What to Eat at the Newly Reopened, 99-Year-Old Caffe Dante

Now with 100 percent more pizza.
Now with 100 percent more pizza. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Over on MacDougal Street, the exterior of Caffe Dante hasn’t changed, and not much of the 99-year-old shop’s interior has, really, either. The restaurant shut down in January so that owner Mario Flotta Sr., who’s been running the place since 1971 and now does so with son Mario Flotta Jr., could put up a fresh coat of paint, as well as install a full kitchen and full bar. The hangout spot, where it was common to see a bunch of tables of old guys playing serious chess games, has added cocktails and menu items like gnocchi and pizza to round out its gelati and well-loved ricotta cheesecake and tiramisu. It’s no longer open until 6 a.m. every day, but the café, which took New York Magazine’s Best Espresso honors in the 1985 “Best of New York” issue, still turns out a strong cup. [Menu PDF]