Sun-Fri, 8am-midnight; Sat, 8am-1am
6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal St.; B, D at Grand St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Other Italian cafés have come and gone, but Ferrara has held forth from its Grand Street perch since 1892, promising the red-white-and-green-striped essence of Little Italy to tourists and day-trippers. While there’s next to no Italian spoken, and service is rather abrupt, that hardly makes a dent in five generations’ word-of-mouth: the brashly lit, marble-tabled room is still packed on evenings and weekends. The bakery’s creditable Napoleon and well-made Diplomat, an Oreo-like cream cookie, surpass the stale-shelled cannoli and sfogliatelle pastry. Other sweet options range from sweet bread to chocolate truffle cake. But to better understand Ferrara’s tourist mystique, a slice of tiramisu fits the bill.Wedding Cakes
For a confection every Nonna will love, this famous Little Italy pasticceria’s traditional wedding cakes are made of Italian sponge with rum flavoring and fillings like strawberry mousse or cannoli cream. They’re covered in classic Italian whipped cream or more modern finishes (about $5 per serving).