The neighborhoods of NoHo and Nolita are two of the more iconic places in New York. As some of us know, these areas were once real-life mob havens. However, as time passed, these places have turned into bustling neighborhoods known for authentic food and a modern atmosphere.
NoHo stands for “North of Houston Street”. It has been declared a historic district by the Landmarks Preservation Commission — proving its historical importance. With the famous Broadway to the west and the hotel-clad Bowery to the East, what other direction could NoHo take?
NoHo is known to be the site where the famed Bowery Lane Theater, as well as the Astor Library is located. Not too far away is the majestic St. Patrick Cathedral, a sterling example of Neo-Gothic architecture. It is a famous landmark not only here, but throughout New York City. It is also in the neighborhood of other great sights, so it’s something you should see.
But the real treat in visiting NoHo is in the food scene. There are different cuisines available, for different tastes. For examples, you can enjoy authentic Japanese food at the Bond Street Japanese Restaurant. Try some delectable seafood (Alaskan King crab, sea bass, scallop) from their menu.
For a lighter snack, you can try the sandwiches of Mile End Deli. Or, you can go Italian at the Il Buco, with the beef carpaccio and cod croquettes. Chocolate lovers will have their fill at the Bond Street Chocolate Shop, whose “divine collection” is enough to satisfy any cravings.
Those looking for a place to chill can check out the Madam Geneva Lounge. This place serves 20 different types of gins, as well as other types of cocktails. They also serve duck and oysters, as the perfect accompaniment to the alcohol.
NoHo is an amazing place to visit for those with a curious mind, and an even more curious palate. But not far behind is its southern neighbor, Nolita.
Not to be confused with the infamous novel by Vladimir Nabokov, Nolita is short for “North of Little Italy”. It is a place bound by Houston, Bowery, Broome, and Lafayette streets. In the past, Nolita was recognized as a part of Little Italy. However, the years passed and the Italian-Americans migrated out of the area. This caused Nolita to lose much of the Italian character.
However, what it lost in character was gained in luxury as the years passed. Around the 1990s, the neighborhood became the center of growth in terms of restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The neighborhood gained a new identity, but it lacked a name. It was in the midst of debate among real estate promoters that the name Nolita was chosen. It followed the naming “scheme” of its neighbors, such as TriBeCa (Triangle Below Canal Street) and SoHo (South of Houston Street). Of course, NoHo follows the same convention.
Like NoHo, Nolita is also home to some great attractions. There’s the Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral, whose entrance is located in Mott Street. The church was built in the early 1800s. There is also the beautiful Old Fellows Fall. The 14th Ward Industrial School is also there, designed by famed Central Park designer Calvert Vaux.
Like NoHo, Nolita is better known for its delectable food of international variety. Go Thai at the budget-friendly Lovely Day restaurant, and check out their savory ginger fried chicken. For dessert, try the flourless chocolate cake. You can also try Latin food at the Oficina Latina, which serves a mean arepa de carne. Those who are more adventurous in taste can try the avocado cilantro margarita.
Italian food is also present at the Parisi Bakery, with all kinds of bread, subs, and sandwiches. You can also go Cuban or Mexican at the Cafe Habana. For an unforgettable chocolate experience, try the Little Cupcake Bakeshop and grab a Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake. You can thank me later for introducing you to this.
For the final stroke, why don’t you try some salted caramel gelato at the Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria? Nolita has a lot of gelato offerings, and this is a perfect example.
While you’re in the neighborhood of NoHo and Nolita, try asking around about the history of the place. There’s a lot of things you’d be surprised to know. There’s a secret about almost every major street, and there’s a good mob story the old timers in the place would love to tell you. This all adds up to the charming fun of being in the neighborhood of NoHo and Nolita.