Italian-American food—endearingly referred to by some as “red sauce” Italian—is soul food for millions of Americans. This bastardized cuisine was created by Southern Italians who immigrated in waves to the U.S. in what’s known as the Italian diaspora. But enough with the history lesson—let’s get to what you really want to know: Where do you go for the best linguini with clam sauce, eggplant parmesan, baked clams, braciole, fried calamari, and meatballs?
From a century-old Red Hook Sicilian spot to a new-school Manhattan restaurant revisiting tried-and-true classics, New York City has an abundance of great Italian-American cooking.
Here are our five favorite places to get our red sauce on in NYC.