Nolita or NoLIta is derived from North of Little Italy, it is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Surrounding Nolita is Houston Street on the north, Bowery on the east, Broome Street to the south and Lafayette Street on the west.

Nolita History & Character

Nolita has been seen as a part of Little Italy. However, it now bears little resemblance to the original Italian character it had decades before due to the migration of Italian-Americans out of Manhattan. Although many Italian-Americans are leaving Nolita, there are still many elderly descendants of Italian immigrants who live in the neighborhood.

One event that still carries on in the neighborhood is the Feast of San Gennaro which is dedicated to Saint Januarius. The feast takes place every year after Labor Day on Mulberry Street between Houston and Grand Streets. Fans of The Godfather might well recall seeing this feast when it was recreated on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Houston in The Godfather Part III.

The neighborhood started to experience change in the second half of the 1990s, following a wave of yuppies and new pricier boutiques to the neighborhood, as well as trendy restaurants and bars. This change in neighborhood dynamics and demographics led to a name change to what is now known as Nolita, marking the area as a newly upscale neighborhood like SoHo.

An Italian Dining Experience

For more than a century the area has been a hub for community, celebration, tradition, and food! With new blood in the neighborhood, there are new restaurateurs who are making the area trendy for the foodies. Here are some places you can explore for some food flare.

1.  Rubirosa

This Italian restaurant found on Mulberry St at Spring street is a family run Italian-American restaurant and pizzeria. You can find thin- crust pizza as well as a variety of fresh made pasta. There is also a unique collection of Italian focused wines, cocktails and spirits. The atmosphere in Rubirosa is comfortable with an at home feel, which makes it a good pick if you want to have family-style gatherings.

2. Peasant

Known as a cozy and romantic Italian restaurant, Peasant, offers a multi-regional menu with traditional, rustic dishes
that change seasonally with a focus on farm to table and Italian products. You can look forward to signature dishes such as whole grilled orata and spit-roasted suckling pig, don’t be shocked when you see the pigs hanging. The chef and owner of the restaurant looks to give everyone who dines in his restaurant an authentic Italian food experience.

Some Mexican Flare

It may have originally been packed with Italians but you can still find some Mexican food in the area, such as:

  • La Esquina Taqueria and Café: Opened in 2005 the Taqueria offers delectable tortas, tacos, soups, margaritas and beer. You can place your orders all through a walk-up window.
  • Tacombi: Recognized as a taqueria on wheels, you can find a casual Mexican breakfast, lunch and dinner here. For novelty sake your tacos are served out of a converted VW bus.

Where To Get A Coffee Buzz

Who does not appreciate a good caffeine buzz? Nolita surely has its fair share of caffeine spots that deserve some buzz. Take a chance on some of these places for your cuppa joe.

  • La Colombe: If any Philly residents should feel homesick, a cup of La Colombe coffee from Lafayette Street should do the trick. La Colombe is a Philadelphia based coffee company that roasts all of its beans.
  • Gimme! Coffee: An average coffee will cost you about $2 at this Ithaca-based bean operation. Gimme! Coffee is known for serving up crema-topped espressos and pastries.
  • Cafe Select: Cafe Select is definitely a cafe with a difference. It is one part wine bar and one part Scandinavian inspired cafe. It boasts of an astonishing wine list as well as home-like scenery. There is all day breakfast to go with your coffee as well as specialty herbal teas.

Which Trains Will Get You There

Subways that will get you there are the B, D, F, V, to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Spring St, J, M to Bowery, 6 to Canal St and J,M, Z to Canal St.

Getting Help

Should you need to go to a hospital or the police department, the following contacts should help.

Judson Health Center

34 Spring Street,
New York, NY 10012
(212) 925-5000

NYPD 9th Precinct

321 East 5 Street,
New York, NY, 10003
(212) 477-7811