What’s more American than spaghetti and meatballs? A beloved staple, Italian-American food is as storied, varied, and, at times, downright bizarre as the United States itself.
In the Bronx, a star of David sits proudly at the entryway to Teitel Brothers, a Jewish-owned Italian grocery; in Los Angeles, myriad rock stars of the ’70s and ’80s, from John Lennon to Ozzy Osbourne, found solace in the booze and Italian food of the Rainbow Bar & Grill; and in Rio Grande, New Jersey, Menz Restaurant and Bar features eggplant parmesan and shrimp scampi as well as a curio garden with a two-headed taxidermied calf. The one thing these places have in common is bountiful, delicious eats.
From “Italian Flag” pizzas to supposedly labor-inducing salads, here are 11 places to experience the wonders of Italian-American food.