Visitor's Guide to Little Italy

La Mela restaurant on Mulberry Street, Little Italy
Stephen J Boitan/Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

Once the sprawling home of much of New York City's Italian population, Little Italy has become more of a tourist destination than a residential neighborhood. The neighborhood previously spread from Canal Street north to Houston, but now its borders are limited to about four city blocks.

Still, Little Italy is worth visiting for the opportunity to enjoy delicious imported Italian specialties and to see the Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, as well as a chance to glimpse some of the restaurants and bars made famous by gangsters and members of the Rat Pack. Mulberry Street is probably the neighborhood's most famous street.

It's also great to experience the San Gennaro festival that takes place in Little Italy every September, which is one of New York City's most popular street festivals.

Little Italy Subways

  • 6
    • - Spring Street Station
  • N, R
    • - Prince Street Station
  • F, V
    • - Broadway/Lafayette Station

Neighborhood Boundaries

  • Canal Street on the South
  • Broome Street on the North
  • Baxter Street on the West
  • Elizabeth Street on the East

Events

Architecture

  • Cobblestone streets dominate the area and are commonly featured in movies.
  • Beautiful six-story walk-up buildings that housed the neighborhood's Italian community are plentiful.
  • The Original St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Police Building are worth experiencing.

Tours

Restaurants

Attractions

  • The Police Building (240 Centre Street) - Built in 1909, this building was the main police headquarters for over 60 years, but it is now co-op apartments.
  • Old Church of St. Patrick (Mott Street between Prince & Houston) - this was the original St. Patrick's Cathedral but is now a parish church
  • Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry Street) - Housed in the former Banca Stabile building, the museum is dedicated to sharing and preserving the cultural history and experience of Italian Americans

Shopping

  • Alleva Dairy (188 Grand Street) - the oldest Italian cheese store in America, Alleva has been operating since 1892
  • DiPalo's Fine Foods (200 Grand Street) - since first opening its doors in 1910, DiPalo has offered delicious imported goods, including olive oil, pasta and cheeses
  • Il Coccio Italian Ceramics (182 Hester St.) - this small store features imported ceramics from Sicily
  • Piemonte Ravioli (190 Grand Street) - established in 1920, the Little Italy retail shop sells fresh pasta made daily at their warehouse in Woodside, Queens