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Jul 31, 2007 07:20 AM

Hidden Gems in the Bronx

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.

            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: 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:

                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) 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 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

                    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

                    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.

                      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 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!)