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Little Italy. Best of the tourist traps?

OK, I've read all the board's advice that Little Italy is a complete tourist trap. But, hey, I'll be a tourist and I want the full tourist experience.

This will be a return visit to Little Italy. Went a few years back but couldnt get a table as it was San Gennaro. Enjoyed the festival and we were disappointed we couldnt eat.

Rome is nearer to home than Manhatten is and I visit Italy regularly so I don't need particularly"authentic". But I do want better-than-OK food in nice surroundings. So where's the best place to go?

TIA

John

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  1. don't do it. Go to Ennio & Michael's instead. It's sort of near Little Italy, just a few blocks west. Oh, but do visit Di Palo's Italian market on the border of Little Italy/Chinatown.

    Get some crucola, gorgonzola dolce, fresh ricotta, fresh mozzarella and some bread and enjoy in your hotel room/friend's apt.

    1. Peasant is also on the outskirts of Little Italy and worth a try and Bianca is only a few blocks north. If you have to eat in Little Italy, Da Nico is my go to spot with out of town visitors that insist on eating on Mulberry Street. It is probably the least offensive. I have heard very good things about a place called L'Asso that is in Little Italy but I have not been there myself.

      1 Reply
      1. Da Nico is my favorite...try their quatro fromage pizza...great calamari...

        1 Reply
        1. re: jinet12

          Da Nico is great. If the weather permits, I would strongly suggest sitting outside in the garden area.

        2. I love Umberto's. Best fried calamari in the city!

          1 Reply
          1. re: NiKoLe1625

            <I love Umberto's. Best fried calamari in the city!> ?????

            imho, best Fried Calamari in Manhattan is at El Charro, a Spanish bistro on Charles Street in the Village.

          2. Peasant is wonderful, but, as mentioned, not truly Little Italy.

            My favorite within the tourist traps is Taormina. It's fantastic. (I wasn't impressed by Umberto's.) Any of the veal dishes are wonderful and if you have a larger group, they make a three pasta (yes, red, white and green) sampler starter that is very good. The wine is over-priced, but that's kinda a given in that neighborhood.

            Taormina
            147 Mulberry St (btwn Grand and Hester)
            (212)219-1007