Ferrara’s: Little Italy’s Best Dessert!

"Mmmmm, carbs!"

“Mmmmm, carbs!”

Many eateries in New York City have come and gone over the years.  Luckily, though, some have stood the test of time and have become staples of the Big Apple.  One place in particular sits in a cozy corner of Little Italy at the corner of Grand Street and Mulberry Street.  A place chock full of hot coffee, cool desserts, and full tummies!  For more than 120 years, Ferrara’s Bakery has been serving up some of the best Italian-style desserts around.  You’ll sink your teeth into the best Neapolitan treats this side of Napoli!

Back in 1892, Antonio Ferarra, an active businessman and community philanthropist, opened up a small bakery and cafe in New York’s Little Italy at 195 Grand Street.  His intended purpose was to provide a place for opera goers to congregate in after a night at the theatre, along with a late-night joint to sip coffee and play cards.  In fact, Ferrara’s is credited as America’s first espresso bar.  What started as a late night hideaway for card sharks and opera fans has now become one of the most iconic bakeries in America.  Rows and rows of canolli and cakes glisten like works of art inside the windows of this establishment.  In addition to cakes, Ferrara’s also features a full-on gelato bar.  No trip to Little Italy is complete without a bite here.  And if you happen to be a big health-nut or someone obsessed with cutting carbs: FUGHEDDABOUT IT!  Go ahead and order up!

"Lotta Gelato!"

“Lotta Gelato!”

"Holy Canolli!"

“Holy Canolli!”

"Gotta Biscotti!"

“Gotta Biscotti!”

For me, this place is quite special as it rings true of nostalgia.  When I was really young, and my parents took me to Little Italy for the first time, this was one of the first places they took me to.  Of course, taking a little kid into a place filled with a smattering of luscious desserts is usually risky, if not a recipe for disaster.  C’mon, haven’t you ever seen a little kid inside a bakery with his face pressed up against a  window with a tray of cookies  behind it?  For me, I gravitated not towards the cookies, but towards a unique checkerboard cake called “dadi” cake.  A most scrumptious dessert that combined chocolate and vanilla flavored cake, made into a checkerboard shape on the inside of each square slice.  For me, it was the most amazing slice of cake I ever had, right up there with my mom’s coffee cake.  Pair it with an ice, cold Orangina or a glass of milk, and it was dessert heaven!  Being to young for coffee, I didn’t sample it until years later.  I’m not a big espresso fan, but their latte’s are a creamy dream that goes well with almost any item on their menu.

So remember, if you find yourself wandering the colorful streets in Little Italy, and you find yourself awash in green, white, and red flags, and you see the twinkling of a light-bulb filled marquee on Grand Street, step inside a world of espresso and sfogliatella and enjoy a break from the hustle and bustle of NYC!  Mangia!

Ferrara’s Bakery and Cafe

195 Grand Street (between Mulberry and Mott Street)

New York City, NY

Closest Subway Station: Grand Street (B or D train).

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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One Response to Ferrara’s: Little Italy’s Best Dessert!

  1. Paul Condon says:

    Thanks Jared,
    Always very informative and entertaining , keep up the good work!
    Regards Paul. Glory Glory!

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