NoLIta NYC Neighborhood Guide (2024)

NoLIta is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan that stands for North of Little Italy. For most of its history, the district was home to a large population of residents with Italian roots. As you walk the historic streets of this neighborhood, you’ll notice a strong to Italian-American culture. In fact, the vibrant Feast of San Gennaro passes through a portion of NoLIta each year. Click to book your Taste of Mulberry Street walking tour.

Nolita (see map), often written as NoLIta, is a neighborhood in Manhattan. It stands for “North of Little Italy”. The name first appeared in 1996 and was created by real estate promoters following the pattern established by SoHo (South of Houston Street) and TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street).

The Nolita neighborhood is bounded on the north by Houston Street, on the east by the Bowery, on the south roughly by Broome Street, and on the west roughly by Lafayette Street. It lies east of SoHo, south of NoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and north of Little Italy and Chinatown. Nolita was originally part of Little Italy. however, as Italian-Americans move out of the neighborhood, Nolita has lost much of its Italian flavor. Today, you will only find the elderly, less-mobile Italian descendants still living in the Nolita area.

In place of the upwardly-mobile Italians, young urban professionals have come to make Nolita home. This fueled an explosion of expensive retail boutiques, trendy restaurants, and bars to cater to them. The result is that they have made this part of Little Italy more upscale.

Attractions and Landmarks


  • Attractions and Landmarks
    • Cafe Giante
    • Gimme! Coffee
    • Elizabeth Street Garden
    • Egg Shop
    • Erica Weiner Jewelry
    • Little Cupcake Bakeshop
    • Peasant
    • Police Building
    • Rice to Riches
    • St Patrick’s Old Cathedral
  • History of NoLIta
  • Location and Transportation

Having a wedged shape, Petrosino Square is one of the few green spaces in NoLIta. This small public space honors the legacy of an Italian immigrant who joined the New York City Police Department in the 19th century. As a young man, Joseph Petrosino took on an undercover role for the local police division. He was tragically killed in Italy while carrying out a secret mission. Today, Petrosino Square has some bronze markers that are attributed to him and the NYPD in general.

Although it’s not officially located within the boundaries of NoLIta, the New York Police Headquarters is a notable landmark that’s closely associated with the neighborhood. Now known as 240 Center Street, this edifice was built in 1909 in Beaux-Arts architecture. The facade also includes elements of Edwardian Baroque and Renaissance Revival design. New York City gave this stunning building landmark status in 1978. Massive Corinthian columns dominate the beautiful exterior of this historic property.

Having religious, cultural, and architectural significance, St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral is another prominent attraction in NoLIta. Architect Joseph-Francois Mangin was hired to design this cathedral in 1809 in the Gothic Revival style. In its early years, the building catered to Irish and Italian immigrants, who made up the majority of Catholic worshipers in New York City at the time. However, French clergy members were also heavily involved in the leadership roles of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

Also within the Nolita neighborhood is the Puck Building. This ornate structure was built in 1885. It is located on the corner of Houston and Lafayette Streets and housed the original headquarters of the now-defunct Puck Magazine.

Cafe Giante

Cafe Giante, 242 Mott Street

Snag an outside table at Cafe Giante, a true Nolita staple. Scroll through Instagram and you can see some of the glamorous folks who have dined here. They have some great small plates and wine options to fuel the rest of your neighborhood excursion.

Gimme! Coffee

Grab a cup of coffee at Gimme!, a well-known local espresso bar. Coffee. Try a Queen Bee, a sweet and spicy latte made with White Dog Apiary honey, cinnamon, and clove.

Elizabeth Street Garden

Elizabeth Street Garden, Entrance via Elizabeth Street

Elizabeth Street Garden, the location of the NYFW Lela Rose Bridal presentation, is a true gem. In busy New York City, you can steal a moment or two among sculptures and greenery with an endless supply of charm and repose. It is open to the public from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Egg Shop

Egg Shop, 151 Elizabeth Street

Egg Shop, also on Elizabeth Street, serves delectable breakfast fare. Arrive early in the morning to secure a table because this restaurant is extremely small! The cruisers, a breakfast bowl menu option, are delicious, but nothing on the breakfast menu is bad. Biscuits made with buttermilk? Please accept my thanks.

Erica Weiner Jewelry

Erica Weiner Jewelry, 173 Elizabeth Street

A trip to Nolita isn’t complete unless you go shopping in some of the most beautiful boutiques. Erica Weiner Jewelry stands out in particular. There’s something sparkly for everyone after sourcing stunning vintage gems and designing a line of in-house collection pieces. Swoon all you want.

Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Little Cupcake Bakeshop, 30 Prince Street

You can’t say you’ve visited Nolita without stopping by the Little Cupcake Bakeshop. Instead of cupcakes, try a slice of their Brooklyn Blackout cake with a few forks to share. After a long day of exploring, the chocolate cake is decadent, moist, and everything you could want.


True Nolitans swear by Peasant’s downstairs room. It is only open after 7 p.m. and does not accept reservations, but the atmosphere is well worth it. Photos don’t do the space justice in terms of how cozy, inviting, and exciting it is. Go check it out for yourself.

Police Building

240 Center Street

The Police Building is a beautiful building at 240 Center Street in NoLIta, in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It got its name because it was the headquarters of the New York Police Department, from 1909 until 1973.

Hoppin & Koen designed the Police Building. It features a central dome, a main portico, and end pavilions with Corinthian columns. The structure was one of several public structures constructed in the vicinity of New York City Hall. The city was planning to develop the Civic Center neighborhood with magnificent government buildings at the time.

When the police left in 1973, the building fell into disrepair until 1988, when it was redeveloped into an upscale apartment complex. The Ehrenkrantz Group & Eckstut design team added 55 apartment units to the building. It is a fantastic example of the sympathetic reuse of a historic building.

How to reach the Police Building:You can either take the J, M or Z subway trains to Canal St Station, or the 6 subway train to the Spring Street station.

Rice to Riches

Rice to Riches, 37 Spring Street

My pals think I’m insane. But my favorite place in Nolita is Rice to Riches, a quirky rice pudding shop on Spring Street. Lena Dunham ate here in a Girls episode, and it’s one of the strangest places you’ll ever visit. The small signs that adorn every inch of the walls are reason enough to visit. Consider the Oreo flavor. If I’m wrong about liking rice pudding, I don’t want to be right.

Rintintin & Sel Rrose

The best late-night co*cktail spots in Nolita are Rintintin and Sel Rrose. Both offer plenty of ambiance, delectable drinks, and vibes worthy of inclusion on our list. Drink a nightcap and toast to a fantastic day in New York City’s trendiest neighborhood.

  • Rintintin, 14 Spring Street
  • Sel Rrose, 1 Delancey Street

St Patrick’s Old Cathedral

The St Patrick’s Old Cathedral, at 260-264 Mulberry Street, between Prince and Houston Streets, in Little Italy and near Chinatown, in Lower Manhattan, New York City, was the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, until the opening of the current St Patrick’s Cathedral in 1879.

NoLIta NYC Neighborhood Guide (1)

The construction of the old St. Patrick’s Church began in 1809 and was completed in 1815. It was dedicated on May 14, 1815. The church measures 120 feet by 80 feet and has an 85-foot-high vault. The old St. Patrick’s Cathedral caught fire while the new St. Patrick’s was being built. In 1868, it was restored and reopened. On March 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI elevated St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral to the status of a minor basilica. It is now referred to as the Basilica of Saint Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

The St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral served as the final stop for the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade until 1830 when it was replaced by the Church of the Transfiguration. It was eventually relocated again, and the parade now ends in front of the current St Patrick’s Cathedral.

History of NoLIta

Italian Americans traditionally dominated the area that’s now known as NoLIta. For much of the 19th and 20th centuries, this small neighborhood was part of Little Italy. As residents of Italian heritage began to leave Lower Manhattan, the borders of local ethnic enclaves were redrawn. For example, Chinatown has drastically encroached into blocks that were once occupied by Jewish and Italian families in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Since the 1990s, NoLIta was revitalized and rebranded as a new district with a contemporary vibe.

Location and Transportation

The 4 and 6 lines of the New York City Subway stop at the Spring Street station in NoLIta. Both of these busy routes run through Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens. The other public transportation option in the neighborhood is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), which is in charge of bus service.

Designed to facilitate public transit in NYC, the Citi Bike system is also available in NoLIta. You’ll find it easy and affordable to rent a bicycle and navigate the historic district. Most of the streets in the district follow one-way traffic patterns.

Running along the northern perimeter of NoLIta, Houston Street carries vehicles heading eastward and westward. This busy street is connected to FDR Drive, which links all major parts of Manhattan. If you’d truly like to absorb the authentic character and ambiance of NoLIta, then take advantage of the pedestrian-friendly streets.

Getting Here:

  • From Wall Street: 2 miles / 10-25 minutes by car / 15-20 minutes by transit
  • From Rockefeller Center: 3 miles / 15-35 minutes by car / 15 minutes by transit
  • From Jersey City: 7 miles / 20-35 minutes by car / 30-35 minutes by transit

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NoLIta NYC Neighborhood Guide (2024)


What does nolita mean in NYC? ›

Short for “North of Little Italy,” Nolita was once considered to be part of Little Italy. Today, the neighborhood is popular with young fashionistas popping in and out of the chic independent boutiques that line Mulberry, Mott and Elizabeth Streets.

Is Nolita a good place to live? ›

editorial. Nolita is a neighborhood in New York City, New York with a population of 5,847. Nolita is in New York County and is one of the best places to live in New York. Living in Nolita offers residents a dense urban feel and most residents rent their homes.

Who lives in Nolita? ›

Notable residents

David Bowie and his wife, Iman, had a home here. Actor Gabriel Byrne lives here. Vanessa Carlton's song "Nolita Fairytale" was inspired by her two years in the neighborhood. Moby lived here.

What is the dress code for NoLita? ›

The dress code is intended to uphold the spirit of the bar, and as such requires our guests to be well dressed at all times with smart casual attire. Reservations are highly encouraged. Walk-ins are welcome based on room capacity.

What does TriBeCa stand for? ›

The syllabic abbreviation TriBeCa stands for The Triangle Below Canal Street, located in Lower Manhattan, New York. Coined in the beginning of the 70s, the area bounded by Canal and Broadway, Church and Lispenard Streets appears to form a triangle on the city's planning maps.

What is the poshest neighborhood in NYC? ›

Located on the southwestern corner of Manhattan, Tribeca (“Triangle Below Canal Street”) consistently ranks as the most expensive neighborhood in NYC, according to several sources. Best known for its stylish industrial lofts and charming cobblestone streets, residents here enjoy a hip and upscale neighborhood.

What is the roughest Neighbourhood in New York City? ›

Mott Haven, The Bronx, is considered one of the worst neighborhoods in New York due to its high crime rates and poverty levels. The poverty rate in Mott Haven was 36.6% in 2021, significantly higher than the citywide rate of 18.0%.

What celebrities live in Nolita? ›

David Bowie, Martin Scorsese, and John Mayer Have All Called Nolita Home. Perhaps expectedly, given the neighborhood's history and strong arts culture, Nolita has been a hotspot for celebrities over the past few decades.

What is the average income in Nolita? ›

The average annual household income in Nolita is $215,008, while the median household income sits at $127,576 per year.

What is the safest borough to live in NYC? ›

Which borough in NYC is the safest? Staten Island, the least populated of New York City's five boroughs, continues to maintain its reputation as one of the safest areas in the city.

Where do billionaires live NYC? ›

Billionaires' Row is the name of a group of ultra-luxury residential skyscrapers, and the neighborhood surrounding them, near the southern end of Central Park in the Midtown section of Manhattan in New York City.

Why is it called Nolita? ›

Welcome to noLIta. We named this restaurant after the area in New York City known as "North of Little Italy" because the owners came to Seattle by way of NYC.

Where did Jay Z live in TriBeCa? ›

Jay-Z's Tribeca Bachelor Pad

In 2004, before pairing off with Beyoncé, Jay-Z purchased a seventh-floor penthouse at 195 Hudson St. for $6.85 million. The apartment spanned 8,000 square feet, with an additional 3,000 square feet of terrace space.

What does TriBeCa stand for in SoHo? ›

Tribeca is one of a number of neighborhoods in New York City whose names are syllabic abbreviations or acronyms, including SoHo (South of Houston Street), NoHo (North of Houston Street), Nolita (North of Little Italy), NoMad (North of Madison Square), DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), and BoCoCa, the ...

What does SoHo stand for in NYC? ›

SoHo (an acronym for South of Houston Street) still features galleries, though these days the work within them tends toward the more high-end commercial—matching the luxury boutiques and independent-designer outposts that characterize the area.

What does DUMBO stand for in NYC? ›

Dumbo (or DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.

What does 5 boroughs of NYC mean? ›

New York is made up of 5 major areas or “boroughs,” some separated by rivers and connected via ferry or bridge. So, what are the 5 boroughs of New York? Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx. Read on to find the right area for you.

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