It’s Popular Because It’s Good: Belmont Staples

The Bronx’s Belmont is a neighborhood with myriad cultures, which means its food options are not only incredibly diverse but incredibly delicious. Patrons of the neighborhood are able to enjoy recipes that have been refined for decades, and taste like it too! Students in the area have a couple staple spots, consistently adored and attended for being delicious, reliable, and mostly affordable. Located in the heart of the Bronx’s Little Italy, all of the below staples specialize in Italian fare: specifically pasta, fish, cheese, and meat. However, in this chapter, we’re going to be getting the obvious choices out of the way: are the restaurants students frequent really worth your time?

First off is Enzo’s: THE staple restaurant. Packed with families during Parents’ Weekend, move-in, move-out, Homecoming, and more. Any time parents are in town, their kids (students starved for quality food, unable to justify dropping thirty precious dollars on pasta) beg for Enzo’s. Or at least I definitely do. Their menu boasts pizza, seafood, meat entrees, salads, incredible pasta and sauce, and delicious desserts. Some of my favorite dishes include their Pizza alla Enzo, complete with prosciutto and arugula (one of my favorite combinations), and anything with their signature vodka sauce. Their sauces are so delicious, Enzo’s has blessed the community by making jars of it available to purchase by the door. The southernmost of these staples and thus the farthest from campus, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue is definitely worth the walk.

Though only opened in 1999, Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue seems like it’s been perfecting its recipes for decades.
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Next is Michaelangelo’s: Known for its faux-outdoor back patio and Thursday happy hour, Michaelangelo’s is the spot for formals. Though these events can get pricey, it’s almost always worth it. What could be considered a sit-down restaurant by day transforms into an Italian bar-and-grill, complete with music, dancing, and of-age alumni looking for a nostalgic dinner option in their old stomping grounds. One of Arthur Ave’s more affordable Italian restaurants, the food is alright, the drinks are alright, but the fun ambience (namely the 2000s music, lively staff, and the soft lights strung through the entire patio) is what makes Michaelangelo’s a favorite for all students, for all four years. 

Michaelangelo’s jungle-style back patio is the perfect environment to enjoy some affordable Italian food.
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If you’re feeling a little less formal when you visit Belmont, you can opt for Casa Della Mozzarella on 187th St. Deli on the outside, life-changing sandwich experience on the inside. Casa Della Mozzarella specializes in some of the most divine Italian paninis to ever grace human tastebuds: can’t go wrong with Il Classico, a caprese panini. They also sell standalone cheese and cured meats as well, and as their name would suggest, their mozzarella trumps all on Arthur Avenue.

While Casa Della Mozzarella might seem cramped on the inside, it’s only because it’s got so much to offer: cheese, meat, paninis, you name it!
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Finally, Pugsley’s Pizza: What looks like a divey pizza spot tucked into a parking lot on 191st Street is an undeniable Fordham institution. Decades of names scrawled on the walls, faded photos with celebrities, and worn seats that were probably once very clean and comfortable all lend themselves to the pizza staple’s slogan: Love is It. While Pugsley’s might not be objectively the best pizza in Belmont, when you walk through that green door, you’re awash with the scent of garlic and the feeling of home.

Armed with armchairs, booths, and a large family-style table, Pugsley’s is the go-to spot for a bit to eat after a late night excursion with friends.
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If you want to get all done up to go out for a fancy dinner at Pugsley’s, take the D Train to W 90th St for a discounted ‘do!

by Mia Crocco

Mia is a rising junior at Fordham University – Rose Hill studying English and theology. In her free time, Mia enjoys cooking, collaging, and playing the piano and guitar.

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