The Incredible Soul Food Restaurants in Harlem

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Harlem, a black-majority neighborhood in Manhattan in New York City, is a great place to be. Apart from the amazing vibe, it has a bubbly culinary scene. Harlem is known for its soul food restaurants, so you’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re looking for a place to dine. Without further ado, explore 10 soul food restaurants in Harlem including The Handpulled Noodle, ROKC and The Edge Harlem.

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1. The Honey Well

The Incredible Soul Food Restaurants in Harlem
Grown-up grilled cheese from the Honey Well. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Nothing screams garden dining like The Honey Well. If you want to enjoy some bruschetta and have a fantastic view, consider this soul food restaurant in Harlem. If you prefer indoor dining, you are covered. The food is affordable, with the lowest dish going for $7. 

The Honey Well is open from Sunday to Thursday from 4 pm to midnight and Friday & Saturday from 4 pm to 2 am. It’s located on 3604 Broadway to enjoy a nice afternoon and evening out.  

Its sister bar, the Harlem Public, is known for beer and burgers, and it’s the perfect spot for brunch. Meanwhile, At the Wallace is an extension of the Harlem Public and serves burgers, waffle fries, beers and cocktails. 

2. The Handpulled Noodle

The Incredible Soul Food Restaurants in Harlem
Spicy Cumin Lamb Soup and pressed noodles. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Specialising in Chinese foods, this is one of the soul food restaurants in Harlem to go to. It’s on 3600 Broadway (cross street 148th), New York, NY 10031. 

It serves a variety of noodles, from ribbon noodles (flat and wide), Lagman noodles (standard shaped), chopped ribbon noodles (square bite size) and ding ding (chopped noodles).

Additionally, the restaurant serves dumplings, wontons, street eats and drinks. If this whets your appetite, The Handpulled Noodle operates from Sunday to Thursday from 11:30 am to 11:00 pm and Friday & Saturday and from 11:30 am to 12:00 am.

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3. Tsion Cafe

The Incredible Soul Food Restaurants in Harlem
Ethiopian rich cultural food. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Ethiopian Chef Beejhy Barnay founded this soul food restaurant in Harlem. She started it as a way of sharing her culture with the world. 

The food is multicultural, with tastes from Ethiopia, Israel and New York. Some dishes you’ll be served include Injera rolls at $15, injera chips at $13, smoked salmon avocado salad at $21 and shakshuka with 2 eggs at $17 and more. 

The restaurant has options for indoor dining, patio dining and curbside dining, giving you a glimpse of the city. Tsio Cafe is at 763 St Nicholas, New York, NY, 10031. It operates from Tuesday to Thursday between 6 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm and Sunday from 12 pm to 8 pm.  

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4. Lucille’s Coffee and Cocktails

The Incredible Soul Food Restaurants in Harlem
Lucille’s Coffee Shop. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

As the name suggests, this soul food restaurant is all about coffee and cocktails. From your usual espresso, mocha, latte and americano, all types of coffee are served. 

If coffee is not your thing, there’s tea and fully-fledged breakfast meals. For your evening treats, cocktails are served in plenty. You can have this with a small plate of mozzarella, among other things. 

Lucille’s Coffee and Cocktails is at 26 Macombs Pl, New York, NY 10039, closes on Mondays and opens the rest of the days.

5. ROKC

ROKC simply stands for ramen, oysters, kitchen and cocktails. This is a fusion of the Japanese culture and that of the West. They make specialised and diverse types of classic ramen flavors; from Kyoto, Sapporo and Soupless, among others.

The oyster served is sourced from the East Coast. This is combined with their drinks menu. Then there’s the tsunami which largely features on their appetiser menu. The restaurant is open from Sunday to Sunday. It’s located on location 3452 Broadway, New York, NY 10031.

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6. Charles Pan-Fried Chicken

Charles Pan-Fried Chicken is a culmination of several years of work. Charles grew up in a family that enjoyed cooking. In New York City, he worked at the Copeland’s restaurant and branched out independently. 

Charles cooked and served customers from his apartment. He got a food truck and, after, opened a restaurant. He began by serving takeout and then incorporated breakfast and buffet. 

In 2021, he opened a variety of branches around Harlem. You can find him on:

  • The Upper East Side 1325 5th Ave. on New York, NY 10026
  • Upper West Side on 146 W 72nd St., New York, NY 10023
  • Harlem – West Side on 439 W 125th St., New York, NY 10027
  • Harlem (Flagship) on 340 W 145th St., New York, NY 10039

The menu consists of barbecue chicken, pan-fried chicken, smothered chicken, veggie plate, pulled pork, ribs & pulled pork, baked mac & cheese and potato salad. 

7. The Edge Harlem

The Edge Harlem was opened in 2014 by sisters Justine Masters and Juliet. They grew up in Harlem and started this soul food restaurant to pay homage to the town. Their passion for the culinary and design arts runs through the family. 

Their father brewed Jamaican Sorrel and Ginger beer, and Susan, their mother, spent time finding the best antiques. Put these two combinations together and you have a picture of the restaurant’s appearance. 

Additionally, the menu features Jamaican, English and New York food to pay ode to their roots. The restaurant closes on Monday and opens on the other days of the week. 

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8. Ponty Bistro

Located at 2375 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard, New York, Ponty Bistro serves African and French cuisines. 

The hotel is run by Chef Cisse, a Senegalese who moved to the United States in 1995. After working for other chefs, he built his own restaurant.

Ponty Bistro has three main courses that incorporate Senegalese and French food. They include Chicken Tagine (Le Tagine de Poulet) and fish (Poisso). The hotel operates throughout the week.

9. Abyssina Ethiopian Restaurant 

If you want to eat some delicious foods from Ethiopia, the Abyssina Restaurant at 268 W 135th Street, New York, New York 10030, is where you should go. You’ll eat classic meals like injera, vegetable sambusa, azifa salad, kitfo, berbere and tibs wat.  

The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays but runs on the other days of the week between 12:00 pm and 10:00 pm. 

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10. Harlem Hops

Harlem Hops has made a name for itself by selling craft beers. They pride themselves in finding rare beer and bringing them under their roof for locals to enjoy. 

African Americans own the Harlem Hops. You can find Harlem Hops at 2268 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard (BET 133 & 134 ST) NY, NY, 10030. It’s open five days a week, from Wednesday to Sunday. 

Now you know some of the soul food restaurants you should visit in Harlem. 

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