Harlem has been earning a reputation as the hottest culinary destination in Manhattan for some time now, so most New Yorkers are familiar with area dinner hotspots like Red Rooster and Sylvia’s. For a fresh look at the Harlem dining scene, we’ve taken a day-long tour — from morning coffee to late-night bites — providing delectable destinations and recommendations along the way. Bon appétit!
For Coffee: Lenox Coffee
60 W. 129th St. at Malcom X Boulevard
Lenox Coffee (Image: kennejima/Flickr)
With roasting done locally in Red Hook, Brooklyn and milk sourced from Hudson Valley Fresh Farms, Lenox Coffee is the perfect spot for your daily dose of caffeine. They feature their own signature line of seasonal single-origin drip coffees, cold brews, and espresso blends, along with light breakfast items. Our pick for a delicious breakfast on the go: a luxurious café latte and the organic Hudson Valley yogurt parfait with locally made organic granola.
For Breakfast: Sugar Hill Café
410 W. 145th St. between Convent Avenue and St. Nicholas Avenue
Descend into this charming basement café and discover a delightful spot known among locals for its delicious matcha lattes and great eats. Serving food and beverages from 7 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m. daily, we recommend ducking in early to enjoy their delicious breakfasts, including the sweet ricotta toast with honey and mixed berries or the savory avocado toast with capers and smoked salmon.
For Brunch: The Edge
101 Edgecombe Ave. at West 139th Street
The Edge (Photo by Robert Shaffer, courtesy EdgeCafeHarlem.com)
Weekends are for brunch, and The Edge offers to-die-for dishes you won’t find anywhere else. The eclectic menu features three regional sections. On the Jamaican list you’ll find a curried chicken sandwich with plantains and jerk Caesar salad. Out of England comes, naturally, fish and chips, while the New York section boasts everything from bagels with smoked salmon to the Ultimate Edge Burger topped by a fried egg, bacon, and caramelized onion spread.
For Lunch: Harlem Karibe Restaurant and Catering
2234 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. between West 131st and 132nd streets
For a great lunch at a great value, this colorful and casual Caribbean spot can’t be beat. Harlem Karibe offers authentic Haitian food in extra-large portions that are good for your wallet and taste buds. Look for tassot (fried goat) and griot (fried pork) alongside rice and beans, legumes, and fried plantains.
For Dinner: The Cecil
210 W. 118th St. between St. Nicholas Avenue and Seventh Avenue
In a chic, historic setting with Afro-Asian-American fare served underneath stunning works of art, The Cecil has been invading best-of-Harlem lists since it opened three years ago. We recommend the grilled wagyu burger with smoked pork belly and the mac ‘n’ cheese casserole with caramelized scallions. After dinner, head next door to Minton’s for great jazz in a historic setting.
Late Night: The Harlem Tavern
2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd. off 116th Street
Harlem Tavern (Image: Facebook)
A fresh uptown beer garden with a selection of delicious craft beers, Harlem Tavern is the spot to finish off the evening with an imported cold one and some delicious finger foods. Open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, pair your mug of suds with chipotle honey barbecue wings, oysters with a spicy cocktail sauce, seafood ceviche, or coconut shrimp. The perfect end to a perfect day in Harlem.