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With its fabulous shops, authentic Italian dining and some of the New York City’s most prominent cultural institutions, a visit to the Bronx can be a refreshingly authentic alternative to the tourist sites of Manhattan. The Arthur Avenue and Fordham Road area is particular is home to a number of renowned cultural attractions, including the New York Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo, which provide an extraordinary range of activities right in the heart of the Bronx. Here are just a few of the highlights…
Foodies Flock To Arthur Avenue

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• Open for more than 70 years, Borgatti’s Ravioli & Egg Noodles specializes in fresh pastas and ravioli. Its egg noodles are cut to order and come in flavours like squid ink, carrot, mushroom and tomato. Customers can also see the pasta-making process.

• New Yorkers and visitors line up for Casa Della Mozzarella’s famous hand-pulled, homemade mozzarella. The shop also sells meats, pastas, cookies and sandwiches.

Cerini Coffee & Gifts is paradise for lovers of coffee or kitchenware. With coffee beans, flavoured syrups, specialty Italian foods and gift baskets, the family-owned store is a not-to-be-missed Arthur Avenue fixture.

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• The traditional Cosenza’s Fish Market offers an impressive selection of fresh fish and shellfish. Shoppers also enjoy the outdoor raw oyster and clam bar.

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DeLillo Cafe & Pastry Shop sells homemade Italian deserts, including cannoli, sfogliatelle and biscotti. During the summer months, patrons can enjoy DeLillo’s Italian gelato on its outdoor patio.

• A third-generation pastry shop, Madonia Brothers Bakery, is a favourite of New Yorkers from every borough. This Sicilian bakery sells traditional desserts and savoury breads.

Pasquale’s Rigoletto transports visitors to Italy with its colourful murals and authentic menu that features specialities like fettucine alfredo and gnocchi bolognese. Friendly servers suggest completing the experience with a slice of homemade cheesecake.

• A family-style restaurant known for its large portions, Roberto’s Restaurant serves country-style Italian dishes. The menu includes fusilli pasta with clams, mussels, shrimp and tomatoes, cavatelli with Italian sausage and broccoli rabe, and penne with grilled eggplant and smoked mozzarella in a light tomato sauce. The team behind Roberto’s also owns Zero Otto Nove, a rustic Italian restaurant around the corner.

• Open since 1915, Teitel Brothers is a wholesale and retail gourmet Italian deli. The shop is a favourite of restaurants from around the country for its quality ingredients, including cheese, roasted peppers and oils.

Culture And Collectables On Fordham Road

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• Visitors to the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage can see where the poet spent the final years of his life and wrote some of his most important works, including Annabel Lee and The Bells. The 19th-century cottage has been restored to its original appearance and is open for visitation and guided tours.

Fordham Comics sells a vast collection of vintage and new comic books, action figures and arcade games. Local comic lovers frequent the store to play card games and check out new collectors’ items.

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• Featuring more than a million plants, the New York Botanical Garden is a favourite spot for New Yorkers. From November 16 to January 12, the celebrated Holiday Train Show features model trains that ride through handcrafted replicas of NYC landmarks.

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The Paradise Theater, which was built in 1929, is now home to the World Changers Church of New York. Visitors can get a glimpse at the theatre’s ornate architecture and sculptures during Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday services. 

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• The world-famous Bronx Zoo has more than 6,000 animals that are housed in recreations of their natural habitats. Exhibits include a sea lion pool and African plains featuring lions, zebras and gazelles.

• Selling both menswear and women’s styles, Dr Jay’s is a go-to shop for trendy sneakers, jeans, sweatshirts and hats. Fashion lines include Baby Phat, G-Unit and L.A.M.B.