New York City Little Italy
Little Italy is a stop on many hop-on hop-off bus tours, and its restaurants, bakeries, and side streets can be easily explored in a single afternoon. Some walking tours combine this neighborhood with nearby Chinatown, SoHo, and the Lower East Side, while others offer a more in-depth look at the area’s history, including its 19th-century tenement buildings and historic mafia hangouts.
Little Italy is one of Manhattan’s top foodie destinations, and food tours that include tastings from pizza to pastries are a popular way to explore the area. Joint tours of Little Italy and Chinatown are sometimes offered due to the neighborhoods’ proximity, offering an even broader selection of the area’s hidden gems and eateries.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Little Italy is a must for foodies and history buffs.
Wear comfortable walking shoes, as Little Italy and its surrounding neighborhoods are best explored on foot.
Bring cash: Some of the area’s smaller eateries do not take credit.
Visit the MTA’s website for updates on subway detours and weekend transit schedules.
How to Get There
Sandwiched between SoHo and the Lower East Side, Little Italy is easily accessible using New York City’s comprehensive public transit system. The nearest subway stops are Canal Street on trains N, Q, R, W, J, Z, and 6 and Grand Street on trains B and D. Bus M1 also stops at Centre and Broome streets, a 2-minute walk from the heart of Little Italy. Alternatively, a Citi Bike bike-share dock is located on the corner of Lafayette and Howard streets.
When to Get There
As one of Manhattan’s most frequented neighborhoods, Little Italy is almost always buzzing with locals and visitors. To avoid the crowds, go for a morning coffee and pastry and explore before the 1pm lunch rush. Little Italy is best known for its annual Italian-American Feast of San Gennaro festival, held in late September. Crowds flock to Mulberry Street for food, drinks, and the Grand Procession parade.
Where to Find the Best Cannoli in Little Italy
Cannoli are quintessential Italian-American cuisine, and Manhattan’s Little Italy offers myriad opportunities to sample and compare. Locals and visitors often agree that Caffe Roma, on the corner of Broome and Mulberry streets, has the best cannoli in town, but La Bella Ferrara, just north of Canal Street, is close competition. Decide for yourself during Little Italy’s annual Feast of San Gennaro, when vendors line Mulberry Street selling a selection of the neighborhood’s best pastries.
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