Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Brooklyn's Little Italy - changing, but still Italian

In a borough that’s constantly changing, it’s comforting to know that at least one neighborhood can maintain most of its old-school charm.

Bensonhurst is still very much the Little Italy it has been since the 1950s. And some of the best classic Italian-American eateries and shops are between 70th and 80th streets on 18th Avenue, also known as Cristoforo Colombo Boulevard — another nod to the neighborhood’s Italian heritage.

There’s a bakery with the best cannoli in town, a record store with the latest in Italian pop music and a meat market that makes all its sausage in-house.

“We’re still here, doing what we’ve done for the past 20 years, but the neighborhood is changing,” said Frank Gassoso, owner of Frank and Sal’s Prime Meat Market near 80th Street.But just because the Italian-American standbys are still going strong, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room on 18th Avenue for other internationally flavored businesses.

The strip is also home to great Chinese restaurants, a Polish grocery store and even a Mexican buffet. You can basically eat and shop around the world in 10 blocks, which is just what this paper did. Check out our guide to Bensonhurst here.


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