Oyster's Guide To Little Italys Across The U.S.
The best known Little Italy may be Manhattan's, but old-world enclaves bursting with Italian culture can be found across the country.
We've picked out the best places to mangia in these lively Italian neighborhoods, as well as our favorite spots to bed up for the night after indulging in plenty of pasta, pastries and vino. Cent'anni!
Manhattan's Little Italy
- Il Cortile: The inspiration behind the Billy Joel hit “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Il Cortile is an upscale staple of Mulberry Street. Its charming courtyard and Southern Italian fare attract many celebrities, including Donald Trump and Robert DeNiro.
- Di Palo’s Fine Foods: This incredible Italian market, opened in 1914, imports foods from all 20 regions of Italy. A wide array of cured meats, 300+ imported cheeses, handmade ravioli and an endless bevy of antipasti line the shelves.
- Lombardi’s Pizza: New York City pizza is the best in the country, hands down. (Sorry, Chicago.) And this pizzeria put the neighborhood on the culinary map back in 1895.
Boston's North End
- Cantina Italiana: Serving up bombolotti — a pasta unique to this North End eatery — this landmark restaurant opened its doors in 1931 and has been satisfying customers ever since.
- Caffe Vittoria: Boston’s original espresso bar puts any Starbucks to shame with its scrumptious homemade pastries and time-perfected cappuccinos and espresso. The intimate, old world vibe is perfect for romancing.
Providence’s Federal Hill
- Scialo Bros. Bakery: Making traditional Italian pastries since 1916, this family-run bakery has a following — a major following. Getting through the door on a weekend morning might set you back an hour, but once you take a bite of their biscotti, you’ll know it was worth it.
- Venda Ravioli: What was once a cramped, one-room shop is now the premier spot to shop for Italian delicacies on Federal Hill. With a prime location on DePasquale Square — and a cafe, gelato bar, and espresso bar on site — this huge food emporium stocks imported goods and tasty homemade treats.
Chicago’s Little Italy
- Conte Di Savoia: A quality Italian deli on Taylor Street since 1948, Conte Di Savoia offers some of Chicago’s best sandwiches and salads, as well as Italian specialties and imports.
- RoSal’s: A beloved Sicilian eatery in the heart of Chicago’s Little Italy, RoSal’s is all about keeping the “old neighborhood” alive. Chow down on simple traditional fare surrounded by black and white photos from days past.
San Diego's Little Italy
- Filippi’s Pizza Grotto: The DePhilippis moved to San Diego from their Bronx neighborhood in 1950 and opened an Italian grocery store that catered to the local fishermen, with sandwiches and small pizzas. The business has since expanded but the food hasn’t changed a bit — and that’s definitely a good thing.
- Solunto Baking Co.: This landmark bakery, once frequented by Frank Sinatra, makes the best Italian breads around — sans sugar, additives, or preservatives. It boasts an old-school take on health, but the homemade pizza, sausages, and arancini (or riceballs) are sure to be rich in recompense.