The Italian Express US Map & Phone & Address

2-4 Hartford St, Newton; (617) 332-6210

600 W. Cummings Park, Woburn; (617)933-5156

Tip-free

When Mine’s book first came out this Newton cafe was a French-style place called Oh La La. Though it appears relatively unchanged, the cuisine has moved further down the continent. It’s still a fine stop for a quick eat-in or take-out meal. (Its Woburn sibling does the same for the office-park crowd.)

The traditional, southern Italian food is homemade and hearty. Just $4.25 gets you a big slab of tender spinach lasagna, slathered in tomato sauce, with a hunk of crusty bread. Same price for a hot chicken parm sandwich, made with fresh, breaded chicken breast. They roll their own calzone too, with various fillings. Can’t decide? Go for the combo plate eggplant, meatballs, and sausage, topped with sauce, served with pasta, bread, and a cannoli for dessert, all for $7.95. Course, in true European fashion, you’ll have to take a nap afterwards.

Those cannoli, by the way, are also made on the premises; half of the Express is a bakery, serving up breads, pastries, and cappuccino. This side of the store has a pleasant ice cream parlor look to it, including bookshelves lined with paperbacks to leaf through while you sit n sip (these seem to have survived intact from the previous incarnation). If the weather’s nice, you can also sit outside on the brick patio. Open weekdays from 7:30 am. to 7:30 P.M.; Saturdays 7:30-6; Sundays 8:30-3. Woburn hours are 7:30 to 3:30, weekdays only.

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