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Fordham, the Bronx: What to do, see and more in the borough's largest shopping district

Home to the largest shopping district in the Bronx and the third largest in the city, Fordham is a haven for shopaholics.

Fordham Road, stretching the length of the neighborhood from Webster Avenue to Jerome Avenue, boasts more than 300 big-box and mom-and-pop shops selling everything from clothes to furniture.

As expected, residents say they rarely leave the immediate area to find anything they need. “It’s convenient for me to get stuff for everyday life,” said Onica Patterson, a 36-year-old mother who’s lived in Fordham for 21 years.

Although it seems far from Manhattan, especially downtown, traveling to and from Fordham is painless, with the 4, B, D and Metro-North trains and more than 15 buses stopping throughout the neighborhood.

“It’s a very unique place with the fact that there are so many different ways to get here and so many different places to shop,” said Daniel Bernstein, Fordham Road Business Improvement District deputy director.

The main draw to Fordham, though, is its
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

The main draw to Fordham, though, is its low rent, locals say.

In December 2015, spacious one-bedroom apartments rented for about $1,500 a month and two-bedrooms for roughly $1,700, according to Citi Habitats realtor Jesse King.

"It's not like what you would find in Manhattan," he said.

In the sales market, apartments worth more than $1 million are hard to find, and co-ops in the nabe go for an average of $400,000, with many dipping below $200,000, according to King.

There aren't many condos, but King said he saw one-bedrooms listed for as low as $80,000 so far this year.

The nabe has large Hispanic and African American
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

The nabe has large Hispanic and African American communities. Because of Fordham University, a lot of students live in the area, too, but it's also popular among young families. Its proximity to the New York Botanical Gardens, Bronx Zoo and multiple small parks provides lots of outdoor entertainment for kids.

Locals value the area's charms. Some mom-and-pop shops in the neighborhood have been around for 80 years, like North End Wine & Liquor on Webster Avenue, and many of the large department stores are located in pre-war buildings.

"You can see remnants of old-school Fordham in the buildings," Bernstein, of the Fordham Road BID, said. For example, the old Paradise Theater is now used by the World Changers Church, but is a city landmark and maintains its grandiose 1920s facade.

Residents don't foresee gentrification changing the character of the neighborhood anytime soon.

"The Bronx, including Fordham, will probably be the last frontier of New York City," King said.

Find it:

Fordham stretches north to south from 198th Street to 183rd Street and west to east from Jerome Avenue to Dr. Theodore Kazimiroff Boulevard above East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue below it.

Where to eat

Ebe Ye Yie2364 Jerome Ave.Serving spicy West African
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

Ebe Ye Yie

2364 Jerome Ave.

Serving spicy West African stewed meats and fufu (plantain or cassava dough) to soak up the liquid, this restaurant offers authentic, affordable Ghanaian food.


3 Way Restaurant

384 E. 188th St.

With monfongos, sweet plantains and soupy rice with various meats, 3 Way Restaurant brings the Dominican Republic to the Bronx.

Fordham Restaurant

2506 Grand Concourse

An American diner with classic breakfasts, including pancakes and French toast, as well as burgers, fish and pasta for dinner.


Where to party

Pat O'Brien Pub28 E. Kingsbridge Rd.This casual pub
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

Pat O'Brien Pub

28 E. Kingsbridge Rd.

This casual pub has a pool table, darts, TVs playing whatever game is on and plenty of beer options.


Rafaelina Restaurant Bar

2776 Webster Ave.

Along with drinks, this restaurant bar offers Spanish bites, ranging from seafood to sandwiches.


Where to shop

Fordham Comics390 E. Fordham Rd.This 30-year-old shop sells
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

Fordham Comics

390 E. Fordham Rd.

This 30-year-old shop sells comics and collectibles, with an emphasis on Magic: The Gathering cards.


Fordham Road between Grand Concourse and Valentine Avenue

The major shopping area boasts stores such as Jimmy Jazz, Payless and Rainbow.

Webster Lock and Hardware

2471 Webster Ave.

Offering locksmith services, doors and frames and security cameras, this independently owned shop has been around since 1949.

What to do

New York Botanical Garden2900 Southern Blvd.Bordering Fordham University,
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

New York Botanical Garden

2900 Southern Blvd.

Bordering Fordham University, the garden features 50 displays and a Victorian-style glasshouse full of native tropical rain forest and desert plants.

St. James Park

Jerome Avenue and E. 193rd Street

This small park boasts tennis, basketball and handball courts, a playground and a recreation center with game rooms, computers and a fitness room.

Bronx Library Center

310 E. Kingsbridge Rd.

The largest public library in the Bronx has an expansive collection of books for people of all ages and hosts free cultural events throughout the year.

Q&A with Jose Coto, owner of 188 Bakery Cuchifrito’s

Jose Coto, 68, opened 188 Bakery Cuchifrito's at
Photo Credit: Lauren Holter

Jose Coto, 68, opened 188 Bakery Cuchifrito's at 158 E. 188th St. 34 years ago, and is now assisted by his son, also named Jose. The small eatery is known primarily for its cuchifritos, which are various fried Puerto Rican dishes, though Coto isn't Puerto Rican.

How did you get into restaurants?

I learned it from my parents. My father used to be in the restaurant business. I learned the restaurant trade from him, and it's a good business. ... There used to be a lot of Puerto Rican people around. Now people like to try Puerto Rican food.

What attracted you to Fordham?

I saw the good business celebration and I opened up. It's a commercial area [and] there's a nice big community.

What lures your customers?

The food is good and people enjoy it. We've been here for so many years, we have so many people coming in from every location.

The basics

TransportationTrains:4 to 183rd Street, Fordham Road and Kingsbridge
Photo Credit: Uli Seit



4 to 183rd Street, Fordham Road and Kingsbridge Road

B, D to 182-183 streets, Fordham Road and Kingsbridge Road

Metro-North at Fordham and Botanical Garden


Bx1, Bx2, Bx3, BxM3, BxM4, Bx9, Bx12, Bx17, Bx19, Bx22, Bx28, Bx32, Bx34, Bx41, B-L60, B-L61, B-L62


Fordham is covered by the 46th Precinct at 2120 Ryer Ave., the 48th Precinct at 450 Cross Bronx Expressway and the 52nd Precinct at 3016 Webster Ave. The 48th Precinct reported one rape, five robberies and three burglaries in the week of Jan. 1-17. The 52nd Precinct reported seven robberies and three burglaries that week, and the 46th listed 11 robberies, six burglaries and one rape.

2015 Fordham market data

Median sales price: $355,000 Number of units on
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

Median sales price: $355,000

Number of units on market: 12

Median rental price: $1,400

Number of rentals on market: 170

(Source: StreetEasy)


Pedestrian safety is a top priority in Fordham.
Photo Credit: Uli Seit

Pedestrian safety is a top priority in Fordham.

The Department of Transportation's Pedestrian Safety Action Plan for the Bronx targets the neighborhood, among others in the borough, as a dangerous area for pedestrians.

The Fordham and University Heights neighborhoods experienced 17 pedestrian fatalities and 161 severe injuries between 2009 and 2013, according to the DOT.

The shopping area in Fordham Plaza, specifically, is a high-traffic spot for pedestrians, traversed by more than 80,000 pedestrians in a 12-hour period, according to the DOT. Similarly, Fordham Road in the neighborhood is the third-busiest commercial strip in New York City.

To improve safety in those areas, so far, pedestrian crossing signals were slowed at 15 intersections, giving people more time to cross the street; curbs were extended to slow traffic on East 188th Street; and Fordham Road was repaved and remarked. More projects are scheduled for 2016.


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