Ride the 6 train up to the Bronx, New York City’s northernmost borough, to discover some of the city’s greatest old and new restaurants, bars and pastry shops.
Words Rocky Casale
For food lovers, much of what makes the Bronx, and New York City in general, such a fascinating travel destination is its abundant supply of tasty ethnic cuisine.
In the Bronx, much of that cuisine is Italian or Hispanic, reflecting the early populations who settled here and opened restaurants, bakeries and takeaway shops. Today, this multicultural NYC borough is an incubator for all-star chefs, such as the Bronx-born pastry chef, Malcolm Livingston II. It’s also the latest hive for young restaurateurs and mixologists.
City Island Lobster House
Half the delight of eating here is travelling to City Island and noshing on the waterfront.
This famed lobster house is an institution for its catch-of-the-day seafood and laid-back, beachy environment. They also cater for private parties of 20 to 100 guests. Buttery lobster tails, lobster rolls, Maryland crab cakes, king-crab legs, shrimps, clams and all the usual suspects are featured on the restaurant’s lengthy menu. They also cater to non-seafood lovers, with dishes like baby back pork ribs and have a children’s menu with burgers, fries and chicken tenders.
cilobsterhouse.com; 691 Bridge Street City Island,
Pine Bar & Grill
The mostly Italian menu at this new bar and grill is as extensive as it is straightforward: fancy sandwiches or ahi tuna tartare, for instance. It refers to itself as an ‘American grill with Italian flair and Manhattan ambience’: this essentially means that, when compared to most of the old-school Bronx restaurants, the decor is modern and the rooms are spacious. It also means that food is served attractively. The bar serves tasty cocktails, too, like the Bazz-Berri Thyme Smash made with Hendrick’s Gin, simple syrup, fresh lime juice, muddled raspberries and a thyme sprig.
pinebargrill.com; 1634 Eastchester Rd, Bronx, NY; 10461
Charlies Bar & Kitchen
The Mott Haven neighbourhood in the Bronx is what Charlies Bar & Kitchen cites as the inspiration behind its food and drinks. The restaurant’s low-lit bar and high tables and stools are typically occupied by local artists, students and gangs of young professionals, who swing by to listen to a Latin band, hear a DJ set or attend one of their themed brunches, like the ‘Totally 80s Brunch’. Brunch here is wildly popular, where the menu is packed with heavy, yet flavoursome items – like pulled-pork Eggs Benedict or shrimp and grits with summer ale sauce, cheddar cheese and a poached egg.
charliesbarkitchen.com; 112 Lincoln Ave, Bronx, NY; 10454
De Lillo Pastry Shop
Since 1925, this historic Italian pastry shop in the Bronx has been, and still remains, a big draw for residents from all over the city. It is famed for its freshly baked confections of everything, including traditional Italian desserts like cannoli, homemade gelato and tiramisu. Chefs also prepare sheet cakes by request, and offer some delicacies that are difficult to track down elsewhere in the city, such as Neapolitan cream-filled babas and cream sfogliatelle. This isn’t just a takeaway pastry shop, either; De Lillo’s provides an outdoor seating area where you can sit down with a coffee and enjoy your sweets.
delillopastryshop.com; +1 718 637 8198; 610 E 187th St, Bronx, NY; 10458
This coffee chain can be found throughout the city and recently opened its newest venue in the Bronx. The move here signalled a bit of fear among locals that gentrification was coming to take over the borough. Soon, this general feeling faded once locals started turning up to try the shop’s long list of speciality coffees. The farm-to-grinder ethos sees Birch sourcing freshly dried beans from Costa Rica and Tanzania, which roast in nearby Long Island City. Birch also serves freshly baked pastries like scones and danishes. Another side to its coffee ethos centres around sustainable farming, community outreach and Fairtrade rights for farmers, so you can feel good about where your coffee is coming from.
866 Hunts Point Ave, Bronx,
Make the most of your stay with these culinary stes, blogs, tours and services
Bronx Food Blog
This local blog is a handy reference for finding food events, tours, farmer’s markets and so on that are specifically happening in the Bronx. You can locate Bronx breweries and find out where to eat the best pizza, tacos or beans and rice. The blog also shares links from other publications about all things food in the Bronx.
For over a decade, this food tourism company has been tramping through the Bronx with tourists. During each tour there are tastings, and guides explain along the way about the diverse cultures represented in the borough that make it one of New York City’s most exciting places to eat.
If you’re pressed for time and unable to make it to the Bronx, but want to try a few of the local restaurants’ dishes, Grub Hub will deliver to you. You can browse menus from local Bronx menus – even those that don’t deliver – and Grub Hub will collect your order and bring it direct to your door.
This well-known national food-news website does a good job of reporting on where and why to eat in cities and neighbourhoods all over the US. This Bronx guide is a good start for anyone wanting to spend a day trying out some of the local flavours.
Six Of The Best
Wings picks six of London’s finest food-and-drink festivals to titillate the tastebuds this Autumn
Between 29 September
and 9 October
Millwall Park, Canary Wharf
Munich’s annual Oktoberfest is Europe’s biggest party, with over six million visitors consuming 6,500,000 litres of beer over 16 days… The largest-capacity tent fits in nearly 10,000 people. If you can’t make it there, though, you can still pull on your dirndl and lederhosen and enjoy a smaller scale, but just as enjoyable version, at London’s Canary Wharf – complete with authentic Bavarian beer and schnitzel, oompah music and searing hangover.
African Food And Drink Takeover
2 to 4 September
The Southbank Centre’s Africa Utopia festival of arts, ideas, music, dance and more ends in September with an African Food And Drink Takeover, featuring a range of spicy street food, courtesy of Pop Up Africa. 35 vendors represent the food of the continent, and the three-day outdoor event also has a series of live cooking demonstrations, so you can learn to cook your own delicacies.
2 to 4 September
This carnivorous carnival began in the US and the UK version is now in full swing, bringing a dizzying portfolio of ethically sourced meat vendors and the world’s finest chefs to Tobacco Dock to show their wares and demonstrate their culinary skills. There’s also a full three-day festival of DJs and eclectic live music, from the misplaced DJ Tofu to Norman Jay MBE, to keep the crowds entertained and helping you eat meat to the beat.
Taste Of London
17 to 20 November
A star-studded line-up of celebrity chefs, live cooking, craft-beer tastings and hands-on cooking classes is on offer at Taste Of London, together with small-plate signature dishes from London’s finest restaurants. There are also markets selling artisan and boutique foodstuffs. Each festival day is divided into afternoon and evening sessions, and no need to book a table anywhere before or after, because you won’t be going away hungry.
The Chocolate Show
14 to 16 October
Olympia National Hall
Beat the Winter blues while you’re in London, by indulging your sweet tooth at the capital’s biggest celebration of chocolate. As well as every chocolate confection imaginable, there are chocolate-making workshops, cookery masterclasses, a children’s area and even a Chocolate Fashion Show, which takes place every day, and showcases “a stunning collection of couture chocolate dresses designed by top fashion designers and chocolatiers”
on the catwalk.
London Restaurant Festival
1 to 31 October
The London Restaurant Festival has two main components – Restaurant Experiences and Festival Menus. The former features a series of chef-hosted events, tasting events and restaurant-hopping tours; while the latter is a London-wide promotion showcasing menus from £10 to £60 in over 200 family friendly London venues, offering the opportunity to visit Michelin-starred restaurants for less and leaving you no excuse but to eat out somewhere new.
Three out-of-the-ordinary new cookbooks to broaden your foodie horizons
The Healthy Life
Jessica Sepel, £25.75
A new phenomenon of celebrity food-and-fitness gurus is upon us, exemplified by the likes of Joe Wicks with his immensely popular Lean In 15 books and dietary plans. Australian author, nutritionist and health blogger Jessica Sepel is another, and her book, The Healthy Life, represents a complete health plan for glowing skin, healthy digestion, weight loss, less stress and more sleep – all for less than the cost of a month’s gym membership or a set
menu for two at your local Indian restaurant.
Floyd Cardoz, £20
Floyd Cardoz owns several successful restaurants, including New York’s Tabla, and in this book he aims to show how he uses spices to ‘amplify the flavours’ in over 100 recipes. Dividing the recipes into categories such as Dinner For Two, Weekday Meals and so on, Cardoz even includes a recipe for the family dog, and his ingenuity with spice and flavour shines through, while he keeps the recipes accessible and not too intimidating for beginners.
Danielle Chang, £19.99
Subtitled ‘stories and recipes from night markets, feasts and family tables’, Danielle Chang – the founder of long-established US pan-Asian food festival, Luckyrice – weaves together contemporary Asian recipes with the stories, traditions and techniques behind them. The food cultures of Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian and more are explored here, and Chang provides festive menus as well as chapters on cocktails and desserts.