Harlem, Manhattan


Like so many of the areas we write about, Harlem is no stranger to gentrification. Each time I visit it seems a new organic juicery or wood fire pizzeria has opened up. Still, the neighborhood manages to uphold the sort of soulfulness that defined it during the 1960s and 70s. A focal point for the civil rights movement, epicenter for jazz, hip-hop, and rap music and  perhaps most importantly – home to A$AP Mob, Harlem's history is rich in culture and boasts a robust roster of hometown heroes. Old-school bodegas with windows layered in cigarette ads alongside sneaker shops and home-style restaurants define its quintessentially New York vibe.


I'm more of a savory than sweet sort of chick. You'll catch me going for seconds rather than caring about what's for dessert. However, I'd make an exception for a Levain cookie any day. They are seriously the bomb.com and if you're in Harlem you should start your day here with either a scone or some brioche and take a bag of cookies for the road while you're at it.

Hit up these other spots to get some deep fried satisfaction: 

  • Amy Ruth's: a legendary southern cooking joint loved by many. Be prepared to pop that top button of your jeans. 
  • Manna's Soul Food: pay-by-the-pound soul food for some money well spent. 
  • Billie's Black: for some southern comfort with a side of live music.  

To Do/See

Swinging by the iconic The Apollo Theater is a no brainer; the venue is an important stop for understanding the African American and Latin American music that permeates through the area.

Grab a beer at The Harlem Tavern which is a kick-ass hangout, especially during the warmer months. And while your'e there check out these other chill spots: 

Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.