Markets and Delis

Markets and Delis

Grocery stores were among the first businesses opened in early Italian immigrant settlements, providing the staples of Italian cuisine: e.g., olive oil, pasta, canned tomatoes. Until the mid-1980s and the advent of increasing numbers of Italian markets and delis it would have been difficult, time consuming, and sometimes impossible to produce Italian meals, without making pilgrimages to these earlier Italian markets or growing some products in oneís own backyard.

Hanging scamorze and cured meats
at A-1 Market. Photo by Rachel Mahon
Italian products are now increasingly available in supermarkets, farmers' markets, specialty stores, and elsewhere: as fresh pasta, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, prosciutto, mozzarella, rucola (arugula), finocchio, radicchio, polentañonly to name a few, have entered the American mainstream.

Display of olive oils at A-1 Market.
Photo by Rachel Mahon
But traditional Italian markets and delis served more than just shopping needs for the Italian immigrants: they were community centers, often functioned as a substitute for the piazza, that is, places where Italians could meet friends and paesani (fellow townspeople), exchange news, and speak some Italian. The markets listed here represent both the traditional and the Italian food 'boutique' attractive to an affluent food clientele. Traditional markets are more likely to sell local and Italian American products than imported (cold cuts, cheese, oil), and more likely to sell reasonably priced variants of a product than the more exclusive label de rigueur at the upscale markets. Although even the older markets have responded to the current popularity of Italian cuisine and a certain "trickle-down" and increasing Italian-direct imports has enriched their inventories.

Typical variety of breads
in Italian American markets
Photo by Rachel Mahon

For example, De Cecco pasta from the Abruzzo, or bottles of Coltibuono Olive oil from Tuscany, or wines beyond Chianti Ruffino, began appearing in such markets in the 1980s. Many older markets also diversified their inventories by carrying other ethnic foods as well. "A1" in San Pedro, for instance, carries many products for Croatians as well as for Italians; "Bay Cities" in Santa Monica carries many Greek and Middle Eastern foods; "Sorrento" also serves Italian Argentines and other Latin Americans (some of trans-migrants of Italian heritage). The memorabilia on the walls: family photos, posters of the 1982 or 2006 World Cup Italian Team, an Italian or regional map, possibly a portrait of Pope John II, and tourist posters of Italy, will often identify a market as a more established immigrant's locale.

A-1 Italian Deli and Marabella Vineyard Co.,
San Pedro. Photo by Rachel Mahon

A1 Market
348 W. 8th St.
San Pedro, CA
Tel: (310) 833-3430 or (310) 833-4045
Includes Butcher's counter.

Of related interest:

Luisa Del Giudice, "Ischian Cultural Sites on the San Pedro, California Map" ('Siti culturali ischitani sulla mappa di San Pedro, California') in Pe' terre assaje luntane: L'emigrazione ischitana verso le Americhe, Ischia, 2007.

IOHI Archives: "Role of an Italian Market in Los Angeles: AI Imported Groceriesî
Rachel Mahon, UCLA Italian 197, Winter 2001 [Includes: 1) 12-paper typescript, release forms, transcription, data sheet, tape log; 2) 10 - B&W prints with captions, excellent quality (with negatives); 25 ñ color slides; 10 ñ color prints (with slides); 3) 1 micro audio-cassette, 4) diskette of paper]

Mural of the port on the island of Ischia, the birth-
place of the A-1 Italian Deli's original owners.
Photo by Rachel Mahon

Amalfi Italian Deli
2400D Main St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Tel: (310) 392 7466

Andre's Italian Delicacies
6332 W 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (323) 934-7355

Bauduccoís Italian Restaurant Market and and Bakery
2939 Agoura Rd
Westlake Village, CA 91361
Tel: (818) 991-4670

Bay Cities Importing
1517 Lincoln Blvd.

Display of Il Pastaio food products at
street festival. Photo by Lisa Clark
Santa Monica, CA
Tel: (310) 395-8279

Borracchini Foods
Dorene Borracchini:

Cavaretta's Italian Groceries
22045 Sherman Way
Canoga Park, CA 91303
Tel: (818) 340-6626

Claro's Italian Market
1003 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776-3693
Tel: (626) 288-2026

The original location established by Frank Claro in 1948. Several other Claroís markets may be found around Los Angeles:

Claroís Italian Market
19 1/2 East Huntington Dr.
Arcadia, CA, 91006
Tel: (626) 446-0275

Claroís Italian Market
159 East College St.
Covina, CA, 91723
Tel: (626) 339-3333

Claroís Italian Market
1655 North Mountain Ave.
Upland, CA, 91786
Tel: (909) 946-2689

Claroís Italian Market
101 West Whittier Blvd.
La Habra, CA, 90631
Tel: (562) 690-2844

Claroís Italian Market
1095 East Main Street
Tustin, CA, 92860
Tel: (714) 832-3081

Cortina's Italian Market
2175 W Orange Ave
Anaheim, CA 92804
Tel: (714) 535-1948

D & L Italian Deli
140 W. Hillcrest Dr.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Tel: (805) 373-6508

D & L Italian Deli
140 W. Hillcrest Dr.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Tel: (805) 373-6508

De Simone Bakery & Delicatessen
6850 Edinger Ave
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Tel: (714) 847-0922

Dino's Italian Meats & Deli
28641 S Western Ave
Rancho Palo Verdes, CA 90275-0811
Tel: (310) 832-9786

Eastside Market (Italian Deli & Quality Meats)
1013 Alpine Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: 213-250-2464
Fax: 213-250-8064

Food Square
8710 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Tel: (310) 815-1252

Frumento's Italian Market
214 W Beverly Blvd
Montebello, CA 90640
Tel: (323) 721-2071

Giuliano's Delicatessen & Bakery
1700 N Aviation Blvd
Redondo Beach, CA 90278
Tel: 310.376.0416
Fax: 310.374.6926
Since 1952. Also 2 locations at City Hall.

Guido Marcello Ltd.
1649 10th Steet
Santa Monica , CA 90404
Tel: (310) 452-6277
Fax: (310) 452-3024

Italia Deli and Bakery
5657 Kanan Rd.
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Tel: (818) 991-4838

Italian Middle-Eastern Market
13246 Riverside Dr
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423-2141
Tel: (818) 995-6944

Italian Quality Corp.
27520 Hawthorne Blvd.
Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 90274
Tel: (424) 206-2076

La Bottega Marino-West L A
11363 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 477-7777

Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese
223 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Tel: (323) 856-8699

Lascari's Deli & Bakery
14104 E Lambert Rd
Whittier, CA 90605
Tel: (562) 698-5899

Leonardo's Italian Deli
2040 Pacific Coast Hwy Ste L
Lomita, CA 90717-2660
Tel: (310) 530-0559

Mario's Italian Deli
634 E. Whittier Blvd.
L.H. (213/691-8219)

Mario's Italian Deli and Market
740 E. Broadway
Glendale, CA
Tel: (818) 242-4114

Mickey's Italian Delicatessen & Liquor Store
101 Hermosa Ave
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
Tel: (310) 374-4620

Monte Carlo Deli & Pinocchio's Restaurant
3103 W Magnolia Blvd
Burbank, CA 91505
Tel: (818) 845-3516

Il Paradiso Italian Deli
23233 Saticoy St.
Canoga Park, CA 91304
Tel: (818) 348-6822

Ricci's Delicatessen
17317 Bellflower Blvd.
Bellflower, CA 90706-6639
Tel: (562) 925-1039

Roma Italian Deli & Grocery
918 N. Lake Ave.
Pasadena, CA
Tel: (323) 797-7748

San Carlo Italian Deli
10178 Mason Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Tel: (818) 727-0890

Santa Fe Importers, Inc.
1401 Santa Fe Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90813
Tel: (562) 437-7775
Fax: (562) 435-1045

Since 1947.

Sorrento Italian Market
5518 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
Tel: (310) 391-8969

Tony's Italian Deli
321 E Alameda Ave Ste H
Burbank, CA 91502
Tel: (818) 845-7019

Sam Perricone (of Sam Perricone Citrus Company, 10 E. Alameda N., Los Angeles, (213) 623-2495) has been a mainstay of food-related philanthropy in the Italian community, arranging St. Josephís Tables, providing contributions for the elderly at Villa Scalabrini, and contributing to Santa Lucia dinners at Casa Italiana. See: CELEBRATIONS, Folk FestivalCelbration, Sicilian Folklife, St. Joseph's Tables

Of related interest:

Online Italian store: