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Recs for dinner in Little Italy?

Hi everyone- A friend of mine is coming in for the weekend and would like to see Little Italy. Any good bets for weekend evening? Something fun/affordable a plus... Thanks in advance :)

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  1. Take them to Arthur Ave in the Bronx - or eat in Chinatown. I think Little Italy is pretty much a tourist trap.

    Sorry I am usually not so negative.

    1 Reply
    1. re: centrejack

      Agreed...Buzzard, if you do a search, you'll find that most of the posters here, myself included, see no reason whatsoever to dine in Little Italy...by all means, walk down Mulberry, maybe get a coffee or pastry there in the afternoon, but NYC's best Italian food is elsewhere (a search will turn up about a hundred choices, none of them in Little Italy but many in downtown Manhattan...Lupa, Da Umberto, Piccolo Angelo, Lavanga, Sosa Borella, Borgo Antico, and many more...

    2. Let me state for the record that I've never been to any of these places but someone asked me recently for some Little Italy recs so I gleaned this from previous chowhound posts:

      Keep in mind that most Little Italy restaurants are pretty much tourist and suburbanite traps and that much better Italian food is available elsewhere in Manhattan. Having said that, in no particular order, here are some recommendations:

      Il Cortile ($$$$)
      125 Mulberry St
      Between Canal and Hester
      212-226-6060

      Da Nico ($$$)
      164 Mulberry St
      Between Grand and Broome
      212-343-1212

      Benito One ($$$)
      174 Mulberry St
      Between Grand and Broome
      212-226-9171

      If you really want good Italian food and don't mind a short walk, go to Bianca. You can walk through Chinatown and Little Italy, soak up the atmosphere, and then enjoy some good Italian food.

      Bianca ($$$)
      5 Bleecker St
      At Bowery
      212-260-4666

      Important! Some of these places may not accept reservations, credit cards or large groups so call before you go.

      Buon Appetito!

      1. Actually, I recommend going to Lombardi's for pizza. It's on Spring St and Mott, just a few blocks from the main drag that is Little Italy. Then stop at Ferraro's for a cannoli and a capuccino. I just followed that exact itinerary with an out of town visitor who had Little Italy at the top of her "must see" list, and I enjoyed it. If you want to bring food home, stop at DiPalo's after dinner and/or dessert, it's across the street from Ferraro's, on Grand St.

        1. go to Bread!! (Spring b/w Elizabeth and Mott). It's adorable, trendy-feeling without the price, and great food (and wine). Couldn't reccomend it enough.

          1. ALmost impossible to get in without a reservation and not exactly Little Italy...But Il Mulino is worth every penny of the check..Food is fantastic Desserts equally good. The new Las Vegas site was very disappointing considering how good Il Mulino is in NY.Worth a visit with a small party even if you eat at the bar..

            2 Replies
            1. re: lukeydog

              No offense intended but I have to strenously suggest avoiding Il Mulino. The food is good but not even close to worth the price and the waits can be horrendous. I personally also think they are incredibly arrogant. The list of restaurants in the second post was excellent. Da Umberto is a personal favorite.

              1. re: Gordognyc

                Geez I really loved Il Mulino..Never a bad meal and have never experienced an arrogant staff. I do agree the waits are terrible even with a reservation but again I have been accomodated on more than one occasion by being seated at the bar which I thought to be pretty cool not having a reservation and all.The pricing is comparable to most of the higher end tourist traps on Mulberry St...Grotto Azul and the like.

            2. Thanks for all the great advice- As a Fordham grad, my heart will always be on Arthur Ave for Itlaian- However, I think I may try out Bianca- How is the bar/ wine list there?

              2 Replies
              1. re: buzzard83

                so what do you recommend on Arthur? Taking someone through NYC for their first visit. Looking for quintessential Italian - grinders/pizza. for lunch

                1. re: Ambiance

                  You need to post on the Outer Boroughs board for questions about The Bronx. Also this thread is several years old so I am not sure buzzard83 is still around! :)