Harlem has long been one of the most diverse and culturally rich neighborhoods in New York City (and, in fact, the entire country)—and while other Manhattan restaurants have historically gotten more attention from the food-obsessed crowd, a crop of great new restaurants in the area is beginning to change that. Here, some of our favorite new Harlem dining spots to try.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster has been a Harlem food destination since it opened in 2010, and now the acclaimed chef has a new spot in the neighborhood to get excited about. Streetbird Rotisserie is more casual than Red Rooster, and it keeps up with the trend of serving chef-driven food at a lower price point. The menu focuses on updated versions of Southern and Caribbean comfort food like a rotisserie jerk pork shoulder, fried chicken and red velvet waffles and mac and cheese with crispy shallots. 2149 Frederick Douglass Blvd., streetbirdnyc.com.
Open for less than two years, this upscale African fusion restaurant has already garnered plenty of positive reviews: It received a notable write-up in The New York Times and was named Esquire’s Best Restaurant of 2014. Long-Island born chef JJ Johnson, who learned to cook from his Puerto Rican grandmother and spent time in Ghana before coming back to NYC, has created a menu featuring ingenious combinations like a giant prawns with piri piri sauce and a yam flapjack (pictured), and udon noodles with braised goat, West African peanut sauce and edamame. 210 W. 118th St., thececilharlem.com.