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The real Little Italy in New York City, in The Bronx

New York is a so incredible city and I think what makes this city amazing is that there are always new places to be discovered and explored. Yes, I am also a tourist in my city! There is always a restaurant, an interesting store, a museum, a neighborhood, an attraction. Saturday, we went to The Bronx – one of the boroughs forgotten by city visitors and locals. The reason? Check out the real Little Italy. Forget those streets of Little Italy in Manhattan, near Chinatown with restaurants where the staff are on the street calling customers … if you want to know a truly Italian neighborhood – and taste the unique cuisine – you need to know the Little Italy of The Bronx.

This was a tip from Amigo Gringo channel – Seth Kugel is an American who speaks Portuguese and he has a channel with tips about the city. He made some videos about The Bronx and one of them specifically about this Little Italy We were there on Saturday and spent a very nice day.

Generations of Italian families have given the area a special and unique small-town character for an urban setting, while at the same time establishing traditions that permeate the neighborhood like the sweet smell of sausage and peppers. It’s the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The quality and prices are great – a recent ranking confirmed once again by critics like the Zagat Survey whose readers repeatedly give “Best Buy” status to more Arthur Avenue shops than any other neighborhood in New York City.

We follow the script suggested by the Amigo Gringo Video and we started to explore the area by Arthur Avenue Retail Market (2344 Arthur Avenue). The place is like a public market with options to eat and to shop. It’s not a huge area, but there are a considerable number of establishments offering cigars, coffee, meats, fruits and vegetables, imported products from Italy, beer, pizza, and sandwiches.

 

As we are hungry, we chose Mike’s Deli to try the famous prosciutto sandwich ($ 12). Very generous size – you can share with someone – featuring tons of prosciutto slices and also fresh mozzarella, with delicious bread.  We ordered an Italian beer, Peroni – despite the controversy, I like this beer. But the place has a full brewery with local options, The Bronx Beer Hall. After the sandwich, it was time to try the pizza from Cafe Al Mercato, which offers a choice of flavors, as well as pasta. We shared a generous slice ($ \4), which was delicious. Seriously: it has been a long time since I tried such a delicious pizza!

Duly satisfied, we left the Arthur Avenue Retail Market and went to Madonia Bakery (2348 Arthur Ave), which is located next door, to try the most famous cannoli in New York. They are filled at the time of purchase, which ensures that the dough is fresh and crunchy. Besides the famous cannoli, available in two sizes, there are plenty of cookies and bread. The Madonia Bakery has no place to sit, so we took our food and we follow our tour.

To end our tour, we enter the Our Lady Mount Carmel Church (627 E 187th St), a Catholic church of wonderful architecture.

It was a very well spent day and I loved knowing this area of The Bronx! I highly recommend this tour for those who like to get away from the traditional routes and see new places in the city. Before you ask me, it was super safe, we use the subway and walked and had no problem – or feel uncomfortable. To get there, you need to take the subway – B or D lines, stopping at Fordham Rd station – from the station to the Arthur Avenue Retail Market it’s about 17 minutes walking. You can also take a taxi or bus (check on Google Maps the suggested lines). And remember that Little Italy has a lot more! On the website of the neighborhood, you can check out all the vendors and also the upcoming events – in May, for example, there will be a  Car Show, with classic and exotic models.

More places to visit!

One year after this post, we visited Little Italy one more time and below I share more suggestions:

Emilia’s – We obviously chose an Italian restaurant for lunch in Little Italy and, after a brief search on Foursquare, we went to Emilia’s. We followed the tip from Foursquare and asked a table outside, on the patio, a very nice area. The menu has a nice variety of pasta – many of them homemade – like the cannelloni, which was a special of the day (my choice). Thiago chose the pork dish with pasta and tomato sauce. Fresh and soft bread with tomato salad is courtesy of the house. The food was delicious and the cannelloni had that taste of homemade food, you know? We also had a glass of red wine from the house. Our check was $46 + tip.

Address: 2331 Arthur Ave.

Prince Coffe House – After lunch we had coffee – and some treats – at the Prince Coffe House, a super charming cafe with plenty of room to sit inside and outside. The coffee shop window reminded me of Brazilian bakeries. We ordered two Prince Bombs ($1.50 each) and a Rafaello pie slice ($3.50), plus a cappuccino ($4). I put the average prices because I do not remember, but our check was  $10. I think the price was fair and everything was very delicious – especially Raffaello pie!

Address: 2306 Arthur Ave.

Calandra Cheese – that same day,  some friends were hosting a cheese & wine night. So, we stop by Calandra Cheese to check it out. There is a huge variety of cheeses – and the best part is that there are samples of all! The place also sells pasta, sauces, and olive oils. We bought two kinds of cheese, including two fresh burattas – which were delicious!

Address: 2314 Arthur Ave.

 

And this is the video from Amigo Gringo channel: 01

1 Comment

  • […] Little Italy, The Bronx – winter is good for… eating! And if you wanna enjoy a delicious and different experience, you should get the subway to The Bronx and exploring the real Little Italy in New York. Generations of Italian families have given the area a special small-town character unique for an urban setting, while at the same time establishing traditions that permeate the neighborhood like the sweet smell of sausage and peppers. It’s the best place for bread, pasta, meat, pastries, the only place to buy Italian sausage, and more. The quality and values are great – a recent ranking confirmed once again by critics like the Zagat Survey whose readers repeatedly give “Best Buy” status to more Arthur Avenue shops than any other neighborhood in New York City. Check more info! […]

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