North End scouting for food finds like the freshest cannoli or the most tender calamari, you might discover all the North End tips that Michele Topor knows. Or you could just let Topor divulge her three decades of tasty discoveries during her North End Market Tour.

Topor’s 3-hour tour is like a Food Network fantasy come true — you get to eat all the goodies the expert makes you drool over. Like the pied piper of the hungry, Topor leads each tour from bakery to salumeria (market), butcher to fruttivendolo (green grocer), and wine store to pescheria (fish shop). While you taste, say, fresh figs or a limoncello cordial, she throws in shopping, storing, and serving advice.

Restaurant tips and food trivia (did you know coffee-laced tiramisu takes its name from Italian slang for “pick me up”?) flow from Topor nonstop. Better yet, she knows everyone. You’ll meet the shopkeepers, peek behind the scenes, and get a warm welcome from all the grandpas out on the sidewalk.

North End Market Tour: Wednesdays and Saturdays 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.; Fridays 3 p. m. $39. Reservations: 617-523-6032 or — DENISE TAYLOR