In Harlem you get more neighborhood feeling than almost anywhere else on Manhattan. It´s more like you are visiting a small American town. Wide boulevards, plenty of sky and space to walk on and a slightly slower pace.
Harlem is the cultural center for African-Americans – a cauldron of jazz, rap and reggae in the neighborhood who gave birth to some of the most famous black Americans; Malcolm X, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and Miles Davis.
The main commercial street, 125th have many of the big chains, such as Starbucks, Subway Pizza and Old Navy as well as local shops, bars and cafes.
The artist Frank Gaskins amazing murals can be seen early mornings or evenings before shatter-proof sheet metal facades is covering some of the stores.
Harlem begins at the top of Central Park and extends as far up as 155th Street.
A small selection of places we recommend:
One of Manhattan’s many popular Latino-owned steak house have a sleek open kitchen and delicious food. You can get a hefty Angus steak and delicious mojitos for a reasonable price. Casual neighborhood restaurant atmosphere. Book a table!
2145 2nd Avenue in Spanish Harlem (SpaHa)
Long-established club and music scene where legends like James Brown, Michael Jackson and D’Angelo was discovered. Here Jimi Hendrix’s won first prize for on one of Apollo’s traditional amateur events. An event where undiscovered talents today still has a chance to be in the spotlight.
253 W 125th street
Abyssinian Baptist Church
Enjoy wonderful gospel music that really flows through the heart by attending a church service in Harlem. There is no better way to experience the music and the soul that exists in this exciting neighborhood.
Service on Sundays and Wednesday nights.
132 Odell Clark Place
The first new modern hotel in Harlem in 40 years! Walking distance to the Apollo Theater, Columbia University, and the 125th Street Subway Station.
2296 Frederick Douglass Boulevard
Pleasant and popular hangout with typical soul food, soft jazz music and a cozy, relaxing atmosphere.
113 West 116th Street
Legendary music club that opened in 1920 but has a new look since 1978. Wonderful jazz, blues and gospel can be heard here. On Sundays, they serve brunch with gospel entertainment.
656 West 125th Street
People from all over Manhattan comes here for their grilled meat. Personal service and super cool American design.
700 West 125th Street
Hue-Man Bookstore & Café
America’s largest bookstore with African-American literature. There is also a wide selection of bestsellers and newspapers. Book signings and lectures are common.
2319 Frederick Douglass Blvd
Have a coffee, read a book and check your mail. Free wi-fi.
1619 Amsterdam Avenue
One of many great breakfast places in New York where it´s also possible to eat both lunch and dinner. A favorite is pancakes with mixed berries …
1272 Amsterdam Avenue
An institution in Harlem with zebra striped art deco lounge and one of New York’s best live venues.
288 Lenox Avenue
Studio Museum – Afro-American art
Art exhibitions, literary evenings, architectural tours, film screenings and workshops. Some Fridays, it´s also a bar and DJ in the courtyard. Well-stocked shop.
144 West 125th St
Marcus Samuelsson’s latest addition to the restaurant scene. Marcus also lives in Harlem. Red Rooster is a wonderful mix of cultures with a focus on American comfort food.
310 Lenox Avenue
The Mount Morris Historic District
A quiet, beautiful and historic area with nice ”Brownstones” which feels more like Greenwich Village than Harlem. Located near Marcus Garvey Park, from 119th Street to 124 Street, between Malcolm X Boulevard, Lenox Avenue and Mount Morris Park West.
Xukuma means living the life you want to live.
Groovy-store that has fun clothes with Harlem motifs and accessories.
11 East 125th Street