Mott Street has provided plenty of memories for Jim Gaffigan. He lived there for 20 years, most of the time in a tiny row apartment with a tub in the kitchen. It’s there he met his wife and writing partner, Jeannie; they got married in nearby St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. And today many scenes in his namesake show on TV Land are filmed there.
“Even after the models and techies replaced the Italian grandmas and Dominican families, Mott Street has retained an unpretentious and down-to-earth vibe,” says Gaffigan. On December 12, he heads uptown for his first comedy show at Madison Square Garden. “It seems strange to say I’ll be performing where you go to see Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel or the Knicks,” says Gaffigan. “I’m way more excited than nervous.”
Café Habana: “It’s so good, Jeannie and I had it at our wedding. Get the Cuban sandwich, the steak sandwich and the corn.” What’s so special about the corn? It’s covered with mayo and cotija cheese.
Cafe Gitane: “Before all the hipsters moved to Brooklyn, they used to go to Cafe Gitane. A great hang with exceptional food and coffee.” Pro tip: Order the avocado toast.
Tacombi: Get your taco fix at the Nolita branch of this taqueria that serves authentic regional Mexican food. “[It has] possibly the best guacamole on the planet.”
Café’tal Social Club: Tuck into Italian fare at the start of Little Italy. “A sentimental favorite run by an old-school New York Italian couple. This is where we take our kids for ice cream after church.”