All of us know about mid-town Manhattan (classic NYC), and a bunch of people probably have heard of Little Italy in the city. Despite common belief, the real Little Italy is in the Bronx, centered on a little street known as Arthur Avenue.
You’re probably thinking about why you always hear of the NYC Little Italy, rather than Arthur Avenue. Well, like Chinatown, Little Italy has become a tourist-centered area, and most of the businesses are designed to accommodate the wants of tourists. On the other hand, Arthur Avenue is where many Italian immigrants and their families live. On Arthur Avenue, most of the stores are family owned business that have been there for years, and it’s not uncommon to see people go grocery shopping every few days at all of the local stores.
It is a bit of a drive for me to get to Arthur Avenue, but I do try to go with my family around Christmas and Easter to get treats and gifts around the holidays. When I went to Generation Beauty, my friend came up for the weekend from Pennsylvania. We were looking for something uniquely New York to do on Sunday, so we decided to take them to the one and only Arthur Avenue. After showing her around my favorite stores, I decided to share my favorites with you!
The first stop on every trip to Arthur Avenue is Borgatti’s. It’s a family-owned store that’s been there for over 80 years, and they sell fresh handmade pasta. They have nearly every type of pasta you could imagine, but my favorite is the ravioli. All of their pasta is made daily, and I don’t think I would be able to go to Arthur Avenue without making a stop for the best pasta I’ve ever had.
Next up are the bakeries. If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, you have to go to DeLillo’s. They make delicious pastries of every shape, size, and flavor you could imagine. I love to get a box full of cannoli’s, eclairs, napoleons, and little bite-sized cake. When I was little, I would always get a giant Christmas cookie to eat as I was walking around, and then I’d dig into the pastry box as soon as I got home. For some delicious cookies and loafs of bread, I go to Madonia Brothers Bakery. The second you walk into the store, you smell the fresh baked bread, see all of the baked goods in the case, and hear the bread being sliced on the spot. I always get a classic loaf of bread, a box of tri-color cookies, and a small bag of assorted butter cookies. My family loves to get the chocolate bread as well, and the Easter Bread at Easter time. My friend bought a bag of pizza dough and told me that it was the best homemade pizza she ever had.
The final stop I make, but definitely not the least important, is to Mike’s Deli for fresh mozzarella. You can see them making it fresh in the giant pots, and sometimes you can even get it while it’s still warm! It’s my favorite cheese, and trust me, it never lasts long when I get it home.
Depending on what time I go, I may get a quick slice at Full Moon Pizza, which sells authentic New York slices that are quite large. The friend I brought with me said it was the best slice she ever had.
If you’re a foodie looking for something that you can truly only do in New York, Arthur Avenue is the place to go. The neighborhood is truly authentic, and the businesses continue with their traditions and recipes, which truly makes it delightful treat.
See ya real soon,