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The Vine: April 20, 2007

Submitted by on April 20, 2007 – 8:06 AM28 Comments


I'm coming to New York this weekend and am in search of the ultimate Little Italy cannoli. Any chance you can add this request to Tomato Nation so the NYC foodies can weigh in?

Thank you,

I'm half Italian — so make it good!

Dear Half,

I always get the sorbet in Little Italy, so I don't know the best cannolis there (and I'm not picky — even the worst cannoli is awesome, in my opinion). But I don't doubt the readers will have some suggestions.

Readers: cannolis in Little Italy or the surrounding area. If you recommend a cannoli further afield you must swear to its superiority. Hit it.

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  • Jenn says:

    I'm a huge fan of Ferrara Cafe, on Grand St. in Little Italy ( The cannoli are flawless, but the cafe offers a zillion other Italian pastry delights in a beautifully lit case. You can get them to go, or grab a table and enjoy a sample platter and gelato affogato — gelatto drowned in espresso. Fabulous.

  • Cij says:

    When my friend comes in from LA, he always insists upon getting a cannoli at Veniros (I think it's on east 11th St off of First Ave.). If he can't get it there, it's off to Cornelia Street for one. He's kind of rabid about his cannoli.

  • Melanie says:

    Ok, this might be lame, but on the way back to LI from the city, I always get a cannoli in Penn Station at the bakery next to Staples right near the NJ Transit area. I love them and I swear to their superiority.

  • sarah says:

    Veniero's Pastry (, at 1st Ave & 11th St, has been there for over 100 years and is still amazing. My fiance is from a very traditional NJ Italian family and swears that these cannolis give him flashbacks to his childhood. When I lived in NY this is where I took all of my out-of-town guests! You can go and sit down and get dessert drinks, etc. to go with your goodies. And it's not expensive.

  • Elise says:

    I've always gotten cannoli at Ferrara — it's certainly the most famous bakery in Little Italy, but I don't know if that means it's the best. It DOES mean it's the most expensive (at least $3 a pop, for a not-so-big pastry), but I haven't the cannolo connoisseurship to judge it, beyond "it's tasty!"

  • Gina says:

    As someone of Sicilian and Calabrese heritage, I really have to say that Little Italy in Manhattan has started to vanish over the past few years. There are still a few bright spots, but most of Little Italy is just plain gone. For a taste of what Little Italy used to be like, hit up Arthur Avenue in the Bronx (near Fordham University). They have a huge open market, little food shops, and a ton of restaurants.

    That said, when I have a cannoli craving (which is, like, twice a week), I go to Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffe in the East Village. Established in 1894, the cannoli are truly a religious experience – they make my nonna cry. In fact, I would categorize all the pastry there as transcendental.

    They’re located at 342 East 11th Street (between First and Second Avenue). DO NOT be fooled by the place on the corner of the block, which takes advantage of Veniero’s corner signage. They are actually a few doors down on East 11th. If there’s a line, wait on it. They will not disappoint!!

  • Divine Ms. K says:

    I recommend the cannoli at Ferrara (Grand, btw Mulberry and Mott), myself… and you can't beat the ambiance! They also have good tiramisu and gelati. And the "Cloudy Mist" alcoholic coffee drink is divine.

  • BetsyD says:

    Can you still get cannoli in Little Italy? Maybe with red bean paste.

  • Meg says:

    Ferrara Cafe has great cannoli. It's also a bit of a landmark.

  • Meg says:

    Ferrara Cafe has great cannoli. Mm, it's my birthday and if I were in NY right now, that's where I would go.

  • m. says:

    Rocco's — 243 Bleecker St – Btwn Carmine & Cornelia St

    my favorite place for fresh cannoli! note that the prices are different for to-go vs. sit down service

  • Alyce says:

    Veniero's (

    also delicious: mini cheesecakes with fresh berries on top

  • RJ says:

    Forget Little Italy – go to Rocco's on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. It's the most famous Italian bakery I can think of in NYC.

  • Heather says:

    That's easy: Veniero's in the East Village. (11th Street and 1st Avenue). They are truly superior to just about anything else. Whilst in the 'hood, may I also recommend yummy pommes frites from….Pommes Frites, which is right down the street on 1st Avenue. Between 9th and 10th I believe. Enjoy!

  • Kristin says:

    There is only one place where my best friend's Sicilian mother will deign to eat cannoli not of her own mother's kitchen. Veneiro's, East 11th Street and 1st Avenue.

  • Dolo says:

    Veniero's. It's not in Little Italy, but it's nearby: 11th Street between 1st and 2nd. Honestly, it's worth at least a 10-block walk.

  • Karen says:

    Eager to hear responses. I once convinced my bf to try his first canoli in Little Italy during San Genaro and he HATED it. Unfortunately, I can't remember where it was from. But I'm eager to hear recs for canolis that will change his mind (and that I can finish if he still doesn't like them:).

  • Sars says:

    Veniero's! Totally forgot about that place. Great pignoli cookies, too. God, I love pignoli cookies.

  • Susie says:

    Yeah, I have to second (or twelfth, or whatever) the Veniero's rec. Absolutely amazing. I live right by it, on the other side of a schoolyard, and if I've noticed that they've left the schoolyard gates unlocked on a given night, I've been known to take advantage of the shortcut and go there in my pajamas.

  • Beth (the one on the cannoli quest) says:

    Thanks, all! Sounds like I'll be heading to Veniero's tomorrow. Can't wait!

  • Sara says:

    You must venture further afield! Go toLittle Italy in the Bronx (near Fordham, the Zoo, and the Botanical Gardens). The place you are looking for is called Egidio's. It's 622 E 187th St. between Arthur and Hughes Aves. They have the best chocolate canolis ever. Even after I moved out of the Bronx, I would still haul my butt up there for Egidio's canolis.

    Don't be intimidated by the Bronx. If you take the Metro North to the Fordham Road or Botanical Garden stop, it's just a short walk.

  • GRTIV says:

    Caffe Reggio, 119 Macdougal St. (Macdougal and Minetta), more… what are we calling that neighborhood this week? NoHo? Anyway, best cannoli siciliani in NYC- and I'm part Sicilian. First cappuccino machine in the U.S., too. Great atmosphere.

  • Alexis says:

    I had no idea what cannoli were, so I checked Wikipedia, which yielded this link:

    He seems to like Rocco's.

  • Amanda says:

    To kind of piggyback off of this~I live in Cincinnati now, formerly of Upstate NY, but I DO love me some real cannoli. Unfortunately, the mid-west version of it is white frosting inside the cannoli shell. If anyone knows of any of these places, or a place that will ship me real (cheese) cannoli, without rendering me completely broke~I found one place that wanted sixty bucks to send me ten!~I'd appreciate it.

  • sam says:

    betsyd, your comment seems to imply that italians are being driven out of little italy by those pesky asians. haha, red bean paste, funny.

  • lostdwarf says:

    Amanda, Check out the Veniero website here:

    Looks like they ship and it's not that pricey. Plus the cannoli they ship is separated so you can fill your own.

  • Laura says:

    Mike's Pastry in Boston (the most famous in the North End, our little Italy) will ship a fill-your-own cannoli kit for $25.

  • Marianne says:

    Mike's in Boston also has Florentine cannolis – instead of a fried pastry shell, they use a rolled Florentine cookie (chopped nuts in crispy buttery caramel). It beats every other cannoli I've had (including Veneiro's and Ferrara) but I've yet to find one elsewhere.

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