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Recommendations in Little Italy?

I just moved to Baltimore and would like to explore Little Italy for lunch soon. Any recommendations - from a food and espresso perspective - would be appreciated.

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  1. My rec? Skip Little Italy and head over to DiPasquale's on Gough Street in Highlandtown for lunch. It's a great little Italian deli. Most of Little Italy is mediocre at best. Bocaccio is good but pricey.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ko1

      My family has lived in the Baltimore area for 2 years. My husband and I have recently made it our personal mission to eat at each and every restaurant in Little Italy. So far, Amicci's has my vote for flavor and value. It is a great family restaurant. Especially like the appetizer with round bread covered in a shrimp and sauce. I have heard that their desserts are not made here, so might want to steer clear and head to Vaccaro's Bakery after a walk around the block. Sabatino's is also quite good and has a cute "date" atmosphere, and I love their salad and garlic bread. Chipperelli's has great callimari. Da Mimmo's was fun, but very, very pricey, and I didn't think that the food was that much better than the less expensive restaurants above.

    2. an espresso perspective? Heh heh. Heh. Erm, no.

      Have you ever seen Big Night? The movie about two Italian immigrants who really know how to cook regional cuisine, but go out of business because patrons expect spaghetti and meatballs and Louis Prima on the sound system like Pasquale's Italian Grotto up the street?

      All of Little Italy is Pasquale's Italian Grotto. Pasta, red sauce, clam sauce, fried calamari, meat parmesean, Catcho di Giorno, ugh....I'm so sick of trying to find any place down there that isn't just phoning it in. I had a passable meal at Della Notte last year, so that's the best I can do. Maybe someone else has discovered a recent gem. I hope so.....

      1. I've always found La Tavola to be a cut above!

        http://www.la-tavola.com/

        2 Replies
        1. re: hon

          I agree with the rec for La Tavola - I went there for the first time a few months ago and found the food to be rather good. We had a mix of pasta, veal and fish and every one at the table was pleased with the food.

          1. re: hon

            I also liked La Tavola back in the day when I lived in B'more. Have not been on some years, though. It is still being posted about on these boards as being good by B'more's Little Italy standards (okay), so FWIW, it was always my "go to".

          2. Well, unfortunately, I don't have much to offer for fine dining, or really eat-in options, as I have always been disappointed. However, I highly recommend the sandwiches at Il Scalino, the Italian deli. You should definately hit Piedegrotta as well for fantastic Italian breads and pastries. Of course, Vaccaro's is good as well for a slightly less traditional take on Italian desserts...I do love their giant eclairs.

            1. I've always liked Amicci's for it's reasonable prices and good food (in that order), but it does seem to have slipped recently. We had a good and non-traditional saltimbocca recently at Chiapparelli's. Also inexpensive by Little Italy standards.

              Many of the restaurants in the area get their desserts from Vaccaro's. Don't know about the espresso, but the cannoli at Vaccaro's are excellent.