Immerse yourself in the food and culture of one of New York's most colorful neighborhoods, Little Italy, and sample some of the best Italian food in NYC. Hear the stories behind the historic Italian landmarks that defined the immigrant experience at the turn of the 20th Century. Every delicatessen, bakery and pizza shop on this Italian food tour of New York is over 100 years old!
Taste your way through New York's most colorful and storied'neighborhood on this mouthwatering'walking tour.
Meet your guide in front of the Church of the Most Precious Blood, a 19th-century parish whose story is synonymous with the Italian immigrant experience in lower Manhattan at the turn of the 19th century. Your guide will set the stage by detailing the rich history of the Church and the syrrounding streets, and then, it's off to your first stop'Alleva Dairy, the oldest cheese shop in America. They've been making 2,000 pounds of fresh ricotta and mozzarella a week here since 1892. The cheese, though, doesn't even tell half the story. A step inside this shop is a step back in time; from its social club-style tile flooring to its tin ceiling, you'll lose yourself in this culinary funhouse of old world delights from handmade pastas to breads to authentic imported Italian grocery items.
Next up is Parisi Bakery. Opened by a Neapolitan immigrant back in 1903, this family-run establishment churns out rolls, loaves, and a prosciutto bread made famous by'Frank Sinatra, who admitted that he was "addicted." Only the Parisis themselves, who still own and operate this hidden gem of a bakery, know the recipe for this prosciutto bread. Everyone else (including your tour guide) is left to speculate and wonder how something can taste quite that good.
As you walk between food stops,'you'll be sure to recognize locations from films like The Godfather, Serpico, Donnie Brasco, and others. See landmarks like the infamous "curb exchange," the bootlegging depot of New York during Prohibition, and Petrosino Square, named for the city's first ever Italian detective who gave his life to fight the'infamous Five Points gangsters of the late 19th century.
Next up is Lombardi's Pizza. Having opened in 1905, Lombardi's is actually the youngest establishment of any on this tour! They're one of the very few coal oven pizzerias left in existence, and their old world Neopolitan pie still draws crowds from all over the world. The Neopolitan slice is the basis for "New York pizza", and Lombardi's is where it all started.
You'll wrap up your tour at the world famous Ferrara Bakery. Thankfully, your tour guide has line-jumping priviledges. They'll come in handy here, as lines are known to snake around the shop and out onto the sidewalk. Taste their cannoli, and you'll understand why!