Caffè Vittoria has many claims to fame. To start, it’s reportedly Boston’s oldest Italian cafe, having first opened its doors in 1929. The cafe is steeped in history, from its traditional marble floors and charming, old world decor decor to its illustrious collection of vintage coffee and espresso machines. Guests are surrounded by a museum-like assortment of coffee-brewing artifacts as they sip their drinks, inviting them to reflect on the history of coffee.
But that’s just the beginning of this historic cafe’s hidden history. In 1995, a cigar bar called Stanza dei Sigari was added to the four-story building Caffè Vittoria occupies. Today, the cigar bar connected to the cafe is the last smoking lounge in Boston proper.
In addition, the cafe has a spooky hidden history. It once appeared on the TV show Syfy’s Haunted Collector, where employee concerns about paranormal activity were highlighted. During their investigation, the show’s hosts found that 292 Hanover Street, one of the street addresses the large cafe spans, may have once housed a baby farm with a dark history. A syringe was found in Caffè Vittoria’s foundation and upon its removal, the alleged paranormal activity stopped. Though the haunting is naturally not a confirmed part of the cafe’s history, Caffè Vittoria still draws some paranormal enthusiasts intrigued by its mysterious history.
Beyond its dramatic history, Caffè Vittoria draws guests in with simple, tasty food and drink. Travel and Leisure named its hot chocolate among the best in America. The homey drink is made particularly special at Vittoria — it’s a cioccolato caldo, served European style, meaning it’s super rich and decadent, though served in a smaller cup than its American counterpart. The cappuccino and tiramisu are also standouts. Caffè Vittoria’s menu of traditional Italian coffee drinks like caffè corretto and caffè macchiato will delight coffee enthusiasts.
Find it at 290-296 Hanover Street, Boston, MA 02113. The cafe and cigar bar are open from 8am to midnight.
[Featured image: Caffè Vittoria Facebook]