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A Little Bit of Italy in NYC

I fell in love with Italy when I went to visit in Summer 2018. The aesthetic, people, culture, and food made me fell in love with Italy. The people were super nice and the Italian culture allows you to feel comfortable and at home when you visit. The best thing about Italian culture is its food. Every restaurant that I went to in Rome, Naples, and Livorno were amazing. The food was fresh, tasted great, and smelled exquisite.

When I came back to New York, every Italian restaurant that I have tried gets compared to authentic Italian meals that I had in Italy. I have been able to find my top four Italian restaurants in New York City that I wanted to share with you guys.

The Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop has many different locations in NYC from the upper west side, LES, midtown, and more locations. I have been to many different locations and you get the same great service and quality food. I always create my own meatball bowl. The picture to the right shows, chicken meatballs which were absolutely amazing with a parmesan cream sauce and spaghetti. The meatballs were cooked perfectly, and the parmesan cream sauce was a great consistency of thickness and creamy.

The Meatball Shop

You have the option to choose from different meats in the form of a meatball with a sauce and then a base which can be noodles, greens, and more. You can also have a meatball sandwich or one of their special entrees. If your 21+, I would pair your meal with a glass of red or white wine depending on the sauce you choose. The Meatball Shop is good for casual dates, a meal with a friend, and after-work dinner. It is one of my go-to Italian restaurants when I’m in the mood for Italian food.

Coco Pazzo

Coco Pazzo
Vongole e Linguine

For my twenty-seventh birthday, I wanted to go to an Italian restaurant and I wanted to be in SoHo. I ended up finding Coco Pazzo on Instagram. The pictures of the restaurant and the pictures of their food made me settle on them as my pre-birthday dinner spot. I am glad that I choose this restaurant. The food was absolutely amazing and exceed my expectations. It tasted like I was back in Italy.

I had the “Vongole e Linguine,” it was a clam ragout, zucchini & clams “Oreganate”. I never had clams until I was in Italy and I was surprised how close this dish was similar to the one I had in Naples, Italy. The pasta was al dente and the clams were seasoned. I enjoyed the ambiance of the restaurant with my friends, it was small and intimate which is exactly what I wanted. This restaurant is also not heavy on the pockets expecially being located in SoHo.

Basta Pasta

Basta Pasta
Farfalle con Salmone e Crema

Another Italian restaurant that is a must in New York is Basta Pasta. This is the restaurant that serves the pasta and half a wheel of cheese. I didn’t get that pasta but the other people I went to dinner had that entree. The entree I had was okay! I’ve had better pasta and salmon but I would go again to try the pasta being mixed in the wheel of cheese. It was also another affordable restaurant. So I recommend giving this place a try. It was located in Union Square near the 14th street area. The restaurant was a decent size and had a very open space. It is a great place if you are looking for an after-work meal and drink in the city.


Tavola Restaurant
Spinach Fettuccine with Chicken Meatballs

I ended up finding Tavola very last minute and randomly while I was in the city at an event with a friend. We wanted to go have a drink near this event that we were in Hell’s Kitchen area. I came across Tavola and decided to also sit there and have a meal as well. The service was absolutely amazing and the waiters were very attentive but not annoying. I ended up trying the Spinach Fettuccine with Chicken Meatballs. (Personally, I have started to like chicken meatballs over beef meatballs; so I was glad they offered this entree on their menu.) The tomato sauce was light and flavored along with the chicken meatballs was well seasoned. I actually plan to come back to this restaurant and try the other entrees on their menu. The restaurant was width small but it still was an enjoyable atmosphere. It is a great casual dinner date with a significant other or small group of friends and family. The restaurant was another affordable NYC restaurant that I found and spent about $30 for my entree, glass of wine with tax & gratitude.

I hope that if your native New Yorker or a tourist visiting New York that this post gives you great Italian restaurants to enjoy with your family, friends, or significant other. These restaurants definitely won’t hurt your pockets but for the great food and service that they provide. There are also more Italian restaurants all around New York so if you are ever in LES, UWS, Union Square, or Hell’s Kitchen go try out these restaurants! If the post makes you start thinking about or planning a trip to Italy, visit my blog post on the wonderful place known as Italy.

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