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Hidden Gems in the Bronx

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I am an undergrad at Fordham U going into my junior year. I love eating out in nyc and am constantly finding new and exciting spots. Unfortunately, most of my first two years were spent exploring manhattan, but this year I've vowed to make it a point to get into queens/brooklyn on a more regular basis. However, finding recommendations for restaurants there is not a difficult task at the least. Rather, up in the bronx, where I live, all I seem to hear about is Arthur Ave, which I admit is great. However, after two years, I want something a little more and want to be proud of the good food that I'm sure the Bronx has. Other than Arthur Ave, I have heard of one place about 20 mins north called Frankie's and Johnnie's that I am planning on stopping, but is there any other hidden gems that I should know about? I'm sure there has to be some great spots around Yankee Stadium or anywhere for that matter. If anyone has any good eats in the Bronx, please do share. Thanks!

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  1. Jake's Steakhouse W 242nd & Broadway close to Manhattan College, for pizza try Louie & Ernie's Crosby Ave & Waterbury Ave (Pelham Bay) Leibman's Deli W235th in Riverdale,.
    Do a search on this board for the Bronx recs and you'll find a lot of good recommendations.
    Good luck and good eating!!

    1. the Bronx is basically unexplored virgin territory. I used to wander around there a lot but found few restaurants worth noting... though I saw though didnt try many interesting ones. In 2005 the Times published a long article with reviews of several hidden treasures. Here is a list of restaurants reviewed in that article:

      B. B. African and American Restaurant 1715 Webster Avenue (174th Street), Bathgate; (718) 731-7992.Bruckner Bar and Grill 1 Bruckner Boulevard (Lincoln Avenue), Mott Haven; (718) 665-2001.Dukagjini Burektorja 758 Lydig Avenue (Wallace Avenue), Pelham Parkway; (718) 822-8955.El Económico 5589 Broadway (231st Street), Kingsbridge; (718) 601-5577.Feeding Tree 892 Gerard Avenue, (161st Street), near Yankee Stadium; (718) 293-5025.Jake's Steakhouse 6031 Broadway (242nd Street), Riverdale; (718) 581-0182.Jimmy's Luncheonette 392 East 169th Street (Clay Avenue), Morrisania; (718) 537-0266.Joe's Place 1841Westchester Avenue (Thieriot Avenue), Parkchester; (718) 918-0859.La Orquídea 500 East 149th Street (Brook Avenue), the Hub; (718) 585-1488.Lechonera Criolla 1709 Webster Avenue (173rd Street), Bathgate; (718) 220-7855.Liebman's Kosher Restaurant 552 West 235th Street (Johnson Avenue), Riverdale; (718) 548-4534.Mother's Bake Shop 548 West 235th Street (Johnson Avenue), Riverdale; (718) 796-5676.Press Café 114 East 157th Street (Gerard Avenue), opposite Yankee Stadium; (718) 401-0545.Rambling House 4292 Katonah Avenue (236th Street), Woodlawn; (718) 798-4510.Real Azteca 1013 East 163rd Street (Southern Boulevard), Hunts Point; (718) 860-1566.Tasty Hut 1296 Gun Hill Road (Burke Avenue), Baychester; (212) 380-1219.Tosca 4038 East Tremont Avenue (Miles Avenue), Throgs Neck; (718) 239-3300.

      15 Replies
      1. re: Brian S

        thanks alot, can i still find that article on the Times website?
        and the bronx recs article was very helpful, the places they are talking about are really not too far from my campus at all and am looking forward to trying

        1. re: pneubecker

          I heartily recommend El Bohio Lechonera, 791 E Tremont Ave, (718) 299-4218. The roast pig is fantastic, as is morfongo that's made to order.

          1. re: Deven Black

            Never tried it but I've heard about that place. The Vilage Voice had a good review.
            http://www.villagevoice.com/nyclife/0...

            1. re: Brian S

              I second El Bohio. The Roast pig and the Monfongo are my favorites too! I often drive from Queens to the Bronx just for a fix and the prices are really reasonable.

          2. re: pneubecker

            You can go to any library - they'll have access to all NYT archives (as well as many other papers/periodicals/sometimes worldwide) online....

            1. re: fredid

              Also, any NY State resident can order a library card for the New York Public Library and access many of their databases from your home computer, including the New York Times from 1995 to present.

            2. re: pneubecker

              these are the places that were recommended, as i'm going to the yankees/mariners game tmw:

              bruckner bar and grill - good guacamole, burgers on english muffins, elaborate salad, beer on tap
              the feeding tree - jamaican, beef patties, goat curry
              mo griddler's bbq - st louis style bbq
              press cafe - paninis
              real azteca - tortas and tacos

              i'm curious about the feeding tree and press cafe - any word on press cafe?

              1. re: pneubecker

                Apparently you can: http://events.nytimes.com/2005/08/21/...

              2. re: Brian S

                Of that list, I'd say Tony and Tina's bureks (on Arthur Ave) beat Dukagjini Burektorja.
                The Feeding Tree is s..l..o..w but has delicious food. Get the curried goat.

                Other non-Arthur Ave options...
                Concourse Jamaican Bakery on 167th has great, spicy carrot cake.
                There is great Vietnamese food: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/404181

                1. re: rose water

                  there's a great italian near fordham called enzo's. they own a place on arthur ave too, but i'm not sure which.

                  the best neighborhood place in riverdale is beccofino. it is THE hidden gem of the area. consistently delicious, homey, good sized portions, great staff, great specials every day.

                  1. re: mlt9

                    The place on Arthur Ave is called - surprisingly - "Enzo's"; it's right across from the market. Our one meal there (the wait at Roberto's was beyond our normal tolerance) we enjoyed large servings of good traditional red sauce food at reasonable prices.

                    Beccofino is nice enough for the neighborhood, but I can't understand why - with Arthur Ave's bakeries only a few miles away - they have such totally undistinguished bread. BTW, it's not so hidden these days, and gets very busy on the weekends.

                    1. re: Striver

                      aha, thanks striver!

                      yeah, that's true, but i don't care too much about the bread, and it's not like it's awful.

                      well, there was a newspaper write up and that week was nuts there, but i usually go once a week, and i still have seen it very quiet at times, even on the weekends. i think it's pretty unpredictable that way. last weekend i was told the wait would be 45 minutes, but it was 20 at the most... it can get busy, and there are sometimes (the same) rude people who sit there nursing coffee for half an hour, but a lot of people still don't seem to know about the place...which is actually fine with me.

                    2. re: mlt9

                      Enzo owns two restaurants: one is on Williamsbridge Road, and the other is on Arthur Avenue. His father owns Dominick's on Arthur Avenue.

                  2. re: Brian S

                    Oh my god, some of those places (the ones that Brian S posted) are good but others are pretty bad! We need some screening there: Go to La Tia Restaurant on 231 (I guess it's not there because it's relatively new) and for some dishes to El economico (if you're interested on what to order,just ask and i'll give you reccs). La Tia worked at el economico for 25 years but she just opened her own joint. I am not a huge fan of El malecon (321 and broadway) especially since you have El economico and La tia around, but it is definitely better than ANY dominican joint in Manhattan (including washington height's Malecon), and on fridays and saturdays the gandules guisados and la pechuga rellena are good. On any of these places,especially at el economico y La Tia, ask for breakfast: mangu con queso frito, huevo y salame. Order guisos in general (patitas de cerdo, rabo, carne guisada), ensalada de bacalao, arroz moro, gandules, tostones, maduros, pollo al horno, ensalada de berro y aguacate, habichuelas rosas o negras, sancocho and revoltillo de chayote in El Economico (you won't get revoltillo de chayote anywhere else in the city, so ask for it)...mm. Do not order mofongo, i'd rather go to a puertorican place for that. On that same area, the Argentinian pizzeria 2 blocks up, Bari Pizza, is the best pizza joint on the area.

                    On the other side, going east... I think lechoneras in NYC are not great but the best one is El Gran Bohio on 791 E Tremont Ave.
                    African American Restaurant, a Senegalese joint on 218 E 170th is very good. Aziza (Nigerian place) on 3716 White Plains Rd is also good.
                    Near Yankee stadium, yes, Feeding Tree on Gerard is a good West Indian joint. Havana Queen Sandwich had great cantimpalo sandwiches and cubano sandwiches but apparently they closed. What else...ah Tasty Hut is a nice a place (is not incredible though). I guess you don't need advice on which places on arthur ave are worthwhile...so let's skip that (i will go straight to dominick's). The best mexican joint, on Jerome an 173 just closed, if I find another great one, i'll post it. On the american tone, if you like diners Tibett diner (3033 Tibbett, 231 st is the crossing st) is really nice. And for acceptable hamburgers up there, go to Piper's Kilt.
                    And, well, if you have a craving for pupusas, just go to La orquidea on 500 E 149th St.

                    -----
                    El Malecon
                    5592 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463

                    Dominick's
                    2335 Arthur Ave, Bronx, NY 10458

                    El Economico
                    5589 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463

                    La Tia
                    200 W 231st St, Bronx, NY 10463

                    El Nuevo Bohio
                    791 E Tremont Ave, Bronx, NY 10460

                    Feeding Tree
                    892 Gerard Ave, Bronx, NY 10452

                    Aziza
                    3716 White Plains Rd, Bronx, NY 10467

                    Bari Pizza
                    5625 Broadway, Bronx, NY 10463

                    African American Restaurant Maryway
                    218 E 170th St, Bronx, NY 10456

                    Piper's Kilt
                    170 W 231st St, Bronx, NY 10463

                    Tibbett Diner
                    3033 Tibbett Ave, Bronx, NY 10463

                    1. re: LRS

                      LRS, do you know if the Senegalese spot on 170th has Chicken Yassa?
                      I'm always craving for this meal :)

                  3. The Feeding Tree (on Gerard Avenue just north of 161st, about a block away from Yankee Stadium) offers what might be the best Jamaican food in the city.

                    I've eaten there many times and have never had anything less than a great meal. The servers are especially sweet, as well.

                    1. I don't know if its still there, or is still any good, but there was an awesome Jamaican Jerk place called Vernon's on 233 st. in the early 90's. I ate there every single day when I had a depressing awful job in a drug rehab center up there. It was the ONLY thing that cheered me up each day. The chicken, pork, and veggies were prepared with love, and all the extra dishes (salt cod, akkie, plantains) were amazing. It was sold by the pound, and I never had a bad meal there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NYJewboy

                        Never been but I heard about. I think it was so successful that around 1990 Vernon opened up a big branch on 29th street in Manhattan. I think that's gone but the Bronx branch remains, or so I've read. http://www.vernonsjerksauce.com/

                      2. Patricia's Pizza in Morris Park is amazing. I love the pizza there. Coals in Morris Park is interesting as well. I like Patricia's pizza better (Coals serves grilled pizza, so it's probably just a matter of personal preference), but Coals has good panini, burgers, and pizza.

                        Also, there's a tiny taqueria near the burek place...off of Arthur Avenue. The tacos were terrific. I think it was on 186th or 185, near Arthur Ave., next door to a video store (sorry I can't be more specific!)

                        1. Tosca on east Tremont is pretty good. After spending Sunday at The Bronx Zoo my family stopped for dinner at Tosca. I had read about the coal oven pizza they serve and have wanted to try it for a while but don't often find myself in the Bronx. At 7:00 it was fairly empty and we took a table on the patio/sidewalk. Bread was terrific with a garlicky peppery oil for dipping. Baked clams were the best I have had in a while, I only ordered a half dozen and after giving up two of them to my kids I was wishing I had gone for the full dozen. The pizza was good but it was marred by an abundance of dried oregano spread over the pie. When I checked the Slice NY website it did not mention this, so it might be something new. It had good fresh mozz and tasty crust, it came well done as I requested. Lou and Ernie's is not far away and a better choice for pizza, but L&E is a simple spartan pizzaria. The kids had spag and meatballs and the meatballs had very little filler, they were good. Dessert was excellent, a tiramisu made with amaretto and covered with slivered almonds. The place had a very easy going vibe, service was perfect and prices are modest, give it a try if you are in the area or passing by

                          -----
                          Tosca Cafe
                          4038 E Tremont Ave, Bronx, NY 10465

                          1. My favorite hidden gem in the Bronx is Berta and her tacos. Berta is a nice, Guatemalan woman that sells tacos and enchiladas on the weekend when the weather is nice in Bill Rainey Park(a.k.a Waporu park) not too far from the Prospect Avenue stop of the 2/5 train. She is usually on Dawson Street close to the Garifuna club.

                            You must remember that Central American tacos and enchiladas are different from their Mexican counterparts. The Central American taco is like the Mexican taquito and their enchiladas are like Mexican tostadas. All that really matters is they are delicious.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: JohnnyCT

                              so there's a Garifuni club?? I used to get incredible street food near a park near 149 where Garifuni hung out on weekends, but I never knew they had a club. They must have great food, a blend of African and Central American.

                              1. re: Brian S

                                They have a few social clubs in that area and they have a nightclub called Templo where Central American reggae and punta artist perform.

                                There is Lanichugu Garifuna Restaurant on Prospect Avenue, but I haven't had a chance to try it.

                                This weekend is Central American Independence Day, and the Honduran parade will be Sunday. The parade ends in Crotona Park where good chow will be available.

                                1. re: JohnnyCT

                                  Thank you for recommending this Garifuna restaurant!!
                                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441856

                              2. re: JohnnyCT

                                oh oh forgot about the waporu park woman with her tacos guatemaltecos...yes, i'll second that.

                              3. I work at the Bronx Criminal Court on 161 (near Yankee Stadium). Overall, the food options in the neighborhood are lacking, and honestly I sometimes worry about what I'm doing to my health with the lunches I have every day (at least I stopped visiting the local Mcdonalds). However, we have one well known local gem. A wonderful lady named Fauzia serves up homemade Jamaican specialties every day, out of a food cart parked right in front of 198 East 161st Street. She's got great desserts (I swoon for her bannana cream) and always has a vegetarian entre. She's a mainstay in the neighborhood. Here's a write up from the Daily News this past summer (with a quote from Bronx DA Rob Johnson) and she's gotten a long write up in the NYT as well.

                                -----
                                Fauzia's Heavenly Delights
                                E 161st St and Sheridan Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                                11 Replies
                                1. re: bensmith

                                  I worked in the same neighborhood for several years and returned to Fauzia's street cart every few weeks. While she was indeed warm and wonderful, I found her food to be very hit and miss. Granted, the neighborhood is a fast-food fueled culinary wasteland (Feeding Tree and Press Cafe being the lone occasional exceptions), but I always found myself mildly underwhelmed by the quality of Fauzia's ingredients. While flavorful enough, the meat in her curries never quite seemed to justify the passage through gristle and oil that it required. I liked her okra dishes, but again found them heavy on the oil.

                                  She made a giant burrito-like roti-wrap that was always quite filling and flavorful, but she also occasionally charged repeat customers differently than newbies, which was struck me as off-putting.

                                  1. re: CalJack

                                    just went to a yankees game last week and enjoyed my press sandwich prior to the game at the press cafe. the place honestly looks quite out of place in the area it's in - the place was filled with literally all caucasians in business-casual khakis/suits. my sig other and i were the only non-caucasians in the place.

                                    he had the sandwich with the prosciutto, i had the soppressate & pesto. both were very delicious, bread was a little crumbly/crunchy, which i know some people prefer. i highly recommend this place for something less greasy than the typical fare of stadium food.

                                    1. re: CalJack

                                      I've been eating at Fauzia's cart for years. I agree that her variable pricing is irritating; glad to know I'm not the only one rankled by that! I also can't tolerate the grease load any more. And the lines, always slow moving, have gotten way too long. But though I've stayed away for those reasons, I feel twinges of regret about it--she's so warm, and I love her take on US foreign policy. I love that she has vegetarian options --not only is the area fast food fueled, but carnivorously so. I love her mashed lentils and lentil soups. And I'll always have a soft spot in my heart for her jerk chicken and bbq tofu--though not great by any stretch, they were still pretty damn tasty.

                                      Here are some old posts of mine: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/246175
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/31302... (I used to post as freddie, on the good old chowhound)

                                      I still stand by my recommendation of the Spanish coffee at Chris's super deli, on Sheridan. They must put crack in the stuff; it's insanely stimulating. They also have a decent steam table selection which includes pleasantly crisp garlicky steamed green beans, chopped greens, and fried white meat chicken with lots of thyme in the batter. It's a good place for coffee and moderately healthy stuff when slim lunch options have you down (and you have no time to get over to the Feeding Tree).

                                      -----
                                      Chris Super Deli
                                      903 Sheridan Ave, Bronx, NY 10451

                                      1. re: rose water

                                        I find Fauzia's food to be ok, but really only stands out because of the derath of options in the area. Not only is her pricing variable, but its gone way up and the 2 small pieces of chicken you get don't justify the price. Plus, the curry and jerk just seem to lack an oomph to them. Love the banana pudding, though. And yes, considering she has a helper there, the lines are interminable.

                                        1. re: jdf

                                          This is the most discussion I've seen of 161st venues outside of
                                          Yankee Stadium threads ever! I'd love to exploit the collective chow
                                          wisdom--is there anything else out there for lunch options? Anything?
                                          Any of those grimy bodegas have any hidden Latin American
                                          deliciousness? Anything?

                                          1. re: rose water

                                            Well, obviously there'e the cuchifritos on 161st and Feeding Tree, which have been discussed on the Yankee Stadium threads. There is also Bamboo Cafe, which has decent lunch specials, but is quieter than the cuchifritos. The bodega on Sheridan Ave. across from Family Ct. has a salad bar with pernil and other latin food, that can be ok if you get there early. I'd love to find more options b/c after 7 years there, I'm still searching for more than a small handful of places.

                                            1. re: jdf

                                              jdf mentioned the cuchifritos on 161st. I think Molina Roja on 161st near Walton Ave is a standout in the neighborhood - I'd even say its worth the trip for some adventurious and authentic cuisine. But I'm no expert and I wonder if others would agree. As for other Courthouse/stadium area gems- we sometimes make the trip to Sam's. It's a soul food spot on the Grand Concourse just north of the Post Office at 149th. It's a bit of a walk for from the criminal court (10-15 min), but we think the food is consistently great (I think their homemade iced tea is addictive) and the service is friendly. Plus, for special occasions they're good at accomdating large groups. And despite the comments above I still stand by Fauzia! And, I yes - the Spanish Coffee at Chris Deli is superb.

                                              -----
                                              Sam's Soul Food
                                              596 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10451

                                              Molino Rojo
                                              101 E 161st St, Bronx, NY 10451

                                              1. re: bensmith

                                                What do you recommend at Molina Roja? (Minus the mounds of deep friend stuff). You're right about Sam's; everything I've tried from there has been excellent.

                                                I'm glad you stand by Fauzia. She's so great, and many times, her food is too. But that line...

                                                1. re: rose water

                                                  Most frequently I'll get either the pernil, the chuletas fritas, the chicharron or a 1/2 chicken. All good and all come with rice and beans. Very inexpensive.

                                                  1. re: rose water

                                                    i'll have to disagree here, Molino Rojo is not good at at all, the food is not just mediocre it is pretty bad indeed.

                                      2. re: bensmith

                                        I used to work down the street on Melrose. I never found anything, but if you can drive away for lunch there is a great jerk Chicken place on 233!

                                      3. Went to Frankie and Johnnie's for a friend's birthday. They raved about the place and was I disappointed! I ordered a seafood pasta and got frozen and imitation seafood with runny white sauce. Large portions of tasteless food.

                                        1. I just got back from a trip to the Garifuna restaurant and it was well worth the trip.
                                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/441856 Along the way I saw lots and lots of Mexican restaurants, quite a few new. Several were around Willis and 138, my old hauntj Jalisco Tacos was still going strong on St Ann's, and there were a few places on Southern Blvd and 149th. One place with a spiffy new interior and Mole Poblano on the menu is Santa Clarita, 237 Willis Av, at 138th. (292-9399

                                          )

                                          Also going strong is Venice Restaurant, the only old-school Italian in the South Bronx. It is at 772 E 149, not far from Southern Blvd. www.venicerestaurant149.com

                                          -----
                                          Venice
                                          772 E 149th St, Bronx, NY 10455

                                          Santa Clarita
                                          237 Willis Ave, Bronx, NY 10454

                                          Jalisco Tacos
                                          214 Saint Anns Ave, Bronx, NY 10454

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Brian S

                                            I have within the past week visited and written reviews on

                                            Venice http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451228

                                            La Orquidea www.chowhound.com/topics/448262

                                          2. Has anyone tried Mo Gridder's, the BBQ place in Hunt's point? Is it worth the trip? I work in the Bronx, and do some projects in the area.

                                            -----
                                            Mo Gridder's
                                            565 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx, NY 10474

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: bensmith

                                              Couple of thumbs up from summer ... http://www.chowhound.com/topics/425673

                                              -----
                                              Mo Gridder's
                                              565 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx, NY 10474

                                            2. I just had a wonderful early lunch at a new place in Riverdale/Kingsbridge called Sqweez Bar on W.238th next to Fenwicks. As the name implies, there is a large selection of juices, (fruit, vegetable and wheat grass) as well as homemade muffins, salads, filled pitas, kababs, etc. It is small place for informal eating. You order at the counter. My daughter and I shared a large berry juice which was enough for two, a banana muffin and chicken shawirma pitas. Everything was fresh and tasty, the spices just right. The young couple who own and run the place are kind and helpful. The prices are so reasonable that I am not sure I can match them in my apartment. It am thrilled to have this kind of place in the neighborhood.

                                              -----
                                              Sqweez
                                              430 W 238th St, Bronx, NY 10463

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: bbqs

                                                I don't even know where to start..other than this could be the greatest chat room I've ever seen. Food and the Bronx, two of my favorite things.

                                                1. Plato Loco at 188 Cuchifrito
                                                2. Mamey milkshakes at the East 178 Street Fruit van
                                                3. Jerked chicken and baked macaroni at Tasty Hut (have the mac. covered in the extra spicy jerk sauce)
                                                4, Cow foot and cabbage over rice at Jam-Rock on Boston Road
                                                5. Any soup at Eb Ye Yie on Jerome
                                                6. The Chorizo topped Chimi at the truck on Bailey (forgot the name)
                                                7. Louis Seafood Tremont-gnocchi w/mozzarella fra diavolo

                                                Ok... midnight snack

                                              2. I went to a great pupusa stand on corner of 170th and grand concourse a couple days ago. A very friendly mother daughter team whips them up by hand.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: ethnicbreadz

                                                  I don't know what the allure is w/Frankie & Johnnies, big portions and not much else. Tosca is allright, good drinks, nice atmosphere. Good Thai food at Honey's Thai Pavillion Westchester Ave. El Gran Bohio is THE PLace. Latin Kitchen on E Tremont is nice. Italian Deli - G&R on Williamsbridge.

                                                  1. re: katjenpiz

                                                    Frankie and Johnny's is inconsistent both in quality and price but can be a great choice if you know what to order. The soups are a great deal, especially the seafood bisque which is to die for. Huge portions, amazingly inexpensive.

                                                  2. re: ethnicbreadz

                                                    pupusa is fat tortilla? the stand is on which side of the grand concourse? I was just parked around there on the west side the other day and did not notice the stand. maybe I was too early/too late?

                                                  3. I live in Morris Park and used to work at Frankie and Johnny's. I agree that F&J is NOT as good as it once was. I prefer Patricia's on Morris Park as well. Emilio's across the street also has great pizza. But I want to recommend an Albanian place on Lydig Ave called Dukagjini Burek. 758 Lydig Ave. it's not too far from the zoo. I love the Burek here. Especially the spinach one. Be sure to get the fresh yogurt on the side!