Harlem bleg

Where should we eat Sunday lunch or brunch in Harlem?  Or anywhere else along the way from downtown up to Cloisters?  Is there a good African or Haitian place?  What else?  As always, thanks in advance.


Marcus Samuelsson recommendations including a good Ethiopian place near Columbia are here:

His own place, Red Rooster, has a great brunch - try the Jerk Bacon and Egg. 310 Lenox between 125th & 126th.

I have enjoyed the Ethiopian place by Columbia, name escapes me. Not much to look at, but flavors were terrific.

For Ethiopian, Awash is good; Massawa next to Columbia is also good.
For brunch, consider soul food in Harlem, such as Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too or Amy Ruth's.

A sweet French bistro: Chez Lucienne on Lenox Ave, just north of 125th St. http://www.chezlucienne.com/

Not quite on point, but if you want Burmese food instead, there is exactly one Burmese restaurant in Manhattan, and it's seemingly on your path.


I agree about Massawa; good place.

Massawa is fine but not amazing, but Miss Mamie's Spoonbread Too is great. Also, Mamie's is much more convenient for public transportation, while Massawa is sort of inconveniently right between two lines if that's how you're traveling.

Harlem Bar-B-Q!

Cafe con leche (dominican):


If you want great BBQ, hit up the Dinosaur:

Homeless shelter.

It has been a while since I've been there (and don't go if you're on a diet); but, Sylvia's Soul Food is a Harlem institution: http://www.sylviassoulfood.com/about.html

Sylvia's Queen of Soul Food Restaurant

sylvia's is terrible, may have been good 35 years ago, but has been awful for at least a decade.
ethiopian in NY is not bad but not as good as it is in in DC, so you may as well skip it.
unfortunately i don't know much else about what is up there. i used to go to a west african place called florence's but it closed a few years back. it's possible the owner opened somewhere else?

Zoma is an Ethiopian place at 113th and Frederick Douglass at which I've had many great meals.

Red Rooster, Chez Lucienne and Sylvia's are all between 125th and 127th on Lennox (6th avenue) so its easy to stick your head in and see what you like. That part of Harlem is served by the 2 and 3 subway lines, which are not the Subway lines that take you from downtown to the cloisters (1, A or C), and is about a half-mile east of the A/C (St. Nicholas & 125th) and maybe mile east of the 1 (Broadway & 125th).

If you are looking for something off the 1, A or C, you could check out (1) El Malecon, which specializes in delicious Dominican rotisserie chicken, and has locations on 99th and Amsterdam and 175th(?) and broadway (and is much better, IMO, than Cafe con Leche), (2) Kitchenette, which provides a very solid, if not surprising, American brunch, on 123rd and Amstrerdam, (3) Mamie's Spoon bread, on 110th between Columbus and Morningside), or (4) Charles' Pan Fried Chicken, near 152nd and Frederick Douglas. Right near the Cloisters are two restaurants that get a lot of love, New Leaf Cafe and Mamajuana Cafe, but I'm not sure if they are good or just the most upscale restaurants in the area.

Let me second Zoma and Amy Ruth's. Red Rooster is great but you likely needed to call already for a reservation. Sylvias is garbage now. Newer places, like Bier International are great too.

One secret you'll not hear much about is Lee Lee's bakery. He's on 118 just east of Frederick Douglass. He may make the best rugelach in the world. I live across the street, and there times the smell draws lines.

Also, anyone who suggest Columbia spots as part of Harlem should be distrusted.

Red Rooster is the best, Bier International is kind of good too.

There's a Haitian restaurant in the Upper West Side -- small and simple but authentic: http://krikkrakrestaurant.com/OurMenu.aspx

There's a very well-loved West African restaurant on the east side of Morningside Park; http://www.africakine.com/

Based on the picture that ran with your "100 Top Global Thinkers" award, I'd say you should consider hitting the gym and not eating out so much. You're getting pretty pudgy.

i always enjoyed TOAST near 125 and broadway. decent little beer selection and some well-made food.

TOAST is well-known for their sunday brunch too.

salmon and eggs is my recommendation. last comment. promise.

Glad to see so much love for Sylvia's already posted. Fantastic place!

Near the Cloisters is a great Venezuelan place: http://www.yelp.com/biz/cachapas-y-mas-new-york

For the haitian restaurant uou should try Krik Krak restaurant on Amsterdam Ave. Here's their website: http://krikkrakrestaurant.com

There is a fabulous Italian place on 123rd and Broadway (right off the 1 line), Pisticci.


Go off the beaten path a little, to Pipo's Restaurant on 118th street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue, on the south side. They have the best burritos. On the northwest corner of 116th and Lexington there is another small, very authentic, Mexican restuarant, El Aguila, reminiscent of the small counter restaurants in Mexico. They have great tamales.

For the most delicious sunday brunch in harlem, and some genuine local flavor in a quickly gentrifying hood, hit up Charles Pan Fried Chicken on 151st and st nick: http://nymag.com/listings/restaurant/charles-pan-fried/ Buffet style with standard southern sides, and all you can eat of the most delicious chicken in the world

A close second would be Fredas on 110th and columbus - by far the best carribbean restaurant in manhattan. Jerk chicken and curry goat are sublime, as are all the sides. Both of these options happen to be dirt cheap as well.

Sylvias sucks, avoid at all costs. Ethiopian restaurants mentioned above are decent but nothing special compared to dc.

(Born and raised all over harlem, trust me)

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