New York City’s Little Italy and Chinatown

Tour Creator

Adrienne has been a licensed New York City Tourist Guide since 2012, and it runs in the family. Her NYC-loving mother moved into town as a teen and has been…Read More Bio »

Tour Type:

Historical

Urban

New York City

GPS-directed

Remote Tour Included

1hr/2hrs(Extended itinerary)

1km/2km(Extended itinerary)

China and Italy seem to be worlds apart culturally, yet they both can claim some of the most commonly consumed cuisines in the United States. Without their immigrants coming to this country, who knows what we’d be eating today! But on our tour, we’ll bite into the history of these groups of people who arrived in New York from opposite ends seeking the same opportunities. And before the Chinese took over the area, the Italians staked their names where they’ve all but left behind. Find out about what was there, how it’s changed, and what may come in the future!

Avoid the Crowds

Allows you to explore without having to be shoulder-to-shoulder in a large tour group

Created by an exceptional local tour guide

Written by a licensed NYC tour guide since 2012

GPS Directions

Easy-to-follow GPS directions to get you from one point to the next on your tour

Highlights include:

Old St. Patrick's Cathedral, The Five Points, and The "Bloody Angle"

Remote Tour Included

As with all our tours, a remote tour is included that can be enjoyed from home

Itineraries

NYC’s Little Italy and Chinatown: Extended

NYC’s Little Italy and Chinatown: Pt 1

NYC’s Little Italy and Chinatown: Pt 2

  1. The Basilica of Old St Patrick's Cathedral - We're actually going to start in a neighborhood that was once a part of the vast area considered to be Little Italy, but has now become known as NoLita, short for North of Little Italy. Find out what happened to the Italian community here and what's been left behind.
  2. Elizabeth Street Garden - The beautiful garden that features sculptural elements, beautiful greenery, and even a vegetable garden may be at risk of demolition. But is it fair to preserve the space when it's slated for housing that would shelter some of the city's most vulnerable?
  3. Lombardi's - History may always stay the same, but what we learn of it can evolve over time according to the storytellers. That has long been the case with one of New York's most famous pizzerias.
  4. Storefront for Art and Architecture - Part art, part social justice statement piece, part interactive architectural marvel. This exhibit space is unlike any other.
  5. Lt. Petrosino Square - A park for the Italian Immigrant who got in the way of the Mafia.
  6. 214 Lafayette - Move over Little Italy, this is NoLita. A destination for galleries, high-end shopping, and extreme luxury housing.
  7. 240 Centre Street - Another old building transformed. What once was meant to bring greater respect to the city's police force is now bringing money to the neighborhood
  8. Museum of Chinese in America - A museum that was started to preserve the history of the "old timers" is now a symbol of the intermingling Chinatown and Little Italy neighborhoods
  9. Italian American Museum - What made Little Italy just so little and what is the state of the neighborhood today?
  10. Welcome to Chinatown - Chinatown continues to grow and change, but Canal street remains the clear marker for the neighborhood ahead.
  11. The Five Points - Before the Italians and the Chinese came in droves, the first group to upset the native-born New Yorkers were the masses of Irish fleeing from the Famine. In response to a changing New York City the streets were overrun by criminal gangs and severe poverty until one photographer stepped in.
  12. Mahayana Buddhist Temple - The largest Chinese Buddhist Temple in NYC also houses its largest Buddha statue, measuring in at 16 feet tall.
  13. Edward Mooney House - Known as the oldest original row houses in New York, this building has a lot more legends than just the walls that hold it up.
  14. Confucius Plaza - A housing project created for the neighborhood around it provided affordable living, along with a public school, recreational facilities and a public school for the children. But it was not without a fight.
  15. Kimlau Square - The legacy of architect Poy Gum Lee continues, as he pays tribute to the Chinese Americans who fought for their US freedoms in the second world war.
  16. The "Bloody Angle" - The crookedest street in NYC was once the city's most dangerous. While many accounts of Chinatown's criminal scene were exaggerated by the press, the fact that there were gang wars here cannot be ignored. Today, it's much more of a destination for dumplings and tourist pics than violent crimes.
  17. Church of the Transfiguration - Started by Protestants, this church became a house of worship for the areas many Catholics, as led by a fellow immigrant from Cuba, Father Felix Varela. The Church of Immigrants maintains that reputation today, even if the demographics have shifted over time.
  18. Columbus Park - A park that was built on the rubble of some of the city's worst slums, was a place for relief for the many who remained in cramped quarters. Although it was originally dedicated to the hero of common Italian-American lore, today it sits in the heart of Chinatown
  19. Thai Jasmine - On this corner you can see the signs of the melting pot that these neighborhoods represent. And if you're serving your jury duty here, you'll find yourself grateful for the many fulfilling lunchtime options steps away. 
  1. The Basilica of Old St Patrick's Cathedral - We're actually going to start in a neighborhood that was once a part of the vast area considered to be Little Italy, but has now become known as NoLita, short for North of Little Italy. Find out what happened to the Italian community here and what's been left behind.
  2. Elizabeth Street Garden - The beautiful garden that features sculptural elements, beautiful greenery, and even a vegetable garden may be at risk of demolition. But is it fair to preserve the space when it's slated for housing that would shelter some of the city's most vulnerable?
  3. Lombardi's - History may always stay the same, but what we learn of it can evolve over time according to the storytellers. That has long been the case with one of New York's most famous pizzerias.
  4. Storefront for Art and Architecture - Part art, part social justice statement piece, part interactive architectural marvel. This exhibit space is unlike any other.
  5. Lt. Petrosino Square - A park for the Italian Immigrant who got in the way of the Mafia.
  6. 214 Lafayette - Move over Little Italy, this is NoLita. A destination for galleries, high-end shopping, and extreme luxury housing.
  7. 240 Centre Street - Another old building transformed. What once was meant to bring greater respect to the city's police force is now bringing money to the neighborhood
  8. Italian American Museum - What made Little Italy just so little and what is the state of the neighborhood today?
  1. Welcome to Chinatown - Chinatown continues to grow and change, but Canal street remains the clear marker for the neighborhood ahead.
  2. The Five Points - Before the Italians and the Chinese came in droves, the first group to upset the native-born New Yorkers were the masses of Irish fleeing from the Famine. In response to a changing New York City the streets were overrun by criminal gangs and severe poverty until one photographer stepped in.
  3. Mahayana Buddhist Temple - The largest Chinese Buddhist Temple in NYC also houses its largest Buddha statue, measuring in at 16 feet tall.
  4. Edward Mooney House - Known as the oldest original row houses in New York, this building has a lot more legends than just the walls that hold it up.
  5. Confucius Plaza - A housing project created for the neighborhood around it provided affordable living, along with a public school, recreational facilities and a public school for the children. But it was not without a fight.
  6. Kimlau Square - The legacy of architect Poy Gum Lee continues, as he pays tribute to the Chinese Americans who fought for their US freedoms in the second world war.
  7. The "Bloody Angle" - The crookedest street in NYC was once the city's most dangerous. While many accounts of Chinatown's criminal scene were exaggerated by the press, the fact that there were gang wars here cannot be ignored. Today, it's much more of a destination for dumplings and tourist pics than violent crimes.
  8. Church of the Transfiguration - Started by Protestants, this church became a house of worship for the areas many Catholics, as led by a fellow immigrant from Cuba, Father Felix Varela. The Church of Immigrants maintains that reputation today, even if the demographics have shifted over time.
  9. Columbus Park - A park that was built on the rubble of some of the city's worst slums, was a place for relief for the many who remained in cramped quarters. Although it was originally dedicated to the hero of common Italian-American lore, today it sits in the heart of Chinatown
  10. Thai Jasmine - On this corner you can see the signs of the melting pot that these neighborhoods represent. And if you're serving your jury duty here, you'll find yourself grateful for the many fulfilling lunchtime options steps away.

Check out a free sample of this tour!

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