I had a major cannoli craving while in the North End. Having read that Modern Pastry Shop does a mean cannoli, I decided to put it to the test. Bought 2 from Mike's and 2 from Modern to sample.
The cannolis from Mike's were much sweeter. The ricotta cheese filling was also smoother. The cannolis from Modern weren't as sweet and the texture of the filling was lumpier with bits of ricotta curd. The Modern cannolis are filled as you order while Mike's are ready made.
Disclaimer: I have to admit that I'm not really a cannoli connoisseur before I present my verdict. Yes Mike's is all touristy and commercialized but I did like their cannoli's better. Part of the reason could be that the cannolis were fresher. The few cannolis they had out at Modern when I stopped by seemed rather sad. I also took the cannolis home so I could be partly to blame. Since the filling at Modern is more moist, it didn't hold up as well. I should eat it on the spot on my next visit!
These are the cannolis from Modern. They're from my phone and a little blurry. :( I can't seem to find the photos from Mike's.
Chomp Meter: I'm going to take the easy way out and say both pastry shops are worth a visit! Mike's and Modern Pastry also sell an assortment of other treats ranging from gelato to biscotti and marzipan.