It’s that weird week-long period between midterms and finals and we’re all looking for something fun to do – or, more specifically, something good to eat. Instead of making the trek downtown (okay, it’s not really a trek, but it sure as hell feels like it), try heading up to Harlem.
Harlem has some of the best food in the city, without inflated prices and obnoxious tourists running around everywhere, in true Manhattan fashion. In case that still isn’t enough, here are a few more reasons you should be taking a stroll up and east:
1. You need a caffeine fix, and fast.
The people that brought Lenox Coffee and The Chipped Cup to North Harlem have ventured downtown – well, all the way down to 118th, at least. Brewing Counter Culture and serving Balthazar’s pastries all day, Double Dutch Espresso is a perfect introduction to everything the uptown food scene has to offer.
2. You have diet restrictions and basically have to venture long distance to get anything you can actually eat, so why not?
Being a vegetarian or vegan can be difficult – alternatives are hard to find, and good alternatives are near impossible. That being said, Seasoned Vegan can change your life. With a huge menu offering an incredibly wide variety of egg/dairy/meat-free dishes, people of almost all palettes will be pleasantly surprised.
3. The MoHi brunch scene is starting to lose it’s appeal.
Two words: Bottomless. Mimosas. Oh, and a lengthy brunch menu with Italian influences. Need I say more?
4. Spicy food is your thaang.
There’s honestly too many flourishing ethnic cuisines in the Harlem community to name. Indian, Ethiopian, Caribbean – you name it, they’ve got it. Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant, however, is a notable highlight. Founded as an injera business run out of the owner’s apartment complex, it immediately got hugely popular. And for good reason – this bread will make you feel things.
5. You’re looking to satisfy a sweet tooth.
No matter where you are in the area, consider (okay, plan on) heading by Patisserie des Ambassades after your meal for a freshly baked pastry. Nothing beats their chocolate almond croissant – and the fact that their prices are some of the lowest in the neighborhood makes it all the better.
6. Bars around campus are not your speed.
Did one too many frat boy crash your favorite MoHi late-night hangout? Never fear – head over to 67 Orange Street. One of the first of it’s kind, this jazz bar has a vintage, speakeasy-like vibe and a kickass cocktail menu.
7. You’re missing Southern, homestyle cooking.
There are few things I miss from my Southern hometown – the cooking, however, is a valid exception. Even if you’re not longing for sweet tea and southern hospitality, you will after visiting Sylvia’s.