San Gennaro Festival: Iconic eats to celebrate the feast

The San Gennaro festival, which takes place Sept. 12 to 22, celebrates the culture of Italian immigrants with parades, religious processions and (of course) plenty of food.

The celebration, now in its 93rd year, is hosted by the Society of San Gennaro, a nonprofit organization that supports early Italian immigrant culture and faith. The feast will feature live music, plus annual cannoli-eating (Sept. 13), zeppole-eating (Sept. 18) and meatball-eating (Sept. 21) competitions.

Vendors representing local Italian restaurants and bakeries are always in attendance, lining the streets of Little Italy in Manhattan with plenty of delicious bites to choose from.

“Basically, any kind of Italian food there is, you’ll find it at the feast,” said John Fratta, a longtime board member of the Society of San Gennaro, whose great-grandfather was the group’s first president.

You can’t go wrong with anything offered at the festival, but we’ve rounded up the dishes that should top your list when you head to Mulberry Street.