Presented by:

The Bronx

Bourdain’s Field Notes

I’ve lived in New York City since the mid ’70s. I was, for all of that time, aware of the Bronx. It was up there and over there—a vast, unexplored land you drove through to get to Yankee Stadium. I had been to Arthur Avenue. Visited friends from time to time. I’d driven the Cross Bronx Expressway, whose very name tells you its purpose: to cross you through the Bronx without actually visiting it. Once upon a time, it was considered funny if you were a Manhattanite to claim you never crossed the bridges, never left the borough—that you didn’t “have a passport.” A famous New Yorker cover reflects this attitude, one that has changed enormously since. Now you feel like a boob if you haven’t explored Queens, if you are unaware of the many and fast-growing delights of Brooklyn. But the Bronx? It hasn’t been receiving a lot of love. While it’s known very well and appreciated by its fiercely proud residents, many of us who live elsewhere still, unforgivably, see it as a relatively unknown territory.

At the risk of inspiring a trickle and then a gush of annoying foodies to invade pristine neighborhoods as yet untouched by hipster baristas, I thought I’d do my tiny part to correct this glaring omission.

The Bronx, as it turns out, is a paradise of delicious food. It’s a sprawl—like L.A. in the best possible sense—where lots and lots of people from somewhere else arrived, either recently or a long time ago, and brought their food and their culture with them. We visited enclaves Honduran, old-school Puerto Rican, Bangladeshi, Jamaican, Eastern European Jewish … and explored the shameful delights of White Castle.

It’s a show about where we are, where we were, and where many of the things we love and take for granted come from.

Featured Stories

Travel like Bourdain

“What you should know is that the Bronx is big. Really big. And that it’s a patchwork of ethnic enclaves, a cross‑section of the whole world, every immigrant group you could think of.”

More Stories

By continuing to use this site you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy