Mon-Sat, 7am-9pm; Sun, 7am-8pm
N, Q at Astoria-Ditmars Blvd.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
A trip to the Queens end of the N and W lines necessitates a stop at this popular Italian bakery, opened in 1937. Sweet treasures lie just behind the festive storefront window, where Barbie-doll-topped cakes hold court amidst clumps of Easter grass. The counter is a veritable sea of ladyfingers, rainbow and black-and-white cookies, biscotti and bins of multicolored foil-wrapped candies. Locals swear by the ices, in flavors like coffee and pineapple, and homemade gelato, with the creamy spumoni flavor an obvious favorite, evidenced by its well-excavated tub. In the refrigerator, colorfully decorated, custom-made cakes wait for pickup alongside tiramisu and mini cheesecakes. The store's crown jewel is the "pregnant cannoli," a decadent twist on the classic, in which a football-sized cannoli is stuffed with smaller, filled shells. A few tables in back of the worn, wood-paneled room offer a spot to linger over an espresso while savoring your sticky loot.