Favorite place in Little Italy?
Ferrara is my favourite place in Little Italy. I end up in Little Italy almost every time I give my less-familiar-with-NYC family/friends a walking tour (often starting at Canal St, and working our way towards Greenwich Village or Union Square, stopping to window shop and nosh along the way). Most of them want at least a snack in Little Italy, so we usually stop for an espresso and a cannoli at Ferrara. Even if it's touristy, it's got a nicer atmosphere than most of the Mulberry St restos. Not the best cannoli, but I don't mind stopping there. It's also the only place in Little Italy I've visited more than once. :)
I like 180 Neapolitan Eatery. It's on the 2nd floor of a building on the southeast corner of Hester and Mulberry (180 Hester). You go into an elevator and come out on the 2nd floor in the restaurant. I wrote about it here:
Otherwise, I would recommend Rubirosa further north.
I've recounted this conversation before (probably in one of the threads linked by Kathryn). But it seems on-point here.
OUT-OF-TOWN FRIEND: Where should I eat in Little Italy?
ME: Nowhere. I'd never go there.
OUT-OF-TOWN FRIEND: Surely everyone in New York has a favorite place in LIttle Italy.
ME: People in New York don't eat in Little Italy. They go someplace good.
OUT-OF-TOWN FRIEND: So where should I eat in Little Italy?
Little Italy is extremely touristy and many of the restaurants are not worth your time. Stroll through but go eat on the Bowery or Nolita or something.
Is there a specific reason you want to eat there?
Are you only looking for Italian food?
How about Rubirosa instead? Torrisi Italian Specialties? Parm?