2349 Arthur Ave
No, it’s not a candy shop, though the jars of Jordan almonds lining the shelves and frilly pastel garlands might suggest otherwise. Morrone is something even more delightful -- a purveyor of real Italian pastries with noticeable out-of-the-oven freshness. True to its charming mien, this pasticceria’s most restocked item (next to the cannoli) is the rainbow cookie, a layered cake packed between thin chocolate walls. It’s a dense, greasy wonder that’ll leave your fingers slicked (and one bite will justify its miniature square size). Take your date here after an early dinner at any one of Arthur Ave’s equally great Italian restaurants. If a bottle of vino didn’t adequately set the mood, a cookie, stack of cannoli, and jam-filled bombolone will guarantee reciprocated affections.
580 E 187th St
Like most of the dessert spots on or around Arthur Ave, 56-year-old Gino’s claims its cannoli is the best. And it is -- but only if you get the French variety. Consisting of a flakier, torpedo-shaped pastry, these delicate cream carriers are like the thin-crust pies to the original cannoli’s deep-dish Chicago pizza. Oh, and speaking of the filling: get the fluffier, mildly sweetened Bavarian cream (as opposed to the yellow custard option) -- the airy consistency balances perfectly with the melt-in-your-mouth breading.
622 E 187th St
The space is narrow and the lighting dim, but a down-home take on Italian pastry classics keeps Egidio’s counters excessively staffed. The move here is the sfogliatella -- the most humble of baked treats, and an exercise in textures done right. Ridged and shell-shaped, this lobster tail consists of a super crunchy, layered “shell,” and a soft, moist, and eggy cake bedazzled with tiny orange pieces. The result is a fragrant, lightly candied carb bomb perfect for the world’s most filling breakfast, or the world’s most filling snack. Your call.
610 E 187th St
Maroon 5 tunes and a space decorated with a suburban mother/teacher’s eye for mosaicked chandeliers greet visitors at this clean-cut spot. It’s got none of the rush or worn untidiness of the other places, and organized touches like a backlit, electronic coffee menu indicate a level of established standardization -- still, DeLillo's knows what its doing on the pastry front. Lobster tails and rainbow cookies reign supreme here, though the chocolate eclairs are the secret go-to item. The lush cream that squeezes out of every bite is refreshingly sweet, and goes well with a lick of that chocolate glaze that'll surely be coating your lips.
670 E 187th St
Having survived the most Italian of business challenges (an in-family feud involving the branding of the Artuso name by different members of The Family) and a building-totaling fire in 2014, Artuso isn’t the kind of joint that goes easy on the cream. In fact, this Bronx institution is known for its addictive cannoli, of which it sells 8 million a year. All the standards are represented here as well, and you can’t mess with the biscotti, chocolate-dipped almond horns, and pignoli cookies.
2348 Arthur Ave
It might close on the early side on Sundays, but you’ll want to hit this Sicilian shop during the wee meal-planning hours anyway. The lard and olive loaves are a local favorite -- you’ll buy a loaf to use as post-meal sauce-mopping bread, but you’ll end up dipping it in salted olive oil and finishing the whole thing before the pasta water’s even started boiling. The rest of the store is lined with shelves of of pine nut-studded cookies, flaky pastries, and freshly piped cannoli that are definitely not meant to be shared. Seriously. Try breaking one in half and watch as the fried infrastructure shatters into multiple crunchy, geometric pieces. Actually, did I just invent a new way of eating cannoli?
Morrone is a quintessential Italian pastry shop in the Bronx whose display cases are packed with trays-upon-trays of classic Italian sweets. Its most popular item isn't the cannoli but the rainbow cookie, a layered cake-like cookie packed between thin chocolate walls.
Gino's Pastry Shop on Arthur Avenue has been around since 1960, selling pastries, cookies and custom cakes. The cannoli is piped to order and can come with a subtly sweet Bavarian cream or a yellow custard. The space itself maintains a quaint, classic charm, with minimal seating and photos of famous visitors covering the walls.
DeLillo Pastry Shop specializes in Italian pastries and wedding cakes. The first thing you notice upon walking in is the display case: one side is lined with cannoli, lobster claws, tiramisu, and similar butter-and-cream creations, the other side is filled with piped layer cakes and cheesecakes. There's a full coffee menu too, so it's the perfect place to stop after dinner on Arthur Ave.
Open since 1912, Egidio Pastry Shop is a Bronx destination for Italian cookies, biscotti, pastries, and cakes. The cannoli, available in chocolate and regular, are a stand-out -- the shells are crispy and golden and the piped ricotta filling is sweet and creamy. There's a coffee counter reminiscent of Italian coffee bars, and a few tables by the display case.
Artuso Pastry Shop is a Bronx institution that includes a flagship store in Belmont and another location in Westchester. It sells all kinds of Italian pastries, and the cannoli is some of the best in city. Its cookie trays, piled high with pignoli, rainbow cookies, and almond biscotti, are a guaranteed crowd pleaser.
Rule number one when eating Italian pastries is to never accept a cannoli unless it's filled-to-order. Thank god for Madonia Brothers Bakery then, where ricotta is piped into flaky shells right before your eyes. While most Italian bakeries on Arthur Ave stick to cakes and pastries, Madonia also specializes in bread, and the olive and lard loaves are must-orders.