Is there such a thing as Little Italy Tallahassee?
Tallahassee is known for its Greek Festival and even the most recent Jewish festival at Temple Israel. However, the Italian scene is not-existent. There is not a strong and abundance of Italian settlers in this area and while there are Italians (mostly myself and Italian professors) there is not such as thing as a Little Italy, like in Boston, Columbus, Ohio or San Francisco.
So, where can you get a flavor of Italy in Tallahassee? Few years ago, we could buy Italian imports from La Lanterna or La Luna, tiny deli run by Italians, but those have disappeared through the years and we are left with an americanization of Italian food, aka Olive Garden, which is far from recent real Italian food.
5 Top Italian places in Tallahassee To Find a Bit of Little Italy
Urban Food Market - Located at the Tallahassee Mall
While the ambiance might de-motivate anyone from returning the food is excellent and the flavors are those of Italy. Eat pizza margherita with a beer or a glass of wine, and for a fine dining go to +39. Skip the pasta as it is a bit americanized, but do get their gelato. November 7th they are hosting an Italian Evening, which will be attended by Italians living in Tallahassee, students from FSU and friends.
World Market - 1480 Apalachee Parkway
You would think why World Market? World Market has authentic Italian ingredients including the best tomatoes in a can called Mutti. Those are tomatoes from Sicily (usually) and are the best! The other food items you can get hold on are Christmas Italian dessert like panettone and Illy coffe.
Publix - different location
At some point Publix was carrying a variety of Italian brands that I have never seen in Tallahassee. This included Mulino Bianco, a brand that makes cookies and pastries. You can’t find them in all locations, but I scored few at the Publix on Park Ave. Other items: Lavazza coffee, Illy coffee and Dececco pasta.
Home Goods -140 Village Square
This is a hit or miss, like Marshalls and TJMaxx, but you can score Rummo pasta, one of the best pastas in Italy, coffee at a fraction of the price, Baci Perugina. I would actually stock up on pasta.
While the chef focuses on a French and Italian cuisine, the dishes are truly Italian (polenta with osso buco) and the chef is very opened to learn and potentially import Italian wines. The wine list is amazing.
Which ones are your favorite Italian spots in Tallahassee?