People always ask us which is the best restaurant on Arthur Avenue. The answer is…it depends. Do you want old school Italian American food? Something closer to what you tasted on your last trip to Italy? Do you want Sicilian street food? Neapolitan seafood? I’d recommend specific dishes at different restaurants for each of these.
If you’d like to experience several restaurants on one visit to Arthur Avenue, join us for Pizza, Pasta & Parm Tour of Arthur Avenue where you’ll taste the best of the historic and contemporary Italian experience in New York’s real Little Italy.
If you want contemporary Italian food, just like you would get in a restaurant in Italy today, go to...
608 East 187th Street
When you want pasta identical to what you’ll find in Italy, go to Mangi Pasta on 187th Street. Chef Aurora Cerrato, a native of Naples, is a perfectionist and uncompromising about the quality of her ingredients. Pasta is made fresh every day and the restaurant doesn’t even own a freezer because that would be wrong. Mangi is the newest addition to the Italian community on Arthur Avenue but has quickly become a destination for Italian expats who want real-deal cacio e pepe and carbonara without the terrible addition of heavy cream. A recent tour guest commented that had she not tried the cacio e pepe on our Pizza, Pasta & Parm Tour, she would have overlooked this amazing restaurant, thinking it looked too modern to be authentic. Now you know!
If you want breakfast, lunch or early dinner..
Café al Mercato
2344 Arthur Avenue
It would be easy to walk by this gem tucked in the corner of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market and brush it off as just another place to get sandwiches. The simplicity disguises what food critic Robert Sietsema calls “one of the city’s most under-appreciated restaurants.” Ralph Esposito serves an array of true home cooking from pasta fasule, tripe stew, frittata di zucchini and a heaven’s version of a classic sausage and pepper sandwich. He makes the best chicken parm sandwich on Arthur Avenue and his pizza, square pies with a crispy bottom like the kind Italian mothers make at home on a cookie sheet are perfection. There’s his bruschetta pie, the lasagna pie or the fig, prosciutto and balsamic glazed pie he makes only during the summertime. Doctors, nurses and EMTs know what a treasure lives in the far left corner of the Market… they’re there when Ralph opens at 7am. Cops, firefighters, the ROMEO (Retired Older Men Eating Out) club all know, as do the weekly shoppers who always stop by for lunch.
Ralph also pulls the best espresso in Little Italy. He uses Caffe Mauro from Reggio Calabria. By grinding the beans fresh and from decades of practice, his coffee always has the perfect crema on top. The humble exterior can hide just how perfect the food is, but that’s not so bad for those of us in on the secret.
Want the rest of our recommendations?
Our Inside'r’s Guide To Little Italy in the Bronx has everything you need. We didn’t include all the Arthur Avenue restaurants in our guide, only the best restaurants in Little Italy. We’ve included tips on what’s best at each restaurant. Like the very difficult to find spiedini, deep fried mozzarella and bread with an anchovy dressing.
Want to explore Arthur Avenue on your own, but aren’t sure where to to find the best stuff?
Little Italy in the Bronx is a neighborhood rich with family traditions and secret recipes Reap the benefit of our family’s one hundred years on Arthur Avenue and know find out where to find:
The best hand pulled mozzarella
The restaurant with the most authentic cacio e pepe you’ll find east of Rome
The pastry shop that makes their rainbow cookies with freshly milled almond flour
The place to get the most perfect chicken parm hero
The best wine shop and what you should buy there
This guidebook contains seven chapters and breaks down everything into easy-to-navigate categories including Delis, Bread Bakeries, Specialty Shops and Restaurants.
This is a well-tested and up-to-date advice that you can count on. Get the most out of your visit to Arthur Avenue with the Insider’s Guide to Little Italy In The Bronx.
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