Best Restaurants in New York's Little Italy (Surprise! They're Not All Italian)

Lisa Kahn

By , Local Expert, New York
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If you're a newcomer to New York and want to experience a time-honored tourist destination before it dissolves forever into history, Little Italy is the place to go. A hundred years ago, this vibrant downtown neighborhood spread from Canal Street north to Houston Street, and was home to much of New York's Italian immigrant population. But time, tastes and money have drastically changed the area's topography.

Today, few Italian immigrants remain in Little Italy, and the neighborhood's borders are now limited to about four city blocks. Tenement buildings once packed with large extended families have been replaced by well-to-do...  Read more »

  • 1

    Lombardi's

    Lombardi's serves authentic New York pizza at its finest: thin, crispy and slightly blackened on the bottom from its turn in the coal oven.

    Local Expert Tip: "Lombardi's signature clam pie is made with freshly-shucked bivalves from Connecticut."

     
  • 2

    La Esquina Taqueria and Cafe

    Ultra-hip La Esquina is a Mexican restaurant in Little Italy that happens to be one of the city's best hideaways.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the Pepino Diablo cocktail made with Tanteo Jalapeno tequila, cucumber, agave nectar and fresh lime."

     
  • 3

    Public

    Public has been awarded a coveted Michelin Star in the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Red Guides for New York City.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try visiting Public for weekend brunch, which includes delicacies like coconut-stuffed pancakes and eggs Benedict made with tea-smoked salmon. "

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  • 4

    Il Cortile

    Il Cortile has been the winner of many top 100 "where the locals eat" restaurant competitions.

    Local Expert Tip: "Make sure to sample the excellent lobster ravioli."

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  • 5

    Il Palazzo

    Il Palazzo is the perfect restaurant for tourists looking for an Italian dining experience in New York City.

    Local Expert Tip: "Standout dishes include the Spaghetti al Chitarra and the Gnocchi alla Napoletana. "

     
  • 6

    Angelo of Mulberry Street

    Unlike some of its Mulberry Street counterparts, Angelo's cuisine is fresh, thoughtfully cooked and well seasoned.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the pappardelle with mushroom, garlic and tomato."

     
  • 7

    Peasant

    For nearly a decade, Peasant has been consistently ranked as one of New York's best restaurants.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the tender osso buco in a nest of farro. "

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  • 8

    Da Nico Risorante

    Da Nico is known for having one of the best coal brick oven pizzas in town.

    Local Expert Tip: "Keep your eye peeled for a glimpse of a New York Yankee dining in the outdoor courtyard. "

     
  • 9

    Pellegrino's

    Pellegrino's is perfect for out-of-towners or college kids eager to impress a dinner date.

    Local Expert Tip: "Try the Linguini alla Sinatra, made with fresh seafood in a red clam sauce enhanced with mushrooms and pine nuts."

     
  • 10

    Puglia Restaurant

    No trip to Little Italy would be complete without a bowl of pasta at Puglia, the oldest restaurant in the neighborhood.

    Local Expert Tip: "On chianti-fueled Saturday nights, the live crooner might hurl some plates to accentuate a passionate love song."

     

 

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