Residents of Arthur Avenue in the Bronx call the neighborhood “the real Little Italy” and most food savvy New Yorkers will agree. Located in the Belmont section of the Bronx, Arthur Avenue was named after President Chester A. Arthur. While Little Italy in Manhattan is somewhat older, the Arthur Avenue enclave had nearby 100,000 Italian residents by the early 1900s. Many came to get jobs building the nearby Bronx Zoo. Once the Third Avenue elevated train (the El) was built, more Italians 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.
TIP: If you want to visit Little Italy in Manhattan, see our post Little Italy Restaurants and Other Things to See. If you want to delve deeper into the history and culture of Little Italy, we offer three pay-what-you-wish tours that include Little Italy: our SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Tour , our Downtown Manhattan 3-hour tour, and our New York in One Day Tour.
HOW TO GET TO ARTHUR AVE
By subway: Take the Uptown B or D train to Fordham Road (map). This is the closest subway station. 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. The tour starts at the intersection of E. 189th Street and Arthur Avenue.
SELF GUIDED TOUR OF ARTHUR AVENUE
Links are provided to shops that have websites. Keep in mind that many shops on Arthur Avenue are closed on Sundays. Your best bet if possible is to visit in the middle of the week. Bring cash as some shops do not take credit cards. And of course, bring a big appetite. Now get ready to mangia, mangia, mangia!
Tip: View this tour in a PDF to print or save to your smartphone.
This is an interactive map. Click on the frame icon on the top righthand corner to make map larger.
A – Tony and Tina’s 2483 Arthur Avenue. Call for hours 718-733-8094.
So here you are on famed Arthur Avenue, ready to sink your teeth into the first slice of pizza you see. But suppress that urge until later on the tour. What you’re here for, in this Albanian-owned shop is 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 (image on the right and our favorite) is served in individual crescents. Get a cup of their plain, strained yogurt for dipping.
B – Tino’s Deli 2410 Arthur Avenue. Open daily 6:30am-7:30pm.
Get ready for your first big bite into traditional Italian food with one of Tino’s mouth-watering heroes (sandwiches served on Italian bread), all big enough to share. They have classics like Chicken Parmigiana and Meatballs Marinara. But since you are going to experience the best mozzarella in New York at the next stop, why not try something different. Let the ‘Godfather’ hero, layered with Hot Soppresata, 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 vinegars and pastas you won’t find even at famous Eataly in Manhattan.
C – Casa della Mozzarella 604 E. 187th Street. Open Mon-Sat 7:30am-6pm; Sunday 7:30am – 1pm
The name of this shop tells you what this store is all about –their handmade mozzarella. It’s incredibly fresh and if you get lucky, 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).
D – Teitel Brothers 2354 Arthur Avenue Mon-Fri 7:00am-5:30pm. Closed Sundays.
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 their 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, pignoli (pine) nuts, all at great prices. A must-visit shop for those who like old mom-and-pop stores and those who love to cook with wonderful and affordable imported ingredients.
E – Cosenza’s Fish Market 2354 Arthur Avenue. Open daily 7:00am-5:30pm.
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 slurp down $1 oysters at the outdoor raw bar, and enjoy the fresh air as you slurp away!
F – Madonia Brothers Bakery 2348 Arthur Avenue. Open Mon-Sat 6am-7pm; Sunday 7:00am – 6pm
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. Grab an olive loaf and take it with you one block to your next stop.
G – Randazzo’s Seafood 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 urchin when it’s in season. They also serve oysters outiside.
H – Calandra Cheese 2314 Arthur Avenue. Open Mon-Sat 8am-6pm. Closed Sundays. Cash only.
You’ve already had your mozzarella, and probably some Parmigianino. So why come to one more cheese shop? They have the best home-made ricotta cheese on the street.
I – Arthur Avenue Retail Market 2344 Arthur Avenue. Mon-Sun 6:00am-7:00pm.
You are here for the pizza at Café al Mercato. Their Sicilian-style square slices are the best in the neighborhood. While visiting the market, walk around and you’ll find 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 gift and houseware stores to buy non-edible souvenirs.
J – Belmont Library and Enrico Fermi Cultural Center 610 E. 18th Street. Closed Sundays.
This is a branch of the New York Public Library but places emphasis and the Italian heritage and residents of the neighborhood. They have copies of Italian books, newspapers, and magazines in their collection if you want to stop and catch up on what’s happening in the mother country Italia. They also have public restrooms.
K – Addeo Bakers 2372 Hughes Avenue. Mon-Sat 7:30am-6:30pm. Closed Sundays.
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.
L – DeLillo Pasticceria 610 E. 187th Street. Mon-Thurs 8:00am-8:00pm; Fri-Sun 8:00am-9:00pm
This shop opened in 1925 and has been drawing in customers for almost a century with their enticing Italian desserts like cannoli, sfogliatelle, and homemade Italian ices. The selection is vast and sure to please everyone.
M – Egidio Pastry Shop 622 E. 187th Street. Open daily 7:00am-8:00pm.
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.
N – Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles 632 E. 187th Street. Tues-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. Sat 8:30am-6:00pm. Closed Sundays and Mondays.
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 tomato, carrot, mushroom and squid ink. Purchase with any of the jarred sauces or make your own at home and bring back your memories of your day exploring Arthur Avenue.
The last stop on your tour of Arthur Avenue has food for the soul. The church was built in 1917 and at the height of its history in the 1940s and 1950s, more than 40,000 Italian- American chose Our Lady of Mt. Carmel as their parish.
BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR SELF-GUIDED FOOD TOUR
P – The Bronx Zoo
It’s easy to walk or drive from the zoo over to Little Italy by using the zoo’s Southern Blvd. exit/parking lot. The zoo is a 10-15 minute walk from Arthur Avenue. 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.
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. A perfect place to find tranquility and peace before or after the bustling business of Arthur Avenue.
Arthur Avenue’s Merchants’ Association website is a very helpful website with a list of all merchants as well as upcoming celebrations and events in the neighborhood.