Here’s a highlight of the best shops on Arthur Avenue. Find out which shops Hobnob likes for seafood, pasta, bread, bakery, cheese and butchers. Plus our top four restaurant selections—and a great spot to try limited-edition craft beers.
Who To Take: Anyone who appreciates fine Italian specialties or who would appreciate a side trip from the Botanical Gardens
Just a hop, skip and a jump from Manhattan lies an authentic Italian foodie mecca. The most dedicated Italian foodies should do at least a monthly trek for stocking up on fresh baked bread in all shapes and sizes, meats and charcuterie supreme, cheese meant to be enjoyed with Italian specialties, a selection of fish that is not only fresh and exotic, but nicely priced.
My friend Tom replenishes his stocks at Arthur Avenue on a weekly basis, and was my host and tour guide for this adventure. As I drooled and tried to linger at certain stores, I was steered to his top recos for each item—which we will list here. Be sure to have dinner at one of the hot spots which are crowded and buzzing from the moment they open. You will have to wait, but that’s part of the fun.
Where to take a break from shopping: Bronx Beer Hall for their seasonal craft beers. We tried the Southern Tier Creme Brulee. [Best beer I’ve ever had, almost like dessert. And the antipasti was amazing, as seen in the photo at the top of this post.] The beer hall is surrounded by other shops for fresh food, and a funny tshirt place.
Seafood: Randazzo’s has an exotic selection (live eels, blue claw crabs, sea urchin, etc) at 2327 Arthur Ave and good prices.
Pasta: Borgatti’s at 632 E 187th St. There is only one Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles and they make the best ravioli on the planet.
Restaurants: My favorites are Roberto’s on 603 Crescent Ave, Zero Otto Nove (photos are fron our dinner) at 2357 Arthur Ave, Mario’s on 2342 Arthur Ave and Antonio’s Trattoria on 2370 Belmont Ave.
Bread: Favorite bread is a tie – Madonia Brothers Bakery at 2348 Arthur Ave is the one I usually go to, but Terranova Bakery on 691 E 187th St is also awesome, its just that they are a few blocks away of the main drag. Addeo Bakers at 2372 Hughes Ave is also very good.
Bakery: Morrone Pastry Shop & Cafe on 2349 Arthur Ave is number one, with Artuso Pastry Shop at 670 E 187th St is second choice.
Cheese: I usually go to Calandra’s for cheese at 2314 Arthur Ave—the owner is super friendly, and there isn’t a line like there always is at Casa Della Mozzerella at 604 e 187th St, although Casa probably makes the best mozzarella I’ve had.
Butchers: The Calabria Pork Store at 2338 Arthur Ave (seen in the photos) and Biancardi’s at 2350 Arthur Ave are in a tie for the best dried sausage. Peter’s Meat Market at 2344 Arthur Ave is where I go for most things (cutlets, ground meat, ribs, etc) and Vincent’s at 2374 Arthur Ave is where I go for specialty things (like pork neck bones, veal tail bones, suckling pigs).