Harlem’s Divine Dining

Faith Hope Consolo

Harlem is the crown jewel of northern Manhattan and boasts a royal culinary scene. Harlem’s Restaurant Row along Frederick Douglass Boulevard has over 30 food and dining hotspots open or about to debut in the neighborhood. This great mix of cafes and restaurants are providing the amenities that people in the neighborhood want to see and restaurateurs around the city – and around the world — are now diving into the mix.

The growing culinary and hospitality industry has evolved from the legendary Sylvia’s and Rao’s to include the world-renowned Red Rooster, and today being followed by The Cecil, Serafina, Mountain Bird, Chaiwali and many more dining destinations. Harlem’s first Whole Foods is opening eminently on the corner of Lenox Avenue and 125th Street later this fall. The focus on food in Harlem will certainly continue, and the attention given to the neighborhood is increasing awareness all around.

South Harlem:

Café Dandy, 1890 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, the newest dining concept by the Harlem-based restaurant group responsible for highly-acclaimed destinations Lenox Saphire, on Lenox and 127th St., and Patisserie des Ambassades, on Fredrick Douglas Boulevard and 118th St. The patisserie and café, located between 114th and 115th Streets, is featuring a full-service menu and will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night dining. Surrounded by stately apartment buildings and an eclectic mix of restaurants and retail, neighboring businesses include Mo’s Sneaker Spot, Make My Cake, Cantina and JS Cycle. Open for Business

East Harlem:

Harlem Shake, 2162 Second Avenue, burger restaurant with its second NYC space on the corner of Second Avenue and East 111th Street. Their burgers are made with grass-fed beef and its menu features comfort foods — grilled-cheese-and-bacon sandwiches, chicken and waffles, and organic shakes. The original location, on West 124th Street and Lenox Avenue, opened in 2013. Coming Soon

Frederick Douglass Boulevard – Harlem’s Restaurant Row:

Cafeine, 2124 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Italian coffee brand by Israeli-born chef Kfir Ben-Ari who made his mark heading the kitchen of Paradou in the Meatpacking District. Cafeine features Bristot, an Italian java brand with a nearly 100-year history and the menu features the classic coffee drinks, from espresso to café au lait, plus French-style pastries. Open for Business

Milea February 2019 728×90

Harlem Burger Co., 2190 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, offers beef, turkey and veggie burgers with different topping combos. Graffiti-style mural decorates the space where you can dine on hot dogs, sandwiches and shakes. Open for Business

Le Caméléon Restaurant, 2220 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, Jeanne Mélanie Delcourt, the chef of Le Caméléon, is opening the restaurant with husband Xavier at her side. A former chef at Camelia, the two Michelin star restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Paris, Delcourt was most recently chef at Palais de Tokyo, the Museum of Modern Art, near the Trocadero. Le Caméléon’s casual French menu will include fresh pastries in the morning and French-themed cocktails in the evening. The restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week, in addition to catering. Coming Soon

Hop House, 2224 Frederick Douglass Boulevard, taproom and kitchen serving local NY beer, other craft brews, artisan pizza and other bar bites. Coming Soon

Lenox Avenue:

Archer & Goat, 187 Lenox Avenue, classic American comfort food and interesting cocktails in a cool hip environment. “Our food and drinks rely on a handcrafted approach and incorporate locally sourced seasonal ingredients whenever possible. Housed in a classic brownstone building in the Mount Morris Park historic district in Harlem NYC, Archer & Goat offers guests seating in the dining room area as well as a cozy backyard space.” Coming Soon

Sottocasa Pizzeria, 227 Lenox Avenue,“Literally, in Italian, sotto means under, and casa, home. And that’s where we are nestled at the very bottom of a brick townhouse. But being “sottocasa”, is less about a physical location and more about a feeling: it involves being convenient, close, friendly, warm. That’s how you feel when you step through our door: welcome home!”  “State of the art, flavorful, authentic Neapolitan Pizza. Which means a century old technique and the freshest ingredients, with an eye always open toward the environment. We source the best flour and tomatoes from Italy, and most of our fresh cheeses are from the US, so they travel less and they are always as fresh as possible.” Open for Business


Bierstrasse, 697 W 133rd Street, “located under the 12th Avenue viaduct in view of the Hudson River, we are a German themed beer garden. You can enjoy the pairing of German beers with classic biergarten cuisine in our spacious outside sitting area or inside while watching the game.” Open for Business

Curry-Ya, 1467 Amsterdam Avenue, is the second location of the East Village eatery which is also the sister shop to Rai Rai Ken ramen next door.  The specialty of the house is Japanese curry which is the equivalent to mac and cheese in its home country.  Open for Business

Striver’s Row District:

ACP Coffee, 2286 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, created by the owner of trailblazing downtown Nolita Mart & Espresso Bar, and “committed to handcrafted coffee.” Working with dedicated third wave coffee roasters from around the country and offering a curated selection of seasonal, light to medium roasted coffees. “We are premised from the idea that good coffee and healthy bites can bring together neighbors to create community.” Open for Business

Hamilton Heights:

Oso,1618 Amsterdam Avenue, Matthew Trebek, son of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, and business partner Nodar Mosiashvil offer street-style cuisine from Mexico City. Small plates, tacos, gorditas, tamales as well as a whole market fish for two, plus serving 20 different tequilas and 14 mezcals. Open for Business

Hamilton’s Bakery, 3570 Broadway, “real homemade foods baked right here in our kitchen, Hamilton’s serves flaky pastries, killer great coffees, fresh breads, salads, frittata’s, cookies so good you might cry, soups, snacks, fancy teas, baguettes, scones, muffins…and more” Open for Business

Food boundaries are always in flux; watch for my next edition of Faithful Food! Happy Dining!

Faith Hope Consolo
Faith Hope Consolo, Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, writes the "Faithful Food" column for Total Food Service. Ms. Consolo is a leading retail broker and advisor who covers the national market. She is a specialist ranging from fine restaurants to fashionable fast foods. "To find the best retail space, You Need Faith." Email her at fconsolo@elliman.com