Attention, meat eaters: March 9 is National Meatball Day and that means some of the best restaurants in NYC are rolling out some pretty meaty specials. From a $100 meatball and wine pairing to free meatballs from a food bus, here are five places to put on your radar.

The Meatball Shop x Daniel’s Chicken Bus

84 Stanton St.
New York, NY

See More:  2 In The Kitchen: The Meatball Shop’s Spicy Meatball & Polenta Recipe

What better way to celebrate National Meatball Day than with free meatballs? The Meatball Shop is taking over Manhattan’s beloved Daniel’s Chicken Bus to pass out free meatballs from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Look out for the psychedelic bus that’s making stops around Manhattan, giving away free meatballs, shop gear, give-back cards, and more. If you’d rather stop into the restaurant itself on March 9, make sure to come hungry. Parties of two or more can enter their day-long meatball eating contest by purchasing a bucket of balls and attempting to finish all twenty-five balls in under 10 minutes. Winners will each receive $50 gift card to The Meatball Shop and the fastest time across all shops will win an epic night on Daniel’s Chicken Bus, catered by The Meatball Shop. Who’s ready?


2450 Broadway
New York, NY 10024

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Stop by Carmine’s on the Upper West Side or in Times Square and eat some meatballs for a good cause on National Meatball Day. Their famous (and enormous) veal and beef meatballs will be on the menu for just $1/each and all proceeds will be donated to the New York Common Pantry. This charity works towards the reduction of hunger and food insecurity through an array of programs that function to establish long-term independence and teach the importance of a nutritionally sound diet and active lifestyle. Learn more here.

Fornino Pizza

445 Albee Square W.
Brooklyn, NY 11201

See More: NYC’s Best Spots For Pizza And Drinks

Celebrate National Meatball Day with a bit of a twist. Stop by Fortina Pizza and order up their delicious Fried Meatballs ($15). They’re served with a tomato ragu and plenty of parm, plus they’re available for both lunch and dinner so you can celebrate twice if you feel like it. In the mood for something with a bit of a kick? Try out their Meatball Sandwich, which is served with giardiniera (Italian relish of pickled vegetables in vinegar or oil). Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Davio’s Manhattan 

447 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY 10017

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Make your reservation for National Meatball Day at Davio’s Manhattan because they’re offering quite a special menu item on March 9. Diners can splurge on a $100 meatball covered in a creamy shallot and champagne sauce that’s made with Kobe beef and winter truffles. There’s even a molten center of Truffle Caciocavallo Cheese and Foie Gras inside. Wash it all down with a glass of 2012 Prunotto Barolo and call it a job well done because this is definitely the most decadent way to celebrate this meaty holiday.

Prova Pizzabar

Grand Central Terminal
89 E. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10017

See More: NYC’s 6 Best Day Trips From Grand Central 

If you’re near Grand Central Station on National Meatball Day then make sure to try chef Donatella Arpaia’s famous meatballs at Prova Pizzabar. These award-winning balls (they won the NY Food & Wine Festival’s Meatball Madness competition) can be ordered regular or spicy. The best part? Now you can recreate Donatella’s Mama’s Meatballs at home thanks to chef Arpaia. See recipe below:

Mama’s Maria’s Meatballs 


(Serves 8-10)

  • 1 small loaf stale Italian bread (about 8 thick slices) torn into 2 1/2” chunks
  • 2 lbs. 80% lean ground beef chuck, broken up
  • 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil for frying


  • Put bread in a bowl and add enough warm water to cover. Let stand for 5 minutes,
  • turning to moisten evenly. Gently squeeze out excess water.
  • Add beef, garlic, parsley, egg and Parmigiano to the bread and combine. Season
  • with Salt and pepper. Knead the mixture for at least 5 minutes with your hands, until
  • uniformly combined and smooth.
  • Pinch a tablespoon of meat into your palms and shape into a ball. Place on a baking sheet
  • and continue with the rest of the mixture.
  • Fill a 10” skillet halfway with canola oil and heat over high heat. When strands form
  • along the bottom, lower 8-10 meatballs at a time into the oil. Do not overcrowd. They
  • should be submerged in oil. Reduce the heat to medium and fry for 6-7 minutes each
  • side, turning only once.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oil and turn the heat back up to high before starting the
  • second batch.
  • 20 minutes before serving, add the meatballs to the simmering ragu.


(Serves 8-10)

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  •  Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs (6-8) meaty, bone-in-pork spareribs, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 lbs (6-8) sweet Italian sausage with fennel seeds, pierced all over with a fork
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 (35 oz.) cans tomato puree
  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves


  • Warm olive oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat.
  • Add celery and onion, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, partially covered about 5
  • minutes until golden and soft.
  • Add meats and raise the heat to medium-high. Sauté, turning occasionally until browned
  • all over.
  • Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until it
  • evaporates, 5 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree, basil, salt and pepper. Partially cover, bring to a boil, and reduce heat.

Let it simmer 1-2 hours.

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Carly Petrone is the founder of Petrone on the Rocks, a lifestyle site about food, drinks, beauty, travel, and more. She lives in New York City.


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