Last I left you, I was finally making a left onto the legendary Arthur Avenue, aka Bronx’s Little Italy. My stomach and spirit were already full from making fresh buffalo mozzarella at Joe’s Italian Deli and cannoli at Edigio Pastry, but now I was standing on hallowed ground. Buongiorno Arthur Ave.!

On route to our next location I was captured by all of the markets and food stores, notably Cosenza’s Fish Market where one can sidle up to the raw bar outside for clam and oysters on the half shell. Had I been alone…I certainly would have spent a couple of moments in mollusk heaven. I put it into my memory for later.

Our next stop was Mario’s (@MariosArthurAve, 2342 Arthur Avenue, 718.584.1188, for Neapolitan pizza. Celebrating 100 years, what began as a six-table pizza location has grow into a full-service restaurant and event space.

We were so privileged to have owner Joseph Migliucci, donning his “I’m the BOSS” pin, hand making us pizza. While he is the first to tell you, he is not a pizzaiolo, he has not changed what was done 100 years ago. And the simple magic he creates with dough, sauce, sliced (“never grated”) mozzarella, olive oil, dried oregano and fresh basil is gorgeous. Joe, you still got it! Grazie mille!

Now our stomachs were stretched and we needed a little walk before sitting at our final stop. Just next door to Mario’s, we walked into Calabria Pork Store just to take in “the sausage chandelier” which they remind you to look up on the door. First, the strong pork smell hits you and then a ceiling of sausages curing in various stages. I would have loved to taste a little but the group pressed on.

We were stopped in front of the Arthur Avenue Retail Market and given some history by Feast On History ( walking food tour owner, Danielle Oteri. Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia spearheaded markets in New York City like this one (and the original La Marqueta in East Harlem) to bring all of the street vendors inside and in one place. Since the original Essex Market has recently moved, this retail market on Arthur Avenue is the last of its kind. It should not be missed.

We walked around the Market but my friend, Jamie, and I had to stop (and stay) at Mount Carmel Gourmet Food. The generous proprietor blessed us with bread, olive oil and some of their delicious bites like olive and chili spreads and ricotta stuffed peppers.

We could have stayed at that counter forever. In fact, we were the last ones and had to catch up with the group. Our tardiness turned out to be a good thing because the double-time walk was needed before we sat down to a three-course pasta meal plus dessert…the final chapter

of this epic food tale.

They do not play on Arthur Avenue. Stay tuned.

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!