I used to love going to The San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy every year. Yes, it’s kitschy — a trip to Italy by way of Epcot — but it’s a highly entertaining feast with music and lights and lots of food, like Italian sausage and peppers, zeppoles, pizza, gelato, and torrone (nougat.) Why are they serving Philly cheesesteaks, gyros, pina coladas, and arepas at this year’s festival? The 82nd San Gennaro festival’s feels like every other street fair in Manhattan — generic, dirty, with lots of subpar food with one notable exception.
The Stuffed Artisan Cannoli stand. There’s an Italian bakery with cannolis on every corner in Little Italy, but nothing like these cannolis, thus the long line. Your typical cannoli is a fried dough shell stuffed with ricotta cream, studded with chocolate chips and dusted in powdered sugar. Stuffed offers everything from mint chocolate chip to birthday cake to key lime pie. There’s tons of options, like red licorice, root beer float, and french toast (with, I kid you not, pieces of Cinnamon Toast Crunch in the cream.) You can get any 3 for $5. (I loved pistachio, pumpkin pie, and chocolate peanut butter cup.) The shells are unusually crunchy and the filling has a custardy texture. They’re smaller than your average cannoli, so you can try more than one.
Stuffed’s stand isn’t just a pop up shop. It’s a sneak peek of their new cannoli store to debut in October on the Lower East Side. For now, brave the crowds at the San Gennaro Festival and skip the pina coladas.
San Gennaro Festival
11:30AM-11:30PM or so
Mulberry St. between Houston & Canal Sts.
Stuffed Artisan Cannolis
176 Stanton St., between Clinton & Attorney Sts.