Italian Food

Flyby Blog and Kane Hsieh

In this series, columnist Lingbo Li will tackle all your questions about foodie life at Harvard and in the Cambridge/Boston area. Got a query? Leave a comment or e-mail us at

Where is a good Italian place nearby besides Bertucci's?

I once had the worst meal of my life at Bertucci's. It involved a tiny, desiccated chicken breast perched atop a flat sea of finely chopped iceberg lettuce that looked more like sawdust than salad.

But I digress. Anyway, I guess by "nearby" you don't mean the North End, where you can definitely find some great Italian places. If you're willing to spend some extra cash, Rialto in the Charles Hotel cooks up some lovely Italian food—although its style is a bit different from Bertucci's. And it's actually surprisingly affordable if you sit at the bar and order from their lower-priced menu featuring pizzas ($12), penne bolognese ($14), and sparkly little bites like fried olives ($4). On Mondays, drop by for $1 oysters (although not too late, one time I came and they were all out).

Alternatively, Dave's Fresh Pasta in Davis Square has drawn rave reviews for its freshly prepared pasta, ravioli, and sauces. Or if you’re looking for somewhere a bit closer to home, Basta Pasta in Central Square is a local favorite, known for its large portions and lovingly crafted sauces, particularly its bolognese.

Lingbo Li, a junior in Quincy House, is a food blogger, an FM food columnist, and FlyBy's resident gastronome.

Photo by Kane Hsieh/The Harvard Crimson.