Here at Fordham, we're lucky to be in such a culturally-dense neighborhood. There are more Italian restaurants, bakeries, and pizzerias than I can keep track of within a 10 minute walk off campus. There are also plenty of Spanish, Albanian, and Ethiopian restaurants around to meet your non-Italian needs. The Arthur Avenue Market has been around for years, and has become a staple in the Little Italy Community. For a newcomer, walking inside such a loud, bustling place could be quite overwhelming.

Fortunately, I'm here to break down Arthur Avenue Market for you. Everything from beer, to brunch, cigars, and cured meats can be found under one roof. And if you're lucky, you might even spot a celebrity or two at Mike's Deli. There's something for everyone, and I'm here to tell you about it all.

1. Brunch

On Sundays, everyone's Instagram feed fills up with artsy brunch pictures from hipster-filled restaurants in Soho or Brooklyn. But at Bronx Beer Hall, you can get a just as good of a meal minus the trek to the D-train. Plus, it's a lot cheaper than the steep NYC pricing.

For $15, you can get 2 hours of unlimited drinks. BBH also serves up classics like chicken & waffles (with Nutella, of course,) omelettes, french toast, burgers, and sandwiches. You can even order a plate of bacon for $10 (it comes with 12 slices of bacon, bread, maple syrup, lettuce, tomato, and onion). 

Brunch is served every Sunday from 11:00-4:00.

2. Beer & Karaoke

Most Fordham students are familiar with the Arthur Avenue Market because of their  "Judgement Free Karaoke" on Tuesday nights. You can either sing your heart out or just watch your peers from the audience, but either way, it's free for anyone who's interested (21+)

They also have a bunch of other events like happy hour, comedy shows, trivia, and live jazz if karaoke isn't your forte. Regardless of the event, you can order off of their "Late Night Menu," which serves a variety of pizzas from their neighbor, Zero Otto Nove, and order a beer from their extensive list of craft beers. 

#SpoonTip: if you win trivia, you can score some free food and drinks.

3. Celebrities 

Located inside of the market, Mike's Deli has become a magnet for celebrities seeking out fresh ingredients, Italian specialties, and great food. Mike's counters have seen the faces of Kevin Jonas, Bobby Flay, John Kasich, New York Yankees, Cardinal Dolan, and even Siggy Flicker from Real Housewives of New Jersey.

While Kevin Jonas annually visits Mike's to pick up some ingredients for Christmas dinner, their eggplant parmesan caught the attention of Food Network's Bobby Flay. Mike's was featured on an episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flayand you have to check out Flay's recipe for his rendition of an "Arthur Avenue Burger."

The Arthur Avenue Market is a really exciting place because on any given day, you don't know who you'll find. I got out of class on a random Tuesday and decided to take a trip down to the market. After I devoured my pizza and ate too many free samples of mozzarella, I found myself caught in a swarm of reporters because three Yankees (Chase Headley, Justus Sheffield, and Matt Holliday) were behind the counter learning about the history of the Arthur Avenue Market. They even got a personal class on how to make homemade mozzarella.

Vienna Terrell

4. Pizza

Cafe Almercato may be overshadowed by Full Moon and Pugsley's, but trust me, it's just as good. They serve up more than just pizza, but their Sicilian slices are amazing. The crust is so thin and crunchy, and the perfectly salted fresh mozzarella and homemade sauce makes for a perfectly balanced masterpiece. 

Cafe Almercato also has great espresso, pasta, and sandwiches if pizza isn't your thing. But, with their vast spread of specialty slices, there really is something for everyone.

Cafe Almercato is a hidden Arthur Avenue gem, but it definitely shouldn't be overlooked. Place your order, grab a table, and thank me later.

5. Baked Goods, Cigars & Gifts

The good thing about being a college student is that gift shopping is usually pretty easy. Your family members are overjoyed when they open up their Christmas gifts to find a brand new Fordham t-shirt or mug. But, after a while, there's only so much Fordham apparel your parents can wear (and you can afford).

If you have any foodies in your life, or just a very Italian family, the Arthur Avenue Market is a great place to do your holiday or birthday shopping.

You can find a huge wall full of tons of olive oil and vinegar at the Arthur Avenue Market Pasticceria. Grab a basket, pick out some oil, buy a bottle of wine, and a loaf of bread, and you have a gift that could make any Italian mother happy. You can even get a plant or some flowers for Mother's Day at Liberatore's Garden. The Arthur Avenue Market also sell gift cards and pre-made gift baskets if you don't know what to choose

The market is also equipped with plenty of Godfather apparel, like an apron that reads "take the gun, leave the cannoli.The Arthur Avenue Market sells hand-rolled cigars at La Casa Grande Cigars and even has an Al Capone statue in their storefront.

And finally, if you're just looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, there is a bakery with tons of pastries calling your name. It's also not hard to locate any Nutella, gelato, torrone, or fresh loaves of bread as you browse the aisles.

The Arthur Avenue Market is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. If I haven't convinced you already, market on your calendars and find out for yourself!