7 Old-School Italian Shops to Hit That Are Not on Arthur Avenue
Westchester’s Italian gems offer fresh pasta, cheeses, sausages, Italian combos, and plenty of homemade mozz.
Arthur Avenue thrives on serving customers Italian delicacies that your average neighborhood deli doesn’t offer, with bakeries and stores often known for just a couple specific items. And while we’ll still make trips to the Ave, if you’re looking to avoid the chaos and tough parking (especially at the holidays), here are seven Italian stores in Westchester that will save you a trip to the Bronx.
1789 Central Ave, Yonkers; 914.337.2550
Located in the Highridge Plaza, A&S has dominated the Yonkers deli scene for more than 35 years. It’s always booming with business, with some customers shopping the whole store — the olives, sundried peppers, dried sausages, and macaroni salad are all appealing — while others stick to sandwiches. (A few of the pepper-and-onion or tomato-basil sausages wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.)
The cheese selection is also strong, carrying an Arthur Avenue favorite that’s finally made its way to Westchester: Moliterno al tartufo. A raw sheep’s milk truffle pecorino, its flavor is intense, but not overwhelming; pair it with honey to balance the nutty earthiness of the black truffle.
Pro Tip: If you want dessert, A&S now offers imported Italian gelato.
1016 McLean Ave, Yonkers; 914.237.2389
Since 1986, Avitabile has been lauded for its homemade mozzarella (see the plaques on the wall). Now run by founder Giovanni Avitabile’s son, Joey, and wife, Maria, you’ll find an abundance of Italian cookies and wafers on the shelves, plus sundried tomatoes and stuffed peppers on display.
But you will truly regret leaving Avitabile without buying a container of bocconcini. Made daily and very reasonably priced, it’s creamy, stretchy, soft, and melts in your mouth. It’s never a bad idea to buy some prosciutto di Parma to wrap around them for an ideal bite.
The Sandwich to Get: Prosciutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella, sundried peppers, and balsamic glaze on a wedge
Photo by Matt Toglia/@MangiaWithMatteo
Battaglia Bros Meateria & Deli
8 Southfield Ave, Dobbs Ferry; 914.693.1114
Right off the Ashford Ave Bridge, Battaglia Brothers is a full Italian market filled with endless options. (If you go there with the intention of purchasing just one item, good luck.) Pre-made meals, imported pastas, and the butcher are three key areas that you will want to spend time at. At the counter, fresh zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta and other delicious small bites will be staring at you.
Behind the checkout are soft, sweet cookies imported from Sicily in flavors such as pistachio, mandarin, almond, orange, and prickly pear. It’s a special product that is not sold in many stores in the U.S. Why get one box when it’s two for $15?
Also Pick Up: Soppressata with provolone, dried figs, prosciutto bread, and when they have it, homemade sfogliatelle with cannoli cream
Cosmo & Alex Pisano Bros
252 Mamaroneck Ave, Mamaroneck; 914.381.4402
This Mamaroneck store and deli has been a county staple since 1954. Pat Colalillo took ownership in 1988, and if you get a chance to interact with him (perhaps while he’s making one of his excellent Italian combos), you’ll feel right at home. The store has no shortage of imported cheeses, including Parmigiano Reggiano, pecorino Toscano, pecorino Crotonese, and provola. But between the hot-food selection, all the San Marzano tomato-based sauces, and varieties of balsamic vinegar, it’s hard not to fall in love with everything in the store.
The crown jewel is culatello, the king of meats. Rarely found in the States, this prosciutto-like cured ham is produced only in eight villages in Italy, where the unique climate and strict aging process contribute to a distinct, nutty, sweet, delicate flavor. It doesn’t come cheap — it’s double the price per pound of prosciutto di Parma — but everyone deserves to experience it.
Go Next Door: The same family owns top Italian sweet spot Boiano Bakery (take your sandwiches there to sit and eat) next door.
76 Wheeler Ave, Pleasantville; 914.747.1349
Frank & Joe’s is open 364 days out of the year (closed Christmas), making fresh mozzarella daily and assembling a variety of antipasto platters for your catering needs. (Check out the specialty pastas on weekends and pizza rustica during the holidays.) The sausages are all homemade with plenty of versions to choose from, including hot, sweet, thin, seasoned, pepper, parsley, onion, broccoli rabe, and chicken.
Or, keep things simple with a sandwich, like fresh mozzarella, tomato, olive oil, and basil on toasted Zurro’s bread. The meatball and chicken parm are great, too.
Grab Some Lunch: Try the chicken cutlets at lunch, when they come out fresh from the fryer.
109 Gainsborg Ave, West Harrison; 914.948.0880
Tucked away in a residential part of Silver Lake, Pilone’s has been in business for 26 years. It’s quietly built a reputation for having a great Italian combo — we like to order a custom mix of imported mortadella, hot soppressata, salami, hot peppers, provolone, and Italian dressing — assembled on bastones and club rolls from Bronx-based Nicosia’s and Zurro’s bakeries.
While you wait for your sandwich, take a stroll through the market, and attempt to count how many different pastas they carry, including frozen pastas from John’s Ravioli Co. in New Rochelle and Pastosa in the Bronx.
Party Hack: Pick up a container of provolone and sliced dried sausage.
790 Commerce St, Thornwood; 914.769.8977
The alternative to waiting on the long lines at Borgatti’s during the holidays, Trotta’s has been operating on Commerce Street for 42 years. Here, you’ll find 12 different types of ravioli, seasonal pastas, imported Bindi gelato and cakes, homemade rolls, and more. The pasta, of course, is made in house (hence the name), and owner Ed Trotta supplies restaurants on Arthur Ave and in Westchester.
If you’re going to Trotta’s for the first time, don’t miss their homemade mozzarella rolls. The warm mozzarella, wrapped around a thin slice of prosciutto, creates the perfect combination of sweet, salty and creamy. And be sure to pick up some homemade sauces. Options include marinara, vodka, Bolognese, Sunday gravy, white clam, and the list keeps going on.
Pro Tip: Ask for the homemade arancini, made with a blend of fontina and mozzarella cheese.
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