Italian food stores have New York’s best signs

Most of them are in the city’s faded Little Italy neighborhoods—white, green, and red store signs with 1970s-style letters spelling out an Italian surname and the choice delicacies they sell.

Mozzarella, ricotta, tortellini, gnocchi: Whatever the vintage sign says, you know you’re in good hands. So many of these old-school Italian food stores have closed up shop, it’s good to celebrate the ones that remain.

Like Piemonte Ravioli on Grand Street. Established in 1920. Reading the “Made Here Daily” sign in the window makes my mouth water.

Same with Russo’s, making mozzarella and fresh pasta since 1908 on East 11th Street—once the center of a mostly defunct Little Italy in today’s East Village.

Italian cakes and pastries are baked on the premises at Caffe Roma on Mulberry Street, going strong since 1891. I like this painted ad better than their actual store sign.

Park Italian Gourmet was unfortunately closed when I walked by on a weekend. Hopefully because it’s on 45th Street in Midtown and the office lunch crowds weren’t there, not because this Italian hero joint has shuttered permanently.

It’s too late for this Italian bakery with a different kind of sign in the Bronx’s Little Italy centered on Arthur Avenue. RIP.

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11 Responses to “Italian food stores have New York’s best signs”

  1. Mykola (Mick) Dementiuk Says:

    Is Cafe Roma still there? When I worked at Downtown Brooklyn I’d stop in many times for an espresso after work during my trek back home, that certainly revived me.

  2. ksbeth Says:

    i love these signs!

  3. Ty Says:

    This is kind of peripheral but I drove a taxi nights in the early 80s and Mr. Manganaro was a regular pick up at precisely three am every morning. He was dapper and impossibly chipper at that hour and loved to talk all the way to Ninth Avenue where some workers were already waiting.

    He was telling me how they pull their own mozzarella make ricotta from the remains bake their rolls and even cure their own pastrami when I joked “Do you grind your own flour?”

    Just silence for a moment from the back and I thought “Oh shit I insulted him.” He then says “You know, it would be better flour. I’ll tell you that.”

    I had an image of the workers hauling in a heavy millstone cursing the cab driver.

  4. Tom B Says:

    I’ve been to Russo’s. It is very,very small inside. The customer line was out to the sidewalk. Next door is Veniero’s Pasticceria, 124 years in business. Park Deli is closed on the weekends. They make the best sandwiches. New Yorker’s are so fortunate to have all these authentic Italian deli/bakeries.

  5. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Russo’s is worth the line. We do have so many excellent and authentic Italian food shops here in NYC, but Russo’s is the most heavenly.

  6. rossana delzio Says:

    Reblogged this on Intellicooking.

  7. pontifikator Says:

    In the early 70’s, I used to live above the Italian Food Center on Grand and across the street from DiPaolo’s. Everything I wanted food wise, was right there!

  8. David H Lippman Says:

    They always have!

  9. Polling Locations are Open Between 6am and 9pm. Vote. Says:

    […] Admiring the signage throughout Little Italy. […]

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