Rachael Ray's Guide to Little Italys Across America

Chicago

Head to Al’s Beef or Carm’s Beef for an authentic Italian beef sandwich. It’s a whole lot of hot, drippy beef and sautéed peppers, served atop a long Italian roll.

Cleveland, Ohio

Chef Boyardee once ran a restaurant in Cleveland’s Little Italy, but now the place for grub is at Corbo’s Bakery, which serves a mean Cassata cake. Mario Batali says this version of the Sicilian dessert including fluffy white cake stuffed with ricotta custard and strawberries is the best he’s had in the States. 

San Francisco

Cioppino is San Fran’s famous fish stew, a no-holds barred seafood soup invented by North Beach’s Italian fisherman. Sotto Mare serves a fantastic version, full of Dungeness crab, clams, squid, mussels, and shrimp, in a rich tomato and wine sauce.

Philadelphia

Forget about Philly’s famous cheesesteaks. For a sandwich that can’t be beat, you have to try Tony Luke’s ultra-delicious Italian roast pork sandwich, with thin-sliced pork, provolone, and broccoli rabe on an Italian roll.

Baltimore, Md.

Bacon-y, butter-y, garlicky clams casino is the Italian dish to try when youre here in this harbor city, and Da Mimmo serves up the ultimate steaming, delicious platters of them.

St. Louis, Mo.

Pick up some provisions at Volpi Foods if you want to try your hand at cooking up your own Italian cuisine using gourmet imports, or head over to Charlie Gitto’s if you’re in a less-fussy mood, for some breaded, fried cheese pockets — also known as toasted ravioli, which were supposedly invented right here.

Providence, R.I.

You can thank this Rhode Island Italian haven for the invention of grilled pizza. For a taste, check out local favorite Bob & Timmy’s, or try something a little more exotic at Andino’s, which has huge platters of “Rhode Island Style calamari,” spiced up with hot cherry peppers and a secret sauce, for just $12. 

New York

Great Italian food in New York City doesn’t just have to be limited to Mulberry Street, don’t miss the whimsical Italian dishes like “Rice-a-Roni Carbonara” at Torrisi, and be sure to try some pizza from what claims to be America’s oldest pizzeria, Lombardi’s – each located just a few blocks away from the heart of Little Italy.

New Haven, Conn.

You’ve tried pizza, but have you had “apizza”? That’s the ruling Italian fare in this Connecticut city, and its thin crust and brick-oven flavor have made it famous. You can’t leave without trying Clam Apizza from Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally’s Apizza, or Modern Apizza; its combo of garlic, olive oil, oregano, grated parmesan or pecorino, and littleneck clams make it an exciting seaside combination.