How to Find Old New York in Manhattan’s Vanishing Little Italy

Mar 03, 2019 1003

BY: Kyle McGovern

Manhattan’s Little Italy is filled with New York City history that you can eat. Visit any number of local businesses -- some of which have been slinging mozzarella and powdered pastries for decades -- and you’ll get a taste of the area’s once-bustling immigrant community. Sure, you could grab your gabagool at Whole Foods, but there, they pronounce it capocollo. And you could pay $21 for a plate of spaghetti at Lilia and its ilk, or you could tack on a few meatballs for less cash, and chat with a restaurant owner who still lives in the same apartment his family settled in 104 years ago.

Even some of the area’s recent additions feel like they’ve got old souls, attracting locals who might’ve once dismissed Little Italy as Olive Garden writ large. Newer drinking and dining destinations hark back to the Old World, all while shaking up takes on negronis, and crafting pasta dishes that would inspire your Nonna to learn Instagram.

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