New York is known internationally as a melting pot of different cultures, and nowhere is that diversity more apparent than in the Bronx
. Home to every immigrant group you can imagine, the vibrant borough that spawned hip-hop is our local authority on all things funk, fusion, and flavor. Here, Culture Trip has rounded up 10 spots to start the day in “the Boogie Down Bronx.”
188 Bakery Cuchifritos
Restaurant, Caribbean, Barbeque
You may recognize 188 Bakery Cuchifritos
from its appearance on the popular food show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
(for the record, Bourdain was a fan). Follow in the chef’s footsteps, and check out this neighborhood gem for garlicky mashed plantains served with fried salami, cheese, or eggs, authentic flan
, and, of course, cuchifritos,
the Spanish word for just about anything bite-sized and fried. This luncheonette is far from being a luxurious brunch spot, but it is
serving up some of the best food you’ll have anywhere in New York’s five boroughs.
Liebman’s Kosher Delicatessen
Deli, Restaurant, Kosher, American, $$$
Wandering around the Bronx today, you might be surprised to happen upon a traditional Jewish deli. What you’d find even more surprising is how delicious the food at Liebman’s Kosher Delicatessen
really is. Jewish classics such as white fish salad bagel sandwiches, potato pancakes with applesauce, and pastrami on rye round out the menu at this unexpected local gem.
Bistro, Restaurant, French, $$$
A picturesque bistro serving traditional French fare on City Island needs to be seen (and tasted) to be believed. Bistro SK
’s brunch menu sticks to the classics—ham and cheese crepes, juicy grilled steaks, and steamed mussels with French fries—and mon dieu,
do they do them well! The warm owners, romantic décor, and gorgeous outdoor dining area make Bistro SK a perfect place to linger over an enjoyable meal comme les Français.
Leche Y Miel Restaurant
Cafe, Caribbean, $$$
Made by locals, for locals—the traditional Dominican fare at Leche Y Miel Restaurant
will leave you feeling full and ready to give the Bronx’s restaurant scene a second look. Caramel bread pudding, shredded skirt steak, and an array of authentic Spanish juices have earned the spot cult-favorite status amongst its neighbors.
Jimmy’s Grand Cafe
Diner, Restaurant, American, $$$
An American diner with Latin influences, Jimmy’s Grand Cafe
offers a traditional diner menu with a twist. The restaurant’s selection is a testament to the neighborhood’s Latin American population: half-pound cheeseburgers and silver dollar pancakes are served alongside coquito
-dunked French toast, fried salami and tostones
, and pernil,
or slow-roasted Latin-style pork. Great for large groups, there’s something for everyone at Jimmy’s.
The Dumplin Shop
For on-the-go breakfast options, Jamaican eatery The Dumplin Shop
has your mornings covered. The shop’s small breakfast menu bursts with flavor and care and features dishes such as peanut porridge, Jamaican dumplings, and savory fried saltfish with callaloo
, or Caribbean-style stewed vegetables. Most delicious of all: none of the filling dishes at this neighborhood hot spot will set you back more than a few dollars.
Restaurant, Cuban, Spanish, Vegetarian, $$$
’s bold claim to be the deliverer of “the soul of Havana” to the Bronx is topped only by its even bolder take on Cuban cuisine. Caribbean classics and concoctions classified by the spot as “nuevo Cubano
” share space on the restaurant’s menu, which features Cuban sandwich empanadas, churrasco
and buttermilk pancakes, and spicy breakfast casserole with chorizo, eggs, and cheese. A favorite venue amongst Bronx residents for brunch and dinner parties, the food at Havana Café makes every meal worth celebrating.
Bronx Ale House
Pub, Bar, American, $$$
Boozy-brunchers need to look no further than American pub Bronx Ale House
. The pork belly braised in maple syrup bourbon, custard-soaked French toast, and fluffy waffles with fried chicken, Virginia ham, and eggs beg to be washed down by the house’s ever-shifting selection of craft beers.
Cafe, Kosher, American
For a light brunch, visit Moss Café
, a pescatarian-kosher restaurant with a focus on farm-to-table ingredients and allergy-friendly food. The organic café’s early-morning menu features caramelized apple challah
French toast, a fruit-filled parfait made with housemade yogurt and granola, and house-cured gravlax served with avocado and red onion. Menu sides like sourdough toast with rosemary butter and sautéed seasonal greens make for full-flavored meals that won’t weigh you down.
Madonia Brothers Bakery
Bakery, Cafe, Italian, $$$
There’s no seating area at Madonia Brothers Bakery
, but with one taste of the kitchen’s freshly baked treats, you won’t mind enjoying your goods on-the-go. The old-school Italian bakery, nestled in an area known by locals as The Bronx’s Little Italy, serves up sweet and savory loaves of bread, housemade cannolis, and a variety of biscotti perfect for dunking into your morning coffee.