Little Italy is popular with tourists and locals with it's cobblestone streets and many fine Italian restaurants
New York's Little Italy is disappearing as Chinatown continues to grow; today, Mulberry Street between Broome and Canal Street all that is left of the old Italian neighbourhood. Once extending from Canal Street to Bleeker Street and Lafayette Street to the Bowery, Little Italy was the birthplace of Italian culture in the United States and while the days of made men and questionable social clubs are long gone, the Italian spirit remains strong, especially during the September San Gennaro Festival.
Little Italy remains a popular destination for tourists and locals visiting for old-world flavour of the Italian fare. As you walk the cobblestone streets lined with turn-of-the -century tenement buildings, you are engulfed in the sights, sounds and smells emanating out of the restaurants. Grotto Azzurra has been serving classic Italian dishes since 1908 and was a favourite haunt of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. The self-proclaimed "Heart of Little Italy", Umberto's Clam House serves delicious Italian seafood dishes, steaks and pasta. La Mela is a Mulberry Street staple for hefty plates of home style cooking. Prices tend to be a bit higher in Little Italy, so if you are on a budget, keep an eye out for gelato vendors, pop into Ferrara Bakery and Cafe for a cannoli and espresso or grab a slice at America's first pizzeria, Lombardi's on Spring Street.
For non-gastronomic activities, Little Italy is home to the Italian American Museum, Old St. Patrick's Cathedral and former New York Police Headquarters Building are worth a visit.