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Insider's Guide to Harlem and Beyond

Moises

Insider's Guide to Harlem and Beyond

Harlem's Restaurants
Here are a few of my favorite spots to eat tasty food in a cozy atmosphere, all within walking distance.
The Dear John Pizza is so tasty (if you mind a little spice)! Overall, you can't go wrong with any of the pizzas made in a traditional wood-fired oven. This is my favorite pizza in Harlem.
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Babbalucci
331 Lenox Avenue
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The Dear John Pizza is so tasty (if you mind a little spice)! Overall, you can't go wrong with any of the pizzas made in a traditional wood-fired oven. This is my favorite pizza in Harlem.
Sottocasa also makes delicious traditional pizza with the best ingredients. It's cozy and intimate, and a great place to catch up with an old friend or family member, and even a date. They also have delicious gluten-free offerings!
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Sottocasa Pizzeria
227 Lenox Ave
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Sottocasa also makes delicious traditional pizza with the best ingredients. It's cozy and intimate, and a great place to catch up with an old friend or family member, and even a date. They also have delicious gluten-free offerings!
This place is so cool and so much fun! They have an awesome bar and the atmosphere is especially in the warmer weather since they have outdoor seating. Harlem Tavern is a local sports bar and restaurant that offers tons of delicious local beer and tasty American food. If you are looking for a night out of fun, or just want to have a few drinks with friends, this place is a good option.
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Harlem Tavern
2153 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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This place is so cool and so much fun! They have an awesome bar and the atmosphere is especially in the warmer weather since they have outdoor seating. Harlem Tavern is a local sports bar and restaurant that offers tons of delicious local beer and tasty American food. If you are looking for a night out of fun, or just want to have a few drinks with friends, this place is a good option.
You may not associate Harlem with French food, but this restaurant does not disappoint. I love the foie gras and the peppercorn steak. Honestly, their steaks are my favorite, but the entire menu is super tasty. This place is a great place for a date. At night, they have jazz occasionally and the tables are lit by candlelight. It makes for a romantic experience. Add a glass of wine and voilà!
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Chez Lucienne
308 Lenox Avenue
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You may not associate Harlem with French food, but this restaurant does not disappoint. I love the foie gras and the peppercorn steak. Honestly, their steaks are my favorite, but the entire menu is super tasty. This place is a great place for a date. At night, they have jazz occasionally and the tables are lit by candlelight. It makes for a romantic experience. Add a glass of wine and voilà!
Sylvia's is a must-visit for an authentic Harlem experience. They offer delicious soul food (American southern comfort food), for which the neighborhood is known globally. The restaurant has been open since 1962. The restaurant attracts a clientele that ranges from Harlem locals to visiting celebrities. Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Caroline Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Magic Johnson, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Bruno Mars are among those who have dined here.
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Sylvia's Restaurant
328 Malcolm X Boulevard
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Sylvia's is a must-visit for an authentic Harlem experience. They offer delicious soul food (American southern comfort food), for which the neighborhood is known globally. The restaurant has been open since 1962. The restaurant attracts a clientele that ranges from Harlem locals to visiting celebrities. Whoopi Goldberg, Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Caroline Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Magic Johnson, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders and Bruno Mars are among those who have dined here.
The burgers, fries and shakes are so tasty. I've been eating them for years (guilty!) and the food is consistently tasty. They have a range of burgers from the Harlem classic to the Hot Honey Chick (one of my favorites). The fries are made from real potatoes and fried to perfection. As for drinks, they have beer and wine, but the true gems are the shakes! I love the strawberry shake as well as the typical Harlem Shake. Also, the restaurant has outdoor seating and a cool retro vibe.
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Harlem Shake
100 West 124th Street
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The burgers, fries and shakes are so tasty. I've been eating them for years (guilty!) and the food is consistently tasty. They have a range of burgers from the Harlem classic to the Hot Honey Chick (one of my favorites). The fries are made from real potatoes and fried to perfection. As for drinks, they have beer and wine, but the true gems are the shakes! I love the strawberry shake as well as the typical Harlem Shake. Also, the restaurant has outdoor seating and a cool retro vibe.
Corner Social is extremely dynamic. On the weekends in the late morning and early afternoon, they host a delicious brunch with exceptional Bloody Marys and mimosas. I personally love their steak and eggs! And in the late evening, it becomes a divey hangout with a DJ and full bar. Try to get in early to avoid paying the cover charge (ladies free)!
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Corner Social
321 Malcolm X Boulevard
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Corner Social is extremely dynamic. On the weekends in the late morning and early afternoon, they host a delicious brunch with exceptional Bloody Marys and mimosas. I personally love their steak and eggs! And in the late evening, it becomes a divey hangout with a DJ and full bar. Try to get in early to avoid paying the cover charge (ladies free)!
If you want a special culinary experience from a world-famous chef, go to Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster. The food is incredible, but you'd expect nothing less from a Samuelsson restaurant. Also, they have live music and a huge bar if you want to just have a drink and rub shoulders with Harlem's elite.
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Red Rooster
310 Lenox Avenue
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If you want a special culinary experience from a world-famous chef, go to Marcus Samuelsson's Red Rooster. The food is incredible, but you'd expect nothing less from a Samuelsson restaurant. Also, they have live music and a huge bar if you want to just have a drink and rub shoulders with Harlem's elite.
Chic, contemporary spot pairing wine and cocktails with upscale Italian- and Spanish- influenced cuisine.
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Vinateria
2211 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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Chic, contemporary spot pairing wine and cocktails with upscale Italian- and Spanish- influenced cuisine.
This a must-visit restaurant! They have an amazing menu—everything I've ever tried was delicious. My favorites are the truffle cream gnocchi and the salmon eggs benedict. It's a great place to hang out with friends and catch up. They also have a bottomless mimosa for 2 hours for $16! It's relatively inexpensive and the perfect way to partake in a NYC ritual: boozy brunch.
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Lido
2168 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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This a must-visit restaurant! They have an amazing menu—everything I've ever tried was delicious. My favorites are the truffle cream gnocchi and the salmon eggs benedict. It's a great place to hang out with friends and catch up. They also have a bottomless mimosa for 2 hours for $16! It's relatively inexpensive and the perfect way to partake in a NYC ritual: boozy brunch.
This is the go-to spot for a nice cone or sundae in the neighborhood. It's a charming family-owned ice cream shop with a great atmosphere.
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Sugar Hill Creamery
184 Lenox Ave
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This is the go-to spot for a nice cone or sundae in the neighborhood. It's a charming family-owned ice cream shop with a great atmosphere.
I'm a huge tequila and mezcal lover. This place really does it for me and if you love tequila and tasty Mexican food, you're in for a treat. The portions aren't huge, but the food definitely is a home run so there's no surprise it leaves you wanting a little more. Get the Hecho in Harlem or the classic house margarita. None of them will disappoint.
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La Diagonal Agaveria
185 St Nicholas Ave
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I'm a huge tequila and mezcal lover. This place really does it for me and if you love tequila and tasty Mexican food, you're in for a treat. The portions aren't huge, but the food definitely is a home run so there's no surprise it leaves you wanting a little more. Get the Hecho in Harlem or the classic house margarita. None of them will disappoint.
If you're not in a rush and want to enjoy a nice coffee and pastry or something a little heavier, stop by here. It's great for small groups and couples.
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Café Frederick
2104 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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If you're not in a rush and want to enjoy a nice coffee and pastry or something a little heavier, stop by here. It's great for small groups and couples.
If you're hungry, and want a quick and easy American fix, go here. The burgers are juicy and delicious.
Shake Shack
1 W 125th St
If you're hungry, and want a quick and easy American fix, go here. The burgers are juicy and delicious.
Harlem's Best Grocers and Shops
Below are a list of grocery stores and shops that I visit routinely for my essentials. They are local institutions that will give you a feel of what it's like to be a local.
I love the huge selection of fresh produce and prepared food. They have amazing BBQ! Also, if you head upstairs, they have a huge selection of beer at reasonable prices.
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Best Market Harlem
2187 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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I love the huge selection of fresh produce and prepared food. They have amazing BBQ! Also, if you head upstairs, they have a huge selection of beer at reasonable prices.
If you want the highest quality food, meat, produce and anything else that comes to mind, go here. This is my personal choice for doing groceries, mainly because of their huge variety of organic and specialty items. While a bit on the pricier side, it's possible to score a good deal on sales.
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Whole Foods Market
100 W 125th St
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If you want the highest quality food, meat, produce and anything else that comes to mind, go here. This is my personal choice for doing groceries, mainly because of their huge variety of organic and specialty items. While a bit on the pricier side, it's possible to score a good deal on sales.
If you are on a budget and just need the essentials, this is it. You will find the best prices on your basic food staples here.
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Key Food
200 Malcolm X Boulevard
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If you are on a budget and just need the essentials, this is it. You will find the best prices on your basic food staples here.
Dani and Pascal are great! They used to be my neighbors are both great people. Tell them that Moises sent you! :) From champagne to deep reds, they have an assortment of impeccable wines from all over the globe. Also, their prices are incredibly reasonable. I'm a huge proponent of supporting high-quality small businesses, and the Harlem Wine Gallery definitely fits the bill. Stop by on a Friday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for a complimentary wine tasting.
Harlem Wine Gallery
2067 Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd
Dani and Pascal are great! They used to be my neighbors are both great people. Tell them that Moises sent you! :) From champagne to deep reds, they have an assortment of impeccable wines from all over the globe. Also, their prices are incredibly reasonable. I'm a huge proponent of supporting high-quality small businesses, and the Harlem Wine Gallery definitely fits the bill. Stop by on a Friday from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM for a complimentary wine tasting.
No frills coffee.
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Starbucks
77-83 West 125th Street
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No frills coffee.
Coffee snobs rejoice! This is my go-to coffee shop in all of the land (well, Harlem)! Their coffee is so incredibly good, perfectly roasted and rich in flavor. Honestly, they have the BEST COFFEE IN HARLEM. I love the atmosphere too. It's super cozy and chic.
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Double Dutch Espresso
2194 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
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Coffee snobs rejoice! This is my go-to coffee shop in all of the land (well, Harlem)! Their coffee is so incredibly good, perfectly roasted and rich in flavor. Honestly, they have the BEST COFFEE IN HARLEM. I love the atmosphere too. It's super cozy and chic.
Harlem Icons
Here are some Harlem's primary points of interest that you should check out while you're here. All of them are within walking distance and are steeped in history and wonder.
This place needs no introduction. No NYC trip is complete without a pilgrimage to the Park. Walk there from one of our homes on a nice day—either alone or with someone you love.
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Central Park
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This place needs no introduction. No NYC trip is complete without a pilgrimage to the Park. Walk there from one of our homes on a nice day—either alone or with someone you love.
This park is full of charm and wonder. The long stairs that go down into the park and then climb up and take you to the Far West Side are full of adventure. It's always fun to go through a stroll in the park and cross from Harlem into Morningside Heights and vice-versa. There is a trail for runners and ample green space for recreational activities.
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Morningside Park
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This park is full of charm and wonder. The long stairs that go down into the park and then climb up and take you to the Far West Side are full of adventure. It's always fun to go through a stroll in the park and cross from Harlem into Morningside Heights and vice-versa. There is a trail for runners and ample green space for recreational activities.
The University was founded in 1754 by Alexander Hamilton, prior to America's establishment as a sovereign state, and was known King's College. Today, it's one of the world's leading education institution and one of the eight Ivy League universities. The campus itself is beautiful and worth a stroll through the grand gates on Broadway.
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Columbia University
116th St
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The University was founded in 1754 by Alexander Hamilton, prior to America's establishment as a sovereign state, and was known King's College. Today, it's one of the world's leading education institution and one of the eight Ivy League universities. The campus itself is beautiful and worth a stroll through the grand gates on Broadway.
The Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame has inducted such renowned performers and music-industry figures as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Mymoena Davids, Little Richard, Hall & Oates, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Billy Eckstine, Gladys Knight, The Pips, The Jacksons, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, D'Angelo and Prince. Today, the theater still hosts an amateur talent night and other special events. Recent visitors include Lady Gaga who performed in June 2019 for the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
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Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
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The Apollo Theater Legends Hall of Fame has inducted such renowned performers and music-industry figures as Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Elton John, Mymoena Davids, Little Richard, Hall & Oates, Ella Fitzgerald, Smokey Robinson, Billy Eckstine, Gladys Knight, The Pips, The Jacksons, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, D'Angelo and Prince. Today, the theater still hosts an amateur talent night and other special events. Recent visitors include Lady Gaga who performed in June 2019 for the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Only a short walk away! A nice little pond on the northern edge of the park.
Harlem Meer Lake
1-99 Central Park N
Only a short walk away! A nice little pond on the northern edge of the park.
NYC Sightseeing
Classic New York City sites that everyone must see at least once in their lives
This FREE park offers an incredible NYC experience. The park is built upon an abandoned metro line from the early-1900s. The views are spectacular and there are many nice shops and restaurants in the nearby area. If this is your first time visiting NYC, or you’ve never been here, you must go!
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The High Line
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This FREE park offers an incredible NYC experience. The park is built upon an abandoned metro line from the early-1900s. The views are spectacular and there are many nice shops and restaurants in the nearby area. If this is your first time visiting NYC, or you’ve never been here, you must go!
This park nestled in Brooklyn is worth the ride! It has amazing views of Downtown Manhattan, the Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The Park is in the Brooklyn Heights Historic district. It’s a perfect place to go for a walk on a nice day and enjoy the breathtaking views.
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Brooklyn Heights Promenade
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This park nestled in Brooklyn is worth the ride! It has amazing views of Downtown Manhattan, the Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. The Park is in the Brooklyn Heights Historic district. It’s a perfect place to go for a walk on a nice day and enjoy the breathtaking views.
This work recently constructed public work of art is polarizing. It’s created a lot of controversy but is definitely worth a visit. The art is a set of stairs that give you many vantages on the midtown skyline and let you see New York from many perspectives. It’s actually really fun to climb the stairs. 10/10 recommend You need to book tickets in advance, but the tickets are free. Google “Vessel Hudson yards reservation” to get tickets.
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Vessel
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This work recently constructed public work of art is polarizing. It’s created a lot of controversy but is definitely worth a visit. The art is a set of stairs that give you many vantages on the midtown skyline and let you see New York from many perspectives. It’s actually really fun to climb the stairs. 10/10 recommend You need to book tickets in advance, but the tickets are free. Google “Vessel Hudson yards reservation” to get tickets.
This is the classic viewing point of the Manhattan skyline that you see in all of the pictures. In my opinion, this is the best observation deck in NYC because it has both indoor and outdoor viewing areas. The observation deck is also very large with 2-3 levels that you can roam around. If this is your first time in New York, YOU MUST GO!
30 Rockefeller Center
30 Rockefeller Center
This is the classic viewing point of the Manhattan skyline that you see in all of the pictures. In my opinion, this is the best observation deck in NYC because it has both indoor and outdoor viewing areas. The observation deck is also very large with 2-3 levels that you can roam around. If this is your first time in New York, YOU MUST GO!
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South Street Seaport
89 South Street
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Manhattan Food scene
Manhattan fooderies that eaters should venture out to
Food bazaar with an array of delicious food restaurants and interesting shops in the Meatpacking District
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Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave
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Food bazaar with an array of delicious food restaurants and interesting shops in the Meatpacking District
Fun Japanese BBQ restaurant with an expansive menu. It's near lots of nightlife if you need a springboard for your night. Also has delicious cocktails and grilled meats at a reasonable price
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Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
321 West 44th Street
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Fun Japanese BBQ restaurant with an expansive menu. It's near lots of nightlife if you need a springboard for your night. Also has delicious cocktails and grilled meats at a reasonable price
Korean BBQ spot with fantastic soju cocktails and family-style eating. This place is great to get food with groups of friends and also have a few nice drinks in a cozy atmosphere
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miss KOREA BBQ
10 West 32nd Street
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Korean BBQ spot with fantastic soju cocktails and family-style eating. This place is great to get food with groups of friends and also have a few nice drinks in a cozy atmosphere
Michelin-star restaurant with delicious French food for a special evening out
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Bâtard
239 W Broadway
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Michelin-star restaurant with delicious French food for a special evening out