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A friend from college was in town this past week, and we took a quick trip to Little Italy. She and her running buddy needed a quick escape and have been itching to travel after having been cooped up for so long due to the pandemic. So, they made a short trip to New York City to run in Central Park, see the sites, and visit me! 

We met for dinner in Little Italy. I was pleased to see that the outdoor dining spaces were all busy. They’ve done a beautiful job decorating. The maitre d’s of the restaurants were handing out menus and encouraging us to choose their restaurant. After walking through the main drag, we did finally sit down and eat. I had gnocchi, and my friends shared a plate of spaghetti carbonara and a strawberry salad. 

Click an image to see all of them in a gallery.

After we ate, we strolled down to Ferrara’s the iconic cafe for desert.

Here’s some history of the restaurant from their website

1892

“New York in the Gay Eighteen Nineties had almost everything, except for a place where an opera lover, after a night of Verdi or Puccini, could relax, play a Neapolitan card game called “Scopa” and drink a cup or two of espresso.

This situation was remedied when our great grandfather, Enrico Scoppa and our great grand-uncle, Antonio Ferrara, opera impresario and showman, opened a cafe called Café A. Ferrara. Caruso thought the coffee marvelous but especially loved the cookies and cakes.”

1929

“After World War I, at the beginning of the 1929 Depression, Peter married the daughter of Enrico Scoppa. He was to spend the rest of his life at Ferrara’s, transforming a charming neighborhood cafe into a world famous shrine of delicious tastes. Times were tough and in order to make sure there was very little waste, they began to bake two, three and sometimes four times a day, small batches of cookies and cakes. These difficult circumstances were a blessing in disguise

Because of the frequency with which they baked, Ferrara acquired a great reputation for freshness. This reputation and the fact that the Lepore’s were devoted to their business almost as much as to each other, enabled Café Ferrara to grow and prosper.”

Click an image to see all of them in a gallery.

I hope you enjoyed this quick trip to Little Italy!

Next, check out this blog post about the Elizabeth Street Garden in the East Village near Little Italy.

Have you heard the latest Six Minute TRAVEL Fix podcast episode? Head on over and have a listen.

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