The North Salina section of Syracuse’s Lower Northside is a downtown neighborhood like no other.

It is home to one of the most rewarding cultural experiences you will find anywhere. Known by many as “Little Italy” for it’s ever present Italian American community that began settling here back in the 1880’s it has more recently become highlighted as the “Gateway to Many Nations” for the fact this neighborhood has become a landing spot for new Americans from many nationalities over the past century.  Nationalities such as Vietnam, Laos, Bosnia, Sudan, Ireland, Germany, and many more to come. This constant influx of nationalities has created an unreproducible cultural epicenter for Syracuse.  This is a place to live the life of experiences that has been calling out to you from your TV’s Travel Channel. A place to experience cultures that many spend thousands traveling across the globe to find. Come discover this neighborhood for yourself.

Whether you are searching for a meal, a tailor, a haircut, an international food market, or a place to volunteer this walkable neighborhood has it all steps from your door. Experiences range from high end fine dining type places to hole in the wall best food you ever had type places. All of them will provide you with an authentic experience. An experience not found in the polished American chains that have saturated our landscape, one where you can still know the owner of each business you visit.

A few highlighted places to get you started

Mai Lan

Mai Lan is a classic mom-and-pop operation specializing in authentic Vietnamese food. Located on N. State Street, just a few feet from St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center, this small restaurant has been open for business for the past 20 years.


Consistly voted one of Syracuse’s top Italian restaurants Francesca’s Cucina is a family owned Italian restaurant located in the heart of Little Italy. Enjoy Francesca’s extensive menu featuring both classic Italian dishes and modern infused daily specialties, or have the chef create a custom catering menu for your next special event. Relax and enjoy the warm and contemporary atmosphere, visit the spectacular garden patio during the warmer months, or bring food home to share. Francesca’s is open for lunch, dinner, and drinks at the bar.

With Love

“Every 6 months we’ll incubate a new entrepreneur, offering up a new national or regional cuisine. We’ll give them space to experiment. Local farmer friends will grow menu-specific crops. Up Start will give them wraparound business & financial training. Together we’ll launch some new, awesome places for you to fall in love with.”


At Biscotti Cafe & Gelateria, you will find an expansive pastry case, a coffee bar, daily lunch specials, and an Italian style gelateria, all for your enjoyment! The cafe has a warm, earthy interior that is nicely decorated and has a comfortable seating area perfect for large parties or work meetings. Also available is the special Bridal Suite for discussing wedding cakes and other pastry selections for that special day!


Empowering resettled refugees to thrive through practicing hospitality, personalized mentorship and community collaboration.

Find more here

The Isabella lofts are also steps or a quick Uber/Lyft ride away from the other popular downtown Syracuse destinations such as Hanover Square, Armory Square, Franklin Square and the Inner Harbor.