Seven Tips for Visiting Chinatown and Little Italy, New York City

Posted on August 25, 2017 | By Ray Chin

Planning a trip to Chinatown or Little Italy? Be sure to check out our seven tips for visiting Chinatown and Little Italy, New York City first! Also take a look at our walking food tours of Chinatown and Little Italy. It is a great way to explore these two fascinating neighborhoods and to try some of the best dishes they have to offer!

Take the Subway

Grand St Subway Station

First, the best way to get to Chinatown and Little Italy is by the subway. You can take the B or D train to Grand Street, the N, Q, R, W, J, Z or 6 train to Canal Street or the F train to East Broadway. Also note if you are driving to Chinatown or Little Italy, finding a parking spot can be difficult, especially on the weekends.

Make Sure to Come to Chinatown & Little Italy Hungry

Tasty Dumpling

Chinatown and Little Italy has a ton of great dining options so you definitely want to come here hungry! There are way too many restaurants that we recommend to list here (so be sure to follow our blog for more recommendations) but a small sample of the amazing restaurants here include Tasty Dumpling (42 Mulberry St), Big Wong (67 Mott St), Shanghai Cafe Deluxe (100 Mott St ), Gelso & Grand (186 Grand St) and Aunt Jake’s (151 Mulberry St).

Save Room for Dessert

Ferraras Bakery Cannoli

Also you definitely want to save some room for dessert! There are plenty of amazing dessert options in these two neighborhoods. You can find Asian inspired ice cream at the Chinatown Ice Cream Factory (65 Bayard St), Thai rolled ice cream at 10 Below Ice Cream (10 Mott St & 132 Allen St), gelato at Mo il Gelato (178 Mulberry St) and yummy cannoli at Ferrara’s Bakery (195 Grand St).

Don’t forget about Nolita

Lombardi's Margherita Pizza

Little Italy is only about three blocks long but north of Little Italy there is also Nolita and it is a must see foodie destination! It is home to some of our favorite pizzerias, Lombardi’s Pizza (32 Spring St) and Rubirosa (235 Mulberry St), Parm (248 Mulberry St) which has the best chicken parmigiana sandwiches and Eileen’s Special Cheesecake (17 Cleveland Pl) which has our pick for the best cheesecake in New York City.

Visit Chinatown during Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year 2016

Chinatown is usually buzzing with excitement all year round but one of the most exciting times to visit Chinatown is during Chinese New Year. Visitors and locals are both out on the streets to celebrate and there are lion and dragon dances throughout the neighborhood. You can also try some New Year treats like sweet rice balls and turnip cakes. Be sure to check out our Chinese New Year guide for more information.

Visit Little Italy during the San Gennaro Festival

San Gennaro Food

Similarly one of the most exciting times to be in Little Italy is during the San Gennaro Festival. During the San Gennaro Festival, they close the streets for Italian food stands, games, music performances and more. Please note that for both Chinese New Year and the San Gennaro Festival it can get crowded so you should plan accordingly. We also have a San Gennaro Festival guide if you are looking for more information.

Check out the Museums

Mmusuemm

Finally be sure to set aside some time during your visit to Chinatown and Little Italy for some of the fascinating museums in the neighborhood. You can visit the Museum Of Chinese In America aka MoCA (215 Centre St ), the Italian American Museum (155 Mulberry St), the Museum at Eldridge Street (12 Eldridge St) and Mmuseumm (4 Cortlandt Alley).

Get a bite out of the Big Apple!

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