"Definitely among Harlem's best bakeries", this pair of Southern specialists makes its name with "homestyle" desserts like sweet potato cheesecake, "truly amazing" red velvet renditions, butter-cream and German chocolate cakes, cupcakes and other "tasty treats"; they're "not cheap", but given the "outstanding quality" and hospitality from a staff of "great folks", most count on them as "worthwhile stops" for birthdays, weddings and catering. ZAGAT
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Morningsider is your guide to Uptown living! Founded by Beatrice Sibblies, a local developer and active community member, we provide an insider's view of the area by featuring a compelling array of cultural culinary, retail and entertainment choices, while focusing on emerging trends, business, education, real-estate and civic engagement. Our Uptown savvy team of writers are local community members and enthusiasts, dedicated to bringing you the latest and the best in lifestyles above 110th Street.
Restaurants & Bars
67 Orange has been Harlem's best cocktail destination for a few years now. The space is cozy, although there's a small room downstairs that's good for a group of friends. More imporant, the drinks list is extensive, and the cocktails themselves are very well executed (there's also a small food menu).
If you're sqeamish about anchovies—grow up!—then snails might not be the first thing you'll order on your pizza, but that's just because you haven't had the pie that employs them at this Harlem newcomer. The buttery Mollusks join tomato, garlic, parsley, and gorgonzola cheese on a slightly charred crust from their wood-fired oven. They're also topping pies with things like potato, scarmorza and proscuitto cotto (Smokey Robinson, $15/22) and Italian sausage and cherry peppers (Thaitalian, $14/21). Swing by during happy hour Monday-Friday because the restaurant will often put out a pie or two, or other dishes, for bar goers enjoying cockstails.
While oxtail dumplings and Mexican-Ethiopian chicken are good to have around, it's a relief any time someone picks up the fraying thread of traditional Southern food in New York and tries to make it right. Carlos Swepson, a New York chef with roots in Natchez, Miss., who owns BLVD Bistro with his sister, Joi, has approached the challenge throughfully. His best food—like wood-smoked chicken, crisp wild grouper with a cornmeal crust, and exemplary Southern potato salad (with chopped hardboiled eggs)—is pressed right up against tradition, but tweaked for modern taste.
New York Times
Ms. Rehan seems to have built the restaurant on the belief that the things she likes will make the rest of us happy, too. You see this in eccentric bits of decoration, like the stuffed peacock that perches on the upstairs bar. The whole second floor is a bit of a peacock; there's also a taxidermied antelope head and a flamboyant mural of a tigress and butterflies. A wall of glass looks over Lenox Avenue, but the real scenery is inside.
New York Times
Four blocks from the Studio Museum, Harlem gets an art-world boost with this prix-fixe French restaurant, fashioned with ink-splatter rugs, black-and-white photos, and china printed with portraits of Basquiat and Warhol. The daily-changing set menu consists of two course, with options like stuffed zucchini with ratatouille and goat cheese, and catfish with fennel-Parmesan purée. À la carte offerings are limited to a Brie-topped burger with caramelized onions on a brioche.
Time Out New York
"Parisian soul" is the thing at this French bistro on a happening stretch of Harlem's Lenox Avenue, where the midpriced Gallic grub is as "genuine" as the "accommodating" service; it's a "great alternative" to Red Rooster next door, and sidewalk seats supply "people-watching" galore.
Chocolat Restaurant and Lounge creates a one-of-a-kind experience that allows its visitors to enter an urban and sophisticated world that pleasures the palate. Whether it's an intimate evening for two or happy hour at the bar, dinner with colleagues or a family gather for brunch, catching up with the girls or watching the game with the fellas, Chocolat has the ambiance to fit every occasion.
This Harlem spot provides something for nearly everyone with a sturdy comfort food menu, friendly scattershot décor, and a multi-purpose space that qualifies as sports bar, group meeting ground, and quiet dinner destination. Every corner of the handsome bistro contains another must-have New York nightlife prop: bare wood floors and ceilings frame exposed brick walls lit by hanging globes, while old-style sconces frame an elegant faux fireplace. The place attracts locals with craft beers on tap, a menu of re-fashioned fast-food standards, and a full liquor shelf.
New York Magazine
It took 3 Days to Open with Bobby Flay to get this Harlem lounge to its current classy state. Thank goodness, because Creole cuisine in a swanky nightclub scene equals huge culinary success. Here's a tiny sampling: Blue Crab & Grits, Paprika Spiced Fries and a Red Velvet Waffle & Fried Chicken.
They might have the best espresso in Harlem but you'll have to pop in to find out. Double Dutch is loved by both coffee and tea lovers in the neighborhood. The Hibiscus tea, which includes rose petals, lemongrass lavendar and cinnamon, comes highly recommended for cold, windy days. There's free Wi-fi and a patio in the back (for when it warms up).
Gin Fizz Harlem is an intimate music venue/jazz club and cocktail bar located in the heart of Harlem. It's open Wednesday to Saturday, with weekly bands on Wednesday and Friday nights and jazz jam sessions every Thursday night with Marc Cary, who welcomes singers, musicians and even poets to the stage. Saturday nights feature a DJ. With its velvet banquettes and ornate chandaliers, the venue's décor pays homage to the jazz speakeasies of Harlem's past. Cocktails are served at the bar and at tables. Groups are welcome.
NYC & Company: nycgo
A riff on legendary Harlem nighspots like the Cotton Club, this "relaxed" supper club in the basement of Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster serves New American fare with soul-food accents, along with updated classic cocktails; "great live jazz" and a "speakeasy" vibe add to the overall "fun scene."
Home made family recipe soul food and bbq, born and raised in Harlem.
The latest addition to the emerging Frederick Douglass Boulevard food scene, Harlem Food Bar specializes in brunch and late-night eats, including mac and cheese squares, salmon BLTs, shrimp po' boys, grilled skirt steaks, buttermilk waffles and a selection of salads and burgers. The café also boasts a menu of signature cocktails and bottled beer as well as a sidewalk café in the summer months.
New York & Company: nycgo
It may be loud and crowded, especially on the weekends, but part of the fun of this place is the grittiness of finding a corner diner on a busy boulevard in Harlem. On warm days, the restaurant opens the floor-to-ceiling doors along the side, and after placing your order at the till, you can grab one of the wobbly tables with a view of the endless activity on the massive Malcolm X Boulevard. The food is typical fast-diner fare (think Five Guys or Shake Shack), with greasy hamburgers, fried-chicken sandwiches, and hot dogs...But nowhere else will you find anything like the Fatty Melt—a burger patty between two grilled cheese sandwiches—which certainly does live up to its name.
New York Magazine
Everyone from "beer nerds to novice drinkers" can appreciate this 7,000-square-foot beer garden, which boasts a New American menu to match its swanky Harlem digs. In addition to a burger program that boasts a build-your-own option as well as premade concoctions like a Moroccan-style lamb version, there are inventive dishes like cedar plank salmon and a fried green tomato flatbread that seems perfect for soaking up some of that beer.
New York Magazine
This "tiny" Harlem seafooder rolls out "delectable" takes on Caribbean street eats, offering "sloppy-casual" dishes like conch fritters, steampots with an array of sauces and plenty of veggie-centric sides; while the counter-order space is simple, with patio seating out back, service is "bubbly."
Harlem's newest pizzeria offers pizza in the traditional Neapolitan style, and is run by Matteo Prospiti and Elena Della Volpe, who were last managing a restaurant on the island of Elba, off the coast of Tuscany, but were so smitten by Harlem's vibe and energy that they decided to move there by also bring a slice of Italy with them. For their pizzas, they source 00 flour and organic tomatoes from Italy, flor di latte from Wisconsin, and extra virgin olive oil from Sicily. The pizzaiolo, Gimmy Piperku, was a second place winner of this year's USA Caputo Cup in the Neapolitan style division. Sottocasa also offers gluten-free pizza, which Piperku said he finds even better than regular version. Sottocasa also has locations in Williamsburg and Boerum Hill. Open Tuesday to Friday from 5 p.m., and Saturday & Sunday from noon.
Sylvia Woods is the "Queen of Soul Food", whose iconic restaurant drew dignitaries and ordinary folk from all over the world to Harlem to taste her fried chicken.
New York Daily News
Restaurants & Bars
Alvin Lee, the owner of Lee Lee's Baked Goods in Harlem, may be one of the last commercial bakers in New York producing traditional butter-dough rugelach, the Austrian-German-Jewish cookies that are like tiny strudels. Most rugelach are made with vegetable shortening, which is much cheaper and longer-lasting. Shortening behaves well at most temperatures and makes crumbly, tender doughs, but has no flavor of its own. Mr. Lee's rugelach are buttery, magnificent, and fleeting.
New York Times
Founder, Stephanie Rubinato began to use essential oils over 15 years ago and loved how many healing properties they possesed. Researching ways to incorporate them into perfumes, she dived into the world of perfumery and was amazed by the delicate detail of creating scents. Studying perfumery and working the spa and skin care industry, Stephanie continues her learning with the Natural Perfume Academy. Stephanie was inspired by frequent trips to the Veneto region of Italy and traveling to Caribbean countries such as Barbados, Jamaica and Guyana. Surrounded by the fresh and wild scents of the countryside, she wanted to capture those in her signature perfumes. Seeing true artisans at work, Stephanie sought to infuse that same vision of care and craft within all her products. Her passion is to create exquisite and vibrant perfumes that awaken the soul as well as the sense. She is currently developing dynamic new scents with vibrancy and complex notes to reflect the combination of these two cultures. Believing in duality her perfumes can provide aromatherapy to calm the frenzy in our everyday lives as well as please the nose.
Aloft Harlem is located in Manhattan's hottest cultural destination known for beautiful brownstones, legendary soul food, and historici religious institutions.