Just as in Italy, bakeries and pastry shops are distinct from each other in Little Italy. You buy bread at Addeo's, Madonia or Terranova and pastries at Artuso's, Caffé & Getlato, DeLillos's, Egidio's, Gino's or Marrone,
Bread in the Belmont section of the Bronx is firmly rooted in the traditions of Southern Italy and Italian-American traditions of the early 20th century.
Pane di casa (literally translated is "bread from home") is a round, crusty loaf meant to be used as a scarpetta or "little shoe" to sweep the sauce and last morsels of food clean off your plate.
Semolina flour is commonly used though some bakeries have recently incorporated whole-wheat options. Sesame seeded rolls and filone (baguettes) are excellent for sandwiches and make for a delicious morning toast with jam and butter.
Gennaro Addeo & Sons Bakery (2 locations)
2372 Hughes Ave (where the bread is baked) and 2352 Arthur Ave Phone: (718) 367-8316
Gennaro and Vinceza Addeo began baking bread and biscuits in the neighborhood over 80 years ago. Today their grandsons Laurence and Thomas continue the family traditions passed down to them from their fathers, Salvatore and Laurence. It is the quintessential family business. The interiors are largely unchanged and the Hughes Avenue location looks like it belongs in an Edward Hopper painting.
The house specialty is Addeo’s pane di ciccioli or lard bread that's hard to find now. Their bread crumbs are also the very best on Arthur Avenue.
Madonia Brothers Bakery
2348 Arthur Ave (718)295-5573
The bakers at Madonia Brothers really, truly know how to bake. If you appreciate the ratio of crust to crumb, you will swoon over the high quality products they offer. The women at the counter are brisk, but that's because they move fast and only accept cash. This bakery also breaks from tradition just a bit and has cookies as well as cannoli filled to order. If you want to buy cannoli shells packaged in plastic for shipping, this is the place to do it.
Among our favorite things are the chocolate cherry bread, the white chocolate bread and the very not Italian, but extraordinary jalapeno cheese bread made with corn flour.
691 E 187 St (718)367-6985
Terranova Bakery was founded in 1967 by Pietro “Peter” Terranova a Sicilian Immigrant. Pietro bought the business from the retiring former owner whom he’d worked under since his arrival in America in 1961. To this day it remains a family business and they have several locations in and around the area. They produce a full line of Italian breads, and enjoy a robust wholesale business as well.
Breadsticks, particularly the sesame seeded ones are best at Terranova.