My brother Brandon was in town this weekend staying with us, and made a request to visit Arthur Avenue in the Belmont section of the Bronx. I’ve waxed rhapsodical on Arthur Avenue on this blog a number of times. For those in the know, the “Real” Little Italy is in the Bronx, near Arthur Avenue and 187th street. It is the “go to” destination if you want to be able to shop for authentic Italian provisions and eat at the some of best Italian-American restaurants New York City and the surrounding area has to offer.
Arthur Avenue and Belmont isn’t just Italian though — the community is also home to Kosovans, Albanians, Montenegrans and a large Mexican population, with their own stores and representative restaurants as well. This mural memorializing Anton Nikci, a famous local Albanian/Montenegran is adjoining an alleyway off Arthur that has a large municipal parking lot. I always tell everyone to “Park when they see Jesus”.
When you see Jesus, you know you’re about to have a transcendental Italian-American experience. Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The Arthur Avenue retail market, the center of the universe for shopping for Italian-American goods in NYC.
I love to watch these guys roll up cigars. I’m not much of a smoker, but I find this stuff totally mesmerizing.
“I’m Al Capone and I approve this message”
Saturday is a big shopping day for the retail market.
Sorpressatas drying at Mike’s Deli.
Look away, nothing to see here.
Benedict protects the salamis.
Spicy and sweet Casalingua salamis.
Not sure which Salami is the right one for you? Have a tasting.
Casalingua? “Okay, how much do you want?”
“One pound? Okay.”
Pete’s Meat, which adjoins Mike’s Deli, is one of my favorite butcher shops in NYC. Like us, they’ve started to serve some more healthy options. These are Italian-style Chicken Burgers.
The retail market even has its own Pizzeria. I won’t be having any of this though.
Biancardi’s is another quality butcher next to the retail market.
Addeo Bakery makes some killer bread.
I haven’t been to Giovanni’s yet.
Rigoletto is a very solid Italian-American restaurant.
I think I’m in the mood for some freshly shucked clams. Cosenza’s is always willing to oblige.
A pretty plate of clams and shrimp.
Yankees fans dig in.
Clam extreme closeup
Arthur Avenue Cafe, which is run by Mike’s Deli majordomo David Grecco and his mom, Antoinette.
New York Pistachio Cheesecake. You won’t be disappointed.
This chocolate tart was outrageously rich.
A perfect cappuchino.