Mott Haven is a mainly residential neighborhood in the southwestern part of the Bronx borough in New York City. Mott Haven lies within the boundaries of East 149th Street to the north, the Bruckner Expressway to its east, to the south is the Bronx Kill waterway and the Harlem River to the west.
Mott Haven Demographics & History
What is now known as Mott Haven was once owned by the Morris family. Part of the land that was called Morrisania, was bought by Jordan Lawrence Mott to be used for his iron works in 1849. Remnants of the iron works are still visible now, west of the Third Avenue bridge on East 134th Street.
Like most neighborhoods in New York, growth in the area meant residential development. Upper-middle class residences, primarily architecturally fashionable brownstones, grew up along Alexander Avenue by the 1890s. There was also an area known as Doctors Row, also known as the Irish Fifth Avenue, and one called Judges’ Row filled with brownstones on East 134th Street, east of Willis Avenue. Continual growth in the area saw the construction of tenement-style apartment buildings by the early 20th century, which are still dominant.
In terms of demographics, towards the end of the 19th century up until the 1940s, Mott Haven held a mix of German-American, Irish-American, and Italian residents. Today, Mott Haven is a densely populated neighborhood with over 68,000 people. There is a mix of Hispanic/Latino (72.3%), Black or African American (24.7%), White (1.7%), Asian (0.4%) and other multicultural (1%) residents. The neighborhood is believed to have mainly Puerto Ricans living there.
Local Cuisine Representing Diversity
Being a diverse residential neighborhood, Mott Haven offers a wide array of restaurant options that are representative of the people and families living in this area. Here are the top five restaurants to eat at in the neighborhood.
1. La Morada at 308 Willis Avenue
This family owned and operated Mexican restaurant aims to preserve and share indigenous Mexican cuisine. The restaurant has been featured in the New York Times highlighting its authentic Oaxacan cuisine of five types of moles and tacos. Oaxaca is the region of Mexico where the chef hails from.
2. Calientito at 114 Lincoln Avenue
Opened in 2013 by Dominican and Puerto Rican owners, the restaurant serves up authentic Caribbean cuisine. Although fairly new, the restaurant gets rave reviews for its food as well as its ambiance, with Caribbean music and paintings from one of the owners’ fathers who still resides in Puerto Rico.
3. Mott Haven Bar at 1 Bruckner Boulevard
The Mott Haven Bar is a restaurant, bar and coffee roastery, found in the Mott Haven area of New York. The bar also has a reputation for feeling like a neighborhood center where customers are known by their names. Sounds almost like the popular Cheers Bar.
4. Ceetay at 129 Alexander Avenue
If it’s Asian cuisine you are after, then this is the place for you to have good Sushi in the Bronx. Ceetay has been called “close to being a true hidden gem” by the Examiner.com. Ceetay has also become a go-to place for sushi lovers as well as those who enjoy noodles, rice dishes, and other Asian cuisines. The restaurant walls are decorated with Japanese newspapers with stains of Israeli coffee to give it an aging effect. Much like the Mott Haven Bar, Ceetay also aims to know its customers on a more personal level by knowing their names instead of just having them be another customer.
5. Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen at 112 Lincoln Avenue
Charlie’s Bar & Kitchen opened in the spring of 2012 in the heart of Bronx’s Mott Haven. This restaurant is considered to provide New American cuisine. The restaurant has been featured on gothamist.com in their 10 Best Restaurants In NYC For Picky Eaters countdown. One of the featured items are Shrimp & Grits served in a cheddar bowl.
Notable Mott Haven Residents
Some famous people have lived in Mott Haven:
- French Montana: the rapper who emigrated from Morocco when he was 13 years old and settled in Mott Haven with his family. Aside from his rapping, French Montana is also known for having dated Khloe Kardashian.
- Luis Antonio Ramos: the Puerto Rican born American actor was raised in the neighborhood’s Patterson Houses. The actor has starred in T.V. shows like Martin, Friends, The Shield and CSI.
- Rod Strickland: a retired NBA player was raised in the Mitchel Houses. Strickland enjoyed a long NBA career playing for the NY Knicks, San Antonio Spurs, Portland Trail Blazers, and Washington Bullets.
There are a number of buses and trains that will lead you to this neighborhood. Some of the trains are the 138th Street-Grand Concourse (4 5 trains), Cypress Avenue (6 train), Brook Avenue ( 6 train). Buses to the neighborhood, include, Bx1, Bx2, Bx17, and Bx19.
Local Emergency Services
If you are in need of hospital or police services in the neighborhood, the following might be of use:
234 Eugenio Maria De Hostos Blvd (East 149th Street)
Bronx, New York 10451
NYPD 40th Precinct
257 Alexander Ave., Bronx, NY, 10454-1133