Food & Drink

The Definitive Bronx Dining Guide

Published On 06/26/2016 Published On 06/26/2016

Best view: Hudson Garden Grill at the New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd
It’s hard to compete with 250 acres of lush garden, which is now the backdrop to the historical institute’s first full-service restaurant, introduced last spring. The menu features light, New American fare, like lobster clubs and braised veal & grits. But while the food is great, you’re here for the full view of the oldest trees in the garden’s collection (part of the 40-acre Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum). You can’t miss them through the dining room’s grand arched windows.

Tameika Lawrence/Thrillist

Best farm-to-table: Moss Café

3260 Johnson Ave
What started as a coffee shop quickly blossomed into a full-service restaurant offering beer and wine before it even turned one year old. The menu at Moss Café changes regularly, with healthy and inspiring dishes to complement locally sourced, farm-fresh ingredients. Pop in for dinner to see the décor occasionally transformed into a low-key, white tablecloth-esque dining experience with nightly specials.

Best Latin: Travesias

3834 E Tremont Ave
The atmosphere of a city lounge meets the quaint vibe of a neighborhood hangout at this Tremont Ave restaurant. The mood here is as unique as its Latin-Asian menu, which comes together in the form of creative dishes like To’ Chimi Sliders -- the slider version of a Dominican burger, made with seasoned black Angus topped with a cabbage slaw and special sauce between tostones (fried plantain) buns.

Best Jamaican: Ripe Kitchen & Bar

151 W Sandford Blvd, Mt Vernon
Located right on the border of the Bronx and Mount Vernon, Ripe Kitchen & Bar resembles an off-road Jamaican rum bar with its reclaimed wooden interior, low lighting, and colorful paint job. The food is slightly more upscale, but still infused with authentic flavors from the island, seen in dishes like the “Big Ass” Jerk Rib-Eye Steak, which is marinated in an original jerk rub made from Scotch bonnet peppers, grilled to your liking, and topped with an Argentinian-style chimichurri sauce. Be sure to request a seat in the backyard, which is decorated with tropical flora and Tiki torches when the weather is warm.

Hungry Bird

Best Indian: Hungry Bird

980 Morris Ave
Hungry Bird seems like an unassuming takeout restaurant at first glance -- that is, until you notice the dressed-up dine-in seating complete with tablecloths and cloth napkins. This newer Morris Ave spot is serving traditional Indian food like lamb vindaloo, butter chicken, and mixed tandoori grill in extremely generous portions. Drop in after a visit to the Bronx Museum since it’s only a 10-15 minute walk away, and be prepared to take home leftovers for the week.

Best Mexican: Taqueria Tlaxcalli

2103 Starling Ave
Everything about Taqueria Tlaxcalli is no-fuss and no-frills, from the playful wall art and open kitchen to the menu of authentic Mexican food like tostadas, molcajetes, and burritos, all offering flavors that are just as vibrant as the interior. Order the enchiladas and opt for coating it in the green chili sauce, which has just a slight kick to it.

Mon Amour

Best cafe: Mon Amour Coffee & Wine

234 W 238th St
Less than a year old, this French-themed café has gotten everyone’s attention with its industrial, minimalist decor -- think repurposed wood tables, metal chairs, exposed brick, pendant lights, and decorative wall frames -- the likes of which you don’t often find Uptown. Mon Amour’s quaint interiors pair well with its fresh-baked muffins, macarons, and croissants. But while the pastries can’t be missed, the flatbreads are the go-to item here, layered with toppings like tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella or arugula, prosciutto, fig, and Gruyere.

Best burger: P&K Grille

170 W 231 St
P&K’s is the Kingsbridge counterpart to Inwood’s Piper’s Kilt. The exterior is completely nondescript, while the interior has the personality and charm of any neighborhood bar (with just a little more polish). The burgers here are named after famed athletes, and the Eli Manning bacon cheeseburger is the fan favorite. The beef is juicy and smoky, with just the right amount of crispy thick-cut bacon on top, and while the the other ingredients are fairly standard, they come together to make for a bar burger that’s way better than it needs to be.

Zero Otto Nove

Best pizza: Zero Otto Nove

2357 Arthur Ave
One visit to 089 will confirm you've been eating pizza all wrong. The pies here are light, with a thin crust, and only three to four ingredients to maintain the perfect balance of flavor. The idea is that pizza shouldn't be heavy and packed with every ingredient in the kitchen. The crust is crisp but doughy, thanks to the 900-degree wood-burning oven; the San Marzano tomatoes aren’t too acidic; and the thick, spicy soppressata puts standard cuts of limp pepperoni to shame. Do yourself a favor and skip the margherita pizza -- as good as it might be, the standout is the sweet and surprising butternut squash, truffle, and mushroom-topped La Cirilo.

Tameika Lawrence

Best bar food: Charlies Bar & Kitchen

112 Lincoln Ave
Charlies has called the historic, landmark Clock Tower building in Mott Haven home since 2012. While food is predominantly modern American with Southern flair, plenty of other cultural twists are sampled throughout the menu (see the jerk chicken or spaghetti pomodoro). And the cocktail menu has just as many interesting options, like Rumble In The Bronx, made with rum, passion fruit, lime juice, agave, and mint -- which goes perfectly with the punchy, sweet CBK wings.

Antonio's Trattoria

Best Italian: Antonio's Trattoria

2370 Belmont Ave
Although Antonio’s is situated off Arthur Ave, that doesn't hurt business one bit. Loyal customers and New Yorkers who care about Italian flock to the trattoria for its red sauce, pastas, and chicken Parm. A meal at Antonio’s starts with fresh-baked bread from the brick oven, which you can enjoy while poring over the very extensive wine list. Nearly every dish is made with ingredients sourced from local artisan shops like Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles, when not made in-house (like the handmade gnocchi, which is as pillowy as it should be). Eating here just feels like home -- not just because the food is made to taste like “Nonna’s,” but also because of the friendly staff and familiar faces of the regular clientele.

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1. Hudson Garden Grill 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

Located in the Hudson Botanical Garden in the Bronx, this polished spot has glorious views of the arboretum. You’re here for the full view of the oldest trees in the garden’s collection (part of the 40-acre Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum). which you can’t miss through the dining room’s grand arched windows.The menu features light, New American fare on a seasonal menu rotation.

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2. Moss Café 3260 Johnson Ave, Bronx, NY 10463 (Bronx)

Moss Cafe began as a coffee shop with Stumptown brew. Before turning one year old, the Riverdale restaurant blossomed into a full-service kosher operation with a menu entirely dedicated to vegetarian and pescatarian options. Locally-sourced, farm-fresh ingredients are the focus of all-day spot.

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3. Travesias 3834 East Tremont Ave, Bronx, NY (Bronx)

This snug bistro in the Bronx feels like both a sleek lounge and a neighborhood hangout. Creative Latin fusion dishes and cocktails come together under the influence of many different regions. No dish is considered traditional, meaning you'll experience a unique blend of spices and flavors no matter what you order. The decor is travel-themed, with clocks from different global cities and photos from around the world.

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4. Ripe Kitchen & Bar 151 W Sandford Blvd, Mount Vernon, NY 10550 (Bronx)

Escape to the border of the Bronx and Mount Vernon for celebrated Jamaican classics like jerk chicken and rum. The space is colorful and inviting, with warm lighting and a reclaimed wood interior. There's even a backyard complete with palm trees, tiki accents and a full bar.

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5. Hungry Bird 980 Morris Ave, Bronx, NY 10456 (Bronx)

This counter service Indian restaurant in the Bronx serves a large menu of classics which you can enjoy on one of their cloth-topped tables. They have great lunch deals and the portions are enormous, ensuring you'll go home with leftovers for the week.

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6. Mon Amour Coffee & Wine 234 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 10463 (Bronx)

This cozy French cafe in the Bronx serves espressos, flatbreads, and baked goods -- all made fresh and packed with flavorful ingredients. Repurposed wood tables, metal chairs, exposed brick, pendant lights, and decorative wall frames all contribute to the minimalist, industrial feel of the space. The staff is notably welcome and attentive, making Mon Amour a great neighborhood spot to relax and enjoy coffee or a glass of wine at the end of the day.

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7. Taqueria Tlaxcalli 2103 Starling Avenue, Bronx, NY 10462

This Mexican joint in the Bronx is completely no-fuss, from the playful wall art and open kitchen to the menu of authentic Mexican food. They're open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and you can count on your favorites being included on the menu, from tacos and burritos to enchiladas.

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8. P & K's Grille 70 W 231st St, Bronx, NY 10463 (Bronx)

This come-as-you-are sports bar is the Kingsbridge counterpart to Inwood’s Piper’s Kilt. Get past a nondescript interior and into an equally standard-looking bar with dark wood paneling, neon signs and framed photos lining the walls. Expect traditional pub fare, plenty of beer and surprisingly good burgers, all named after famed athletes.

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9. 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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10. Charlies Bar & Kitchen 112 Lincoln Ave, Bronx, NY 10454 (Bronx)

This Bronx restaurant has been located in the historic, landmark Clock Tower building in Mott Haven since 2012. While food is predominantly modern American with Southern flair, plenty of other cultural twists are sampled throughout the menu, from Italian to Caribbean. The cocktails are equally inventive, showcasing a whole range of ingredients.

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11. Antonio's Trattoria 2370 Belmont Ave, Bronx, NY 10458 (Bronx)

This cozy spot in the Bronx is known for homestyle Italian fare. Red sauce, pastas and parmesan flow abundantly and when you're at this joint you feel like family. Every meal starts with fresh bread from the oven, which you can snack on while you peruse the extensive Italian wine list. This place is full of regulars, and you may find yourself becoming one too.

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