Things to Do in Nolita NYC

Often the neighborhoods Nolita and Little Italy are considered together, after all, both merge into each other. But Nolita has its very own charm, combining the dolce vita of Little Italy with the elegance of Soho and the diversity of the Lower East Side.

Nolita stands for North of Little Italy, which describes its location wonderfully. Everything worth seeing and many insider tips of Nolita NYC we reveal to you here!

By the way: you’ll find many more New York City spots in our Loving New York travel guides!

My TOP 5 in Nolita

The TOP Things to Do in The Financial District NYC

  • Lombardi’s: the first pizzeria in the United States (32 Spring St)
  • Do the Catacombs by Candlelight Tour in the one and only basilica in NYC: Basilica of St. Patricks Old Cathedral (263 Mulberry St.)
  • Visit the International Center of Photography (79 Essex St)
  • Walk along Spring Street
  • Have a drink in Mother’s Ruin (18 Spring St)

Where is Nolita located?

Nolita is in the Center of Downtown Manhattan and famous neighborhoods like Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the East Village are within walking distance. More specifically, Nolita is bordered by Broome Street (south) and East Houston Street (north) and Lafayette Street to the west and Bowery to the east.

Nolita NYC Map

How to Get to Nolita in NYC

  • Metro: Hop on line 1 and ride all the way to Rector Street or take the lines 4 5 to Wall Street. The Subway Station “Fulton Station” is in the center of the Financial District – you can get there via 2 3 4 5 J Z
  • Hop on Hop Off Bus: Stop 7 and 8 of the downtown loop of BIG BUS or stop 8 and 9 of the downtown loop of Gray Line Sightseeing. Here you find more about Hop on Hop off in NYC.
    My tip: the tickets for the buses are included in many of the New York City passes – which one is the best for you, you can see in my Pass Comparison for New York!

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The 11 Best Things to Do in Nolita NYC

There a so many things to do in this part of Lower Manhattan! These are our favorite things to see, eat and things to do:

  1. 01

    New York Catacombs by Candlelight

    Walking Tour in Nolita
    Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_New_York_Catacombs_by_Candlelight
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    You will be surprised how beautiful Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Nolita is from the inside – and that it hides some secrets. The best way to find out what they are is to take a tour that takes you to different parts of the church, including the catacombs. It is one of the absolute insider tours in New York.

  2. 02

    International Center of Photography Museum

    Museum in Nolita
    210203155118001_International_Center_of_Photography
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    The International Center of Photography cultivates the image of a still-young art genre with exhibitions of well-known photographers and the presentation of the flourishing, talented new generation. In addition to changing exhibitions, the museum’s collection of more than 100,000 photographs is impressive. The attached bookstore offers a well-stocked selection of excellent photography books.

  3. 03

    Mother's Ruin: Spend your evening at this low-key bar that locals love!

    Bar in Nolita
    210813113114001_Mothers_Ruin_Nolita_Bar_NYC
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    At Mother’s Ruin we drank one of the best Gin Tonics EVER when we walked the whole of Spring Street from start to finish last time. Clean, sparkling and fresh and that’s totally relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to go there!

  4. 04

    Lombardi's: Eat a pizza in the first pizzeria of the United States

    Italian Restaurant in Nolita
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    191120195147002_Lombardi_s_Pizza
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    Lombardi’s is a pizza restaurant in Nolita and prides itself in being the first pizzeria in the United States. Here you can eat really well and enjoy a welcoming Italian atmosphere. Also make sure to try the Meatballs!

    Recommended: The Best Pizza in NYC!

  5. 05

    Start your Day at The Butchers Daughter

    Café in Nolita
    Things to Do in Nolita NYC
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    The Butcher’s Daughter is definitely a hippster spot, whose atmosphere might not appeal to everyone. It’s loud, it’s cramped and always full. New Yorkers love the café, which you can see from the often long queues. The atmosphere and the menu are convincing – by the way, the ingredients of the dishes are from local farms and 100% organic.

  6. 06

    Shopping in Nolita

    Other Shopping in Nolita
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    In Nolita you can go shopping in one of the many small boutiques. We especially like the area around Elizabeth Street between E Houston and Prince Streets.

  7. 07

    Rooftop Bar cloudM

    Rooftop Bar in Lower East Side
    Our Highlight
    New York Bowery CloudM Rooftop
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    For me, the cloudM Rooftop Bar is one of the most beautiful rooftop bars not only in the Lower East Side, but in all of New York and in walking distance from Nolita. It is located on the roof of the citizenM New York Bowery Hotel and offers everything that makes a good rooftop bar: a great view, beautiful design and relaxed atmosphere.

    Recommended: The Best Rooftop Bars in NYC!

  8. 08

    Learn more about the surrounding neighborhoods with this walking tour

    Walking Tour in Hudson Square
    Our Highlight
    walking_soho_190118140134005
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    Now known for their many excellent restaurants, shops and tourism, Manhattan‘s SoHo, Little Italy and Chinatown neighborhoods offer the most varied stories of New York City. Take a 2-hour tour with a local guide and discover hidden gems and 19th century buildings.

  9. 09

    Fools Gold NYC: Head over to the Lower East Side to our favorite bar in this area

    Bar in Lower East Side
    Our Highlight
    The_Fools_Gold_NYC_Bar_02
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    One of the best bars in New York, also known for good burgers. The bar is an absolute MUST-SEE! The burgers are really sensational and they offer really good local beers.

  10. 10

    Be part of the Chinese New York Parade (seasonal)

    Other Events in Chinatown
    Chinese_New_Year_Parade_NYC_190206114455003
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    Usually, locals and tourists alike will (obviously) flock to New York City’s Chinatown to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A huge Chinese New Year Parade takes place there every year. The official name of the event is called the Lunar New Year and Festival.

    The parade will down Mott and Canal Street. It will then make its way down East Broadway and head towards Manhattan Bridge, and it will ultimately end at Sara D. Roosevelt Park. During the parade, there will also be smaller activities going on in Chinatown NYC. It will have all sorts of street vendors and festivities.

  11. 11

    Grab one of NYC's best pizza slices at Prince Street Pizza

    Pizza Spot in Nolita
    Pizza-2
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    Prince Street Pizza is a small but very popular pizza spot in Nolita – here we often get one of the delicious Pizza Slices!

    Recommended: The Best Pizza in NYC!

Attractions in Nolita

Many of New York’s major New York attractions are located around this part of Downtown Manhattan so make sure to add them to you travel itinerary:

  1. Basilica_of_St._Patrick_s_Old_Cathedral

    01 Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

    The Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral is the only basilica in New York and New York’s very first cathedral. You will be surprised how beautiful it is from the inside – and that it hides some secrets. The best way to find out what they are is to take a tour that takes you to different parts of the church, including the catacombs. It is one of the absolute insider tours in New York. You can learn more about it here.

    Courtesy of the picture: Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

  2. 210203155118001_International_Center_of_Photography

    02 International Center of Photography Museum

    The International Center of Photography cultivates the image of a still-young art genre with exhibitions of well-known photographers and the presentation of the flourishing, talented new generation. In addition to changing exhibitions, the museum’s collection of more than 100,000 photographs is impressive. The attached bookstore offers a well-stocked selection of excellent photography books.

Save big on New York attractions and tours

Budget Tip

    Go New York Explorer Pass 

Many of the attractions and tours in Nolita and the surrounding neighborhoods are included in one of the New York City passes. So you can easily and quickly save up to 70% – how does it work?

You can see that in my ultimate 👉  New York Pass comparison, here you can see my personal 👉  New York Pass Reviews after more than 20 visits to New York and our free New York Pass Advisor answers the question: “Which New York Pass is the best?

Compare New York Passes

The Best Guided Tours

There are a lot of very popular tours where New York guides show you the best parts and the history of this neighborhood:

  1. Best_Walking_Tour_NYC_New_York_Catacombs_by_Candlelight

    01 New York Catacombs by Candlelight

    You will be surprised how beautiful Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Nolita is from the inside – and that it hides some secrets. The best way to find out what they are is to take a tour that takes you to different parts of the church, including the catacombs. It is one of the absolute insider tours in New York.

  2. Best_Street_Art_Walking_Tour_NYC_Sidewalks_and_Skyscrapers__Street_Art_Is_This_Way

    02 Sidewalks and Skyscrapers: Street Art Is This Way

    This walking tour shows that there is also street art and graffiti worth seeing in Manhattan. You start your exploration in Soho, and then in two hours learn the stories behind the large and small works of art. Some of the graffiti is an impressive 20 meters high, so always have your cameras ready!

If guided tours interest you, be sure to check out the Best Walking Tours NYC!

The Best Restaurants in Nolita NYC

These are our favorite restaurants in Nolita:

  1. 191120195147002_Lombardi_s_Pizza

    01 Lombardi's Pizza

    Lombardi’s is a pizza restaurant in Nolita and prides itself in being the first pizzeria in the United States. Here you can eat really well and enjoy a welcoming Italian atmosphere. Also make sure to try the Meatballs!

  2. 190913160344004_Rubirosa_Italian_Restaurant_Nolita_NYC

    02 Rubirosa

    Already from the outside the restaurant looks like a typical Italian restaurant. You will feel completely at home: there are great red wines, the atmosphere is pleasant and you are definitely among locals. The Rubirosa is one of the most popular Italian restaurants in town, because the food is fantastic. The pasta and also the starters (for example grilled calamari) remind you of Italy – not to mention the pizza.

    If you are looking for a late afternoon glass of wine with some snacks or a quality evening meal this is definitely a good choice. There is also a pizza hour, where – you guessed it – they sell 2 pizzas for $16! 

  3. 210228111745001_Bagel

    03 Black Seed Bagels

    Black Seed Bagels offers delicious homemade bagels and homemade cream cheese options at a low price. You can also get fresh sandwiches, classic or fancy, with all the ingredients of your choice. Delicious classics are definitely the Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese, Smoked Turkey or Tuna Melt. Black Seed Bagels is a great shop with a lot of character and good food for New York’s smart spenders.

  4. seamores_in_newyork_180913110209001_1600x800

    04 Seamore's Nolita

    We love Seamore’s restaurants, which have several locations in New York City. All of them are very stylish, but we especially like Seamore’s in Nolita! The atmosphere is relaxed, they have great sea food, and you have a great selection of beer and cocktails. Just great!

  5. Taim_Mediterranean_Restaurant_Best_Falafel_NYC_210819164657002

    05 Taïm

    Here you can get the best falafel in town. The food is gluten-free and all dishes are always freshly prepared. I like this Israeli-inspired cuisine that always reminds me of vacation. We highly recommend the bowls and smoothies!

Looking for more recommendations? We’ve got you covered! Here you find the Best Restaurants in Nolita.

The Best Bars in Nolita NYC

  1. 210813113114001_Mothers_Ruin_Nolita_Bar_NYC

    01 Mother's Ruin

    At Mother’s Ruin we drank one of the best Gin Tonics EVER when we walked the whole of Spring Street from start to finish last time. Clean, sparkling and fresh and that’s totally relaxed atmosphere. Be sure to go there!

Hotels in Nolita NYC

Unfortunately there aren’t any hotels in Nolita that I can recommend. But in the adjacent Little Italy you have a huge choice of accommodations. Below are our favorite places to stay:

  1. nobleDEN_little_italy_nyc_hotel_59666596

    01 NobleDEN Hotel

    4 stars | NobleDEN Hotel is located in the heart of Little Italy, just a few meters from Ferrara, one of the neighborhood’s most famous bakeries. It is also within walking distance of important landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, and just a few minutes by subway to the main attractions of Manhattan.

    The spacious and comfortable rooms are the ideal starting point for a trip to New York, no matter your preferences. From dining and drinking to shopping and sightseeing, the Hotel NobleDEN is sure not to disappoint.

  2. Sohotel_New_York_Hotel_Booking

    02 Sohotel

    4 Stars | This stylish hotel is located just a two-minute walk from the Bowery subway station and a five-minute walk from New York’s legendary Little Italy. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel and the friendly staff are on hand 24 hours a day and happy to assist. 

  3. Nolitan_Hotel_New_York_Booking

    03 The Nolitan

    4 Stars | Nolitan Hotel is a small, fine boutique hotel. The decor is modern and clean. What makes it stand out? From your balcony you can enjoy an astonishing view of the Empire State Building and the Williamsburg Bridge. From the lounge on the top floor you can also see the One World Trade Center.

Recommended article: The Best Nolita Hotels NYC.

Neighborhoods Nearby

Nolita is bordered by the Soho neighborhood to the west, Little Italy to the south, the Lower East Side to the west and Noho and the East Village to the north.

Neighborhoods that are Similar to Nolita

If you enjoyed Nolita, below are similar neighborhoods that we think you’ll enjoy:

About the author
Steffen

I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 20 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!

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