Food & Drink

A guide to Arthur Ave, NYC's better Little Italy

Published On 12/14/2014 Published On 12/14/2014
Where to go on Arthur Ave
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Chris Crowley
Flickr/Garret Ziegler
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1. Arthur Avenue Trattoria 2329 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

If you find yourself at the Arthur Avenue Retail Market (built during La Guardia’s reign), mosey on over to Greco’s (nee Mike’s Deli), of Throwdown fame. There, you’ll want to gorge yourself on an overstuffed hero. Order the borough’s most delicious Italian combo, packed with meats and provolone. Mike Greco and his counterman are brusque and impatient, but the sandwich is worth it.

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2. Café Al Mercato 2344 Arthur Ave, New York, NY 10458 (Bronx)

The pan-baked, Sicilian style slices at this café are the neighborhood’s best. The selection rotates on a daily basis (you get what you see), but it’s best to follow our advice no matter what’s available. Go big or go home with one one of their over the top specialty pies, like the mushroom, roasted red pepper, and artichoke salad slice.

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3. The Bronx Beer Hall 2344 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

This beer haven located inside the Arthur Ave Retail Market is undeniably the place to drink beer in the Bronx. It serves up New York craft beer and food from neighboring restaurants (its nightly 7-10pm menu is crafted by John's Pizzeria). Every month it features different breweries, and it hosts weekly events like trivia, karaoke, and movie nights. As for decor, the skylight does great things for the atmosphere.

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4. Tino's Delicatessen 2410 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Don’t let the signed photos of politicians and the dim lights dissuade you. This deli is a favorite among Fordham students for its belly-hugging heroes, but that's not what you’re here for. Skip the meat-head case and head straight for the shelves. Owner Gianluca Paciullo stocks his store with real deal balsamic vinegar, Nettuno anchovies imported by the Bronx’s Gustiamo, and pastas you won’t find at Eataly. Yes, the prices are more expensive than Teitel’s (where you’ll find good quality pine nuts and very low prices), but no one else stocks as many products like this up here.

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5. Casa Della Mozzarella 604 E 187th St, New York, NY 10458 (Bronx)

This sardine can of a store, overflowing with imports, meats, and antipasti, gets packed real quick on weekends and holidays. You’ll know why after you sneak a peek through the window behind the cashier, where you’ll catch owner Orazio Carciotto and his son Carlo stretching curds by hand.

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6. Calabria Pork Store 2338 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Stepping into Calabria is like booking a ticket back to the old world. The storefront doubles as a meat cave, with sausages hanging from the ceiling like salty, delicious stalactites and permeating every nook and cranny with their aromas. The musty, meaty soppressata (get it extra hot!) is the store’s hallmark.

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7. Mount Carmel Wine & Spirits 609 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

This 187th street wine store, which carries dozens of bottles from all over Italy, is a great place to learn about Frascatti, a dry and clean wine created two millennia ago, and Italian reds like Aglianico, Corvina, and Gaglioppo.

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8. Randazzo's Seafood 2327 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

The third-generation owners here are as knowledgeable and passionate as ever, bringing in goods like California sea urchin (when in season) and an Adriatic bounty throughout the year. Bright and friendly, it’s a great place to learn about the virtues of scorfano, a spiny fish preferred for stews, before stocking up on fresh anchovies and vongole.

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9. Calandra's Cheese 2314 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Calandra's is the kind of cheese store that every neighborhood deserves, many once had, but is now unfortunately a rarity. Run by a jovial, kind Argentine with a passion for pecorino, the selection of Italian cheeses is smart and affordable. Expect standbys like four-year Parmigiano and, during the holidays, specials like sheep’s milk ricotta and imported burrata.

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10. Borgatti's Ravioli & Egg Noodles 632 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Eight decades in, the Borgatti family is practically Bronx royalty. Currently helmed by the stern and devoted Chris Borgatti, grandson of the shop’s founders, they sell ravioli, manicotti, spinach pasta, and egg noodles. Everything is cut by hand, and when you finally make it to the counter, you’ll get to designate your noodle thickness.

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11. Terranova Bakery 691 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Locals and Saturday Italians alike fight over who makes the best loaf on Arthur Ave. Well, the answer is Terranova, if you were wondering, where they bake a crusty pane di casa that will haunt your dreams. But that’s not all. You’ll also find find top notch loafs like tangy sourdough, focaccia, and a very, very good olive bread.

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12. Addeo Gennaro & Sons 2372 Hughes Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Terranova is the best bread generalist, yes, but come sandwich time, it’s best to do as Casa della Mozzarella does and put this bakery’s sesame seed loaf to work. Crusty, nutty, and chewy: it’s the vehicle for the hero of your dreams.

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13. Madonia Brothers Bakery 2348 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

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.

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14. Vincent's Meat Market 2374 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Vincent's sells a wide selection of reasonably priced, high quality meats. We’re not just talking about pork, chicken, and beef, here. You’ll find Cornish hen, duck, baby goat, rabbit, lamb, off cuts galore, and much more. Their cotechino, a sausage made with warm spices, off cuts, fat, and skin, is worth the trip alone.

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15. Zero Otto Nove 2357 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Zero Otto Nove, which translates to 089, has several outposts (including Manhattan and Armonk) but the original Arthur Ave location will always reign supreme. Roberto Paciullo’s Salerno-style pies are some of the most unique the city has to offer -- somewhat similar to Neapolitan, but crispier, less fluffy, and without the soupy center. The dining room is cavernous and the trattoria décor a bit kitschy, but the pies are so outstanding that nothing else matters.

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16. Trattoria Tra Di Noi 622 E 187th St, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

This Arthur Ave spot has all the makings of a classic Italian-American joint, from the red table cloths, to the friendly staff, to the perfect lasagna bolognese. Chef Marco, the mastermind behind Tra Di Noi, was born in Italy and has over 50 years of professional culinary experience. His primary focus is classic Italian dishes with fresh ingredients, beautiful presentation, and tons of flavor.