Streets of Bronx, NY

13 Reasons Why The Bronx Is NYC’s Hidden Gem

If you’re thinking about moving to The Bronx, you’ve probably come across a few discouraging stories told by people who want you to believe you’re moving to a bad area. Despite the negative stereotype surrounding this New York City borough, The Bronx has plenty of things to love. No doubt its residents will agree. From great food and awesome entertainment to beautiful outdoor spots, here are 13 reasons to love living in this underrated borough.

1. THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE FOR SEAFOOD

New Fulton Fish Market in Hunt's Point, Bronx, NY
Photo by Michael Cory

Originally established near the Brooklyn Bridge in 1822, the New Fulton Fish Market has been operating at Hunt’s Point in The Bronx since 2005. This updated facility includes refrigeration systems to ensure the catch is as fresh as possible for the buyers. Rightfully nicknamed the “New York Stock Exchange of Seafood,” the market covers 400,000 square feet, houses 37 seafood wholesalers, and produces an annual revenue exceeding $1 billion. More than one-third of the catch fed to New York’s consumers is brought to and sold here. It’s the largest market of its kind in the nation and the second-largest in the world, dwarfed only by the Tsukiji wholesale seafood market in Tokyo, Japan.

2. ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE BRONX ZOO

Tiger at the Bronx Zoo
Photo by Chris Costello

Looking for a place to take the kids for some fun? Look no further than the Bronx Zoo. With 20 exhibits showcasing more than 600 species in total, the zoo will give kids the fun they’re looking for. During your visit, be sure to check out the lions, zebras, and wild dogs at the African Plains exhibit, watch the aquatic mammals play in the Sea Lion Pool, and see the colorful World of Birds. And when you’re ready to immerse yourself in a world of spell-binding beauty, there’s no topping the Butterfly Garden!

3. VISIT THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN

New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, NY
Photo by Melody Anne Crespo

Who said that big cities can’t be beautiful? Next time someone says that about The Bronx, just remind them that the New York Botanical Garden has 27 different gardens, each showing off a distinctive group of plant life, covering a total 250 acres! The garden hosts various events throughout the year, from orchid shows to luncheons and greenhouse tours. It’s also a major education resource in New York, as teachers often pick this as a destination for field trips. Outside of school, kids can also embark on seasonal camps and gardening programs. But it’s not just kids who can learn a thing or two here! The New York Botanical Garden also offers adult classes in landscape design, botanical art, gardening, and botany.

4. NO SHORTAGE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Fordham University Rose Hill campus in Bronx, NY
Photo by Raymond Bucko, SJ

Speaking of learning, The Bronx has plenty of opportunities for higher education. Local institutes include the Rose Hill campus for Fordham University, Bronx Community College, College of Mount Saint Vincent, Manhattan College,Lehman CollegeAlbert Einstein College of Medicine, and SUNY Maritime College.

5. HOME OF NEW YORK’S LITTLE ITALY

Mural on building along Arthur Ave in The Bronx's Little Italy
Photo by Shannon McGee

Do you love Italian cuisine and traditions? Hold on to your passport! You don’t need to fly across the Atlantic to immerse yourself in authentic Italian culture. Arthur Avenue is The Bronx’s Little Italy, and for good reason! Nowhere else in New York will you find such a high concentration of Italian restaurants and culture. Choose from a selection of signature cocktails like The Mario Test and Arthur Avenue Wise Guy at Ann & Tony’s Restaurant. At Pasquale Rigoletto Restaurant, feast on pastas, seafood, poultry, and homemade cheesecake. You’ve heard of New York pizza, so check out Full Moon Pizza and its Sicilian, buffalo chicken, and capricciosa pizzas. It doesn’t stop with food either! After dinner, go grab a new cigar flavor at La Caca Grande Tobacco Company for amazing hand-rolled cigars.

6. CATCH A GAME IN THE BRONX

Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY
Photo by m01229

The Bronx has been home to the New York Yankees since 1923. The original Yankee Stadium served the team and its fans for many decades, but the new $2.3 million stadium was constructed in 2009 to carry on the legacy. Alongside the New York Mets, the Yankees represent New York in the MLB, and they’ve taken the World Series title a staggering 27 times! If you live in The Bronx, their turf is in your hometown! Of course, baseball isn’t the only sport Bronx residents are proud of. The borough is also home to the New York Emperors Stickball League, which began with impoverished children creating makeshift baseball matches using wooden sticks and rubber balls and has since become a local tradition! The league plays every Sunday and includes eight teams, plus a youth division! Check out this video from the New York Post to see the impact the stickball league has had on locals.

7. STROLL THROUGH PICTURESQUE PARKS IN THE BRONX

Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, NY
Photo by Steve Pisano

Living in a big city like New York is exciting, but sometimes it helps to spend a few hours among some beautiful trees and open terrain. Fortunately for residents of The Bronx, the borough has a large number of gorgeous, peaceful parks to enjoy like Van Cortlandt Park and Crotona Park. Be sure to spend some time at Pelham Bay Park, too, which is more than three times the size of the famous Central Park in Manhattan.

8. HORSES FOR POLICE AND PEDESTRIANS

The Bronx Equestrian Center in Bronx, NY
Photo by Kristine Paulus

When people think of equestrians in New York, they generally picture police officers on horseback. However, you don’t have to wear a badge to ride a horse in The Bronx! Just head on down to the Bronx Equestrian Center. Located in the Pelham Bay Park area, the center includes Western and English styles of riding for people of all skill levels. So whether you’re an experienced rider or someone who’s still learning to put the saddle on, Bronx Equestrian Center is your go-to source for equestrian entertainment. You can also ride in carriages and wagons, and horse owners can even board their horses here.

9. GRAB A DRINK IN THE BRONX

Beer in NYC bar
Photo by Jazz Guy

Looking for a place to socialize? The Bronx is full of bars, pubs, and diners that are ideal for meeting people and enjoying a cold beer. Bronx Alehouse offers a wide selection of craft beers from lagers and Hefeweizens to IPAs and Stouts. Pine Bar & Grill can seat 70 guests for dining and up to 100 for cocktails, making it a great place for events! The Bronx Beer Hall, as its name suggests, has a plentiful supply of beers, but they also feature a nice wine selection, too. Hudson Garden Grill features a wide walnut-topped bar and offers a hearty selection of beer, wine, and cocktails.

10. ALL-IN-ONE AT THE BRONX TERMINAL MARKET

Bronx Terminal Market and Powerhouse in Bronx, NY
Photo by HLIT

For all your shopping needs, head to the Bronx Terminal Market (once named the Gateway Center), which is accessible off Major Deegan Expressway. Completed in 2009, the market includes usual suspects like AT&T, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Target, as well as numerous restaurants like Applebee’s and Subway. So you can get your shopping in and grab a bite to eat at the same time!

11. GET COMFORTABLE WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

East 180th Street 2 & 5 subway station in Bronx, NY
Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

Anyone who has been to New York City knows that most people rely upon public transportation or taxis to get around. The Bronx is no different. In fact, 61.6% of households in The Bronx do not own an automobile, instead using one of the six New York City Subway lines that operate in the borough. Regardless, there are many large highways accessible in The Bronx, so if you have access to a private vehicle, you can travel to the rest of the metrol. If you wish to bring a car with you to The Bronx, you might have difficulty finding a house or apartment with parking privileges, but you can always put your vehicle in a Bronx storage facility with vehicle storage.

12. THERE IS LOCAL BEACH ACCESS

Orchard Beach in Bronx, NY
Photo by Dan DeLuca

Another cool thing about living in The Bronx is the convenient beach access! Orchard Beach, sometimes known as Bronx Riviera, is the borough’s only public beach. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy a relaxing day out in the sun and also treat themselves to snacks, volleyball games, and souvenirs!

13. BRONX RESIDENTS ARE PROUD OF THEIR BOROUGH

The Bronx Mural in Bronx, NY
Photo by er Guiri

The residents of The Bronx are proud of where they live, and many festivities are held to demonstrate this. This includes Morris Park’s Columbus Day Parade, which draws thousands of spectators each year. Something residents also take great pride in is that their borough was the birthplace for many famous people, including actress/singer Jennifer Lopez, actor Tony Curtis, musician Bill Joel, actress Lauren Bacall, director Rob Reiner, and comedian Tracy Morgan.

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What do you love about living in The Bronx? Tell us in the comments!

Moving to The Bronx soon? Check out our list of the safest, most affordable neighborhoods in The Bronx and other NYC boroughs! If you need a storage unit while moving or to get more space at home, Extra Space Storage has several storage facilities in The Bronx conveniently located near you.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.