These Are The Best 'Little Italys' Around The World, According To Travelers

There's nowhere quite in the world like Italy, where delectable comfort eats like pizza, pasta, and pastries are practically religion and wine is served by the carafe. It's no surprise then that Italy is one of the most popular countries to visit on the planet, according to World Population Review. However, to many people — especially those with a taste for red sauce — a trip to the Mediterranean marvel every few years just doesn't cut it. Thankfully, we have Little Italys sprawling worldwide, from Kenya to California.

Throughout the years, some Italian neighborhoods have been dismantled by development changes or gentrification, leaving the Italian traditions of the past. But in these Little Italys all over the planet, Italian culture is still alive and thriving with Italian food, landmarks, churches, festivals, and more. To create this list, we examined travel guides, restaurant offerings, regular events, blogs, and attractions of Little Italys everywhere to determine those that continued to have the most robust and authentic Italian neighborhoods. You can read more about how we made our selections at the end of this article.

Little Italy, Manhattan, New York

When you think of Little Italy, you likely think of the neighborhood on Mulberry Street in Manhattan, New York — and rightfully so. As perhaps the most famous Little Italy in the world, this Little Italy dates back two centuries when Italian migrants looking for better lives headed through Ellis Island and settled in New York. Luckily for us, they brought pizza, cheese, wine, and cannoli, all of which remain staple eateries in the neighborhood. Today, visitors can still grab a pie at Lombardi's Pizza. Opened by Naples-born Gennaro Lombardi in 1905, it is considered the first pizzeria to open in the United States. Another longtime favorite, especially for those with a sweet tooth, is Ferrara Bakery & Café, which opened in 1892 and is still run by the founding family after whom it is named. With more than 200 items, its menu is vast, but you can't leave without trying its cannoli.

To see the best of Manhattan's Little Italy in one red, white, and green day, time your visit for the annual Feast of San Gennaro, held each September to honor San Gennaro of Naples. During this nearly two-week-long festival, locals indulge in street eats like sausage and peppers and braciola, play carnival games, and watch a parade following mass at The Shrine Church of the Most Precious Blood, which can also be visited for free at any time of the year.

Little Italy, San Diego, California

San Diego's Little Italy has a piece of Italy under its visitors' feet. The neighborhood is home to Piazza della Famiglia, a pedestrian-only stone square that stretches a whopping 10,000 square feet and has a fountain at its center, just like iconic piazzas found in Italy. It can even be booked for private events so visitors can enjoy authentic Italian ambiance across the pond. But like other Little Italys worldwide, San Diego's Little Italy is all about "mangiare," the Italian word for "eat." With so many big-name chefs founding restaurants here, the area's Kettner Boulevard has been called "Top Chef Alley."

For a sample of its charms, head to the Little Italy Food Hall, which offers fare from six businesses and a full bar, while the weekly Little Italy Mercato is a massive farmers' market that makes room in the neighborhood every Saturday by closing several blocks to cars. Another popular market solely dedicated to Italian fare is Mona Lisa Italian Foods, home to a deli and restaurant that dates back to 1973 when it was founded as a wholesale Italian provisions business. For an old-school, red-and-white tablecloth meal, there aren't many spots in Little Italy more iconic than Filippi's Pizza Grotto, which has locations throughout California. Here, visitors can dine on casual comfort fare like pizza, lasagna, and ravioli made by the family of Vincent DePhilippis, who was raised in Naples, Italy.

North End, Boston, Massachusetts

It might not be called Little Italy — and if you call it that, no one will know what you're talking about – but the streets of Boston's one-square-mile North End are packed with nearly 100 Italian restaurants, cafes, bakeries, bars, businesses, and more, centered on Hanover Street. It's a far cry from when the neighborhood was home to just a dozen Italian joints in the early 20th century; however, some of the same Italian businesses are still thriving in the North End today. Mike's Pastry, for instance, dates back to 1946 and is known for its cannoli, which now come in interesting flavors like pistachio, hazelnut, Nutella, and espresso. Another popular spot is Regina Pizzeria, which frequently attracts lines with hour-long waits due to its brick-oven pizza that they've been preparing since the 1920s. For classic Italian fare like chicken saltimbocca, lobster and shrimp francese, and bruschetta, check out Cantina Italiana, which dates back to 1931.

To taste everything in the North End and experience Italian culture at its rowdiest, visitors can check out the Saint Anthony's Feast, held every August since 1919 after it was established by migrants from near Avellino who, like many others, found new homes in the North End. This street fair is known for its live music, parades, religious services to honor Saint Anthony and Saint Lucy, and, of course, food. Visitors can sample everything from arancini to zeppole from dozens of street vendors.

Bella Vista, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Home to hundreds of Italian restaurants, cafes, bars, pastry shops, and the iconic Italian Market, the Bella Vista neighborhood — which translates to "beautiful sight" in Italian — is exactly that to any Italian foodie. This neighborhood was the first place Italian immigrants headed once they arrived in Philadelphia, and today, that remains true for their Italian-American ancestors. If you're looking for an age-old hangout, look no further than Ralph's, a red-sauce restaurant dating back to 1900 that is considered the oldest Italian restaurant in the country. Italian heritage celebrities like Frank Sinatra dined on massive plates of authentic Italian-American dishes like chicken parmigiana. For cheese to enjoy at home, head to Di Bruno Bros., which has 500 types of cheeses on its shelves.

No spot in the neighborhood is more famous than the Italian Market, one of the oldest markets in the United States. But don't get it twisted — this is no ordinary market, and you won't find any fluorescent lights here. This massive market stretches a monstrous 20 blocks, where around 200 vendors sell everything from cookware to ravioli and cannoli. During the winter, vendors set up firepits, so it's just as cozy as an Italian supermarket. Every year, visitors can also see the market in all its glory at the Italian Market Festival, which includes live music, games, religious services, and food.

University Village, Chicago, Illinois

It might not be called Little Italy, but University Village, home to the University of Illinois at Chicago, doubles as a Little Italy and is one of the most must-visit ethnic neighborhoods in the U.S. Although it has plenty of spots for Italian food, it also has lots of Italian landmarks -– perfect for those who are feeling full. These include the Shrine of Our Lady of Pompeii, the longest-standing Italian-American church in the city that dates back over a century, and the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame, which honors Italian athletes such as Rocky Marciano and Tommy Lasorda. Piazza DiMaggio, which includes two monuments and a fountain, is also in University Village and is dedicated to Italian immigrant and baseball icon Joe DiMaggio.

But don't worry, there's food too. It might not be The Beef from "The Bear," but University Village is home to Italian beef shops like Al's #1 Italian Beef, which has been a neighborhood fixture since 1938. Order the sandwich topped with sausage or dipped in its own juices before being smothered in hot giardiniera. For something sweet to top it all off, head to Mario's Italian Lemonade, a simple Italian shaved ice stand dating back to 1954 that's only open during warmer months. For a sit-down meal, grab a table at Italian eatery Tufano's Vernon Park Tap, best known for its lemon chicken Vesuvio.

Lygon Street, Melbourne, Australia

After the end of World War II, tens of thousands of Italians immigrated to Australia and headed to Carlton, a Melbourne neighborhood that already had a buzzing Italian community. Soon, what we now know of as Melbourne's Little Italy, centered on Lygon Street in Carlton, was born. The area was even home to the country's first pizzeria, Toto's, which unfortunately closed its doors in 2022. However, lots of delectable Italian cafes, gelaterias, restaurants, and patisseries remain slinging their red sauce, including 400 Gradi, a Neapolitan pizzeria that took the crown for best Margherita pie on the planet at the World Pizza Championships in 2014. Another favorite for pizza on Lygon Street is DOC Pizza & Mozzarella Bar, which offers pies, desserts, lasagna, and even meats and cheeses to create your own charcuterie board.

Stretching between Queensberry and Elgin Streets, there's a lot more Italian fare to enjoy in Melbourne's Little Italy than just pizza. For delicious Italian pastries and bread, look no further than Baker D. Chirico. Or, to find fresh pasta — and even a platter of three kinds of pasta in one delicious sampling — head to Donnini's, a staple of Little Italy since the 1970s and one of the best Italian restaurants in the country. Even the city of Melbourne itself supports Italy, and it has been a sister city of Milan since 2004.

Little Italy, Malindi, Kenya

A town in Kenya might not seem like it has much in common with Italy at first glance, but Malindi sure does. Since the 1960s, it's been known as a Little Italy thanks to an influx of Italian immigrants that headed there looking for work at the Luigi Broglio Space Center, the base of an Italian space force team. Soon, chatter traded that Malindi was the place to be thanks to its beaches and seafood, which have much in common with classic Italian coastal destinations. By the 1980s, 4,000 Italians called Malindi home, and 30,000 more headed to the Kenyan spot every year to visit since many residents had built restaurants and hotels brimming with Italian traditions.

Today, many Italians continue to make their mark on Malindi. However, interestingly, for foodies, many of the restaurants feature fusion cuisine, offering beachside flavors mixed with traditional Italian dishes. For example, Italian eatery Baby Marrow offers smoked sailfish with vinaigrette, as well as sauced prawns with avocado. Plus, Olimpia Club Malindi makes pasta with squid and olives, which can be enjoyed while listening to live Italian music in the dining room.

Little Italy, Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Even though most people living in Montréal speak French, the city still has its own Little Italy, a staple of the City of Saints since the 1800s. Today, it continues to be a home-away-from-home for many Italians looking for their favorite pizza, pasta, gelato, and cannoli in Montréal, and all that romantic Italian cuisine might be why the city is such a great spot for a couples' vacation. One of the top food destinations here is the Jean-Talon Market, which is one of the largest food markets in North America and one of the oldest in Montréal, dating back to 1933. Visitors can find Italian classics and other international cuisine from vendors selling everything from cheese to bread. For a sit-down meal, the options in Little Italy are seemingly endless. Some popular spots include Impasto, which offers a simple yet elegant menu of rustic Italian fare like ricotta gnocchi and veal marsala. Elsewhere, Lucca is an intimate, upscale Italian eatery known for its tagliatelle in a rabbit, fennel, and pancetta sauce.

In this Little Italy, saving room for dessert is a must. Caffè Italia is the go-to spot for a throwback hangout, barstool seats, and a no-frills ambiance with delicious espressos and lattes. Pair its coffee with a dessert from Pasticceria Alati-Caserta, which dates back to 1968 and makes every sweet in-house and from scratch. Visitors clamor for their cannoli, cookies, and pastries.

Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio

If it wasn't for just one immigrant who made a new home in Cleveland, Ohio, the city's Little Italy might have never come to be. Sculptor Joseph Carrabelli set the ball rolling, moving here in the 19th century and soon attracting many fellow Italians looking for work. Eventually, the neighborhood developed and was conveniently located near University Circle, home to many of Cleveland's most famous sights, like the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Cleveland Botanical Gardens. These days, Little Italy is a hub of amazing Italian dining and fascinating cultural activities.

Visitors can learn all about Little Italy's long history at the Italian American Museum of Cleveland, which offers many family-friendly events and exhibits. The Northern Ohio Italian American Foundation is also situated in the neighborhood. To eat all that's Italian, all visitors need to do is stroll down the street. Lots of trattorias, cafes, and bakeries have found homes in Little Italy, such as Guarino's Restaurant (the oldest restaurant in the city, dating back more than a century) and Mount Granita Italian Ice, which serves Sicilian-style fruit ice made with only natural fruits. Visitors should time their visit with the brilliant Feast of the Assumption, held every August. At this massive festival stretching across five blocks, restaurants sell their delicacies street-side. It's all thanks to the Holy Rosary Church, the neighborhood's Catholic church and organizer of this legendary event.

Federal Hill, Providence, Rhode Island

The Federal Hill neighborhood of Providence, Rhode Island, offers Italian hospitality at every step. Over Atwells Avenue stands a sculpture of La Pigna, the Italian symbol of hospitality. The welcoming Italian vibes continue with red, white, and green lines painted on the brick streets and plenty of Italian flags waving from restaurants and businesses. They also lead to lots of local landmarks like DePasquale Plaza, where many people gather with food, desserts, and coffee while sitting around the fountain.

Speaking of food, Federal Hill has a lot of it. One of the favorite spots, also the oldest in town, is Angelo's, known for its century-old menu featuring Italian-American comfort classics like its meatballs and french fries. The dish, served in the restaurant's diner-style dining room, was even on "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Another spot with a more upscale vibe is Bacco Vino & Contorni, an Italian restaurant that gives its pasta high-end twists. One of the best ways to experience it is by ordering The Armando Experience, named after owner and chef Armando Bisceglia, a surprise four or five-course tasting for $75 per person. At this tasting, he serves dishes passed down by his family, which can also be enjoyed alongside paired wines for $150 per person. Providence is one of the great American foodie cities, and its Italian flavors play a significant role.

College Street, Toronto, Canada

Montréal isn't the only Canadian city with a fantastico Little Italy — Toronto also has one, with its own flair, vibe, and delicious food. It's been that way since the early 20th century when Italian immigrants found homes and, eventually, businesses on College Street. Now, those businesses are enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. For an authentic Italian meal, many favor Trattoria Taverniti, which was inspired by the owner's Calabrian mother, who was a whiz in the kitchen. Today, the old-world restaurant features cozy exposed brick walls and classic red-and-white tablecloths where meals are cooked by the owner and his famous mother.

One unique feature of College Street that separates it from many other Little Italys across the world is its Italian Walk of Fame, which, like its inspiration in Hollywood, features stars embedded into the concrete that honor Italian celebrities. A fixture of College Street since 2009, it features stars like singer Dean Martin, actor Giancarlo Giannini, and hockey player Phil Esposito. Little Italy on College Street is just one of a conveyor belt of must-visit spots in Toronto.

Italian Hill, London, England

British food is a tapestry of flavors and traditions from around the globe, and Italian classics play a big role in that. Since the late 1800s, London's Italian Hall has been a gathering place for Italians (as the name suggests), as many moved there to find work. Now, Londoners enjoy the literal fruits of their labors through Italian restaurants, cafes, bars, and bakeries.

One particularly popular spot is Terroni of Clerkenwell, an Italian deli and coffee shop that's been a London staple since 1878, making it the oldest Italian deli in the country. Those with a taste for finer Italian cuisine should check out Luca, an upscale Italian fusion eatery with interesting dishes like burrata with winter panzanella, pickled walnuts, and radicchio tardivo. To really indulge as the Italians do, visit Italian Hill during the procession of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which culminates in a massive street festival and parade every July, just as it has since 1896.


These days, just because a neighborhood is called Little Italy doesn't mean it has all the glory of the red, white, and green, as many of the areas have been dismantled and are only Italian in name. However, to create this list, we assessed Little Italy travel guides, restaurant offerings, regular events, blogs, and attractions to determine which neighborhoods offered authentic Italian culture and made people feel like they were in Bel Paese itself rather than in the U.S., Canada, Australia or anywhere in between, thanks to authentic Italian eats, annual Italian festivals, and important Italian landmarks that honored ancestors and traditions.