Strolling around Soho and Little Italy with a chef makes decision making a little easier. The streets are saturated with cafes and restaurants, new and old, charming and trendy. I have my favorites, like Tacombi and Cafe Habana, but it is always fun to branch out and discover new favorites in the ever changing city of New York. The perfect lunch. Tacombi’s maiz y poblano taco, a seared veracruzana fish taco, and, of course, a michelada.
Mac Murdock, sous chef at Craft, took me to Cafe Select, where we sipped on rose, and ate Musshi and Montauk Pearl oysters with our Burrata and end of the season heirloom tomatoes, followed by a kale and hearts of palm salad.
We then walked through the annual San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy, sat in a beer garden and people watched before we popped into two Italian markets where the Craft chef frequents for the best Italian meats and cheeses Little Italy has to offer. Alleva Dairy has been in the family for four generations and Di Palo’s offers a gorgeous array of breads, meat, cheese and groceries.
There is so much pride felt in this historic Manhattan neighborhood, and the 11 day San Gennaro celebration captures this. You may only leave with some cheap jewelry and street food, but with Mac’s help, I left with the knowledge of two amazing New York staples in the Italian and New York food industry. There is so much to see and do, as a resident and a tourist in New York, and wandering through Lower Manhattan will prove to be one of the most insightful parts of your visit.