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    NoLiTa and Lower East Side: eclecticism, trendy clubs and designer boutiques

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    Not far from each other, both in the Lower Manhattan area, these two New York neighborhoods are among the most loved and frequented by young people looking for trendy locations and trendy restaurants, but who also wink at vintage goodies. Although the Lower East Side is also called THE, but less frequently, Nolita is short for North of little italy. Rich in clubs where live music is played and eclectic buildings the first, the second forge of design studios and retro clothing, these neighborhoods deserve to be explored, calmly, so as to savor their sparkling and unconventional atmosphere.


    • Where are the 2 districts and how to get there
    • Lower East Side: what to do and see
      • Tenement Museum
      • Columbus Park
      • Church of the Transfiguration
      • First Park
      • New museum
      • Where to shop chic and "real"
      • Where to eat
    • Nolita: what to see and what to do
      • Italian American Museum
      • St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (scene from The Godfather)
      • Where to shop in style
      • Where to eat
    • Where to sleep in the area

    Where are the 2 districts and how to get there

    The 2 districts are located south of NoHo and East Village. NoLiTa is a small suburb of about fifteen blocks that easily confuses its borders with Little Italy, Lower East Side instead it is much larger, including the area enclosed between the East Village (North), NoLiTa and Little Italy (West), Two Bridges (South) and the East River (East). Many of the Lower East Side's main points of interest are located not far from the NoLiTa border, so reaching the confluence of the 2 districts can be a good base for exploring both districts. There are actually various useful stops, here they are:

    • taking the brown line J and Z (Bowery and Delancey Street stops)
    • taking the orange line and getting off at Broadway-Lafayette (B, D, F, M) and Second Avenue (F) stations
    • getting off at Prince Street on the yellow line (Q, R, W)
    • getting off at Spring Street Subway on the green line (4, 6)

    To better orient yourself, I remind you that you can refer to our guide on how to use the subway in New York

    Lower East Side: what to do and see

    Tenement Museum

    Unique and unmissable museum, founded in the 80s, the Tenement Museum explores the universe and the lives of the peoples who migrated to America through a touching and, at times, very crude path. Inside the building that houses it, in fact, the founders of the museum found numerous objects belonging to the families who lived there between 1860 and 1930, about 7000 people from every corner of the planet.

    Of the ancient apartments, 7 have been renovated and contain furniture, furnishings, photographs, clothes and everyday objects dating back to the times described. The Tenement Museum, which runs along two buildings and also allows visits to the surroundings, can only be visited by booking guided tours. Open every day from 10am to 18.30pm, except Thursdays, when closing is postponed to 20.30pm, the tour costs $ 27 for adults and $ 22 for children aged 6 to 17. Entry to children under 6 is not allowed.

    • Where: 103 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Columbus Park

    Named in honor of Christopher Columbus, the park, however, had different names in the past, not all of which were equally positive. Located in an area that was rather poorly frequented in the nineteenth century, the park was also visited by Charles Dickens who reported a vivid and real description of it in his American Notes travelogue, describing it as dangerous and dirty (on the other hand it stood in the 'area of Five points, also told in the film Gangs of New York). Obviously nothing to do with the green lung it is today: inserted in a residential context, Columbus Park is one of the largest in the city and hosts several basketball courts, play areas for children and cultural and artistic events.

    • Where: Mulberry Street & Baxter Street, Lower East Side confine con Chinatown, New York City.

    Church of the Transfiguration

    Housed in a delightful red brick building, with benches and trees that make for a relaxed and idyllic atmosphere, the Church of the Transfiguration was founded in 1848 and, during the Civil war, was used as a safe shelter for slaves fleeing to the north of the country. Particularly appreciated is the church choir which, in addition to singing during religious services, also holds concerts of religious and liturgical music, opera and musical dramas on a regular basis. A tour inside the building will be particularly appreciated by those who love religious architecture: among stained glass windows, precious niches and works of art. The church is open every day from 8.10 to 17.00.

    • Where: 1 East 29th Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    First Park

    Designed for children, built around them: the First Park it is one of the most green spaces child-friendly of all New York, since its origins in 1865. In addition to offering a corner of clean air, the park is equipped with sandboxes, swings, metal gyms, swings and slides of all heights. A space for children who, however, does not forget adults: in fact, in the park there are also temporary and permanent exhibitions of contemporary art available to everyone and completely free, without forgetting the cultural activities that are organized, in which designers, artists participate , architects, sculptors.

    • Where: 49 E 1st Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    New museum

    Founded in 77, the New museum tells about contemporary art deviating from the usual exhibitions of paintings and sculptures (although there are, of course), but also giving space to other artistic forms such as films, television, photography. Inside, in addition to the exhibition halls, visitors also find a theater dedicated to contemporary performances and a stupendous one Sky Room, from which to enjoy a spectacular views over Lower Manhattan.

    Finally, the exhibitions organized by the museum also give space to emerging artists, as well as presenting new initiatives and new ideas capable of changing not only contemporary art, but also the face of cities. The New Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 18pm, Thursdays from 11am to 21pm, closed on Mondays. The Sky Room is available to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays. The cost of the entrance ticket is $ 18 for adults, $ 15 for over 65s, free up to 18 years of age.

    • Where: 235 Bowery, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Where to shop chic and "real"

    Essex Market

    Opened in 1940, this market is a reference point for the inhabitants of the Lower East Side, but also for those who are walking around the neighborhood. Almost a sort of local marketWhere it is not unusual to see vendors calling customers by name, there is a little bit of everything. Butchers, fishmongers, cheese sellers, grocers. Strolling among the banquets you are pervaded by the scent of freshly baked crispy bread or by the aroma of pastry desserts, you can choose from numerous types of extra virgin olive oil, or even stop for a succulent lunch based on meatballs with sauce.

    Fresh fruit, craft beers, Japanese delicacies and hand-sewn clothes make the market even more authentic. Furthermore, the gastronomic themed events, the cooking sessions and the spaces dedicated to contemporary and modern art exhibitions that further enrich this “old style” New York location should not be forgotten. Essex Market is open every day, Monday to Saturday from 8am to 22pm, Sunday from 10am to 20pm.

    • Where: 88 Essex Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Economy candy

    It is a paradise for sweets and gluttons. Opened in the 30s, the shop continues to be run by the same family and offers thousands of candies and sweets of different types, shapes and colors. Some bonbons are offered in vintage packaging, while others are placed inside puppets and teddy bears, so as to be even more appreciated by children of all ages. Prices also vary enormously: from candy boxes at $ 1.99 to more elegant home-made boxes of chocolates, the cost of which varies based on weight. The shop is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 to 18, from Tuesday to Friday from 9 to 18.

    • Where: 108 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, New York City,

    Self Edge

    Men's shop specializing in jeans, leather accessories and casual wear, Self Edge is a reference point for any man or boy who loves the denim. In fact, nowhere else will you find such a vast assortment as in this store. Unmissable, then, the vintage pieces from the 30s and 40s. The store is open every day, from 12 to 19.

    • Where: 157 Orchard Street / Rivington Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Freemans Sporting Club

    Loved by hipsters, frequented by the curious, the Freemans Sporting Club is a shop with attached barber service which offers classic, functional and vaguely old-fashioned but super-chic garments. Sewn by master craftsmen, they are unique clothes and, unfortunately, also quite expensive. They mix Japanese cotton and mother of pearl, handmade loafers and Shetland wool, cashmere and suede.

    Perfect for those who consider themselves a character halfway between Roosevelt and Hemingway. Finally, do not miss the handmade belts and the barber shop whose environment revives, in a flash, the salons of the 40s. The shop is open from Monday to Saturday from 11 to 19, Sunday from 12 to 18.

    • Where: 8 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Where to eat

    Katz's Delicatessen

    The classic diner that can come to mind when one thinks of such establishments, Katz's Delicatessen has been serving giant sandwiches since 1888. But that's not all. Become very famous for the fake orgasm scene from Meg Ryan in the movie Harry meet Sally, here you order succulent meat dishes, pastrami, Jewish delicacies, grilled dishes and hamburgers, of course. The prices, then, are more than affordable: you can have lunch (or dinner) starting from $ 12, drinks not included.
    The diner is open every day, with varying hours.

    • Where: 205 East Houston Street (angolo con of Ludlow Street), Lower East Side, New York City.

    Ivan Ramen

    Ramen noodle restaurant, Ivan Ramen brings a little piece of Tokyo in the Big Apple. With an open kitchen and a simple but refined setting, here you can enjoy tasty chicken nuggets with wasabi, ramen including vegans, chicken paitan ramen and much more. Prices on request. The restaurant is open every day, from Sunday to Thursday, from 12.30 to 22.00, Friday and Saturday from 12.30 to 23.00.

    • Where: 25 Clinton Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Russ & Daughters

    For those who love i bagel, this is the "place to be". Loved by New Yorkers, frequented by visiting tourists, at Russ & Daughters you can also taste smoked salmon, egg cream, caviar, liver, smoked herring, sublime cocktails. Historic restaurant, open for over a century, the café is open every day, Monday to Friday from 9am to 22pm, Saturday and Sunday from 8am to 22pm. The cost per person starts at $ 27, excluding drinks.

    • Where: 127 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Clinton street baking company

    Bakery and restaurant, the Clinton Street Baking Company specializes in pancakes, homemade cookies, cakes (that's why it's the hot-spot to choose for a five-star breakfast), but also hamburgers, omelettes, grilled or fried chicken, cheeses and salads. Try the blueberry muffins and pancakes. Cost per person, for brunch, from $ 20 excluding drinks.

    • Where: 4 Clinton Street (tra East Houston & Stanton), Lower East Side, New York City.

    Nolita: what to see and what to do

    Italian American Museum

    Currently undergoing renovations (reopening is scheduled for autumn 2020), theItalian American Museum it is housed in a building that, initially, was the headquarters of the Banca Stabile, a reference point for Italian immigrants arriving in New York because, in addition to the classic services of a bank, it also allowed them to maintain contact with their family members in Italy.

    Inaugurated in 2001, the museum recounts the life of our compatriots in America at the end of the 800th century through exhibitions of objects, documents and letters. Upon its reopening, the museum will also involve Italian artists, writers and musicians who will bring a further touch of Italianness to the Big Apple. The museum is actually located within the boundaries of Little Italy, one block south of the NoLiTa perimeter,

    • Where: 155 Mulberry Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (scene from The Godfather)

    Built at the beginning of the 800th century, this cathedral is a typical example of neo-Gothic style and, inside, there are interesting catacombs that can be visited on guided tours. Very often set of important cinematographic films, this is where scenes from films such as The Godfather Part III, Mean Streets - Sunday in the Church, Monday in the Sick by Martin Scorsese and other documentaries were shot in America. The basilica is open every day, from 8 to 18 (Monday to Friday), from 8 to 18.30 on Saturday and from 8 to 20 on Sunday.

    • Where: 263 Mulberry Street, Lower East Side, New York City.

    Where to shop in style


    Vintage clothing store, Resurrection is a lover's Mecca “historical” clothes and designers of yesteryear. But not only. In addition to a vast exhibition of items to buy, over the last few decades Resurrection has also organized interesting exhibitions dedicated to artists and fashion designers of the twentieth century. Dresses from the 900s to the present day, tailored products, books and even objects related to the world of fashion, design and culture. Finally, there are many proposals by American, European and Japanese designers with a focus on the 60s, up to 2000. The shop is open from Monday to Friday, from 10 to 18.

    • Where: 45 Great Jones Street, Nolita, New York City.

    McNally Jackson Books

    Independent library, McNally is a temple of literature, essays, volumes, short stories for children. Inside there is also a café ideal for relaxing, perhaps flipping through a magazine. Among other things, the bookshop organizes literary events every day, also dedicated to the little ones. McNally Jackson Books is open every day, Monday through Saturday from 10am to 22pm, Sunday from 10am to 21pm.

    • Where: 52 Prince Street, Nolita, New York City.

    Where to eat


    Spanish restaurant, with an intimate and familiar atmosphere, Parm is a Nolita institution and is famous for its delicious sandwiches, meatballs, fried mozzarella bites and pasta salads, to which you can add some great chicken. Unmissable? Chicken caprese. Cost of lunch, per person, excluding drinks, from $ 20. The restaurant is open every day, from Sunday to Thursday, from 11.30 to 22, Friday and Saturday from 11.30 to 23.

    • Where: 248 Mulberry Street (tra Prince & Spring), Nolita, New York City.


    Another award-winning and very popular Spanish restaurant, Peasant it is a mix of rustic and urban-chic environments. The large brick oven dominates the room, embraced by the wooden bar counter and modern metal chairs. Among the dishes not to be missed are mozzarella morsels, pork roast and lamb served with polenta. Dinner, per person, costs from $ 45, excluding drinks. The restaurant is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 18pm to 23pm.

    • Where: 194 Elizabeth Street (tra Spring St. e Prince St.), Nolita, New York City.


    New York's first pizzeria (or so the owners say), Lombardi's was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi, a Neapolitan, who first cooked not only pizza in the Big Apple, but true New York-style pizza. Needless to say, pizza is the main dish here, cooked in the Italian way, both in red, with tomato, and white versions. However, calzone is also served there. Prices per person from $ 20.50, excluding drinks. The pizzeria is open every day, from Sunday to Thursday, from 11.30 to 23, Friday and Saturday from 11.30 to midnight.

    • Where: 32 Spring Street, Nolita, New York City.

    By Palo's Fine Foods

    Gastronomy of excellence, managed by the same family for 5 generations of Italian-Americans, Di Palo sells strictly made in Italy products: from buffalo mozzarella to Parma ham, from Parmesan to homemade tortellini, up to stuffed olives and extra virgin olive oil. Ideal for take-away products, however, you can also eat ready meals, fast and very tasty, accompanied by selected Italian wines. Di Palo is open every day, from 9 to 19, and on Sundays from 9 to 18.

    • Where: 200 Grand Street, Nolita, New York City.

    Where to sleep in the area

    The best area to find accommodation on the Lower East Side is the innermost one and close to NoLiTa, which are also well connected by public transport. The further you go towards the river, the fewer structures you will find and, as metro stops are also scarce, even getting around is more difficult. Find a list of available accommodations in this area a This Page, while for an overview of recommended areas and facilities and some tips to save you can read our guide on where to sleep in New York on a budget.

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