There is a lot to like in New Rochelle and after spending many years sampling the best of what New Rochelle has to offer I have some definite opinions. This list is not final but it is not up for argument either. If you do not agree that’s fine, go write your own article about what you like. This is what I like!
As I recall or experience other things I like I will add them here. If something changes with some place I will give them a strike through. Any comments that are not ADDING suggestions for places and things that I might want to try and add to my list will be deleted. And yes, I know, my list includes a lot of things to eat and drink.
So, here goes, in no particular order.
My favorite cappuccino is not from a coffee shop or diner, and definitely not at Starbucks. It is at the Ionian Grill and Cafe on North Avenue, about a block over from City Hall. Greek coffee in an Italian-style coffee drink; not for the faint of heart or people who want to get to sleep early.
My favorite park to take my younger kids is what they used to call the “purple park”, now known as Jack’s Friendship Garden, at the corner of North Avenue and Eastchester Road near the New Rochelle Children’s Library. Sadly, they have, all but one, outgrown this park.
I like to buy fruits and vegetables is Viva Ranch. No, not the one on Main Street, the one at the corner of Huegenot Street and Center Avenue. 10 limes for a dollar! Are you kidding me?
When I need to buy or trade in video games (ummm…for the kids!) I head to the GameStop at NewRoc City. OK, it’s really the only place but the guys there care about the games and if you get the right salesperson you will learn something and avoid the clunkers.
I love the lemon Italian ice at Saccone’s Pizzeria on 6th Street and Washington, mostly after the Feast at St. Joseph’s church, but any time is good.
Overall, New Rochelle has excellent pizza so it is hard to find bad pizza. It’s all in the Bronx Water! But if I have to choose one then I choose Modern Pizza for a place go go in, sit down and order a pizza (the “personal pizza” is addictive). But pizza is made to be delivered and my favorite Friday night delivery of pizza is from Deanna’s Pizza. They never get lost and the pizza arrives hot. If you just want a slice and you want it quick, Saccone’s Margherita is pizza-perfect.
As far as what I would call “white tablecloth” restaurants in New Rochelle, the one dessert I find myself thinking about late at night is the deconstructed Key Lime pie at La Cienega on East Main Street near Salesian High School. It is a brilliantly conceived and delicious dessert.
If you have a lot of documents to scan and you ask nicely the lady at the UPS Store on North Avenue and Quaker Ridge Road will grudgingly cut you a break on the price making it one of the best office services deal in town.
For truly excellent steamers, the real thing, with no consideration for ambiance, I always head over to Leno’s Clam Bar, otherwise known as Greasy Nicks, on Shore Road near the NYAC Travers Island. Cleaning them in boiling water, burning your fingers in the process, is part of the tradition.
All of which brings us to the topic of where to get the bext hamburger. This is always going to be tough but my favorite is the Barge Burger at Dudley’s Parkview Restaurant near Hudson Park but a “cheese with” burger at Greasy Nicks and any burger at AJ’s Burgers are right up there.
My favorite place for a walk or run is around the Twin Lakes at New Rochelle High School on a nice morning or evening.
My favorite bartender in New Rochelle is James O’Toole who ably mans the bar at Dudley’s on Wednesday and every St. Patrick’s Day. Perhaps the only person more informed about what’s really going on in New Rochelle than me!
I am going to have to rely in my wife and daughters here but I am assured the best nail salon in New Rochelle is Century Nail on North Avenue near Lockwood Avenue. I like it because it makes them happy to get quality at a fair price. They must be on to something because Century Nail is one of the places in New Rochelle where you will see the diversity of New Rochelle on full display.
My favorite sandwich to order at a sit down lunch or a late night diner is a Turkey Club sandwich and no one in town makes it better than the cook over at Spectator’s on North Avenue.
You can buy a lottery ticket anywhere but I prefer the Family Bargain Store on North Avenue across from Anderson Street. Mike and Tony make it a little more fun, even though I never seem to win.
They don’t call it a Creamsicle Shake, for legal reasons I guess, but on a hot summer day be sure to ask Alan for a Creamsicle Shake at A.J.s Burgers across from City Hall. Your eyes will roll back in your head with joy.
As a Yankee fan I am willing to put up with a lot to see my team but I grew sick of the parking hassles around the stadium but the Metro-North Yankee stadium Roundtrip Ticket to Yankees Stadium — New Rochelle to 125th Street with a change then a direct shot back to New Rochelle after the game — is actually pleasurable in comparison to what it used to take to get to the ball game.
My favorite lasagna in New Rochelle is the Italian Meateria next to the bagel shop in Wykagyl. I take it home cold, pour gravy all over it and nuke it in the microwave. Yum. My favorite Chicken Parmigiana is the Wedge Inn chicken parm at AJ’s Burgers. It’s off-menu so you have gotta ask.
I am thankful for Modern Hardware for offering an alternative to the horrible Home Depot.
The best deal in town for a lunch buffet is at Coromandel on Division Street in downtown New Rochelle. Joji will hook you up.
I don’t ride around in taxis much but when I do I used to call Bluebird, then Deluxe but these days there is not much debate that Green Team Taxi has the best taxis. They are new, clean and high tech.
On weekend mornings, there is nothing like a fresh, hot plain bagel from H & R Bialy, the bagel place at the Quaker Ridge Shopping Center in Wykagyl. There is a good reason the line is always out the door and every candidate for office frequents this place at election time. Best croissants are at R Patisserie on Huegenot Street.
Like pizza, New Rochelle has some great delis but my favorite place to get a wedge are from the North Avenue Eatery, Avenue Deli or Italian Meateria. Same goes for Mexican food, lots of good places, but I typically find myself at the Little Mexican Cafe on Main Street in downtown. And let me toss in a newcomer, BR Brothers Brazilian Buffet on Main Street at the corner of Lawtown. Carnivores rejoice!
A cigar, a sunset and a refreshing breeze make the Sutton Manor boat house my favorite place to be. It’s why the view from the boathouse on Echo Bay looking out towards Long Island Sound has been part of the Talk of the Sound logo since day one. From the boathouse you can see all the sailboats at their moorings, the Rowing Club building and Five Islands Park. This is truly a wonderful place to be in the summer. Unfortunately, it’s not open to the public but lovely nonetheless for those lucky enough to enjoy it.
Things that I wish we had here…
A nice book store. Sadly, book stores are on the wane and we may never get one. The Border’s in Eastchester was nice but they’re gone now.
A good electronics store. I just go to Best Buy in Mount Vernon.
A great grocery store. Stop & Shop and Key Foods are fine but I would give my eye tooth for a Fairway Market or Whole Foods.
A Burger King. I have to drive to Yonkers for a Burger King? It is hard to believe that we do not have a Burger King, or Wendy’s for that matter. I know there once was a Burger King (and a Popeye’s) at the Dunkin’ Donuts on East Main Street but c’mon!