Welcome to Little Italy

Good food and rich traditions have kept Little Italy true to its roots. Although this small but boisterous neighborhood has changed over time, its European heritage is still alive in the restaurants, shops, and jovial spirit of those who call Little Italy home.

Key Details

Attributes

for foodies, great people-watching, tourist attraction, congested, quaint, cultural enclave, beloved by new yorkers, great for families, easy commute, vibrant, old new york, walker's paradise

LOCATED IN DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN

Commute Times
Columbus Circle 28m by train, 21m by car
Grand Central 23m by train, 15m by car
Union Square 18m by train, 8m by car
Wall Street 15m by train, 6m by car
Nearest Subways
  • 4 transit
  • 6 transit
  • b transit
  • d transit
  • j transit
  • n transit
  • q transit
Boundaries
East to West Bowery to Centre St.
North to South Broome St. to Canal St.
Nearby Neighborhoods Nolita, SoHo, TriBeCa, and Chinatown

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Little italy:
Traditional roots in busy downtown Manhattan.

Little Italy got its name back in the early 1900s when thousands of Italian immigrants moved into the small neighborhood. Since then, many of the area's Italian-American residents have relocated to other Italian enclaves like East Harlem, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Still, their original legacy remains, and is woven into the fabric of this culturally distinct pocket of lower Manhattan.

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What to expect:
A historically rich neighborhood with old-world European charm.

Built upon by the dedicated efforts of its first immigrants, many of Little Italy's businesses are inspired by its European counterparts. Current residents favor the nostalgia-induced environment that evokes memories of life in the 1920s with trattoria-lined streets and signs written in Italian.
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Foodies with a penchant for Italian cooking love Little Italy for its dining experience. Gregarious waiters and al fresco seating on the sidewalks or in courtyards create a warm and colorful ambiance.
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Little Italy is filled with small details that act as a constant reminder of the neighborhood's roots - and the pride that residents take in their heritage.
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The lifestyle:
Great food and good times. Culinary immersion in authentic Italian restaurants, indulging at meat and cheese shops, and browsing vintage boutiques.

In Little Italy, dining is the main attraction. Preparation for the busy day ahead begins early when restaurant staffs set up outdoor seating and make plans for accommodating the steady stream of customers throughout the day.
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By noon, the hustle for food is in full swing as residents and tourists alike meet in Little Italy for a delicious meal. Whether it's a savoring rigatoni alla vodka dish or a classic margherita pizza, there's something for every appetite in Little Italy.
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Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted by the famed cafes and bakeries in Little Italy. A ricotta-creamed cannoli or chocolate hand-dipped biscotti along with a cup of Italian coffee is enough to entice even the strong-willed in for a taste.
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Sit-down dining here is just the beginning. Little Italy's renowned mom-and-pop delis and gourmet markets offer salami, tortellini, and fresh Parmesan cheeses to use to prepare your own homemade feast.
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In the afternoon, the neighborhood makes for a relaxing environment to go on a picturesque stroll. The streets aren't cobblestoned like in Italy, but it's not uncommon to see a few European vespas parked outdoors when the weather's nice.
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Little Italy is also known for its hip boutiques. Because of the neighborhood's close proximity to SoHo and the Lower East Side, fashion-forward storefronts have popped up over the past few decades, serving the trendy neighbors who come downtown to shop.
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In the evening, Little Italy becomes a great destination for casual get-togethers with friends or families. Neighbors celebrate over glasses of wine at Oro Bakery and Bar or share beers at the Italian Food Center, recently opened in 2011.
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What not to expect:
A quiet neighborhood with parks and open spaces.

As one of the most well-known neighborhoods in New York, the area experiences a steady flow of foot traffic from neighbors and visitors at all times of the day. Residents who prefer quiet, empty streets might want to look outside of Little Italy,
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Though there are a few parks within walking distance, the immediate area is packed with vendors, restaurants, and pedestrians. In this tiny neighborhood, there isn't much space for parks and playgrounds.
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But for some people, the crowded neighborhood becomes the perfect backdrop for a perfect day outdoors.
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The market:
Competitive. Co-op buildings and walk-ups have low turnover rates and prices are consistently on the rise.

Most residential buildings in the neighborhood are walk-up apartments above restaurants or storefronts.
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But in recent years, a few condo and co-op buildings have gone up, though vacancies in these buildings are rare. Although the rental market in Little Italy is quite competitive, units here can be more affordable than in neighboring areas like SoHo.
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You'll fall in love with:
Italian cultural charm set in downtown Manhattan.

Visitors of Little Italy come to experience the Italian culture brought from overseas. Tourists and residents alike enjoy freshly rolled cigars and authentic gelato, all reminders of the neighborhood's Italian roots.
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Meals have been perfected over the years since recipes were first brought over from Italy. There's nothing better than when zeppoles are fried fresh daily, pastas are homemade, and sausages are ground in-house.
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Little Italy isn't popular because it's an exact replica of its home country. Rather, it's New York's version of a neighborhood built by generations of Italian-Americans that's attracted visitors from all over the world.
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Other Neighborhoods to Explore