The Bronx is a neighborhood in New York City that’s known for being the birthplace of rap and hip hop music, and is the home of one of the country’s best baseball teams, the New York Yankees. It is also a very diverse and cultural area of New York. Because of this, there is a huge variety of restaurants and eateries for you to try out if you’re visiting the area.
With so many options ranging from traditional NYC pizzas to more upscale restaurants, to local hidden gems, even if you’re a local you may not know about all these spots.
So whether you’re a tourist wanting to know all of the best places to go, or are a local to the city and want to explore the area a bit more, here are the best restaurants you should visit in the Bronx.
As the Bronx is home to New York’s real Little Italy, it is no surprise that the star attraction of this neighborhood is their pizza. Louie and Ernie’s pizza specializes in huge portions made from ingredients from other local businesses surrounding their small shop.
One of their best sellers is the sausage pie, which is made with fennel-spiked chunks of sausage bought from the S&D store just a few blocks away. This is then covered in a huge amount of melted cheese, making for a filling but messy meal.
This is a place you have to visit on an empty stomach, and once you’re done you may need a nap afterward.
Located in Mott Haven, which is the heart of the Bronx food scene, this small takeaway spot will give you the chance to try authentic Chinese food. While there is no seating, guests are welcome to stand along the two eating shelves and try out the food from their large menu.
With all of the food is expertly prepared by talented chefs, deciding what you want may be a challenge. A good choice for people who like a bit of heat is the Singapore mei fun, tendered in a large serving, with plenty of shrimp, pork, and chicken. They also sell other Chinese food standards like chow mein, egg foo yung, or beef chow fun.
This is the perfect choice if you want to experience traditional Chinese food in the heart of the city.
Often described as the ‘best beer bar in the Bronx’, this spot has only been open for a few years but has quickly made a name for itself and built up a reputation for fun times and good food and beer.
This joint has become so popular that it frequently holds guest-brewer events, where you can try to make your own beer while also sampling the ones they have on-site. Speaking of their beer, the Bronx Alehouse is famous for its 100 beers.
They’re not all in stock at the same time though, as usually there is a lineup of 16 domestic-leaning taps, one rotating cask, and more than 30 bottles in the building, then they are replaced with another batch of different beers. So if you’re wanting to try every one then it may take you repeat visits to try them all.
While the drinks are definitely the star of the show for Bronx Alehouse, their food deserves just as much recognition. Though the menu may look like they just serve the typical bar and pub food, each dish is absolutely delicious and is perfect to pair with one of their many beers.
All of the portions are huge, especially the bombers, which are miniature burgers. There are always 3 burgers per order, and while the burgers are kind of small, all three of them will be packed full of flavor and are guarantee to fill you up. As you’re in the Bronx, you should try the burgers named after the neighborhood. These mini cheeseburgers come with IPA pickles, onions, and their special sauce. On top of that, all burgers come with hand-cut fries or tater tots.
If you’re not after burgers then you’re sure to find something you’d like on their large menu, as it has everything from sandwiches to BBQ food to the salad.
With so much to offer it’s easy to see why this is one of the most popular restaurants in the Bronx for both locals and tourists.
For a healthier eating experience then you have to pay a visit to Freshly Made. Opened in 2018 after the owners struggled to find a healthy salad spot in the neighborhood, Freshly Made has filled this gap in the market by offering a wide variety of salads, fruit and vegetable smoothies and juices, and paninis.
While this is a counter-service spot so you can’t actually eat inside, it’s the perfect choice if you want to take food or drink on the go while you walk around the city.
Their menu often changes monthly with new food and juice specials being added, so even if you’re a regular you’ll still find something new to try. Their smoothies are often named after the local area, with one of the most popular ones being the Bronx PB & J, which has bananas, strawberries, peanut butter, and whole milk. Another favorite is the Yankee Blueberry, which has blueberries, strawberries, bananas, spinach, and whole milk.
While most known for their drinks their ‘grab & go’ food range will also make for a delicious purchase. These light snacks are perfect to pair with the smoothies or other drinks, and it makes it easy for you to keep exploring the city while having your lunch. Menu items include pastries, cookies, whole fruits, and energy bites.
Because of the nature of this location, Freshly Made is a perfect spot for vegans or vegetarians who may struggle to find other suitable places in the city. But even if you’re not a vegetarian you can still appreciate the delicious food and drinks that Freshly Made has to offer.
Another spot in Little Italy, Dominick’s serves much more than just pizza, it also provides a fun Italian dining experience. Popular with neighborhood folks and out-of-towners alike, diners feast in the large pinewood dining room on long, crowded tables, making you feel like you’re part of one big and lively happy family.
What’s unique about this restaurant is that there is no written menu, but they do serve all of the Italian classics like veal parmigiana, bowls of mussels marinara, and linguine with white clam sauce.
No matter what Italian dish you ask for the kitchen will probably be able to whip it up, but if you’re unsure then the waiters are on hand to provide recommendations that are always delicious.
If you want a unique and fun dining experience then you should pay a visit to Dominick’s.
This restaurant is unique in the Bronx as it serves breakfast and lunch only, so you’ll have to get up early to make sure you can get a spot. What makes this cafe even more unique is that it also doubles up as a small bookstore, so you can browse the shelves while having your morning coffee. Not only that but it has also recently opened up a rooftop deck, so you can enjoy your brunch in the sunshine on warm days.
The menu can be described as ‘healthy-ish with dishes like avocado toast and banana nut muffin appearing alongside dark fudge brownies and the classic egg sandwich. If you’re more interested in coffee, then there is a large coffee menu that could rival even Starbucks. They also sell a lot of smoothies and juices.
Mottley Kitchen would make a great location for you and your friends to have a catch-up over brunch.
Gun Hill bought beer brewing back to the Bronx after 50 years. Though this spot doesn’t serve any food, their beers are to die for. This massive 5,000 square foot operation can turn out a 30-barrel lineup of German-style ales, hearty stouts, and a Frosted Hops ale, made with frozen upstate wet hops. A lot of the beers feature local ingredients, so you’ll have the taste of the Bronx in every sip.
The dark-wood taproom functions as a 25-seat bar for you and your friends to hang out in while you sample many of the beers on tap. There is also a retail shop that sells everything from clothes to their own beers in cans.
Though this isn’t a traditional ‘restaurant’ this is still a worthwhile place to visit if you’re in the Bronx area.
Specializing in pizza and Mexican food, Topango’s often combines the two to make new and exciting dishes. This small spot is a favorite of the locals because of its delicious meals and friendly atmosphere. This is a place where gossip is exchanged and new friends are made.
The most popular menu items are the plain cheese pie, quesadillas that can include your choice of meat, and nachos with a huge selection of toppings.
That’s not all they sell though, their breakfast bagels are also hugely popular, especially for those who want a quick meal before heading out to work or for a big day out in the city.
If you’d rather have something else for breakfast, or even for a snack during the day, then you have to try their pancakes. These usually come with eggs and meat, though you can add or take away anything you’d like.
Tepango’s is a typical New York cafe, which will make visiting here a great experience for tourists to the city.
Patricia’s offers a fine dining experience in the heart of Morris Park. It has become popular not only for its delicious food but also for its beautifully decorated interior and romantic atmosphere.
Patricia’s specializes in fine Italian cuisine, while many of the ingredients used are sourced locally. Their huge menu features a huge variety of pasta and seafood dishes like you’d expect, but that’s not what it’s most known for.
Their most popular dishes are their pizzas, which are cooked in a 900-degree brick oven. Whether you go for a traditional Margherita or something a bit different like Louie’s Pie, which has sausage, pesto, and ricotta, you’re guaranteed a tasty meal every time.
Patricia’s romantic style interiors will make this a great location for dates or anniversary meals with that special someone.
Another fancier dining spot, Charlies Bar & Kitchen is located in what was once a piano manufacturing factory. Because of this, the space is huge, and still holds many of the rustic features like the red brick walls, while adding some other stunning decorations like the vintage chandeliers you can find dotted around the ceiling.
Charlies Bar has two main menus, one for brunch and one for dinner, so if you go for repeat visits you will always be able to try something new. Their menus feature a lot of Southern meals, like buttermilk fried calamari, fried chicken, and jerk barbecue ribs.
Whether you love meat dishes or are vegetarian, Charlies Bar can accommodate everyone thanks to their huge menu. The Chef’s Steak Cut is a good choice if you love some prime steak, while the Veggie Burger is one of the best the Bronx has to offer.
To go with your meals Charlies Bar also has a large selection of cocktails, wine, and beer to choose from, so you’ll be able to find the perfect drink to pair with your dinner.
This is another spot that would be great for a romantic meal out with your partner or is a wonderful place to celebrate a big event with your friends and family.
Created as a nod to the neighborhood’s roots in hip-hop, graffiti art, and soul food, Beatstro specializes in Southern comfort and Puerto Rican foods. With Speakeasy vibes, the colorful interior, and open mic and DJ nights will make your dinner incredibly fun.
Dishes include chicken and waffles, baked plantain and ground beef preparation, and kale salad just to name a few, though with a menu this big you’ll be spoilt for choice about what to get. A top seller is the Beatstro Smash Burger. This massive burger comes with lettuce, tomato, pickles, jalapeno cheese “wiz”, all in a potato bun with a side of fries.
If you love live music combined with good food and drink then you can’t pass up on the chance to visit Beatstro.
Also, if you’re looking for the best sushi in Manhattan, you’ll have to venture a bit outside of the usual spots. There are a few notable exceptions, though, and each offers its own unique flavor profile.