Little Italy

Top choice in SoHo & Chinatown

This once-strong Italian neighborhood (film director Martin Scorsese grew up on Elizabeth St) saw an exodus in the mid-20th century when many of its residents moved to more suburban neighborhoods in Brooklyn and beyond. Today, it's mostly concentrated on Mulberry St between Broome and Canal Sts, a stretch packed with checkerboard tablecloths and (mainly mediocre) Italian fare. If you’re visiting in late September, be sure to check out the raucous San Gennaro Festival, which honors the patron saint of Naples.

For a more authentic insight into an Italian community in New York, head to Arthur Ave in the Bronx.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby SoHo & Chinatown attractions

1. Mulberry Street

0.02 MILES

Named for the mulberry farms that once stood here, Mulberry St is now better known as the meat in Little Italy's sauce. It's an animated strip, packed…

2. Italian American Museum

0.05 MILES

This humble museum offers a random mishmash of historical objects documenting early Italian life in NYC, from Sicilian marionettes to old Italian comics…

3. Museum of Chinese in America

0.09 MILES

In this space designed by architect Maya Lin (designer of the famed Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC) is a multifaceted museum whose engaging permanent…

4. Eastern States Buddhist Temple

0.19 MILES

This storefront temple smack in the middle of Chinatown's bustle is a quiet little refuge lined with hundreds of Buddhas. You can buy a souvenir or…

5. Mahayana Temple

0.21 MILES

Mahayana is the biggest Buddhist temple in Chinatown and its magnificent 16ft-high Buddha statue – sitting on a lotus and edged with offerings of fresh…

6. Artists Space

0.24 MILES

One of the first alternative spaces in New York, Artists Space made its debut in 1972 with a mission to support contemporary artists working in the visual…

7. Columbus Park

0.26 MILES

Mah-jongg meisters, slow-motion tai-chi practitioners and old aunties gossiping over homemade dumplings: it might feel like Shanghai, but this leafy oasis…

8. Church of the Transfiguration

0.28 MILES

It's been serving New York's immigrant communities since 1801, and the Church of the Transfiguration doesn't stop adapting. First it was the Irish, then…