In New York City, the spice of fall is in the air. Leaves are changing, cashmere is coming out of storage, and the evenings are perfect for exploring your neighborhood. At the One Manhattan Square condos on the Lower East Side, you can enjoy autumnal outings without even leaving the property. Meander through private gardens designed by landscape masters West 8 or gather around one of the fire pits with friends and loved ones as you sip on your cold-weather beverage of choice.

And thanks to the prime Downtown location of One Manhattan Square, you can also set out to explore some of the fascinating neighborhoods surrounding you. 

The crisp weather almost demands a visit to Little Italy for a hearty, comforting meal. In just minutes, you’ll be transported back to a time when this neighborhood was home to a large population of Italian immigrants. In the early 1900s, Italians flocked to this neighborhood and brought with them not only their culture, which has made a lasting impact on the U.S., but their cuisine, which has made a lasting impact on innumerable hearts and taste buds around the world. 

Take a stroll down Mulberry Street and enjoy the convivial atmosphere of longtime residents sipping limoncello in their neighborhood bar, visitors trying every bakery to find the best cannoli, and, of course, diners indulging in the neighborhood’s red-sauce joints.

Why not take a seat at one of the red-leather-banquette establishments yourself? Get a proper helping of old-school service and an inappropriate helping of homemade Italian dishes. 

Here are some of our favorite spots to partake in what’s arguably Italy’s greatest export: the food. 

Il Cortile | 125 Mulberry Street

Feel like you’re part of the family in this large yet intimate-feeling Italian restaurant right on Mulberry Street. Make sure you have a napkin on your lap (and possibly around your neck) as you dig into delicious dishes ranging from pillowy gnocchi stuffed with chicken to a buttery dish of sautéed scallops covered in a Parmesan and asparagus crust. Don’t forget to try to snag a seat in the lovely garden area before the weather gets too cold.

Peasant | 194 Elizabeth Street

Looking to impress your out-of-town family or your date? Peasant is your best bet. While you won’t find the classic red-and-white checkerboard tablecloths or candles in chianti bottles, the unstuffy almost-minimalist atmosphere here has become a classic in its own right. Serving modern spins on pasta and pizza, Peasant offers a visceral experience with the smells of tomato and garlic wafting from the kitchen and the dining room abuzz with the sounds of people enjoying good food and good company. 

Emporio | 231 Mott Street

To get the feeling of what it must be like to actually eat in Italy, head to this trattoria where the emphasis is on farm-to-table in a stylish, chic setting with large tables and a skylight. A quick stop for lunch becomes a veritable feast. Try the ravioli stuffed with creamy and decadent burrata, expertly drenched in a mushroom ragù (foraged, of course, according to the menu). At dinner, crispy risotto croquettes will certainly whet your appetite for the homemade pasta that has turned many into repeat customers. Toast with a glass of authentic Italian wine — you’ll find everything from a Sicilian red to a sparkler from Lombardy.