Tracy's New York Life | A Blog About Life in New York City: Touring Little Ireland and Little Italy in the Bronx

Friday, February 22, 2013

Touring Little Ireland and Little Italy in the Bronx

THE BBQS
Straight from the outer boroughs
by Tracy Kaler

Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is the "Real Little Italy"

Each of the five boroughs of New York City is unique with its own distinct flavor and personality, and the Bronx is no different.  Sections like Little Ireland and Arthur Avenue in Little Italy will take you back in time and remind you of the strong immigrant population that has made NYC the melting pot that it still is today.

You probably had no idea that such sections even existed, but these quiet yet vibrant communities have no shortage of what makes New York a great city to live and visit --- character, good food and interesting people. 


Little Ireland
Known primarily as an Irish Catholic working-class neighborhood, Little Ireland is located in Woodlawn Heights near the Woodlawn Conservancy in the Northwest part of the Bronx, which is one of the most historical places in all of NYC.  Woodlawn Heights is a bustling Irish community with an array of Irish specialty stores at the intersection of Woodlawn and McLean Avenue (which technically runs into Yonkers). 

Don’t miss shops like The Butcher’s Fancy --- selling Irish Bacon, Ham and Corned Beef, among other meats, or the Prime Cut Irish Butcher Store on Katonah Avenue.  If you’re in the mood for a nosh and beverage, Pubs like the Rambling House proudly serving pints of Guinness, Fish & Chips, and Shepherd’s Pie, would be the perfect spot.


Nothing like a pint of Guinness--photo by The Rambling House

Souvenirs, jewelry and other Irish tchotchkes are available at the Shamrock Irish gift shop. You can find traditional Irish soda bread at McLean Avenue Bagel Café, and the Irish delis sell favorites like Tayto chips (Irish potato chips), Cadbury Rich Tea Biscuits and Irish sliced white batch bread.


Katonah Avenue in Little Ireland

The majority of people in Little Ireland have lived in the area for generations, making it home to a large Irish-American and Irish immigrant population. Newly arrived immigrants are still drawn to this section of the city due its proximity to Manhattan, the variety of imported Irish products available, and the assistance offered at  the Emerald Isle Immigration Center and the Ailsing Irish Community Center.


Little Italy
The Belmont neighborhood is also known as the “Real Little Italy” of the Bronx, a section of the borough that attracts locals and visitors to the multitude of Italian food markets and restaurants. Many are owned and operated by the same families for three or four generations and sell everything from fresh made-to-order pastas to breads, to fresh mozzarella, to Italian pastries. There’s no shortage of choices or calories in the Bronx’s Little Italy -- one could say that it’s a foodie’s dream.


 Borgatti's should always be a stop when visiting Little Italy

Regulars travel to Little Italy daily --- some are restaurant owners and others are old neighborhood residents who still return to shop or dine while in the area. 

The businesses on Arthur Avenue attract a steady crowd of outside visitors ---  and aside from natives and tourists, a constant flow of Fordham University students shop and live nearby.


A sampling of Cerini's Coffee


Visiting Arthur Avenue in Little Italy is a must for every New Yorker and NYC tourist!
Some of our favorite spots include:


Randazzo's Seafood in Little Italy



MCNY Tours gives private and group tours of Little Ireland, Little Italy and other historic neighborhoods and attractions in The Bronx.

This post was sponsored by MCNY Tours.


2 comments:

Phil Holtberg said...

Arthur Ave in the Bronx is terrific and a foodie dream just as you said.

tracy kaler said...

I am definitely going to visit when the weather warms up--can't wait to check out this hood.

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