WHAT WE LOVE: As much a museum as a butcher shop, Albanese Meats & Poultry is a testament to the heritage of Nolita. Housed in a distinctive red-painted brick building since 1940, most of its interior also dates from then. The tiled floor, butcher blocks and walk-in cold room are all original, and vintage photographs depicting its history decorate the windows and walls.
WHERE: 238 Elizabeth Street in Nolita, the charming New York City neighborhood north of Little Italy. This section of Elizabeth Street was once lined with butcher shops founded by Italian immigrants.
WHO: Jennifer Prezioso, actor, local historian and fourth generation butcher.
If you think this butcher shop looks familiar it’s because you may have seen it on Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Also renowned as the last butcher in Little Italy, Albanese Meats & Poultry was established on Elizabeth Street in 1923. Jennifer Prezioso, the current butcher took the reins from her grandfather, the late, legendary Moe the Butcher after his untimely death at 95. Moe in turn had taken over from his mother, Mary Albanese who founded the shop.
There are so many interesting aspects of this shop beyond the cuts of meat. There is a portable record player playing a wonderful collection of vintage vinyl records. We love the window display decorated with cleverly crafted fabric sausages and salamis (also for sale in neatly wrapped brown paper packages). And we always look forward to the festive holiday windows. Or the vintage photos that illustrate the history of the neighborhood and the Albanese family. A history that Jennifer happily elaborates upon. She also shares the amazing history of the shop’s Instagram account moethebutcher which is worthy of a read in case you can’t visit in person.
More Elizabeth Street shops in our guide to Favorite Nolita Shops