Branch Out with These Underrated Italian Spots in the Bronx


Gerbasi offers student discounts and a rotating specials menu. (Courtesy of Instagram)

When choosing a spot to eat on Arthur Avenue, there are a few popular places that jump to mind. Enzo’s, Simon’s Deli and Bagels, Estrellita Poblana III and Full Moon Pizza are a few Fordham student staples. 

While it may be easy to stick with what you know, there are a slew of Italian restaurants that decorate Arthur Avenue. And because it can be overwhelming to choose a dining location, we’ve conveniently listed some of the ones that stand out.

For the purposes of trying new things, we’ve neglected to mention a few of the most popular choices — like Enzo’s, Mario’s and Michalangelo’s — to highlight some of the less well-known, but equally delicious, options.

Ann & Tony’s restaurant is a quaint restaurant with big portions and friendly staff members. The restaurant has been in the family for five generations, and although the ambiance and decor of the restaurant isn’t anything too fancy, it provides its visitors with a sense of nostalgia. The serving sizes are generous, and leftovers make a great lunch when on a college student’s budget. Plus, the restaurant is usually pretty quiet, which means that the service is fast.

Emilia’s is another one of our personal favorites. The restaurant has indoor seating, as well as a spacious heated back patio. With murals of Italian landscapes painting the walls, the indoor seating is definitely idyllic, but the patio is nice on sunny evenings. On most nights, the restaurant isn’t too busy and the food is delicious (especially the gnocchi with burrata cheese). 

Gerbasi offers Fordham students a discount on Mondays through Thursdays, and is a perfect place if you want something out of the ordinary. Staff members take the time to read the specials menu to each table and make note of their own recommendations. Arthur Avenue restaurants tend to offer the same dishes at each place, but with a rotating specials menu, Gerbasi is a great restaurant to visit if you are looking for something different. (And the chocolate mousse cake is wonderful, by the way.)

Although a popular lunch spot for visitors, Zero Otto Nove is often overlooked among Fordham students. The restaurant cooks their pizzas in a wood-burning oven and uses its fish and meat ingredients from Arthur Avenue shops. The indoor seating provides a great ambiance with its high ceilings and white brick walls. Zero Otto Nove — the area code of Naples — has traditional Italian dishes, as well as unique dishes.

If you’re looking for something a little less formal, Dominick’s is a delicious alternative, with the classic Italian selection of other Arthur spots.

When faced with so many options, it can be tempting to stick with old favorites. Many students never venture beyond Enzo’s or Mario’s, despite the variety of other options available on Arthur Ave. As the semester comes to a close and a new year begins, challenge yourself to try something new. A year ago, there was an advertisement at the end of Arthur saying that if you ate at one restaurant per night, it would take more than 70 years to eat at every restaurant in New York City. With so many options, don’t limit yourself to just a few.