Harlem Restaurants, Pubs, Bars, Music and more.

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Harlem may have a reputation for its soul food offerings, especially with classics like Sylvia’s, but the uptown neighborhood reflects the diversity of New York City, and its restaurants follow suit — food from Ethiopia, Mexico, Japan, Jamaica, Somalia, and more are all represented. On this list of stand-out restaurants in Harlem, find everything from a new, groundbreaking wine bar to fast casual spots that have put this part of Manhattan on the culinary map. Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2018. The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here. Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.


1. The Honey Well

3604 Broadway New York, NY 10031 Visit Website The Honey Well has established itself as one of the premiere date spots in West Harlem with its craft cocktails and kitschy, neon-lit, ’70s-inspired decor. The bar’s backyard garden is currently daily and is accepting reservations via its website. Along with its cocktails, expect items like Beyond Meat tacos, mini shrimp rolls, and Maryland crabcakes.


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2. ROKC

3452 Broadway New York, NY 10031 Visit Website Each quadrant of the ROKC name — ramen, oysters, kitchen, and cocktails — is worth exploring. The West Harlem restaurant carries an extensive cocktail menu of over 40 drinks, many of which come in novel containers like tea saucers, light bulbs, and Día de los Muertos skulls. The restaurant offers limited outdoor seating, but there’s delivery and takeout to choose from as well. ROKC is open Sunday to Thursday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday to Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.


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3. Ponty Bistro

2375 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd New York, NY 10030 (212) 234-6474 Visit Website With its selection of French food with an African flair, Ponty’s is a tribute to Harlem’s West African influence. Open for breakfast through dinner, dishes vary from luncheonette fare (omelets and burgers) to those with more global influence (Sengalese fish or chicken yassa and lamb merguez couscous). The bright interior — with sun streaming through the floor-to-ceiling windows onto marble-top tables — is especially inviting.

Ponty [Official Photo]

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4. Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant

268 W 135th St New York, NY 10030 (212) 281-2673 Visit Website This Harlem staple from chef Frehiwot Reta opened in 2011 with big portions and spicy Ethiopian fare. The sambusas (pastries filled with beef or lentils and jalapeño) and honey wine are particular standouts. Try one of the platters of meats and vegetables served over spongey injera bread to get a varied taste. The restaurant has outdoor seating and is open daily from noon to 10 p.m.

Abyssinia [Official Photo]

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5. Harlem Hops

2268 7th Ave New York, NY 10030 (646) 998-3444 Visit Website Harlem Hops made an instant name in the neighborhood for its large selection of craft beer accompanied by spicy meat pies in an industrial space. The Black-owned business is deeply rooted in the neighborhood — it also runs a non-profit called Harlem Hopes, which raises money to give college scholarships to Harlem natives.


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6. Manna's

486 Malcolm X Blvd New York, NY 10037 (212) 234-4488 Visit Website Two locations strong, Manna’s serves up a plentiful buffet of soul food such as crispy fried chicken, baked ziti, collard greens, smothered pork chops, and oxtails, just for starters. It’s pay by the pound, so scoop accordingly.


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7. Tropical Grill

2143 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd New York, NY 10027 (212) 531-0233 Known for its long lines snaking out the door, this Puerto Rican staple specializes in rotisserie chicken served alongside rice, beans, tostones, or sweet plantains. Don’t miss the mofongo, or fried plantains mashed with salt, garlic, oil, and pork, and expect generous portions at an affordable price in a spare room.


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8. Clay

553 Manhattan Ave New York, NY 10027 (212) 729-1850 Visit Website What was once a jazz club is now a small, stylish bistro with dishes such as grass-fed steak tartare and short rib ragu. It’s an ambitious neighborhood restaurant, one that takes extra care in sourcing, from its meats to its mainly natural wines.

Clay [Official Photo]

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9. Babbalucci

331 Lenox Ave New York, NY 10027 (646) 918-6572 Visit Website A wood-burning brick oven is the calling card at this Italian restaurant with Neapolitan-style pizza, whole roasted fish, and pasta. Brick walls, dark wood furniture, warm service, and a full bar make it an ideal date spot in the neighborhood.

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10. Sylvia's

328 Malcolm X Blvd New York, NY 10027 (212) 996-0660 Visit Website Sylvia’s, open since 1962, is a Harlem tradition. Celebrities, politicians, and even monarchs have visited the establishment to sample the iconic Southern soul food. Fried catfish, barbecue baby back ribs, and corn bread are standouts. Sunday brings gospel brunch, a rowdy experience that’s the ideal time to try chicken and waffles alongside unlimited mimosas.

Robert Sietsema/Eater

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11. Red Rooster

310 Lenox Ave New York, NY 10027 (212) 792-9001 Visit Website Much lauded in the neighborhood and beyond, chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster has become an attraction in and of itself to Harlem. The lively comfort food restaurant has been packing people in since 2010 for dishes such as shrimp and grits, a loaded seafood jambalaya, and fried chicken with red velvet waffles. After a 2011 visit by President Barack Obama, his meal is forever known as the menu as “Obama short ribs,” which come braised with lobster & biscuits, bok choy, and amolasses glaze. Disclosure: Marcus Samuelsson is the host of No Passport Required, a series produced by Eater and PBS. This does not impact coverage on Eater.

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12. Lee Lee's Baked Goods

283 W 118th St New York, NY 10026 (917) 493-6633 Visit Website With over 1,000 pieces of rugelach sold per weekend, Lee Lee’s has been lauded as making the city’s best of the form. The Jewish baked good — buttery, flaky pastry filled with ingredients like chocolate or apricot jam and walnuts — is not a part of owner Alvin “Lee Lee” Smalls’ heritage, but after falling in love with the baked good, he settled on his own recipe that uses sour cream in place of the traditional cream cheese and has people flocking.

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13. Lolo's Seafood Shack

303 W 116th St New York, NY 10026 (646) 649-3356 Visit Website Lolo’s brings the full experience of Caribbean seasonings: Choose a fish — snow crab, shrimp, crawfish — and flavorful sauce — garlic butter, Old Bay, coconut curry, etc. — to go on seafood boils and in steam pots. Eater critic Ryan Sutton especially recommends the snow crab legs in spicy sauce, best eaten in the backyard. Don’t miss the jerk chicken, either.

Ryan Sutton/Eater

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14. Archer & Goat

187 Malcolm X Blvd New York, NY 10026 (917) 261-6602 Visit Website The 40-seat Archer and Goat has equal ambitions as a restaurant and a bar, serving up cuisine inspired by Puerto Rican, Ecuadorian, and Bengali traditions alongside a broad beer selection and cocktails like a tamarind whiskey sour. Food runs to a burger slathered in queso blanco and sofrito ketchup, chicken vindaloo arepas, and carne asada with tostones.


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15. Safari

219 W 116th St New York, NY 10026 (646) 964-4252 Visit Website This East African restaurant is one-of-a-kind in NYC, offering rare insight into Somali culture and food. Dishes include hilib ari, or with roasted goat meat and basmati rice, sambuza, or pastries filled with ground beef or chicken, and mango curry chicken. Timescritic Ligaya Mishan calls that last one “heady.”


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