The 10 Best Restaurants in the Bronx

For New Yorkers living in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan, going to the Bronx usually means one of three things: going to a Yankees game, strolling around the New York Botanical Garden, or gawking at animals at the Bronx Zoo. 

But there’s more to this dense and diverse borough than those three attractions: namely, really great and off-the-radar restaurants. While Manhattan and Brooklyn’s restaurants get all the attention—and Queens should get more—the Bronx is largely ignored or dismissed. But if you know where to look there are some great dining destinations in the Bronx. Here are the ten restaurants in the Bronx that should be on your list. 

men cooking inside restaurant with neon light
World-class pizza, American classics and global specialties – find that and more at the best restaurants in the Bronx. Photo credit: Khachik Simonian

Beatstro

Beatstro is a homage partly to hip-hop, which originated here in the South Bronx, as well as to the borough’s main demographics of Black and Puerto Rican denizens. It serves up a delicious cross-cultural tour de force of dishes such as cornmeal-fried oysters, tender roasted pork shoulder (with black beans and rice and salsa verde), and crispy chicharron de pollo with hot sauce. The also have a killer brunch which is only one of the reasons it’s one of our favorite restaurants in the Bronx.

fried chicken waffles
Beatstro is also one of the top brunch spots in NYC where they serve their star dish of fried chicken and waffles. Photo credit: PxHere

Çka ka Qëllu

Not all the Albanian beer on the planet can help you pronounce the name of this Albanian restaurant near Arthur Avenue. Çka ka Qëllu doesn’t even have beer or any alcohol, for that matter—and sadly, they don’t let guests BYO. But it’s still a worthy place to plant oneself for a few hours, feasting on juicy grilled meats, cheese-stuffed pickled peppers, ultra-creamy kajmak cheese, and veal-stuffed dumplings. 

Co’m Tam Ninh Kieu 

The owner/chef of this northwest Bronx eatery hails from Can Tho, an off-the-radar town in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta region. The specialty here is broken rice. Specifically, a roasted pork chop, imbued with lemongrass and fish sauce, served on top of broken rice, or co’m tam. After you’ve had the house specialty, try the bo kho, a rich and slightly thick beef stew that is not as ubiquitous as pho in this country. 

grey bowl with vegetables and sliced meat
Co’m Tam Ninh Kieu has been serving Vietnamese comfort food for almost 10 years. Photo credit: Valeria Boltneva

Dominick’s 

Dominick, an immigrant from Calabria, first fired up the burners on his eponymous eatery on Arthur Avenue in 1962. This swath of the Bronx is a truer version of Little Italy, while the Manhattan version is merely a shell of its former self, a four-block stretch of street lined with mediocre I-talian restaurants. But Dominick’s (2335 Arthur Ave) and the restaurants that surround it, exude a more authentic Italian-American vibe, where you feel like you’re walking through the set of a Scorsese film set in the 1970s. The servers may give you a menu here at Dominick’s, or they might just scream out the daily specials and you’d be advised to get anything that’s fresh and recommended. 

Hudson Smokehouse

Opened in early March 2020, Hudson Smokehouse, fortunately, survived the pandemic to smoke meat again. Located in the South Bronx, this barbecue joint is one of the better of its kind in town and is worth a journey to the Bronx if you don’t already reside in the borough. Some menu items will stick with you, only figuratively, of course: the pork belly burnt ends; the smoked beef ribs (on Saturday only); and the pulled pork. There are also a handful of sandwiches and variations on the theme of chicken wings that are worth exploring. If your tummy rumbles between 3 and 6 pm on weekdays, the happy hour here is a generous one. 

pulled pork sandwich in white bun on white plate
In addition to feeding their loyal diners, Hudson Smokehouse cook 300 meals a day for the World Central Kitchen for people in need. Photo credit: Vékony Richard

La Piraña Lechonera

Located in a parking lot at the intersection of Wales Avenue and East 152nd Street in the South Bronx, La Piraña Lechonera is a trailer run by Angel Jimenez, whom regulars belovedly refer to as “Chapi Chulo.” When it’s your turn to step inside the trailer, you’ll see all manner of juicy roasted suckling pig, done in the Puerto Rican style, not unlike the towns along route 184, or the “Ruta de Lechón,” in Puerto Rico. What La Piraña lacks in a sit-down brick-and-mortar atmosphere it makes up for in unforgettably tender and juicy roast pork. 

La Morada

Begun by a couple who were farmers in a small town in northwestern Oaxaca, La Morada is a stellar example of the kind of high-quality Mexican fare that exists in the Bronx. Given Oaxacan fare’s reputation as being one of Mexico’s great regional cuisines, there aren’t a lot of restaurants in the Big Apple that are representing the cuisine. Whatever the case, La Morada is one of the best. There are tacos, quesadillas, and nachos on the menu, but stick to one or more of the half-dozen moles and you can’t go wrong. Take note of the hours here which shifted dramatically during the pandemic and have not yet changed: La Morada is only open Monday to Wednesday until 5 pm. 

tacos with meat meat and herbs and 3 hands
La Morada only has 10 tables so we recommend coming early to catch a spot. Photo credit: Los Muertos Crew

Patricia’s

Located in the Morris Park swath of the Bronx, Patricia’s serves up a menu that leans heavily on southern Italy. The wood-fired pizzas are some of the best in the borough; first-timers should dive into the Regina, fancy Margarita pizza topped with D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella cheese, and basil. On the pasta side, the pumpkin stuffed ravioli and the rigatoni Pavarotti, laced with broccoli rabe and shrimp, are top-notch. 

Louie & Ernie’s Pizza

Located in the Pelham Bay part of the Bronx, Louie & Ernie’s first fired up their pizza oven in the middle of the 20th century and it’s since become one of the best New York-style pizzerias in the Bronx. Many say it ranks up there with the best in the Big Apple. The pizzas here are crispy and layered with goodness: tangy tomato sauce, gooey mozzarella, and whatever topping you like. We recommend going for the sausage. 

Louie & Ernie’s Pizza
Louie & Ernie’s Pizza was originally opened in Harlem but has been calling the Bronx home since 1959. Photo credit: Joe Hall

Mexicocina

Mexicocina is an eccentric and solid south-of-the-border eatery that is an ideal neighborhood spot to make a destination meal out of. Located in the quiet neighborhood of Woodstock, Mexicocina’s interior is colorful and bedecked with taxidermy and random altars to the Virgin Mary. The menu is loaded with various tacos and quesadillas, made with homemade tortillas. The nearly ubiquitous birria taco here is an excellent starting point.