One of the best parts of living in a city like New York is that on any given day you can take a subway ride to another country. With the swipe of a Metro card you can find yourself slurping soup dumplings in Chinatown, munching on macarons at Laduree and indulging in gelato in Little Italy.
Recently, I found myself missing Paris and wondering if I could find my inner Parisian in the Concrete Jungle. For a day, I made my way from bistro to bakery; and as I sat in the courtyard of Dominique Ansel I did start to feel New York morph (slightly) into France. Inspired by my Parisian day in the city, this time I decided to go looking for Italy. From low-lit trattorias to classic, New York Italian fare; here’s how to transport yourself to Italy for the day without a flight.
1. Suprema Provisons for Italian Fare
Suprema Provisions is what Eataly must have been like before it became run over by tourists. Similarly, Suprema Provisions is a restaurant and Italian market place inspired by the salumerias of Rome. With wooden tables and low-lighting, the menu includes charcuterie, wine, cheese and other Italian imports all served in a casual setting.
Suprema Provisions has a neighborhood feel to it; it seems the sort of place one goes to share a bottle of wine and talk for hours over plates of food. Whereas Eataly has tourists clogging every square inch of the place; Suprema Provisions feels like a hidden gem and local haunt. If you really want to be transported to Italy, then head over to Suprema Provisions.
2. Il Laboratorio de Gelato for the Best Gelato
There are many places to grab gelato in New York City but few can compete with the number of flavors found at Il Laboratorio. Il Laboratorio is an actual ice cream laboratory where restaurants from around the city are welcome to come by and develop new flavors for their own menus. Some of the flavors to be found include: sweet potato, wasabi, sambuca and more. Here’s a full list of flavors.
3. Arturo’s for Classic, New York Italian
While Arturo’s may not be classic Italian it is definitely classic New York Italian. Arturo’s is the sort of neighborhood joint that is starting to disappear from the city. As real estate prices in Manhattan soar, it is historic places like Arturo’s that are moving or shutting down completely. Opened in 1982, Arturo’s prides itself on serving old fashioned, Italian food in a “no frills” atmosphere.
4. Mario Batali’s Del Posto
While I won’t include Mario Batali’s Eataly on this list, I will include his restaurant, Del Posto. Del Posto serves updated Italian classics in a breathtaking restaurant on the west side. Del Posto is a four star restaurant and splurge so while you can transport yourself to Italy here, it will definitely cost you more than a subway swipe to do so.
5. Little Italy in New York City
Call it what you will but I find Little Italy to be charming in the way only an over-the-top, tourist-filled street can be. Sure, it’ll take a stretch of the imagination to picture yourself in Rome when walking through Little Italy. With its New York souvenir shops sandwiched between spaghetti serving trattorias, Little Italy is more a caricature of Italy. Regardless, the Italian flags hanging from every corner, the smell of wood oven pizza, the sidewalk cafes serving carafes of wine is perhaps the closest you’ll get to the colosseum while in NYC.
What are you favorite Italy-inspired places in New York? Share them below!