In my inaugural Bronx Eats column, I dubbed New York's northernmost borough a land of hidden secrets. We set the tone with a review of one Pioneer Supermarket's homemade mangu, cooked and sold at their deli station; an undistinguished corner market's Albanian veal jerky, smoked north of the Bronx in Pelham, and bodega bites followed. We went on to cover a celebration of the Khmer New Year in Bedford Park and an evening of celebratory food at Bangladeshi stalwart Neerob, all the while singing the praises of creamy boccocini and heart-melting lechon.
While the Bronx doesn't have the crazy diversity of globetrotting Queens, much less Manhattan's ultra high-end fine dining or Brooklyn's trend factories, there are plenty of good, largely ignored bites. So why don't we let the place stand on its own merits? That's what this article is all about: celebrating some of the best the borough has to offer, delicious food that's the work of people striving to celebrate their communities and heritage.
A number of these dishes are hardly secrets, and all of them have been covered here in some form of another. Nor is this a definitive "Best of the Bronx" list, but one that is only reflective of my eating experiences and tendency to bypass the canon in favor of finding something new. But given how much time I've devoted to eating in this borough, I'd say it's fair to call this a "14 of the Best Dishes In The Bronx Right Now" list, with a nod to some places with special sentimental value or cultural significance. From a West African stew thickened with pumpkin seeds to a classic New York pastrami sandwich, they cover a good swath of the borough's myriad offerings.
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So without further ado, here are 14 dishes you should eat before year's end. Hit them all up in the slideshow above or head to a specific dish below.
- Dried Shrimp and Chili Bharta at Neerob
- Crab Pastelillos at Lechonera La Piraña
- Sauce Clare at Bate
- Egusi at Ebe Ye Yie
- Burek at Dukagjini
- Carnitas at El Atoradero
- Mole Poblano at Estrelitta Poblana III
- Pastrami at Loeser's
- Pollo Frito at Nanno Billiard Cafe
- Pizza at Mario's
- Fahsa Salta at Arth Aljanatain
- Pumpkin Burek at Tony & Tina's
- Chotpoti at Starling Coffee Shop
- Hot Flat Soppresatta at Calabria