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Sep 10, 2013 01:25 PM

Chinatown/Little Italy/LES Food Tour

I took a bunch of recommendations from here to figure out the best places to stop on our Foodcation this October.

This is a crazy list, with 3 miles of walking involved. I am willing to do it if it's worth it, but want to know if I have too many things that may overlap and what I should pass on.

Also, a suggestion for a bar or something else that we can use as a buffer somewhere to sit down and chill might be nice.

• Ceci cela
• Lombardi’s pizza
• Caffe roma pastry
• Alleva dairy
• Di palo’s
• Caffe palmero
• Ferrara bakery & café
• Banh Mi Saigon
• Winnie’s Karoke Bar
• New Beef King
• Chinatown Ice Cream Factory
• Grand/bowery
• Eldridge street carts
• Guss Pickles
• Doughtnut Plant
• Kossar’s Bialys
• Essex Street Market
• Economy Candy
• II Laboratorio Del Gelato
• Katz’s Deli
• Russ & Daughters
• Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes Bakery

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  1. Do you seriously intend on eating at every one of those places? I must be missing something.

    It pains me to say it, but you can take Ferrara off your list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: southernitalian

      No, we will be taking maybe one or two items back to LI (where we are lodging for our stay) for later samplings or back home to Chicago with us.

      1. What's Grand/Bowery? Eldridge Street carts? Not many food carts on Eldridge Street, if that is what you are looking for. You have only two listed places in Chinatown and they are within 50 yards of each other.

        Here’s a Chinatown Walking Food Tour I devised some time back that starts at the interesting Tenement Museum.

        4 Replies
        1. re: scoopG

          Someone posted in my other thread,

          "You can find Chinese food carts further south; look near the corners of Grand and Bowery.
          Interesting tofu maker on that corner, too. You can also find stands selling exotic fruits like durian and mangosteeen and rambutan. Might be worth a look. See this article about a durian vendor:


          "Then walk south and east, stopping at the tofu corner, the durian vendor, a street cart or two, and finishing up either on Eldrige Street or Mosco Street for an order of fried dumplings"

          1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

            All very imprecise. Ending up at "Eldridge Street or Mosco Street?" Those streets are about a mile apart. There are fruit vendors all over Chinatown.

            1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

              The fresh tofu place on the corner of bowery and grand is gone now :/
              There is a cart on grand near bowery on the south-east side of the intersection with decent rice noodles and such. Not sure its destination worthy but if you have never tried them its worth your $3.
              Definatly stop for some of the exotic fruits, there was a great variety at veg stands about a week ago as well as fresh lychee which are delicious right now.

              1. re: Ttrockwood

                There is a fresh tofu place on Grand just west of Bowery on the North side of the street.

          2. • Ceci cela
            • Lombardi’s pizza
            • Caffe roma pastry
            • Caffe palmero
            • Ferrara bakery & café

            Ceci Cela can be skipped in favor of Mille-Feuille on your Washington Square Park crawl. Lombardi's hasn't been good in some time and you'll waste a lot of time waiting in line. And I've never really been impressed by any of the bakeries in Little Italy. Plus, I think you said you're going to Rocco's on your West Village crawl anyway.

            • Guss Pickles
            • Doughtnut Plant

            Guss' Pickles has closed. Did you mean the Pickle Guys from RGR's tour?

            As I mentioned elsewhere Chicago (your home town) has way better doughnuts than here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: kathryn

              Yes, Pickle Guys must be it.. I guess it autocorrected wrong when I was looking at directions on google maps.

              We are going to Rocco's in the West Village.

              I will add a stop to Mille-Feuille (I also added Il Cantuccio - thoughts?) to our Village food crawl.

            2. Can anyone speak if the Essex Street Market is a must-see?

              We will be do Di Palo's this same day. Also spending other time at the Greenmarket in Union Square and hitting up Chelsea Market.

              I looked through the list of vendors and besides Shopsins, which I have mixed feelings about and not sure we will have a full appetite for that, nothing is really sticking out at me.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

                If you're already doing Chelsea Market, Union Square Greenmarket, and Di Palo's on the same day, you might be all "market"-ed out.

                However, you might want to make a detour to Despana for Spanish groceries.

                1. re: kathryn

                  Sorry for the confusion, not on the same day. Greenmarket wednesday, this on thursday and chelsea market on friday.

                2. re: ComeAwayWithMe

                  Essex Street is the sorta thing that is good if you live in the Neighborhood. It has produce and such. Nothing special in that there is little prepared food that I recall (I'm spoiled by the Philadelphia Reading Terminal in Philly's one thing NY does not have.) Even the Chelsea Market is disappointing....very expensive and foo foo.

                  1. re: jcmods

                    Chelsea Market is expensive but the lobster salad may be the best I ever had.

                  2. Add in Bisous Ciao and Stanton Pizza inbetween II Laboratorio and Economy Candy

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ComeAwayWithMe

                      Biscous Ciao also has a Bleecker St location in the Village.