Ten Best Restaurants in Little Italy NYC

Little Italy is a neighbourhood in Manhattan, New York City, known for its large Italian demographic. It is also a major tourist attraction, particularly for foodies, as it is home to some of New York’s greatest restaurants serving the best of Italian food.

Little Italy is worth a visit if you want to sample great imported Italian dishes and view the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. You’ll also see some of the restaurants and bars made famous by gangsters and Rat Pack members. Mulberry Street is possibly the most well-known avenue in the area.

Everybody who has visited Little Italy knows that it is one of the many tourist traps in New York. It’s difficult to break through the clamour and discover a restaurant that actually delivers exceptional meals with every establishment asking you to dine there. 

1. Best Restaurants in Little Italy NYC

Various taverns and restaurants in Little Italy provide the greatest risotto, lasagne, tiramisu, and cannolis. If you want substantial and authentic Italian cuisine, Little Italy is a must-visit location the next time you’re in New York. Look at the top restaurants in Little Italy for your next visit.

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2. Top 10 Restaurants in Little Italy NYC

Given below are the top 10 little Italy restaurants to visit –

2.1 Il Cortile 

Where: 125 Mulberry St

Il Cortile is a Little Italy staple that has been in business since 1975, and the Esposito family strives to create a cuisine that is inventive enough to impress all hungry New Yorkers and tourists. It is a family-owned restaurant in Little Italy that is regarded as one of the top Italian restaurants in New York City.

After several years in business, it is certain that it offers the greatest service to its consumers and always leaves them satisfied. Each meal here uses only the finest seasonal ingredients, resulting in a refreshing and delightful cuisine.

We suggest starting with the Avocado Bruschetta and then continuing on to one of the classics. The Fettuccine di Parma and Gamberi Fantasia are two of the restaurant’s highlight dishes, making it one of the finest places to eat in Little Italy.

Suppose the a la carte menu does not match your expectations. In that case, you may be tempted by the range of wines and cocktails they provide, making it a fantastic setting for fine dining to enjoy a beautiful cuisine with exquisite drinks and international wines that fit every palette. It is the best spot to eat in Little Italy, New York.

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2.2 Rubirosa

Where: 235 Mulberry St

It is a traditional Italian restaurant that specializes in Old School American-Italian cuisine. The restaurant was created in the style of the old Manhattan eatery by AJ Pappalardo, the son of Joe & Pat’s founder Giuseppe Pappalardo. A 57-year-old family recipe was also the basis for the creation of Rubirosa.

Visit Rubirosa with its cozy atmosphere for robust and delicious food. The restaurant serves traditional Italian cuisine such as Farfalle in Pesto, Fusilli, Caprese Salad, and Pepperoni Bread. Rubirosa also has a large pizza selection, including the Fresca, Bianca, Sausage & Broccoli Rabe, and Rubirosa Supreme.

Before going on to a hefty pizza or meal, diners can start with a small Eggplant Parmigiano or Broccoli Rabe dish. For hungry restaurant clients, wine, cider, and cocktails are offered on the broad drink menu. Rubirosa is famous for its renowned vodka pizza, which is delicious.

So, if you’re seeking the finest restaurants to eat in Little Italy, New York City, that will welcome you with open arms, Rubirosa is unlikely to disappoint. It’s unquestionably one of the greatest places to eat in Little Italy and is also known to accommodate large groups through the advanced reservation system.

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2.3 Aunt Jake’s

Where: 133 Mulberry St

Aunt Jake’s is a beautiful Italian restaurant where you may combine various pasta dishes. This trendy place not only serves amazing and delicious fresh pasta, but it’s also a great hangout for young New Yorkers.

The light décor is excellent for a casual lunch, but it also works well as a comfortable setting for the evening. Guests enjoy specialty delicacies such as Shrimp Scampi and Chicken Parmigiana. Whatever you choose, don’t forget to mix it with one of the menus’ various wines, cocktails, or bottled beers.

It is a great spot that is Instagram-worthy, so take a photo of your dish before you dig in at Aunt Jake’s. The beautifully arranged dish merits a photo or two. It’s an excellent pick to eat at among the greatest restaurants in Little Italy, New York.

2.4 Lombardi’s

Where: 32 Spring St

Lombardi’s was the birthplace of contemporary pizza as we know it. This is not just America’s oldest pizzeria, but Gennaro Lombardi founded it in 1905, using a coal oven to create his enormous, abundantly topped pies, which are galaxies apart from the tinier, barer, and wetter pizzas of Napoli. It is often recalled as NYC’s first pizzeria.

It’s famous for its wonderful smoky-crusted oven-baked pizza, which is always produced with premium ingredients. The 16-inch pizza is covered in little bellies and has a lemon pushed up in the center. The thin crust, coated in olive oil, serves as a crunchy canvas for the garlicky, parsley-flecked mollusks.

This iconic pizzeria is a little antiquated, yet it remains one of the nicest places to eat in NYC’s Little Italy. It’s a great spot for Italian food in the vicinity, with pleasant personnel, delicious food, a nice ambiance, and an excellent dining room.

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2.5 Da Nico

Where: 164 Mulberry St

It is an Italian restaurant that has mastered recipes brought over from Italy. Da Nico Ristorante has served a wide and remarkable clientele since 1993. Everyone from the Yankees to Mayor Giuliani has visited Da Nico. When you take your first mouthful, you’ll understand why Da Nico is so popular among New Yorkers.

Da Nico is the place to go if you want great pizza. You may create your own or select one of their masterpieces. One of their menus’ specialties is the brick oven pizza, prepared in the restaurant’s real coal-fired oven. Da Nico’s delicious risotto and pasta dishes are especially popular.

It is especially famous for its dinner menu as Da Nico has a prix-fixe dinner menu for $24 per person, with a limit of 10 diners. The supper is usually accompanied by a special house red and white wine. It’s a terrific spot to go to eat the best food down the block.

2.6 Ferrara Bakery

Where: 195 Grand St

The Ferrara Bakery is a Family-Owned Bakery that serves a variety of sweet and delectable desserts. The patisserie, decked up in Victorian splendor, has been doing things right since 1892. This establishment is jam-packed with lovely little bakery delicacies and relish-worthy dessert choices, the type you’d find in a rustic family bakery in the heart of a little Italian town.

This quaint dessert shop serves over 200 freshly baked Italian pastries and sweets daily. Ferrara is also a famous brunch destination! Whether you choose something full and savoury like the Steak & Eggs or something sweet like an Éclair, you will be more than satisfied with your choice.

It’s a place you won’t want to miss, and it’s a great option if you want to experience some of Little Italy’s food quickly but don’t have leisure for a sit-down dinner, especially for the sweet tooth. It is an excellent place to eat in Little Italy, NYC.

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2.7 Emilio’s Ballato

Where: 55 E Houston St

Emilio’s Ballato is an old-fashioned Italian restaurant that is popular amongst celebrities. Inside, you’ll discover a dining room adorned with chandeliers and walls lined with framed portraits, overseen by owner and chef Emilio Vitolo. Bowie was frequent, and there is a little shrine devoted to him and other celebs such as Lenny Kravitz and Rihanna.

Every item, from the Caprese to the Gamberi Fra Diavolo, is prepared to excellence. Order the Cocktail del Molluschi, a dozen clams on the half shell, or the Zucchini Fritte, fresh, seasoned zucchini that has been breaded and flash-fried, for a light appetizer.

For entrees, there is a diverse menu to pick from. Tagliatelle Alla Bolognese, for example, combines handmade tagliatelle with beef, pig, and veal ragu.

Another excellent option is the handmade Ravioli con Ricotta or the linguine with white clam sauce. If you like seafood, try the Gamberi Fra Diavolo, which has shrimp cooked in hot marinara sauce with linguine. It has an exquisite dining area to eat in NYC’s Little Italy.

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2.8 Gelso & Grand

Where: 186 Grand St

It is a sleek and modern bistro with a charming outside patio. Nothing beats a meal crafted with fresh local ingredients and hand-rolled pasta; Gelso & Grand has both. This renowned restaurant serves classic Italian cuisine such as Fettuccine Bolognese, Margherita Pizza, and more.

With fresh pasta meals and a wide and contemporary environment, this is undoubtedly one of the most impressive places to dine in Little Italy.  Many meals are prepared in the restaurant’s traditional wood-fired brick oven, resulting in a delectable meal you won’t get enough of. 

It’s a terrific option for a date night, and the cuisine is certain to be delicious! This restaurant also serves ‘the largest cannolis in Little Italy,’ so if you have a sweet taste, this is a must-try. This is perfect for a romantic dinner with fine dining in NYC.

2.9 Piacere NYC

Where: 351 Broome St

They provide Organic Italian dishes in a delightful and rustic setting in the dining room. Piacere, located inside a lovely and rustic structure, will instantly make you comfortable. You’ll discover various authentic and organic Italian cuisine on the menu.

These people would do whatever to make you happy and take pleasure in their organic products and sustainable meals. You won’t find sophisticated Italian food here; the proprietors boldly proclaim that they provide organic Italian comfort food.

A comprehensive wine and beer collection are also available to complement one of Piacere’s various specialties. Piacere’s Italian meals will not disappoint, from the fresh-baked oven pizza to the substantial pasta.

You will be served the most gorgeously crispy thin-crust pizzas in New York. Furthermore, none of the servings here will overwhelm you. The cuisine here is individually proportioned and will leave you satiated but not stuffed. It’s an excellent pick among the greatest restaurants in Little Italy serving great food.

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2.10 Parm

Where: 248 Mulberry St

It is a diner-style Italian eatery that serves delectable classics. While Parm has several locations around New York City, its original storefront is in Little Italy’s center. Parm’s famed chicken parmesan, Mario’s meatballs, and trademark deli sandwiches have drawn New Yorkers for years.

It’s no surprise that some of Little Italy’s greatest cuisine can be found at its fresh-faced relative newbies, some of which have gained citywide acclaim and become chains at multiple locations. Heroes reign supreme at Parm, the sub-business founded by chefs Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi.

Whether you want a standard deli sandwich or a heaping plate of their famed meatballs, Parm has you covered. Their spicy rotini is to die for. The rates are also really affordable, making this one of the greatest places to eat in Little Italy, NYC, for people on a tight budget.

3. Other Little Italy Restaurants Worthwhile Exploring

While these are the best restaurants and bistros in New York’s tourist trap – Little Italy, more bars and cafes worth mentioning are included below-

3.1. Butcher’s Daughter

Location: 19 Kenmare St

The Butcher’s Daughter is a vegan restaurant, café, juice bar, and “vegetable slaughterhouse” all in one. This vegan bistro serves delicious zucchini pizzas and is an excellent brunch option available in Little Italy.

3.2. Umberto’s Clam House

Location: 132 Mulberry St

Back in 1972, mafia leader Joey Gallo was killed down here during dinner, making Umberto’s famous long before the Sopranos. The idea is to order anything that has clams. Littleneck clams on the half shell are fresh, ice-cold, and amazingly delicious at this famed locale.

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3.3. Pasquale Jones

Location: 187 Mulberry St

Pasquale Jones is a contemporary version of Little Italy, with delicious pizza and an exceptional la carte from their wine bar. The Charlie Bird team’s Italian spot for wood-fired pies, meats, and seafood from the open kitchen. The small neck clam pizza and diavola are also must-order items.

3.4. Estela

Location: 1st floor, 47 E Houston St

Estela is a small downtown bistro by chef Ignacio Mattos that may be enjoyed in various ways. It is one of the most recognized restaurants in the United States. The ricotta dumplings with mushrooms and pecorino Sardo, served in a pleasant ambiance and featuring small meals, are their specialty.

Closing Thoughts

To have a full and authentic Italian supper in New York City, you must avoid tourist traps and seek hidden jewels. Various taverns and restaurants in Little Italy provide the greatest risotto, lasagne, tiramisu, and cannolis.

Whether you are looking for a hearty Italian meal with fresh mozzarella,  authentic Italian dishes made with homemade pasta, chicken parm or fried calamari, the side that goes that go well with authentic Italian food like baked ziti or baked clams.

Hopefully, this list has helped you limit your choices to the finest of what Little Italy has to offer. If you like this post, also check out the best rooftop brunch restaurants in NYC

When visiting the best restaurants in Little Italy, NYC, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Make a reservation in advance as popular restaurants tend to fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
  2. Try to be open-minded and experiment with new and traditional Italian dishes at these world class italy restaurant.
  3. Expect to pay premium prices for premium quality food and atmosphere.
  4. Be aware of the fast-paced atmosphere and try to relax and enjoy the experience.
  5. Dress appropriately as some restaurants have a dress code.
  6. Lastly, be polite and courteous to the staff and other diners to enhance your dining experience.


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