This past weekend I attended the San Gennaro festival in Little Italy, New York City and let me tell you it did not disappoint. Let me show you a few solid reasons to attend this event…
From left to right you are looking at a hot pepper and sausage sandwich, giant fresh mozzarella sticks with a marinara sauce that will make you want to drink it like your morning coffee, a grill filled with sausage and peppers and lastly, some of the best Italian dishes you will ever eat.
TIP: Eat from only the locations that have a restaurant behind them. Skip out on all the fair food that can be found at any local fair across the country. Eat local. You won’t regret it.
What is this festival?
The Feast of San Gennaro is one of New York City’s most popular and longest-running street fairs. Now in its 92nd year, the festival attracts more than a million people annually to the streets of Little Italy. The 11-day festival includes live music, carnival games and most of all food. Fried clams, calamari, pizza, sausages, and cannolis are just some of the Italian specialties you will find along the route. The festival also features religious processions celebrating San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples.
So what did I do?
We were only there for about 2 hours which was plenty of time to take in the sites, enjoy as much food as possible and have a few drinks. We did not go on the awkwardly fast ferris wheel taking up the entire NYC street or listen to one of the many performances on the main stage. We also did not play any of the fair or carnival games. We mostly ate and drank a few beers at one of the many stops along the way. And of course, had some amazing conversations with the locals. Could listen to those accents all day.
What did you buy to take home?
Every single time I find myself walking through Little Italy, I always make a stop at Piemonte Ravioli to buy fresh pasta. It is seriously the best food to have in your cupboards and it won’t last long their with how fast you will eat it. Mix it with the fresh sauce from Alleva next door and you will be in pasta food coma heaven.
Does taking home some Henna count?
The festival is over this year, but make sure you check out this festival or one of the many others that occur in Little Italy. And if you really want to go festival crazy, take the 4-hour bus ride to Boston and check out all the ones that happen in the North End as well. You could be eating rice balls like a king/queen.