Have you been dreaming of going to Italy? Well, no need to go far if you are in New York City thanks to Little Italy!
Little Italy is home to one of the largest Italian communities in Manhattan since Italian immigrants settled in this neighborhood in the 1880s.
They carried their culture and shared it with New Yorkers through authentic Italian restaurants, old-school cafes, and imported Italian specialties.
If you want to know more about what makes Little Italy special, check out this Little Italy NYC Guide and discover what to do here. This guide is packed with facts about the neighborhood, how to get here, restaurants to dine in, and numerous places to explore.
Where Is Little Italy in Manhattan
Little Italy is one of the neighborhoods located in Manhattan, one of the five boroughs in New York City. It is specifically situated in Lower Manhattan and is bordered by Nolita to the north, Lower East Side to the east, Chinatown to the south, and SoHo and Tribeca to the west.
The streets that bound the neighborhood are Canal St, Center St, Bowery, and Houston St. In terms of distance, it is only approximately 2 miles away from the Statue of Liberty, 2.3 miles from the Empire State Building, 3.5 miles from Central Park, and 5 miles from Brooklyn.
How to Get to Little Italy NYC
Take the Bus
To reach Little Italy, take any of the bus lines below, depending on which is available from your location:
- M15 and M15-SBS– going to Allen St/Grand St
- M103– going to Bowery/Bayard St
- B39– going to Allen St/Delancey St
Here are some of the bus stations where you can drop off in Little Italy:
- Allen St/Grand St
- Allen St/Delancey St
- Bowery/Bayard St
- Bowery/Grand St
- Broadway/Spring St
- Broadway/Grand St
- Cleveland Pl/Spring St
- Centre St/Broome St
- Essex St/Grand St
Ride the Train
The easiest and fastest way is via the subway trains going to the following stations:
- Canal St
- Delancey St-Essex St
- Spring St
Take the following subway lines below according to your desired drop-off station:
- N, Q, R, W, J, Z, 4, 6– going to Canal St
- F, J, M, Z– going to Delancey St-Essex St
- 4, 6 –going to Spring St
What to Do in Little Italy NYC
Explore Famous Landmarks and Attractions
The Feast of San Gennaro
Mulberry St, between Canal St and Houston St, NY
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The Feast of San Gennaro is a celebration held annually every September where people can play games, watch parades, and eat good food. It started in 1926 as a religious holiday to welcome incoming Italian immigrants.
Today, it has become the largest Italian-American festival, not only celebrated by Italians but by people around the world.
People usually celebrate it on Mulberry Street between Canal St and Houston St., as well as in other locations like Hester and Grand.
Between Mott St and Baxter St, and bordered by Bleecker St and Worth St on each end of the street.
Located in the heart of Little Italy, Mulberry Street is deeply rooted in Italian-American history.
It is one of the most interesting streets to explore that has a plethora of restaurants, shops, and attractions.
Several notable buildings are situated here such as the Puck Building, Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral, and Italian-American Museum.
You can also find different kinds of shops as well, from groceries to wine merchants and fruit vendors.
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10012
The Puck Building is one of the most historical buildings on Mulberry Street, bordered by Lafayette and Houston.
It features a Rundbogenstil architectural style designed by Albert Wagner and Herman Wagner.
Its construction began in 1885 and was later given an additional section in 1892.
Today, the building is under Kushner Properties ownership and is used by its tenants for workspace.
The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral
263 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, also known as St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Lower Manhattan. It is a minor basilica that started construction in 1809 and was completed in 1815.
The church features a Gothic Revival architectural style and was designed by French-American architect Joseph-François Mangin.
English, Chinese, and Spanish speakers can come to attend liturgies here, which are conducted in these three languages.
If you are a fan of the film The Godfather, this old cathedral is a must-visit since a scene was filmed here.
The Old Police Headquarters
240 Centre St, New York, NY 10012
The Old Police Headquarters is a gorgeous building featuring three architectural styles: Beaux-Arts, Edwardian Baroque, and Renaissance Revival. It is a New York City landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The building used to be the base of the New York City Police Department. Today, it is now known as the Police Building Apartments and is converted into luxury apartments.
Italian American Museum
155 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
The Italian American Museum is the best place to learn about Italian culture and history. It holds several exhibits, lectures, community programs, and museum events.
They also live performances where you can learn about Italian heritage. If you are a member of the museum, you can enjoy a 10% discount on their events.
Membership starts at $100 for individual membership, $150 for a family membership, and $50 for senior membership.
On the corner of Mulberry St and Broome St
New York is sprawling with attention-grabbing street art and hidden graffitis, and one of them is a mural of Audrey Hepburn.
The graffiti of Audrey Hepburn was created by Tristan Eaton as part of a collaboration with L.I.S.A. (Little Italy Street Art). You can admire this mural at the intersection of Mulberry and Broome Streets, just next to Caffe Roma.
Shop at the Trendiest Stores
Di Palo’s Fine Foods
200 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Who says you can’t take Italy home? Di Palo’s Fine Foods is one of the best stores to take home imported Italian goods and wines.
If you can’t get enough of Italian food in Little Italy, then it is best to bring with you their olive oil, pasta choices, and selection of cheeses.
Get your hands on their two popular products, Pecorino Toscano DOP and Prosciutto Toscano DOP.
188 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Cheese lovers can get more options at Alleva Dairy, the first cheese store in the United States that opened in 1892.
Get imported cheese from Italy or choose from their fresh homemade Italian cheeses.
They also sell various goods such as arancini, cured meat, sandwiches, entrees to go, sliced deli meat, sauce, olive oil, sausage, and bread.
Their delicious entrees to go include but are not limited to, eggplant rollatini, lasagna, chicken parmesan, homemade soup, chicken noodles, and Pasta Fagioli.
190 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
If you love pasta, go to Piemonte Ravioli and choose from their wide selection of fresh pasta.
The store was established in 1920 and now has a retail store and a warehouse where they make their fresh pasta.
They also offer a variety of fillings, including cheese, seafood, and spinach, to name a few.
Ravioli, Tortellini, Agnolotti, Manicotti, and Cavatelli are some of the pasta choices you can choose from.
Have a Taste of Italy
Lombardi’s Pizza New York City
32 Spring St, New York, NY 10012
Craving for the most authentic New York Style pizza? As one of the Best Restaurants in Little Italy, Lombardi’s Pizza is the top restaurant to go to. It is the very first pizzeria in the United States that was established in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi.
Devour smoky-crusted and coal-fired pizzas and choose from their extensive menu, including appetizers, pizzas, pastas, classic chicken specialties, and desserts.
Try some of their specialties such as Grandma Grace’s meatballs, tomato and mozzarella, and buffalo wings.
Related; Brooklyn style pizza
Gelso and Grand
186 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Have the most authentic homemade Italian pasta at Gelso and Grand. The restaurant has a stylish and rustic atmosphere with indoor and outdoor seating.
Aside from Italian pastas, you can also order brick oven pizzas and some of the biggest cannolis ever served.
Check out their seasonal and all-day menus, including pizzas, grilled options, bruschettas, la capizza, and many more.
129 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10013
Da Gennaro is one of the most popular Italian eateries for house wines and pasta. It is located in the heart of Little Italy in a traditional Italian setting.
Their menu offers all-day staples, brunch options, lunch meals, and drinks. Don’t forget to try their chef specials, from the soup of the day to De Gennaro salad and seafood risotto.
Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli
369 Broome Street, New York, NY 10013
Want to take a break from Italian cuisine? Head to Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich Deli and have a traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.
Banh mi is a toasted baguette sandwich that is usually filled with pickled daikon and carrot, loaded with grilled minced meat and Vietnamese bologna, and stuffed with meat roll, cilantro, and hollandaise spread.
They also serve vegan sandwiches including Bánh mì chay, Bánh mì chay đạc biêt, Bánh Mì Chay Đậu Hũ, Xả Ớt Rau, and Bánh Mì Chay Cari.
174 Grand St, New York, NY 10013
Established in 1995, Onieal’s is an American resto-bar conveniently situated in the junctions of Little Italy, Chinatown, and SoHo.
Dine in their tavern-style restaurant and be charmed by their beautifully carved ceiling and long wooden bar.
Choose from two menu options: All Day All Night Tavern Menu and Specials Du Jour Menu.
For a drink or two, their bar menu has a good selection of craft beers, craft cocktails, wines, and spirits.
What’s Near Little Italy NYC
Just south of Little Italy is the lively Chinatown, a Lower Manhattan neighborhood famous for Chinese and Southeast Asian cuisine and vibrant markets.
It has a population of approximately 100,000 residents, of which the majority are Chinese. So if you are in the area, you will see a variety of shops, including jewelry shops, fish markets, and groceries.
Located in the west of Little Italy, SoHo (South of Houston Street) is a fancy New York neighborhood where you will find luxury brands, state-of-the-art galleries, and international outlets.
SoHo is Manhattan’s fashion capital and a shopping paradise. On top of that, it is also one of the best neighborhoods to take pictures of Instagram-worthy cafes and restaurants.
On the East Side of Lower Manhattan lies East Village, a funky neighborhood teeming with nightlife. From eclectic restaurants to trendy retro bars, East Village is the go-to for a festive night out.
During the day, it is also one of the best spots to shop in vintage boutiques and dine in hip cafes.
What Are You Waiting For?
Little Italy is definitely worth the trip for delicious Italian food and unique finds. Not only is your hunger satisfied, but your thirst for culture as well since you can learn about its rich history through old buildings and famous streets.
It is also one of the most exciting places for festivals, pop culture, and street art. Plus, it is also near popular neighborhoods such as SoHo, Chinatown, and East Village, making it a great addition to your travel itinerary.
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