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Aug 9, 2009 11:34 PM

Little Italy?

Hi all,

I'm traveling to see my sister & I am thinking I should visit Little Italy while I'm there.

I'm not looking for ONLY Italian, so maybe you can recommend another area that has really good food (different ethnicities) & is not expensive.

Any help would be much appreciated.


P.S. Can someone recommend some good dance shows that aren't too expensive. We will be in Manhattan on Saturday night.

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  1. Little Italy is a tourist trap. It is fine to walk around in for a few minutes, but I am personally turned off by the guys who stand outside each and every restaurant, trying to get you to come inside.

    What kinds of cuisine are you interested in? Manhattan has thousands of restaurants, it is very difficult to recommend one if you don't give us any constraints at all. Price including tax (basically 9% nowadays), tip (20%), drinks? Cuisine type? Atmosphere? Location?

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      Agreed, it's one big tourist trap, with the lone exception of Peasant (which is more SoHo'ish anyway). Much better Italian to be found in the East and West village - Perbacco, Aroma, Paprika, Lupa, etc

    2. I have to disagree with Kathryn (and most others who would certainly agree with her)
      I know I'm the minority - but I LOVE little Italy!

      I'm from Brooklyn, so I never really enjoyed LI until I moved to the UK for 6 years, when I came back w/ my English hubby, I wanted to take hime there - well I've been hooked ever since.! I love walking around on a warm summers evening, the vibe is just magnificent!
      And I have never had a bad meal either (I couldnt tell you the names of the places but I've had 4 good solid meals in various places - tad pricey though!
      I say just walk around a pick a place that strikes your can't really go wrong!

      4 Replies
      1. re: NellyNel

        i love it too, but not for quality food....Umberto's has great clams...that's about it.

        1. re: notsochubbychubette

          We visit NY once a year, easy and cheap flight from Bermuda and Umberto's is ALWAYS our first stop. I always get the clams and hubby always gets the seafood risotto.

        2. re: NellyNel

          Nelly, I am totally with you. Yes, there are, of course, a lot of tourists in LI. So what? I love to spend a few hours there on a Saturday or Sunday, walk around and have lunch. Is it Mario Batali? No, not a chance. But most of it qualifies as decent and at reasonable prices. There is also some pretty good food. Il Cortille fits that category IMHO. And the shills standing out front. Get over it. What's the big deal? They do the same thing in Venice.

          1. re: bnemes3343

            So glad you agree...
            The shrills add to the vibe! It's all in good fun!

        3. I would second Kathryn's post. Maybe if you're planning to walk through LI, you could walk uptown and eat in the village. Tons of great restaurants of all types but as Kathryn mentioned, you won't get many recs here unless you give some specifics about budget.

          Dinner can be anywhere from $8-$350 a person with plenty of options in between!


          2 Replies
          1. re: JeremyEG

            k, budget is around $50-60 for 2.

            The only thing I won't eat is junk, very oily or spicy. I won't eat East Indian, Pakistani or Ethiopian, but almost everything else (I haven't eaten every single ethnic food, but I certainly will try b4 I pass over : ) is ok.



            1. re: sensualspirit

              Try Bar Pitti on the village for VERY good Italian and pretty much within your budget. Also, Katz for pastrami (lots of posts here). You also could do a midweek lunch at Jean Georges for $24 per person. A chance to taste one of NYC's top restaurant's food for not too much. If you can handle a little heat, I recommend Grand Sichuan for soup dumplings. There are lots of great dishes there but many are indeed spicy and my not be what you're looking for. Are you interested in pizza? There are just so many thousands of places in NYC!

              1. re: sensualspirit

                In NYC people tend to be more generous with tips so a higher tip is often expected. Our sales tax is now nearly 9%, too, so if you simply double the tax, that's almost a 18% tip anyway.

              2. Little Italy is practically non-existent any more. One of two blocks. The rest is Chinatown. Di Palo's is the only place worth shopping down there any more. If you are looking for a "Little Italy" experience, Arthur Avenue in the Bronx and/or Bensonhurst are both more authentic (and better restaurants) imho.