All you can eat, and then some…
Feast of San Gennaro
Next stop, carb central! With the feast of San Gennaro just around the corner, you need to be either on the lemon juice diet right now, or stocking up on plus-sized, elasticised pants. For 86 years, this cornucopic 11-day festival of all things Italian has been held in the Little Italy neighborhood of lower Manhattan. Originally held to keep alive the spirit and faith of early Italian immigrants, and to praise the Patron Saint of Naples, as word has spread, the renowned vendors and their expansive array of food have stolen the show, with the event now attracting over a million people. Each day brings a round of new events from cookery demonstrations, to live musical entertainment, blessings and parades (the Grand Procession is held on September 22nd), as well as the now infamous Annual Cannoli Eating Competition.
Start if you can on Mulberry just above Prince (almost all the good bites are clustered around this area) and with a deep-fried Oreo in hand (yes, really), work your way down the block. Swing by Torissi Italian Specialties, The Breslin and L’Artusi, who serve up gourmet favorites such as short-ribs, wok-fried mozzarella sticks, grilled calamari, and pork-tonnato sandwiches. Continue zig-zagging in and out of the tents and sidestalls, but be sure to end your day on the sweetest of notes with a gelato from Stellina. Their signature flavours range from Chunky Sorella, to Coconut Stracciatella, and the intriguingly named A Bee Named Elvis – honey ice-cream, peanut nougat and banana caramel. Oy! Belissimo!