In New York City, Fifth Avenue is synonymous with fabulous shopping, while Broadway is all about the theater. And if authentic Italian food is what you want, everyone knows you go to Mulberry Street!
In fact, you would have a hard time finding a storefront on Mulberry Street in Little Italy that isn’t a restaurant. From handmade gelato to brick oven-fired pizza, classic clam dishes and everything in between, the blocks between Canal and Broome Streets in Little Italy form a mecca for lovers of incredible Italian classics. Just look for the red, white and green banners that festoon this vibrant neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, and you’ll know you’re in the right place — hopefully just in time for dinner!
- While many of us might consider Japanese cuisine to be the gold standard for perfectly prepared raw fish dishes, the Italians also have a history of serving simply prepared seafood, including raw shellfish and various tartars. At Crudo Vineria Con Cucina (178 Mulberry Street), they fly in all their fish fresh right from Italy, and there’s even a “raw bar” — complete with clams, yum! Tartars include Wild Salmon with Artichoke Mousse and Lobster Pulp, an all-new way to enjoy the decadent dish. Located just a block from the trendy Sohotel (341 Broome Street), Crudo Vineria Con Cucina gives adventurous travelers a new way to enjoy Italian.
- There are a number of restaurants on Mulberry Street with a history as long as the neighborhood itself. Angelo’s of Mulberry Street (146 Mulberry Street) was established in 1902, at a time when thousands of Italian immigrants were flocking to the area. Today the Mulberry Street restaurant still offers up authentic Southern Italian dishes like Veal with Peas, Prosciutto and Madeira Wine. Guests can even buy the restaurant’s famous sauces to take home.
- Umbertos’ Clam House (132 Mulberry Street) is more than just a great seafood restaurant — it’s a New York institution! A favored spot among such NYC celebs as Robert DeNiro, Michael Douglas, and David Chase, the creator of The Sopranos, Umberto’s Clam House was even featured on the HBO series numerous times, filming on location right at the Mulberry Street restaurant. (Try Tony Soprano’s fave — scungilli and calamari!) And for mob historians, it should be noted the original Umberto’s location a few doors down Mulberry Street was the site of the 1972 gang hit on Joey Gallo. Plan your stay around such historic haunts by staying just a few blocks away at Holiday Inn Manhattan Downtown SoHo.
- For classic thin-crust New York-style pizza, Rubirosa Ristorante (235 Mulberry Street) serves only the best — made from a 51-year-old family recipe that originated at the family’s Staten Island pizzeria decades ago. Slices are available at lunch only (that means you’ll have to order a whole pie for dinner, but we don’t think you’ll have a problem finishing it. This pizza is seriously delicious!). Of course, pizza is not the only menu item at Rubirosa — baked clams, stuffed artichokes, and hand-rolled manicotti are all standouts worth stuffing yourself for.
- Of course, Italians are also known for their espresso, and the fifth-generation family-owned Ferrara Bakery & Cafe is your best bet for fine coffee and authentic Italian pastries in NYC. Though it’s technically located around the corner from Mulberry Street at 195 Grand Street, this historic cafe is worth the few extra steps; after all, it was America’s first espresso bar, opening in 1892! Known for fresh, authentic Italian pastries, including cannolis and Sfogliatella, a clam-shaped pastry filled with baked ricotta, farina and fruit, Ferrara is one stop you won’t want to miss on your Mulberry Street Italian food tour. And if you want to include Ferrara’s great coffee into your NYC morning routine, then you’d better book your stay within a few blocks walk of this historic cafe: the Mondrian SoHo has a prime location just a short walk to Little Italy.
So what’s your favorite Mulberry Street restaurant? Comment to add it to our list!