authentic salumeria/Italian grocery in DC
any authentic salumerias/Italian groceries in DC?
Nothing like you'd find in Bologna, but A. Litteri's in Northeast has some nice salamis, mortadella, capicola, etc. Eastern Market might have a few things. Also the Italian Store in Arlington.
As for items other than meats, I think Litteri's has the best selection of canned and bottled Italian food items. They have lots of pastas, too, but most large supermarkets carry quite a few of the more popular pasta shapes (from DeCecco, Barilla, et al.).
In Arlington, there is the Italian Store (3123 Lee Highway) that has excellent stuff. Their website is italianstore.com.
Litteri and Italian store have a selection of domestic and some imported salumi. I was browsing at Dean & DeLuca in Georgetown the other day, and they have a nice selection of salumi and hams. I was looking for guanciale (which they were out of by the way), but saw other things from Italy (and Spain) I am not familiar with. Quite expensive though. Check the aforementioned first and see if they have what you are looking for.
Vace is in the city, never been though. I live in Rosslyn so Italian store is my best bet. Its solid if you live near it.
You can't beat A Litteri in the Florida Avenue Market. They're a family owned business, founded in 1926 in the downtown market where the National Archives now stands. They still cater to a heavily Italian customer base that still comes back to shop even though they've largely moved away from the once Italian neighborhood out near RFK Stadium, so they have all the right stuff that you don't see everywhere.
They're also a direct importer which keeps their prices low, including on their wines, on which they offer an additional discount if you buy a case.
Their house-made sausage is made fresh daily and is terrific. They also stock dried cod and salt-packed anchovies. Good selection of imported and domestic cheeses, cold cuts, and olives. Wide variety of pasta, canned goods, etc.
Olive oils, vinegars, at all price points from ordinary to extraordinary. Very good prices on bulk olive oil that can't be beat anywhere.
They've added a lot of good new stuff to please the new, younger customer base so Litteri's has become better and better. If there is a downside, I'd say that it's still their selection of frozen pastas, probably because there's not much turnover in that category.
The fresh pasta at Eastern Market is first rate and there's a good seasonal selection. Also fresh sauces. Good quality salumi (and bresaola) at Canale's. The cheese stall has some unusual Italian cheeses so Eastern Market is worth a visit.
You're right about the Italian customer base. If you go there right before a religious holiday the deli counter will be five deep with little old Italian ladies buying food in church-supper quantities to feed the extended family.
AND, I contend, they make the best sandwich in metro Washington. But be prepared to wait for it at the noon hour.