7. Stock up for the Feast of Seven Fishes

Cosenza's Fish Market Arthur Ave
Courtesy of the Belmont Business Improvement District

The Feast of the Seven Fishes, or “La Vigilia”, is a Christmas Eve tradition celebrated by Italian-Americans that commemorates the midnight birth of Baby Jesus. Traditionally, a meal of seven different fishes is prepared, an homage to the Roman Catholic tradition of abstaining from eating meat on the eve of a feast day. For those who celebrate, there are a plethora of fish markets in New York City where you can stock up for the evening!

Fulton Fish Market Virtual Talk

Book cover of The Fulton Fish Market: A History by Jonathan Rees which features a painting of the historic fish market

For the early birds, you can head up to the Fulton Fish Market in the Bronx for a fresh catch. Other options can be found along Arthur Avenue, the Bronx’s Little Italy. Baccala, shrimp, branzino, octopus, calamari, mussels, eels, clams, lobster, and more are up for sale at old-school joints like Cosenza’s Fish Market, which has been around for over 100 years, and Randazzo’s Seafood, a family-owned traditional fish market since the late 1920s. Buon apetito!