Most tourists think that New York’s Little Italy is a few blocks in lower Manhattan filled with overpriced red-sauce spaghetti joints, tacky and vulgar t-shirts and knock-offs of designer duds. But knowledgeable New Yorkers know that the real Little Italy is in the Belmont section of the Bronx.
Arthur Avenue is the main street of Little Italy, packed with family run food shops and restaurants. Most of the places here not only sell Italian-style foods, they create it, including homemade cheese, sausage, pasta, bread, wine and pastry. The fish shops are operating-room clean, the bakeries warm and fragrant and the delis and cheese shops are brimming with pre-cut samples of their wares.
If you visit Arthur Avenue, you’ll eat a little, drink a little, taste a little, walk a little. Have a cannoli, a handful of roasted ceci, a stuffed zucchini blossom, a briny clam on the half-shell, a slice of pepperoni, a chunk of olive bread. Benvenuto! Mangia, mangia!