6.5 out of 10

Little Italy

Ranked 25th best neighborhood in Manhattan
40.7193860969707 -73.9974210189038
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Public Transport
  • Safe & Sound
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  • Lack of Traffic
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+
Editors Choice

"Cool neighborhood -- very New York"

Nolita is just a really cool neighborhood. It's tiny and sort of hard to define but it has some of my favorite shops and restaurants in the city. A lot of the streets are tree-lined and quaint; almost as quaint as the West Village.

Mott street, in particular, is so darling. It has this great make your own perfume shop on the west side of the street and some of my favorite boutiques. The Only Hearts store has some of the most simple and elegant undergarments and there's just about every shoe shop you can imagine on the street.

Von is a great, dark place to catch up with friends over a nice glass of wine on a weeknight. It's got a great vibe and the dark interior just makes you feel cool. It's always busy though -- apparently, everyone agrees with me about this place - so, it's best to go a little early. And, I don't know if dogs are actually allowed in the place, but I've seen them in there a few times which I kinda like.

Cafe Habana is in Nolita. It's the first restaurant I ever dined at in the city and it remains one of my top 5. It is ALWAYS jam packed so you have to expect to wait a while. But, the Cuban food is amazing and the vibe is so great. It's tiny and everyone is on top of each other but it is impossible to be unhappy in this place and no one ever is. You become friends with everyone around you fairly quickly because you are practically dining together. It's loud and bright and so cool. And, the cojita corn: I have dreams about it.

The location is great too. You can go shopping in the afternoon, grab a drink down the street, head in for dinner, and walk home easily to pretty much any neighborhood downtown. The apartments are expensive and typical New York (tiny, exposed brick walk-ups) but it's just a cool haunt.
Pros
  • Very pretty
  • Great restaurants
  • Great bars
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy – Some Things Never Change...in a Good Way"

Increasingly, Manhattan neighborhoods have become homogenized, and every mile or so, you find a repeating pattern of merchants that includes Duane Reade pharmacies, Starbucks Coffee, Crumbs cupcake shops, and literally a half dozen banks. But in Little Italy and on the Lower East Side, you will find an area that has remained unchanged for decades, both for the better and for the worse. The streets are narrow and dirty, but the ambience is rich with history.

One of the biggest changes in Little Italy has been the demographics of residents. Once almost exclusively Italian (as the name suggests), today’s “Little Italians” are just as likely to be Korean as Italian. There is a large Asian population as Chinatown, Little Italy’s neighbor to the south, has begun to expand its boundaries north of Canal Street. In fact, the two formerly distinct ethnic areas have become so intertwined that the National Park Service has designated a combined “Chinatown and Little Italy Historic District” that draws no geographic distinction between the two neighborhoods.

Little Italy has long been prized for its cleanliness and low crime rates which many say are a holdover from the days when the area was home to organized crime families. But the same clean, safe streets that make Little Italy popular also make it pricey: a renovated 800-square-foot one-bedroom on Mulberry Street was recently listed at $4,200 a month, about $1,000 more than other areas of Manhattan.

Co-op prices are equally high, with a two-bedroom Grand Street co-op on the market for $1.5 million a good example.

Little Italy’s four- and five-story walk-ups are quaint and charming. There are studios, one-bedrooms, and larger units available; including expansive lofts, many renovated back in the 1980’s when the area was undergoing a wave of improvement. These building date back into the early 20th Century, so expect staircases that are steep and narrow, rooms that are small, and plumbing/electricity that may not be ultra up-to-date. The area is undergoing a wave of development and high rises are beginning to dot the skyline.

The streets of this lively neighborhood are filled with one-of-a-kind food stores where you can stock up on things like specialty cheeses flown in from Italy each Friday. On the negative side, the streets of Little Italy are crowded, noisy, and trafficky. The area attracts an endless stream of tourists, particularly during the world- famous Feast of San Gennaro celebration that has been held every September for 86 years. It is the great grand-daddy of street fairs, and a beloved NYC institution.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Cute streets
Cons
  • Crowded
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Hipsters
  • Students
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy: Best Food, Always a Great Place to Stroll Through!"

The one thing that stands out in my mind about Little Italy as a native New Yorker is the food AND the San Gennaro Street Festival (zeppolis, sausage and pepper heros are the best). This neighborhood is a quaint little place that really reminds you of what old New York must have looked like. Lots of tenements abound here, and its proximity to other places like Chinatown, make it a fun place to visit for tourists. If you haven't been, it's always a recommended stop in my book, especially because the food is just that good. If you are free during the summer be sure to head down to Mulberry Street off of Canal and you will find many good things to eat there. Whether you are looking for homecooked Italian style meals or specialty food stores, you can find them all here.

The neighborhood is well kept and for NY the prices are reasonable if you can find something available. Keep in mind anything in NY in terms of apartment space is usually quite tight. Transportation is usually not an issue with all the buses that run along the avenues.

Places you may want to try on your next jaunt to Little Italy: Ray's Pizza or Lombardi's Pizza.
Pros
  • Streets with personality
  • Feast of San Gennaro
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Nolita: A Charming Enclave in the Downtown Area"

Nolita is a pretty little area north of Little Italy. Nolita stands for North of LIttle Italy no doubt devised by real estate agents seeking to drive up apartment prices. The neighborhood runs from about Houston Street to Broome Street, near NYU, and east to west from The Bowery to Lafayette Street. As with little Italy, Nolita has traditionally be an enclave for Italian immigrants but is now composed of a more diverse population. For me the area lacks a distinct personality and is not much different from NoHo and SoHo. Each sort of melds into the other so that you hardly realize you left one area and entered the next. However, the distinction between neighborhoods does become apparent one you venture into either Little Italy or Chinatown.

Many of the streets in this area are tree-line and give a feel of being in Greenwich Village. It is also lined with many of the most quaint shops and cafes of any New York neighborhood. Sigerson Morrison on Mott Street is a chic shop well known for its handbags and accessories while Resurrection, also on Mott Street, is a one stop shop for incredible vintage creations. For the book lovers in the audience you may want to head over to McNally Jackson Booksellers on Prince Street for some great titles. The Bookstore is directly across from Do Kham Tibetan boutique that offers beautiful jewelry, fashions, and accessories from the Himalayas. Finish off you day of shopping with one of the many flavored rice puddings at Rice to Riches on Spring Street.

You might choose to peruse the many great titles at McNally Jackson Booksellers on Prince Street, directly across from the noted Do Kham Tibetan boutique, with beautiful jewelry, fashions, accessories and antiques from the Himalayas. Perhaps finish your Nolita visit on Spring Street with a local treat, the many creative flavors of rice pudding at Rice to Riches on Spring Street. Fun places to watch the show by while grabbing a bite to eat include Care Gitane on Mott Street, Caffe Falai on Layfayette Street, and the famous Lombardi's on Spring Street.

St. Patrick's Old Cathedral is a lovely old church on the corner of Mott and Prince Streets. The most well-recognized building in the area is the Puck Building at Houston and Lafayette,one of New York's most celebrated landmarks. The building hosts many events and weddings in its grand ballroom.

Apartments in the area are relatively small and moderately expensive for both sales and rental but if you search diligently enough you may find a good deal.

The area is served by the B,D,F,V, and 6 subway lines.
Pros
  • Fantastic central location
  • Great restaurants
  • Very pretty
Cons
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy May Now Be Tiny Italy"

Little Italy is a small area on the Lower East of Manhattan. Its size has been reduced significantly due to the expansion of neighboring Chinatown. The main hub is Mulberry Street and its surrounding street where most of the restaurants are located. Most who live here complain of the noise and crowded streets at almost all hours of the day and evening.

The area attracts a good number of tourists who come mostly for the many restaurants offering good food at reasonable prices but you will want to comparison shop. There are some restaurant staff who stand outside and call to you to come inside. As a general rule - keep walking. A long-term favorite of both tourists and residents is Ferrara Cafe located on Grand Street between Mott and Mulberry Streets Ferrara Cafe is a family owned business offering fine Italian cuisine, along delicious pastries and specialty coffees and lattes.

One of the most popular events in the neighborhood is the annual Feast of San Gennaro an 11-day event held every September. The Feast of San Gennaro is known the world over for its festive atmosphere with colorful parades, free musical entertainment every day, a wide selection of Italian food served by street vendors and the neighboring cafes and restaurants. Be sure to catch the renowned cannoli-eating competition.

Little Italy has a lot of mafia history, which makes for some interesting reading. The neighborhood borders Chinatown so that you can easily visit both areas on the same day. Although apartment rents are somewhat lower than other areas of the city, most apartments are small in size and located above restaurants and cafes so get ready for some noise.

Transportation to the area is good with the nearest trains being the J,M,N,R, Q and 6 to the Canal Street station. You will then walk 3 blocks east to Mulberry Street. If the subway is not your thing the M103 and M1 buses also serve the neighborhood and are each a quick walk east. Each bus runs along the East Side of Upper Manhattan but you may transfer at major intersections to catch a bus crosstown.

It's a very touristy neighborhood that is packed with Italian restaurants. It borders Chinatown, though, so when you get tired of pasta, you can always take a short walk for dim sum. That walk toward Chinese food has gotten shorter and shorter as Chinatown continues to expand into Little Italy. These days, there isn't much left of the neighborhood really except for Mulberry Street.

There's a lot of mafia history in Little Italy, if you care to read about it. It's fascinating stuff. For tourists, Mulberry Street is a must. The restaurants are basic Italian, but the food is usually pretty good. It's also a great place to get Italian pastry and gelato, especially in summer when numerous street vendors line the sidewalk. But for living? I wouldn't want to live in this neighborhood. It's just too busy and dirty.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • Cute streets
  • You won't go hungry
  • affordable rents
  • Lots of energy
  • Lots of history
Cons
  • Crowded
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Different From The Rest of NYC, But Not For Long"

Nolita, the area north of Little Italy, is a small residential community that has a traditional New York character but is quickly becoming another yuppie area similar to the ones all around it.

In the past, this was a vibrant Italian-American community that was known for its ties to the mob. Today, many Italians remain in the neighborhood but with booming yuppie neighborhoods like SoHo, the Village, and TriBeCa nearby, the rest of lower Manhattan is beginning to spill over into this neighborhood.

Living here is certainly advantageous but comes at a pretty steep price. The streets are clean and quiet and the people are nice. At the same time, you're located square in the middle of everything lower Manhattan has to offer and pretty close to Midtown as well. The area is also very easy to get to by train. At the same time, there are a lot of tourists that pass through, even if it is only to get to Little Italy, Chinatown, or somewhere else.

There is not much to do in Nolita for visitors. Little Italy is a cute, overpriced little tourist trap but Nolita is a simple residential neighborhood without much flair. Nice bars and better restaurants but not much to do. Most of the time, you'll simply be passing through.
Pros
  • Fantastic central location
  • Very pretty
  • endless bar/restaurant scene
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"A Touristy Pit Stop On The Way To Somewhere Else"

Little Italy is not really a place to live, nor is it really a tourist destination. You may stop here to get lunch but really it's just an area you pass through on your way to Chinatown, SoHo, or the Village.

If you do want to live here, the apartments will likely be above the only real thing that Little Italy has to offer; Italian restaurants. The apartments in the area are your typical New York apartment overlooking a busy street, small and overpriced. If you live here, you can either eat at your local overpriced Italian restaurant or walk over to Chinatown for some authentic Chinese cuisine (if you can figure out the menu) or the areas nearby. I prefer the gyro vendors but that's my thing.

For tourists, it's worth a glance. Maybe even a stop over in one of the restaurants. The food is good though a little generic for a Brooklynite like me. It's about the same as your average Olive Garden, minus the free breadsticks (although most places will still offer the free breadsticks, simple Italian courtesy).

Overall, this is a place you can go to grab a nice Italian meal if you live or work here, or a nice Italian meal if you're visiting. Otherwise, you'll likely simply be passing through here en route to a more exciting destination.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • Cute streets
  • You won't go hungry
Cons
  • Crowded
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
2yrs+

"Nice small neighborhood near SoHo and the Village"

Nolita stands for north of Little Italy. This is a tiny neighborhood in southern Manhattan that runs from about Houston Street to Broome Street and east to west from the Bowery to Lafayette Street. It's below NoHo and east of SoHo. Like Little Italy, it has traditionally been inhabited by Italian immigrants, but Manhattan is much more of a mixture of groups these days in almost all areas.

If you're interested in Mafia history, however, you'll definitely find it in Nolita and Little Italy. Like NoHo, the name of Nolita is fairly new. It's a bit of a shock when people start calling an area something you've never heard before, but it's pretty commonly used now. For me, there isn't much difference between NoHo, SoHo, and Nolita. The character definitely changes as you get into Little Italy proper and Chinatown, though.

There's a great old church at Mott and Prince Street, which is St. Patrick's Old Cathedral. Definitely give it a look. I only saw it for the first time last year and realized that I should have checked it out many years ago. The building you'll probably recognize most is the Puck Building at Houston and Lafayette. They used this building's exteriors for Grace's design office in the TV show, Will & Grace. I come to this neighborhood a lot because one of my favorite restaurants is here – Rice on Elizabeth Street. One thing's for sure: You won't find cheap apartments in this area (although it isn't the most expensive 'hood in NYC either), but if you search hard enough, you might get lucky enough to find a deal.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Fantastic central location
  • Great bars
  • Very pretty
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"The Next Big Neighborhood"

Nolita has quietly become one of the coolest neighborhoods in New York. Full of all you could ask for as far as shopping, eating and drinking, Nolita is both charming and conveniently located by every other great downtown hood.

Narrow cobblestone streets, small brick buildings with personality, cafes and restaurants that have been in the neighborhood for decades give the area distinct personality and history. Unlike other neighborhoods that have to choose personality over gentrification, here the two play nicely together. New restaurants, bars and stores only add to Nolita's splendor. All you have to do to feel the "old New York" vibe is duck into a still-standing Italian deli - or just rent a tiny walk-up apartment! For new New York, check out the incredible shopping that not everyone seems to know about yet - La Bijoux for affordable, trendy costume jewelry, Charlotte Ronson, Rag and Bone and Botkier are just some of the designer boutiques, Creatures of Comfort is Nolita's answer to the impossibly chic Opening Ceremony, Inven.tory sells last season's designer wares at discount prices and SEW is a custom shop - not to mention tons of other tiny boutiques and bookstores you could spend hours in. Plus, Nolita is home to The Market, a weekend flea market of artists' and independent designers' cool one-of-a-kind items. After you've shopped up an appetite, Cafe Habana is known for its cozy setting and amazing Cuban food. Lovely Day is Thai food served up in an indie-chic, eclectic antique atmosphere, Delicatessen is New York's coolest diner, Macbar is its cheaper outpost for gourmet macaroni and cheese, La Esquina remains THE place to go for delish Mexican food and an in crowd scene, Peasant is a luxe spot for Tuscan fare, Lombardi's, while a tourist haven, is New York's first pizzeria and a must-try and Rice to Riches is the only place you'll find serving up a plethora of scrumptious rice pudding flavors. End your night at hipster hotspot Botanica, timelessly cool dive, Spring Lounge, edgy English gentleman's club-themed Elizabeth or Medieval-inspired Sweet & Vicious.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Fantastic central location
  • Great bars
  • Very pretty
  • endless bar/restaurant scene
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
2yrs+

"Great for a visit, but don't live here"

Little Italy is a small neighborhood in Manhattan with tons of character and history. Mulberry Street is the main street in the area, and it's always busy. I have friends who live on the street, and they complain about the noise and crowds. You especially don't want to live there during the annual Feast of San Gennaro, when the neighborhood is overrun with people. If you don't mind the crowds, though, it's certainly a fun time to visit Little Italy.

It's a very touristy neighborhood that is packed with Italian restaurants. It borders Chinatown, though, so when you get tired of pasta, you can always take a short walk for dim sum. That walk toward Chinese food has gotten shorter and shorter as Chinatown continues to expand into Little Italy. These days, there isn't much left of the neighborhood really except for Mulberry Street.

There's a lot of mafia history in Little Italy, if you care to read about it. It's fascinating stuff. For tourists, Mulberry Street is a must. The restaurants are basic Italian, but the food is usually pretty good. It's also a great place to get Italian pastry and gelato, especially in summer when numerous street vendors line the sidewalk. But for living? I wouldn't want to live in this neighborhood. It's just too busy and dirty.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • Cute streets
  • affordable rents
  • You won't go hungry
Cons
  • Crowded
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A (smaller) Empire State of Mind"

Nolita is proof that if everyone just believes an area to be cool, it can actually become cool.

Nolita is, in truth, an invented term coined by real estate brokers in an attempt to give cache to a fairly random area. The brokers got it right though and this area has boomed since the mid-90s. Nicely done, brokers!

Restaurants are nice, trendy, and expensive enough where you can only assume it tastes good, even if you aren't hip enough to appreciate whatever you're eating. Likewise the shops make it easy to lose $60 for something of uncertain value or use.

There's a great energy in the area with eager, well coiffed youngsters spewing reserved trendiness all around. Young and rich, these few and proud are pooled from a variety of industries, projecting a feel of downtown success.

Still, it's hard to shake the feeling that the whole thing is just a facade. The trendiness feels temporary, like a fashion show, so don't spend too much time (or money) setting up roots.

The prices and faces that float about here aren't sustainable and aren't appropriate for family living. The young, bold and beautiful can set up shop here until the flavor fades. Residents will burn out one at a time or all together...but the a neighborhood invented by brokers can't last forever.
Pros
  • Great restaurants
  • Fantastic central location
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
Recommended for
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"How To Get To Little Italy? Get a Time Machine"

Visiting Little Italy requires time travel, for this neighborhood is no more. What was once an energetic, picturesque patch of culture is now a hodgepodge of restaurants, narrow streets, and christmas lights, completely flooded from Chinatown's spillover.

This five story neighborhood, decked in cobblestone with cute street names (Mulberry, being my favorite) once had authentic charm, culture, and character. Now you have to stand at the corner of Mulberry and Broome to catch a whiff of what once was.

Many restaurants are worth tasting, but you can find equally good or better Italian cuisine elsewhere. Don't be fooled, just because a restaurant is based in "Little Italy" does not mean it's automatically good or authentic.

Little Italy reminds me of the Mona Lisa. You hear so much about it, go out of your way to see it, build it up in your mind to epic proportions...and then when you finally see it it's small, behind glass, and obstructed by tourists.

Apartments are small and dingy. You may think you're getting a deal and living somewhere with cache, proud to say you live in Little Italy...soon after you live here though, that if you think you live in Little Italy you're really just living in the past.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • Cute streets
Cons
  • Crowded
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Tourists
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
2yrs+

"A Tourist-Driven Theme Park of Italian Dining"

Generations ago, when immigration from Italy to New York was still a strong force, it’s clear that Little Italy was an endearing, bustling area full of authentic Italian fare, lively conversation and that neighborhood feel. Not so much now. As the waves of immigrants began to die down, the little region began to focus on one thing: capitalizing on the wave of tourists coming to dine at the restaurants. The neighborhood soon became one catering to tourists, and the whole native, locals-only vibe completely faded away. Many of the restaurants aren’t even owned by Italians anymore. It’s hard to find a restaurant that isn’t serving up second-rate, generic fare at marked up prices. A family visiting New York might think this is great food at reasonable prices – who can blame them, since they probably don’t have anything like this at home – but it makes no sense for a New Yorker to shove his or her way through visiting crowds to eat so-so food for higher prices. New York is brimming with better restaurants anywhere and everywhere. And when the San Gennaro festival takes over the streets, stay away. The streets are so crowded you can’t move, let alone actually get to one of the booths for a mediocre cannoli.

When it comes down to it, Little Italy has passed its peak and has been reduced to a strip of non-authentic tourist-trap restaurants. The surrounding neighborhoods like Soho and Nolita have started taking over, which isn’t a bad thing since today those areas have a lot more going on for them.
Pros
  • Cute streets
  • affordable rents
  • You won't go hungry
Cons
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Crowded
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
  • Dirty
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
2yrs+

"Little Ita...what?"

You should go to Little Italy for two reasons: 1.) you really love tourists or 2.) you really love Chinese food. There’s very little Italian left to Little Italy. There are a few famous Italian restaurants left on Mulberry Street, though they’re only one breadstick more Italian than the Olive Garden. A couple other attempts at Italian-type culture, like a place with prosciutto hanging in the window or an opportunistic stand selling French bread glazed with olive oil. But most of Little Italy has been pushed out by Chinatown. The Italian population isn’t growing, but the Chinese one is.

It’s a nightmare to live in Little Italy because you are constantly bombarded by tourists asking where Chinatown is or where Ground Zero is (why do people visit that anyway?). It’s noisy during the day with the whine of tired tourist children and busy at night with the whine of those tourist children’s inebriated parents.

The only really great thing about living in this neighborhood is that it’s very close to the financial district and other places downtown where you might work. If are lucky enough to find an apartment high enough to get away from the street noise, is can be a more pleasant experience. But every time you go to street level, it’s more of the same.

If you’re looking for great New York Italian, I highly recommend hightailing it up to Athur Avenue in the Bronx. They have great Italian food with way fewer annoyances.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
2yrs+

"Stay away from Broadway and you'll be fine"

Nolita has very little of Little Italy left to it. But then, Little Italy has very little Little Italy left to it. Instead of a particular demographic of resident, Lolita has succumbed to the general “New Yorker” vibe found in locations that were formerly ethnic enclaves. Lolita doesn’t have much ethnic or cultural flare left. I mean, it has an Old Navy.

The Old Navy is on Broadway, though. Just down the street from the Urban Outfitters (whose corporate headquarters is located in what I’m sure is the very hippest part of…Philadelphia). If you stay off the main drag, you will stay away from most of the common suburban Americana that plagues this entire part of the city. The rest can be pretty cool.

Nolita definitely benefits from close proximity to the Bowery, where there are tons of cool clubs and up and coming musicians doing amazing things. Other parts of Nolita are great for living in. The streets are quieter than in Soho or Little Italy proper, with fewer Midwestern men sitting at outdoor cafes, getting sunburn and gulping down seven portions of pasta in one sitting. It’s close enough to NYUland to get lots of students passing through during the day, but it’s not as much of a nuisance as in the Village. It can be a nice, charming neighborhood with tiny places to get falafel and buy great used books. It’s definitely worth a day trip, if nothing else.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Nolita has it all"

Nolita is one of my favorite New York neighborhoods, and I find myself here often - whether it be to shop, eat, grab a few cocktails or just to stroll. On weekends the area does get crowded, and even during the week this neighborhood never exactly dies down. If you want to catch Nolita with quiet streets and empty sidewalks, try stopping by during a blizzard. There is an endless string of trendy bars, restaurants and shops in these blocks - making it a perfect place for the singles set. Beware, though - if you aren't making big bucks you are unlikely to be able to afford such incredible digs.

You'll find a lot of tourist-friendly/famous restaurants (think Balthazar) here, as well as staples like the Dean and Deluca store and the Housing Works book shop. If my parents were coming into town, I think this is the one neighborhood where I would most delight in taking them. For an area so crowded, the streets stay clean (a New York clean) and these blocks are absolutely beautiful.
Pros
  • endless bar/restaurant scene
  • Very pretty
  • Fantastic central location
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
2yrs+

"One of New York's great tourist traps"

This neighborhood is the most annoying in all of New York. It bothers me more than the smell of Chinatown. I've never had great food here - the restaurants left in Little Italy all have a tourist-trap feel, complete with some shady dude standing in the door of each one beckoning/heckling you to come inside and eat. Not my idea of a lovely night on the town, and in New York City anyone can do much better than a visit to Little Italy. I'm not even sure what else is in this neighborhood besides a bunch of mundane mom-and-pops Italian restaurants, so if that's what you're looking for you've come to the right place. However, if you are looking for a great Italian meal, head elsewhere.
Pros
  • Cute streets
Cons
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Crowded
  • expensive
  • Fakey tourist trap with bad food
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Tourists
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The ideal brunch neighborhood"

NoLita is a small and relatively recent neighborhood that has sprung up as its own entity, central to surrounding neighborhoods like SoHo, Chinatown, and the Lower East Side. The neighborhood included some truly beautiful buildings. For example, the Puck Building, an ornate building that got its name from Puck Magazine, a publication that no longer exists. Another great building is the very old St Patrick's Old Cathedral on Prince Street. It is surrounded on all sides by a brick wall, which was erected to protect the cathedral, back when there were riots between protestants and catholics, in the early years of Manhattan. On Sundays the area just next to the cathedral is lined with vendors selling all kinds of merchandise, and if you walk around to Mott Street, you will see a beautiful old door that leads to the cathedral's courtyard. I would say Nolita is one great place to do brunch. Not only does it have good places like Cafe Habana and Cafe Gitane, but the people walking around are always stylish, which is absolutely important for a brunch experience. There are also a lot of small boutique shops in the area. One of my favorites is a men's barbershop on Elizabeth Street that has a real old-world atmosphere.
1/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Kind of a big rip off"

Historically, Little Italy extended as far south as Bayard Street and as far north as Bleecker Street, and ran west to east from Lafayette Street to the Bowery. It's hard to imagine that now, since it has all but disappeared, and been encroached upon by all the neighborhoods surrounding it. Basically, Little Italy is now a small portion of Mulberry Street, above Canal and below Broome. This area is lined with touristy shops, and especially touristy restaurants. These restaurants are predominantly popular with tourists, with almost no locals ever venturing inside. You'll see places that have cannolis stacked in the windows, and tacky signs advertising pizza and pasta places. There are also a lot of booths that sell tourist ware, like I (heart) NY tee shirts and key chains. Yeah, there's a reason locals don't ever bother to come here: the food is awful and a big rip off. There are some interesting Italian American areas in Brooklyn and in Queens, but this Little Italy has pretty much run itself out of steam. In the most recent register of historic places, Little Italy wasn't listed as its own area any more, but was blended into the listing for Chinatown.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
2yrs+

"Sure, it's cheesy, but I really like it."

I kinda really like Little Italy. I guess I worked in the neighborhood for so long, that it just sort of grew on me. Except for it's kinda not so much a neighborhood as more of a place to imbibe. And, it is definitely still completely saturated with Italians. It's kind of amazing that a place that is surrounded by Soho and the LES has managed to stay relatively ungentrified. There is, literally, just Italian restaurants one after the other and almost every single one is really good. Although the guys who work there come outside and pester you when you walk by in case you're a tourist they can sucker into their spot (generally, most of the really good ones don't do this), once you get to know them, they're pretty sweet.
And, you can't mention Little Italy without mentioning the Feast of San Gennaro. Totally cheesy: totally love it. It's a 2 week long celebration with all kinds of Italian food booths, lame games, music and wine. We always go during a week day and hop from place to place having a drink here, a cannoli there, an appetizer at the next place, etc. The spirit of the neighborhood really comes alive in those two weeks, in my opinion.
Go to Mulberry south of Spring and you can eat at just about any of the restaurants and be happy.
Pros
  • Lots of energy
  • Cute streets
  • Lots of history
  • close to major transport
Cons
  • Crowded
  • expensive
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Students
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Neighborhood close to my heart"

I live in Nolita, so I'm partial to it in every way. I love that it's relatively quiet, while being in the middle of absolutely everything, with Houston to the North, Canal Street to the East, and the Bowery running parallel only a block away. The residential buildings tend to be smallish former tenements, with a few glittering, swank new developments thrown in for good measure. I also love the fact that I can still detect the presence of its working class origins, for example half of my neighbors are Spanish speaking old-timers who were living here before the area blew up into hipster heaven. My favorite brunch place is Cafe Gitane, my favorite coffee place in Gimme Coffee, my favorite semi-affordable boutique is The Second Time Around, which sells lightly used designer clothes. I love that the Public Library is around the corner, the YMCA is around the other corner, and that I lived in a baked goods paradise led by the presence of Balthazar's bakery nearby. I love that most places I'd want to hang out are a short walk away, including the Lower East Side, SoHo, the Village, and even Chinatown. I hate that no one interesting can afford the rents any more, and that my place is the size of a shoebox.
Pros
  • Fantastic central location
  • Great bars
  • Great restaurants
Cons
  • Tourist mobs on weekends
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy does not exist"

Little Italy exists only in the mind of some marketing person somewhere who has heavy financial investments in the restaurants that line Mulberry Street. I live in Nolita and I can't tell you the number of times some tourist has stopped me to ask where Little Italy is. Why is that? Because, unlike Soho, or Chinatown, or even small but growing Nolita, Little Italy is not a real place. What used to be Little Italy a century ago, a mainstay of the Italian immigrant community, has been encroached upon by Chinatown and Nolita and Soho on all sides. What is left is a couple of blocks of Mulberry Street, above Canal, where you can get accosted by annoying maitre'd's trying to lure you into their “authentic” Italian eateries. Trust me, there you will be fed authentic tourist kitsch made up to resemble Italian food, and you will pay authentic tourist prices for it. You have been warned. In fact, I dare you to find a single Italian-American person who actually resides in this ostensible place called Little Italy. You will be looking a long time. Aside from shlock and a rather stinky weekly street fair, this area is simply a meeting place of the neighborhoods that border it, and it is dotted with a little bit upscale, a little bit Chinatown, a little bit of arty. Sorry folks, but Little Italy is gone.
Pros
  • You won't go hungry
  • close to major transport
Cons
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • Fakey tourist trap with bad food
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Tourists
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Away from the Madding Crowd"

NoLiTa which is an acronym for North of little Italy is located as its name suggests to the north of the tourist infested district of Little Italy. The boundaries of this small downtown Manhattan neighborhood extend from Houston Street in the north to Kenmare Street in the south and Broadway in the west to the Bowery in the east.
This neighborhood which was demarcated as a separate enclave in the late 1990s is today home to many young New York professionals who enjoy its relatively quiet streets which are populated by small, chic restaurants, stores and boutiques like Bread, Rice, Public, Mcnally Jackson Books, Café Gitane, BioNYC and Lord Willy’s.
The real estate landscape of NoLiTa is made up of 5-6 story pre-war walks and newer condo constructions and conversions like the Spring Street condominiums and the Candle Building on 11 Spring Street which was originally a 19th century carriage house which has now been converted into three extremely expensive, stylish condo properties.
Pros
  • Great bars
  • Great restaurants
  • Very pretty
Cons
  • Crazy expensive
  • Tiny apartments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
2/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Home of the San Gennaro Festival in Manhattan"

Little Italy in Manhattan is located adjacent to the city’s vast Chinatown district. The boundaries of Little Italy are loosely defined as Canal Street to the South, Broome Street to the North, Baxter Street to the West and Elizabeth Street to the East. This area which was once home to the city’s large Italian population is now a major tourist attraction which is chock a block with rather mediocre and expensive ‘Italian’ restaurants whose pushy maitre d’s stand outside as they try to lure unsuspecting tourists in with their so-called ‘specials’.
Most of the neighborhoods’ restaurants like Il Cortille, Il Palazzo and Ferara Bakery and Café are located on its main drag of Mulberry Street, which is also populated by many stores that sell souvenirs, leather goods and various other knick knacks. This busy and bustling neighborhood which is always packed with tourists becomes the cynosure of all eyes during its annual San Gennaro festivities . During the festival which is usually celebrated every September , the streets of the area sport brightly colored decorations as they are pedestrianized for the event. At this time nearly 300 vendors descend on the area for the festival as they sell a wide array of goods like religious statues, jewelry, accessories clothing as well Italian delicacies like pepper and sausage sandwiches, zeppoles and gelatos from temporary stalls erected for the event. Carnival games, parades and live entertainment also feature in the celebrations of this festival which is known to attract more than 2 million visitors annually.
Pros
  • close to major transport
  • affordable rents
  • central to everything
Cons
  • pushy, in your face restaurant folk who try to lure unsuspecting tourists into their establishments
  • noisy at all times of the day and night
  • Fakey tourist trap with bad food
  • Crowded
  • expensive
  • Dirty
  • everything's overpriced for tourists
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
3/5
2yrs+

"Yuppie-tastic - but nicer than Little Italy"

Continuing the somewhat obnoxious trend of phonetic abbreviations, NoLiTa (in real-people-language, "North of Little Italy," is a trendy and somewhat real-estate-agency-defined district between the Bowery and SoHo. While traditionally this area has been considered part of Little Italy, in recent decades it's been throwing off its reputation of kitsch and mediocre food and instead refashioning itself as an upscale yuppie haven - a tiny gem in an area known more for knockoff bags than for knockout nights on the town.

Architecturally it's a mix - there are plenty of Lower East Side-style tenements that are historically interesting, but not much to look at, along with some fantastic buildings, like the Puck Building (viewers of Will and Grace will recognize it as Grace's office in the television series) and St. Patrick's Old Cathedral, former cathedral of the New York City diocese and now parish church.

When it comes to dining and nightlife, NoLita is definitely the place to be, with dive bars and trendy cocktail joints alike dotting the landscape. A highlight is the gastropub The NoLita Star, which combines the best of bar, restaurant, and coffeehouse culture.
2/5
2yrs+

"Italy-Lite (though heavy on the calories)"

Canoli, mafiosi and "Moonstruck" - that's the stereotype about Manhattan's Italian enclave, and to be fair, it fits. Kitschy Catholic memorabilia and slightly watery mozzarella are ubiquitous here, and Little Italy resembles not so much Italy proper - many Italians would be horrified at the New World's culinary reinterpretations of the Old Country - as the Italian-American ideal: Nonna in the kitchen making torte, Mamma with her heaps of spaghetti, and plenty of red, white, and green good cheer for all. Whether it's true or not is anybody's guess; Little Italy is as much a conscious tourist destination as it is a real ethnic enclave (for proper Italian food, try any high-end Italian restaurant, or head out to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx for the low-key stuff). That's not to say it isn't fun for a visit - the Feast of San Gennaro in September is a key tourist draw during the eleven days of its run, and some of the cross-cultural fusion caused by Little Italy's proximity to Chinatown can be fascinating. But don't expect the charm of a Veronese or Venetian Piazetta here - nor the delicious food of Rome - this is strictly American at heart.
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy is a little piece of heaven on Earth"

I used to live in Little Italy about six years ago but just made the move back there this year. I remember now why I used to live there. It has the best food in the world. It is a piece of Italian cooking without traveling. The neighborhood is relatively quiet and I can get my office work done there at anytime in the day. Back to the food, the absolute best restaurant that you must frequent is Lombardi’s pizzeria. This place has the best pizza you will ever eat. And of course they have authentic Italian desserts there that really top off a meal. If you want an Italian lifestyle, this is the place for you.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Any other good eatery besides Lombardi?
2yrs+
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3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 4/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"Little riff-raff, a lot of no-nonsense greatness"

I have lived here a couple different times, and wouldn’t mind going back for a third. I kind of stumbled upon it when looking for a place to live in the city, and at first wasn’t so sure if I was making the right decision, but definitely no regrets in hindsight. For starters, the entire area is chock full of amazing vintage Italian eateries…complete with aggressive (and at times cat-calling) maitre d’s. But I suppose that just comes with the whole package because once you get inside most of these “local” restaurants - the service, ambience and food is of the utmost quality. In terms of suggestions, maybe I’d recommend you avoid La Mela and try out some of the adjacent spots on Mulberry. And if you’re not in the mood for Italian food, Chinatown and Canal St are just a few minutes away on foot.

As far as watering holes are concerned, my favorite place to cap off a hard day’s work or start off a night is Spring St. Lounge. But don’t tell the regulars I told you so.

Little Italy is super convenient to a couple different subway stops, it never takes too long to catch a cab, safety has never been an issue, and if you’re into shopping - SoHo is a stone’s throw away. So whether you’re looking for a place to visit or somewhere to settle, I’d definitely keep Little Italy on the shortlist.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
4/5
2yrs+

"Great place to shop"

NoLita stands for North of Little Italy, and like many neighborhoods in Manhattan is undergoing some serious evolution. In the past, NoLita was recognized as a seedy place to live, but now boasts some of Manhattan’s hippest boutiques, restaurants, and cafés.

NoLita is adjacent to SoHo and due to its proximity reaps the benefit of great vintage shopping and luxurious hotel options, like the Mercer Hotel and SoHo Grand Hotel. If you want expensive and tony boutiques, NoLita is your neighborhood! Sigerson Morrison is an upscale shop known for its handbags and accessories. If you are searching for that perfect vintage, check out Resurrection at 217 Mott Street. Resurrection’s celebrity clients include Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham, Anna Sui, and Chloe Sevigny.

After a hard day of shopping, stop by the famous Lombardi’s on Spring Street. Continue on Spring Street toward Rice to Riches for some amazing rice pudding – they have some very creative flavors that I love, and I am not a rice pudding fanatic by any means.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Cafe Habana at Prince and Elizabeth, too. It's swank and friendly, and the people are pretty.
2yrs+
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2/5
2yrs+

"Definately not the real thing"

Over the years, Little Italy has become less and less predominantly Italian, and more and more Americanized. Near Houston Street (north), Little Italy has completely disappeared, as this area has become the fashion boutique neighborhood of Nolita (North of Little Italy).

The main tourist area of Little Italy is the portion of Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Streets. You can still find the cobblestone streets beneath the fire escapes but for the most part “times are a changing.”

You will find great Italian restaurants along Mulberry Street. Traditional Italian food can be found at Pellegrino’s at 138 Mulberry. A little hint: if you want something off menu, ask nicely and they will always provide. This is the most family friendly restaurant in NYC, as well as boasting some excellent service. Before you leave Little Italy, you cannot pass up Lombardi’s – the first pizzeria in America and in business since 1905.

The shops along Grand Street area great fun and supply the goods for your kitchen. For fresh mozzarella stop by Alleva Dairy at 188 Grand Street or Di Palo Fine Foods, practically next door for Italian cheeses and salumeria. Di Palo is a family-owned and operated store that will ensure you have the right ingredients for a spectacular and traditional Italian dinner at home.

For a little taste of Italy without the plane ride, head to Mulberry Street. But, once you have been to Italy, Little Italy isn’t much fun…just disappointing.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Pretty accurate.
2yrs+
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2/5
2yrs+

"Feels less authentic all the time"

If Little Italy was once an enclave of Italian immigrants, now it seems more like an enclave of Italian flags, checkered tablecloths, and tourists. If you can bear walking down a street to have car salesmen-like hosts shout at you to come to their restaurant, then perhaps you have the stomach for this neighborhood.
Little Italy is shrinking all the time as its streets melt into the surrounding neighborhoods and become more recognizable as staples of Chinatown and Nolita.
I honestly am not the biggest fan of this neighborhood, but there are many people who flock here to fan its dying embers. It certainly has a Disney World-esque charm: its restaurants deliver exactly what you would expect of an ordinary Italian eatery, but not much more.
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Agreed! Disney-fied idea of what Italy might be.
2yrs+
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4/5
2yrs+

"Nolita - great bars and shops, great for young and families"

Historically, NoLita was a section of Little Italy, but as time progressed and the neighborhood became smaller, NoLita emerged with a flare and culture all its own. Following the outflow of the Italian population from Little Italy throughout the latter half of the twentieth, Nolita began to lose its cultural flare, with many Italians moving to Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island, in search of lower rents, jobs, and still managing, in many cases to create the unity found in Little Italy. Left behind in NoLita was a unique mixture of people, some of Italian descent, but many of the businesses and authentic Italian restaurants were abandoned. During the 1990s until the present-day, many investors, business people, and store owners saw the advantages of the NoLita location, not only in relation to Little Italy, but also to SoHo, NoHo, Greenwich Village, and the Lower East Side as a whole. Development skyrocketed and many apartments were refurbished to suit a more youthful and ethnically diverse population of young professionals and artists. Real estate in NoLita is fabulous with various walk-up buildings in an array of colors. Prices are lower in NoLita than in other sections of the Lower East Side and is a wonderful place for young professions, couples, and families to live. NoLita is a bourgeoning neighborhood with a unique beauty, distinctive from its very close neighbors.

Transportation:6 to Astor Place or Bleeker Street for NoHo; F to 2nd Ave. or J or M to Bowery for NoLita

Dining: (in NoHo very close to NoLita)
BONDST - 6 Bond Street
Il Buco - 47 Bond Street
Realto - 265 Elizabeth Street

Nightlife:
Bleeker Street Bar - 58 Bleeker Street
Fez - 380 Lafayette Street

Shopping:
Resurrection - 217 Mott Street, near Spring Street
Sigerson - 28 Prince Street, near Mott Street
Tutu - 55 Spring Street
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Pretty good summary of the place. I would also add Cafe Gitane on Mott Street near Prince for fantastic Sunday brunch. The waitresses wear these hippy little green dresses.
2yrs+
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3/5
2yrs+

"Little Italy - more a great tourist destination than a residential neighborhood."

Little Italy is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Manhattan, with beautiful old world charm. Similar to Chinatown in terms of a homogenous ethnic population and in terms of its uniquely authentic food and entertainment offerings, Little Italy is a fabulous enclave in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Little Italy was always home to a mainly Italian immigrant population. Much larger in size, most immigrants worked various low-paying jobs throughout the then bustling manufacturing industry located in what is today the somewhat chic Lower East Side. Maintaining unity and culture was not a difficult thing for the residents to do, as many were non-English speakers, had a neighborhood in which they could conduct business in their native language. With that came the establishment of several of Italian ristorantes, bistros, and cafes throughout the neighborhood, as well as small stores catering to its population. With time, the popularity of Manhattan began to grow, as well as its population, and wealth and prestige began to accompany the Lower East Side name. As rent prices soared and namely following the great Depression, the Italian population began to decrease as more and more people went to different boroughs to seek lower rent prices in different boroughs, including certain areas of Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and the heavily-Italian area of Staten Island. As the population shrank and more East Asian residents began to settle in the Chinatown area, the area of Little Italy began to shrink, being somewhat enveloped by Chinatown. Today, this beautiful neighborhood, lined with walk-up buildings painted red, white, and green, and a beautiful charm exists mainly along Mulberry Street. Italian music plays, wine is poured, and a step into the beautiful Italian culture is taken when entering Little Italy. Entertainment and dining in the neighborhood are truly its calling cards, with the Feast of San Gennaro in September still amongst one of the most famous outdoor festivals in the city. Truly a classic and beautiful living representation of the ability of immigrant to come to America but to maintain their diverse cultures, Little Italy, though smaller in size, is still filled with gusto.

Transportation: 6 subway downtown to the Spring Street station then walk East 2 blocks to Mulberry Street. N or R subways downtown to the Prince Street station then walk East 3 blocks to Mulberry Street. Use the F or V subways downtown to the Broadway/Lafayette station and walk East 4 blocks to Mulberry Street and then walk south. The M103 bus also runs in the neighborhood.

Dining:
Grotta Azzurra - 177 Mulberry Street
Ferrara - 195 Grand Street
Pellegrino's - 138 Mulberry Street
Vincent's - 119 Mott St.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
Uraniumfish
Uraniumfish Totally appreciate the historical overview, but with disagree with the modern view as Little Italy having gusto. Seems to be more of a historical idea than a real place now, and I find the restaurant set-up smaltzy at best.
2yrs+
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Best Streets in Little Italy

1

Crosby St

4/5
"The SoHo street to live on"
40.7229918716348 -73.9977036135746
2

Broadway

3.5/5
"All the beautiful people at Sunday brunch"
40.723154535874 -73.998700443478
3

Prince St

3.5/5
"Cute but expensive"
40.7225380008619 -73.9937059987622
4

Elizabeth St

3.5/5
"Little Little Italy is now "Nolita""
40.7200037829214 -73.9952088597161
5

Cleveland Pl

3.5/5
"Little fun block"
40.7215237034748 -73.9973760196028
6

Kenmare St

3/5
"A living piece of art"
40.720475000939 -73.994501998933
"Quiet snippet"
40.7201430005303 -73.9977010029673
8

Hester St

1.5/5
"A mix of a lot of neighborhoods"
40.7180046762729 -73.9974951662114

Unranked Streets in Little Italy

Bleecker St

3.5/5
"Really lovely block with not a lot of space"
40.7253415007424 -73.9926254993048

Spring St

3.5/5
"Small area but lots of cool stuff"
40.7211225008927 -73.9942504987331

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