As one of the borough’s most charming neighborhoods, Little Italy in The Bronx (also referred to as the Belmont section or Arthur Avenue), should be on your radar. Since I consider myself an Italophile, needless to say, I felt like I had died and gone to Italian heaven when I visited this vibrant area of New York’s northernmost borough with my BFF Heather. In this guide to the “real” Little Italy in The Bronx, I highlight some of the many gems that make this neighborhood well worth the trip. Do yourself a favor and go hungry!
Borgatti’s Pasta, 632 E 187th St
If you like fresh pasta, Borgatti’s is the place. Select your pasta flavor and thickness and watch the noodles be brought to life before your eyes. The tiny shop packs in regulars, so arrive before noon if you can. Besides fresh pasta, find San Marzano tomatoes, sauces, vinegars, and dried pastas as well as other imported Italian specialty items. The ravioli is heavenly.
Artuso’s Pastry, 670 E 187th St
Those with a sweet tooth may never leave Artuso’s. Shelves of delectable Italian pastries fill the cases and appear almost too pretty to eat. We had no problem, however, tearing through sinful cannoli. Heather and I behaved –– we shared only one.
Cerini Coffee and Gifts, 2334 Arthur Ave
It’s cappuccino time! A coffee emporium with a vast selection of kitchen goods and housewares, Cerini is a go-to spot to relax for a minute before continuing your tour of Little Italy. Buy any of the many varieties of illy or Lavazza coffee as well imported Italian cookies, Nutella, and other sweets. If you’re in the market for an espresso machine, you’ve also come to the right store. Sip that cup of coffee while you shop.
Full Moon Pizzeria, 600 E 187th St
Lines are long and slices are big in this narrow pizzeria. Heather and I went for single slices of Neapolitan with broccoli and mushroom. Full Moon’s crust has just the right amount of crunch, and is often considered some of the best pizza in The Bronx. I could taste why.
Tino’s Deli, 2410 Arthur Ave
If you’re hungry or not, you’ll want to sample every dish in Tino’s. From brick oven pizza to freshly made heros, salads, and hot steaming Italian favorites like Chicken Parmigiana ready for takeout, this deli is for the serious food lover.
The Arthur Avenue Retail Market, 2344 Arthur Ave
Produce, produce and more produce is packed into this Bronx market, along with barrels of olives and every Italian foodstuff you could possibly imagine. Prices are substantially lower than any in Manhattan at this giant one-stop grocery-filled warehouse. Cigar smokers will want to check out La Casa Grande Cigars where the smokes are rolled as you buy them.
Casa Della Mozzarella, 604 E 187th St
Randazzo’s Seafood, 2327 Arthur Ave
For pescetarians and even occasional fish eaters, Randazzo’s offers the freshest seafood in the area. Buy crabs, scallops, grouper, red snapper, and more, as well as frozen selections and bronzini imported from Italy. I recommend taking a small cooler to keep your purchase chilled for your return trip.
Once you get back home, pour yourself a glass of vino, get in the kitchen (do you have any appetite left?), and start preparing that home-cooked Italian dinner. Buon appetito!
How to get to Little Italy in the Bronx
Take Metro North to the Fordham Station. Exit Near East Fordham Road and Third Avenue. Turn right on Third Avenue. Turn left on East 187th. The trip takes about 40 minutes from Grand Central. This is the most efficient route on public transit. If you prefer to travel by car, you can probably find parking on the street if you time it right. I arrived around noon and found a spot just a few blocks away with no problem.