Reputedly the first Italian café in Boston and open since 1929, Caffe Vittoria resembles those old-world cafés you find in rural Italian towns. The worn marble floors, the glass display cabinets, and a treasure trove of old coffee machines and espresso makers are reason enough to show up; Vittoria’s is as close as you’ll get to a museum of the development of the modern cup of espresso. This is not the place to order drip coffee. Instead order a cappuccino—and see how it’s really made. Two shots of strong espresso topped with creamy, near-stiff foamed milk, plus a dusting of cocoa. Maybe chase the coffee with a grappa (or vice versa) before looking around.

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