Johnny’s Reef at City Island
I still cannot believe I just recently found out about the existence of City Island up in the Bronx. I’m almost hesitant to call myself a New Yorker now. City Island is actually a neighborhood in the Bronx that’s located–you guessed it–on an island south of Pelham Bay. It’s pretty tiny (1.5 miles long by 0.5 miles wide) so you can walk from end to end in under an hour.
It has a really chill, beachy vibe and I read that some people call it “Cape Cod in the Bronx.” It is extremely charming and the people are SO freaking nice (we were actually startled by the smiles we got as we passed people by). Although the island is small, there are are apparently 36 restaurants that you can choose from. We ultimately settled on Johnny’s Reef not for any logical reason. We simply took the bus all the way to the end of the island, and Johnny’s Reef, a charming counter-service seafood shack, was right there.
It didn’t seem like there were that many diners from the outside, but when we crossed the threshold into the restaurant we were greeted by a huge cafeteria bustling with people and energy. It was actually a little overwhelming as there were so many counters and 4 or 5 different lines. Everyone was really nice, though, and taught us how to order. The seafood was fresh, and you get some amazing views of the water from the cafeteria. You can also choose to sit outdoors, though we didn’t because it was 98 degrees when we went.
NYC always manages to surprise and delight no matter how long you’ve lived here. That’s something I know will stay constant in this always-changing city.
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