Five Restaurants In Harlem You Need To Visit

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Not only is Harlem one of the most historic neighborhoods in New York City, but it’s home to some of the best restaurants. Whether you’re dining in for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, there’s somewhere cool to grab something to eat for every time of the day in this amazing historically Black community. With that said, here is a list of five restaurants in Harlem you need to visit. 

1- Red Rooster 

Named after the iconic Harlem speakeasy visited by greats of the past including Nat King Cole and James Baldwin, Red Rooster is a modern classic. Co-created by Andrew Chapman and Chef Marcus Samuelsson, this restaurant serves modern fare such as Jerk bbq cauliflower as well as old school comfort food such as shrimp and grits. There’s also an extensive drink menu with happy hour, desert and weekend brunch–even a gospel brunch for those who are interested. Red Rooster has been going on strong since 2011 and show no signs of stopping.

2- Amy Ruth’s

Amy Ruth’s is more than a familiar name in Harlem–it’s very much an important one due to this very important restaurant. Soul food spot Amy Ruth’s was founded by her grandson Carl S. Redding on Mother’s Day in 1999, as his mission was to serve guests the same authentic cuisine that he learned to cook at his grandmother’s side. The restaurant stays true to its motto: “comfort, cuisine, courtesy, culture” with classic soul food dishes named after famous figures. The President Barack Obama meal, for example, is a fried, smothered, baked, or barbecued chicken entree that comes with two sides. Every meal is hearty and guaranteed to leave you with a great impression.

3- Chocolat 

Nestled in the heart of Harlem on Frederick Douglas Blvd and 120th Street, Chocolat is a local favorite especially for brunch. Its menu boasts soul food items such as fried chicken, American food such as burgers, and Southern food items such as seafood with grits. They also have a bar that serves up cocktails and wines from their lengthy wine list. Founded by Black entrepreneur Mr. Leon Ellis, Chocolat has been open for 13 years and counting.

4- Sylvia’s 

Sylvia’s restaurant is a hometown staple that’s been around since 1962. Founded by the late Sylvia Woods aka the “Queen of Soul Food,” this soul food restaurant serves up delicious comfort dishes such as fried fish with greens and cornbread, chicken and waffles, and plenty other yummy items. Distinguished guests such as former President Barack Obama, rapper Jay-Z and singer Beyonce, and civil rights activists like Rev. Al Sharpton have all dined at the 61-year-old restaurant. Plenty more have as well.

5- Harlem Shake 

From Fivio Foreign to Wyclef Jean, many have stepped foot inside Harlem Shake hence their very big wall of fame. It looks like these figures have great taste in food, as the vintage-style burger joint located on W. 124th street has been racking up faithful customers since 2013. Founded by Jelena Pasic, Harlem Shake is both delicious and addicting. Its menu is pretty straight-forward with burgers, fries and milkshakes at the forefront, and sandwiches, salads, and hot dogs not too far behind. There’s also a selection of beers and wine starting from “cheap” to “bougie” to top things off. All in all, it’s a pretty cool restaurant to visit when in the area.

Keep posted with ParleNY for more restaurant lists to come.

Image credit: Chocolat Restaurant & Bar

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