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Pino's Prime Meats
Mon-Sat, 8:30am-6:30pm; Sun, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
1 at Houston St.; C, E at Spring St.
Wedged into a block of posh cafés and high-end antiques shops, Pino's Prime Meats is one of a scant handful of survivors, hard evidence of the old-world-Italian culture that once made Sullivan Street destination shopping for those who wanted to mangia bene. No logos or slick storefronts here; Pino's has a simple hand-painted window sign, hand-scrawled prices, and a leg of Parma ham dangling in front of the butcher counter. Yellowed photographs feature movie-set scenes from The Godfather, and glossies may showcase the cast of The Sopranos, but the shop itself is the real deal: The space has housed Italian butchers for over a century, and in 1990, Sicilian immigrant Pino Cinquemani, whose family has owned and worked in butcher shops for generations, made it his own. Full of banter and advice about the best cuts and preparations for lamb and beef, the staff at Pino's don’t stint on the personal attention. It’s an entirely different experience than the shrink-wrapped anonymity of your local Food Emporium.