When New Yorkers want fantastic Italian food we head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, New York City’s real Little Italy!
While Little Italy in Manhattan is a wonderful neighborhood to explore for its history, its recognizable streets, and the handful of authentic century-old food shops, Arthur Avenue is the real deal.
Here are the best restaurants and food stores we go to for handmade Buratta cheese, amazing Ossobuco, and our favorite, the not-so-easy-to-find Mafalde in Cartoccio -- read on to find out what that is!
Residents of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx call the neighborhood “the real Little Italy,” and most food-savvy New Yorkers will agree.
The history of the Arthur Avenue Italian enclave in the Belmont section of the Bronx had nearly 100,000 Italian residents by the early 1900s. Little Italy in Manhattan isn't that much older.
Once the Third Avenue elevated train (the El) was built, even more Italian immigrants moved uptown to the Arthur Avenue area.
Today, year-round, Arthur Avenue’s street poles are proudly decorated with red, white, and green garland.
Arthur Avenue is a feast for the eyes and stomach.
How to Get There
Arthur Ave. is on the northeast side of St. Barnabas Hospital.
Take the Uptown B or D train to Fordham Road (map). You can also take the Uptown 4 train to a slightly farther subway station stop also called Fordham Road.
Whichever you choose, the walk to Arthur Avenue is approximately 15-20 minutes.
When you exit the station, walk eastbound on 188th Street and after about 5 blocks you will reach Webster Avenue.
Make a left and walk one block to E. 189th Street. Make a right and about 6 blocks down you will reach Arthur Avenue.
Check out our post on the NYC Subway:
When is the Best Time to Go?
Many of the shops on Arthur Avenue are closed on Sundays, and Saturdays can get quite crowded.
Your best bet is to visit in the middle of the week.
Do the Shops Take Credit Cards?
Most of the shops take credit cards - but make sure to bring cash as some do not.
We've listed the food shops in an order that makes sense when you arrive from the subway at the intersection of E. 189th Street and Arthur Avenue.
Here's a map to help you locate the shops.
Just click on the frame icon in the top right-hand corner to make the map larger.
- 2483 Arthur Avenue
We're starting in this Albanian-owned shop for burek, an Albanian-baked snack made with delicate phyllo dough.
A bit like Greek spanakopita (spinach pie), burek is fluffier and here it comes in four varieties.
Ground beef, spinach, and cheese are served in pie-like slices and the pumpkin (our favorite) is served in individual crescents.
Get a cup of their plain, strained yogurt for dipping, that's how we eat it!
Tino’s Deli (B)
- 2410 Arthur Avenue
Get ready for your first big bite of traditional Italian food with one of Tino’s mouth-watering heroes (sandwiches served on Italian bread), all big enough to share.
Let the ‘Godfather’ hero, layered with Hot Soppressata, Fried Eggplant, Ham Cappicola, Provolone Cheese, and Hot Peppers make you an offer you can’t refuse.
The shop is also well-stocked with unique balsamic vinegar and pasta you won’t find even at the famous Eataly in Manhattan.
- 604 E. 187th Street
The name of this shop tells you what this store is all about -- handmade fresh mozzarella.
You know it's freshly made since you may see owner Orazio Carciotto stretching curds by hand.
We love the prosciutto ham and mozzarella sandwich. If you just want a small snack, grab some bocconcini (small mozzarella balls).
Teitel Brothers (D)
- 2354 Arthur Avenue
If the name sounds Jewish, you’re right. If you think this means they won’t have great Italian sausage, you’re wrong.
In 2015, the Daily News voted Teitel Brothers' Italian sausage the best in New York City.
This tiny non-kosher shop is well stocked with savory traditional Italian foods -- parmigiana cheese and prosciutto ham, baccalà (dried and salted codfish), olive oils, and pignoli (pine) nuts, all at great prices.
Cosenza's Fish Market (E)
- 2354 Arthur Ave. Call 718-933-6099 for hours and information.
This century-old raw bar opened in 1918 and serves up delicious, fresh oysters and clams, crabs, wild mussels, littleneck clams, swordfish, Portuguese octopus rainbow trout.
In good weather, you can get $1 oysters at the outdoor raw bar, and enjoy the fresh air as you slurp away!
- 2348 Arthur Avenue
This bakery produces 400 to 500 pounds of biscotti a week in varieties like vanilla nut, double chocolate, and Napolitano.
Their bread is great too and comes in some interesting flavors worth trying such as jalapeño, prosciutto, chocolate cherry, and cinnamon swirl.
We never leave Arthur Avenue without grabbing an olive loaf and at least a pound of biscotti
- 2344 Arthur Avenue
Go to the Arthur Avenue Retail Market for the pizza at Café al Mercato. Their Sicilian-style square slices are the best in the neighborhood and their focaccia sandwiches are pretty darn good too!
A trip to this market easily fills up half our day as we peruse the nine restaurants, five pastry shops, four butchers, two pasta-makers, six bread stores, three pork stores, five gourmet delicatessens, two fish markets, three gourmet coffee shops, and an Italian wine shop.
There are also various stores where you can buy non-edible souvenirs.
Mike's Deli (H)
- 2344 Arthur Avenue
Located in the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, you can pick up a little bit of everything: cured meats, cheeses, fresh bread, produce and dry pasta to cook at home.
Are hunger pangs striking? Order a Big Mike’s combo to go. It’s a hero piled high with Italian meats, roasted red peppers, and broccoli rabe.
If you are wondering why some of the pre-packaged products at Mike’s say Greco’s on the label, it’s because the deli’s owner is David Greco. He once appeared on the popular Food Network show, Throwdown with Bobby Flay.
- 2338 Arthur Avenue
Calabria is known for its variety of dried sausages, so many of which dangle from the ceiling, you’ll get right away why people talk about the store’s ‘sausage chandelier’!
So what’s hanging up there? Dried sausage: hot, sweet, with fennel seeds, and garlic and wine sausage.
There are six kinds of soppressata as well as capocollo, prosciutto, and pancetta. Oh, they do also make fresh mozzarella and olives.
Do what the natives do and ask for free samples, the staff is always happy to hand some over.
Calandra Cheese (J)
- 2314 Arthur Avenue
You’ve already had your mozzarella, and probably some Parmigiano. So why come to one more cheese shop?
It's simple. Hands down, they have the best homemade ricotta cheese on the street.
It's cash only, which you will gladly fork over once you've tried some of what Calandra has to offer.
- 2327 Arthur Avenue
Founded over 80 years ago by an immigrant Italian fisherman named Frank Randazzo, this seafood paradise is still run by the family.
You can get everything from vongole (clams) to scorfano (a spiny fish used in stews). They even carry California sea urchins when it's in season. They also serve oysters outside.
Addeo & Sons (L)
- 2372 Hughes Ave.
One word: breadsticks. Over 80 years ago, founders Gennaro and Vincenza opened this traditional Italian bread and biscuits shop and today their grandsons still bake the best breadsticks in town.
- 610 E 187th St
This shop opened in 1925 and has been drawing in customers for almost a century with its enticing Italian desserts like cannoli and homemade Italian ice.
The selection is vast and sure to please everyone.
What pleases us the most? The flaky sfogliatelle. Do not leave Arthur Avenue without trying one.
- 622 E 187th St
One of many Italian-Americans to leave Little Italy for the Bronx was Don Pasquale Egidio, who moved his shop to Arthur Avenue in 1912.
Egidio sells homemade Italian pastries, fruit tarts, biscotti, cannoli, cookies, and cakes.
With over 100 years of experience, Egidio will not disappoint.
- 632 E 187th St.
By now you probably don’t have room for another bite. Fortunately, this 75-year-old shop is the place to stock up on dried and fresh noodles to cook at home.
Their ravioli comes in standard flavors and fillings: ricotta cheese, meat, spinach, etc. Their fresh egg noodles have tomato, carrot, mushroom, and squid ink.
While we usually make our own sauce at home, sometimes it's easier to grab one of the delicious homemade jarred sauces from the shop.
ARTHUR AVENUE RESTAURANTS
- 2335 Arthur Ave.
Dominick’s appeal is not just its fantastic Sothern Italian food, but also the cozy experience of dining there.
As a child, the huge meatballs seemed monumental. Indeed, we split two or three between our family of five.
Sitting at a communal table, my dad would reject the menu and instead let the waitstaff make suggestions from the day's specials.
Portions are generous so you can share hearty red-sauce classics like meatballs and spaghetti, Lasagna or Chicken Parmigiana.
The Stuffed Artichoke is a must.
Note that it’s cash only.
- 603 Crescent Ave.
Prices are slightly higher than the restaurants on Arthur Ave., but that’s because the standout dishes use ingredients that cost more, like the signature Fettuccine with black truffles.
Start with a luscious Burrata con Mais e Gamberi (burrata cheese with cream of corn, shrimp, and a drizzle of spicy olive oil).
Follow with standout dishes like the Radiatore pasta with porcini, cherry tomatoes and breadcrumbs, and Ossobuco di Agnello Brasato (lamb shank braised in red wine).
- 2331 Arthur Ave.
Surrounded by restaurants and markets named for men, Emilia’s does not take a back seat to any of them. The menu has the old favorites, and then some.
The Gnocchi is homemade and served in vodka sauce, topped with burrata and fresh basil.
For starters, try the Arancine, an Italian street food of rice balls stuffed with ground beef and petite green peas or Nonna’s (Grandma’s) Sicilian Meatballs with currants and pignoli nuts.
Emilia’s has gluten-free and whole-wheat pasta available upon request.
- 2357 Arthur Ave.
Authentic Southern Italian pasta dishes, meat and seafood entrees, plus thin-crust pizzas cooked in a wood-fired oven.
Try the unusual La Riccardo pizza with butternut squash puree, smoked mozzarella, spicy pancetta and basil.
The Mafalde in Cartoccio (pasta cooked in tinfoil with pesto, baked cherry tomatoes and burrata cheese) isn't a dish found in many restaurants so order it. We do every time!
The Bronx Zoo (P)
The Bronx Zoo is an easy walk or drive from Little Italy by using the zoo’s Southern Blvd. exit/parking lot. The zoo is a 10-15 minute walk from Arthur Ave.
If you visit the zoo first, you can walk to Arthur Avenue by making a right out of the zoo onto Southern Blvd. and then make a left onto 187th Street.
After about 5 or 6 blocks you’ll reach Arthur Avenue where you can let the food animal in you go wild.
New York Botanical Garden (Q)
The New York Botanical Garden was founded in 1891. This National Historic Landmark covers 250 acres, supporting over one million living plants.
The Garden has a remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora. This is a perfect place to find tranquility and peace before or after the bustling business of Arthur Avenue.
Yankee Stadium is also in the Bronx! If you’re a fan of the New York Yankees and in town during baseball season, why not catch a game?
Alternatively, you can take a tour of the stadium year-round.
During tours, you’ll be able to access areas of Yankee Stadium that are usually restricted to players and staff.
This section lists guided, small-group food tours as well as other Bronx tours available.
Bronx's Little Italy Walking Food Tour
This walking tour of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx runs every Wednesday.
It focuses on the history of the neighborhood and generations of Italian and other immigrants.
You'll also get to sample some delicious treats from various, locally-owned shops, bakeries, and butchers.
New York's Real Little Italy Tour
This guided food tour of Arthur Avenue will help you get a taste of some of the best food in all of New York City.
This kid-friendly tour runs almost every day but sells out fast.
Other Tours in the Bronx
Here are a few other guided tours that cover the Bronx:
- Brooklyn, Queens, and Bronx Tour
This tour will take you through three of New York City's boroughs to see the cultural diversity, and famous landmarks, and hear from a multilingual tour guide.
- Half-Day Pizza Tasting Tour
If you haven't had enough food yet, take this bus tour of 4 of New York City's best pizzerias.
- Hip-Hop Bus Tour
Discover the history of hip-hop on this bus tour of Harlem and The Bronx.
Each tour will be led by an artist such as GrandMaster Caz or Reggie Reg, which will allow you to hear first-hand accounts of the genre's evolution.
- Harlem and Bronx Bike Tour
If you're up for an athletic, half-day tour of Harlem and the Bronx, this bike excursion is perfect.
You'll see the East River, Yankee Stadium, Grant's Tomb, and more on this 25-mile ride.
Harlem Walking Tour
Harlem is not far from Yankee Stadium. The area is full of interesting architecture, music, food, and culture.