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Food question

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Food question

We will be in NYC in June and my sister wants to eat a hot dog from a street vendor. Is there a vendor that is better than the rest? We'd also like to eat some authentic Italian food. Is Little Italy a good place to go? We like small, family owned restaurants

Singapore, Singapore
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1. Re: Food question

Vendors are all the same. The price varies a little bit accordingly to the area. For example, a hotdog in the TS area will cost $2 where you can find some hotdogs for about $1 in other areas.

But they all taste the same.

To eat some authentic Italian food, you should go to the villages (I would especially recommend East Village).

Enjoy NYC and its food! :)

Teaneck, NJ
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for New Jersey
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2. Re: Food question

the hot dog vendors on the street are all the same and most sell the same dog, Sabretett's http://www.sabrett.com/. I think they'e wildly overrated.

There is a local chain of hot dog stands that I like, Gray's Papaya. Their papaya drinks are terrible but I love their dogs.

Little Italy is essentlay about 1-2 blocks long and not worth it. It has been taken over by Chinatown. If you're in the theater district looking for an Italian place, 44 Southwest is a favorite of me and my wife, but we pretty much just get the same dish thee, shrimp oregenato ove pasta, on which we put a lot of grated cheese. It's the best such dish I've eve had and at least according to the story on the menu it's family owned since the 50s when the parents came over from Italy (they have pictures of the ship -- seems authentic to me)


New York City
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3. Re: Food question

Once upon a time 100 years ago, there was an area in Manhattan that was populated by Italian immigrants. At that time, Italian heritage was uncommon in America, and Italian food (such as pizza or spaghetti) was highly exotic. People would therefore go to the Italian area, which was called "Little Italy", and try this odd stuff called "pasta", or "pizza".

That was then -- but over time, the Italian immigrants had kids who were very American, and they became prosperous and moved away. The area where their parents, or grandparents, or great-grandparents lived has not been an Italian neighborhood for decades, and instead most of the people who live there today are Chinese. Nevertheless, because there are clueless tourists from elsewhere who have heard the term "Little Italy" and who mistakenly think it still means something, you can still find a two-block stretch of mediocre and overpriced touirist-trap pasta restaurants that cater to folks from places where ordinary pizza or spaghetti are still considered exotic.

People who want good Italian food, on the other hand, would look for it in the neighborhood that used to be Little Italy about as quickly as someone who wanted good Mexican food would look for it in a Taco Bell.

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4. Re: Food question

You've got to stop by Raffetto's on Houston (pronounced HOUSE-TON). I love this place. If you have a place to cook, great! If you don't, then stop in for something to eat. I brought raviolis and sauce to Philadelphia - amazing!


Sydney, Australia
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for New York City
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5. Re: Food question

Hee hee. Love it GWB! Well explained.

Danbury, Connecticut
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6. Re: Food question

A few small Italian places I like with very good food are:


Tuscan cuisine, homemade pasta, run by by two chefs from Florence. Get anything with wild boar in it.



Wood fired oven, wonderful pizza (which we share as an appetizer), gnocchi, roast suckling pig.


Bar Pitti

Delicious Tuscan food. Service can be brusque but doesn't bother me.


Edited: 09 March 2012, 01:07
Staten Island, New...
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for Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
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7. Re: Food question

Just curious where do people get the "little italy" idea as a place to visit anyway? Is it in the guide books?

I like the previous poster's suggestions. The West Village area has plenty of nice little joints like that that are fairly authentic. I also like "Po" and "Da Andrea" - try the buns with prosciutto, grilled octopus and the pappardelle with sausage and truffle oil

Boston, MA
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for Boston
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8. Re: Food question

GWB ... if you want to experience a "Little Italy" before it's too late, visit Boston's North End ... we used to have this massive raised roadway that visually cut off the North End from the rest of the city which helped "preserve" it. Now that roadway has gone underground, and the North End which had started to change before the road was dismantled is slipping away somewhat ... BUT ... you still hear Italian spoken in the streets and shops, the only Catholic school left in the area teaches Italian, there's at least one Italian Mass each Sunday, you still have great small food shops such as fruit vendors, bakeries, butchers, and salumeria (smoked meats, olives, ect), street festivals honoring various saints happen all summer and there are lots of independent and family-owned restaurants.

It's so popular I doubt it will disappear completely because people will work to prevent it, but I do fear it will become way too "Disney-fied" so I enjoy it while I can.

Edited: 09 March 2012, 08:58
Durham, United...
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9. Re: Food question

Sounds good, shall give it a go myself!!!!!!!!!!

Silver Spring...
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10. Re: Food question

Give what a go?