Tue-Sat, 10am-6pm; Sun, 10am-noon; Mon, closed
7 at 103rd St.-Corona Plaza
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Located on an unassuming Corona street, with La Guardia–bound airplanes overhead and Shea Stadium not far away, Leo's Latticini (a.k.a. “Mama’s”) is legend among those in the know, evidenced by the lunchtime loyalty of Queens cops and firefighters. Bari-born immigrants Irene and Frank Leo opened their first shop in the twenties in Williamsburg. Despite 80 years and a cross-borough migration, the shop today, run by various Leo children and extended family, retains the feel of a small Italian deli, with all the requisite pride and care, and none of the arriviste’s glitz. At first glance, the place doesn’t look like much; a few shelves of olive oils and specialty foods adorn the walls. But the sandwiches, fresh pasta, and handmade mozzarella are Leo's claim to culinary fame. Typical of the offerings are the ample roast-beef sandwich with cheese, peppers, and “gravy” (a garlicky vinegar-based dressing), and the spicy Genoa salami sub, stacked with fresh mozzarella. For parties, Leo's constructs and delivers elaborate six-foot-long heroes, special cakes, and party-themed pastries. And on days when the Mets are playing at home, Leo's/Mama’s staffers sport team jerseys that mimic the boys from Shea, with "Mama's" emblazoned across their backs.Extra
Along with the sandwich and specialty-food shop, Leo's/Mama’s features a bakery and café with a small backyard housing a statue of Saint Francis; it’s an excellent spot to linger on a warm afternoon.