Though Little Italy  is generally not the place to go for good Italian food, it does hold some bargain-priced eateries, cheery cafés, and a few noteworthy dinner houses.
The friendly, old-fashioned Da Nico (164 Mulberry St., between Grand and Broome Sts., 212/343-1212, $13), with a garden out back, specializes in excellent coal-oven pizza and savory roasted meats and fish.
Homey Benito I (174 Mulberry St., between Grand and Broome Sts., 212/226-9171, $12) serves good, traditional Sicilian food.
One of Little Italy’s best restaurants is Il Cortile (125 Mulberry St., near Hester St., 212/226-6060, $20), a multi-roomed spot with brick walls and an indoor garden. Il Cortile specializes in Northern Italian cuisine.
Also very good is Taormina (147 Mulberry St., between Hester and Grand Sts., 212/219-1007, $19), once former mobster John Gotti’s favorite spot.
For an afternoon snack, try the cozy, tile-floored Cafe Roma (385 Broome St., at Mulberry St., 212/226-8413), a wonderful espresso-and-pastry café that was once a hangout for opera singers. Another good choice is the flashy Ferrara’s (195 Grand St., near Mulberry St., 212/226-6150).
Hit the Spring Lounge (48 Spring St., at Mulberry St.), a.k.a the Shark Bar, to enjoy a pint or two in a dive bar–chic spot where the drinking starts at 8 a.m.