The Directory

Discover the best things to do in the world’s coolest community

Welcome to the Harlem World Magazine List: our destination-by-destination guide to the best, coolest, and most worthwhile things to do right now in Harlem. Harlem World Magazine’s local editors scour Harlem all year long for great experiences, great value, and insider info (think discounts, shortcuts, and how to discover the stuff that only Harlemites know about). We update our local Directory Lists with each Harlem Visitors Guide to add only the best new things to do in Harlem.

Each Directory List is a mixture of what’s hot right now and what’s genuinely iconic. It could be a must-see cultural institution or a locals-only hidden gem: if it’s on the list we think it’s hot, and we think you will too. These are the most don’t want to miss directory listings in the greatest community in the world – whether you’re visiting for a day, a week, or a lifetime.

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Harlem Shopping

The Brownstone

Twenty-plus years and counting, this boutique salon is still “Harlem’s crown jewel,” showcasing statement pieces and timeless fashion. The Brownstone, by Princess Jenkins, is located at 24 East 125th Street, Harlem, NY, 212.996.7980, http://www.thebrownstonewoman.com/

Edwing De Angelo

Edwing returns couture to Harlem with the same impressive style and wow as before. Welcome back! Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd and 131st Street, Harlem, NY, 917.715.3659, www.edwingdangelo.com

African Mart

These shopkeepers are bringing the world to Harlem from Harare and beyond, 52 West 116th Street, Harlem, NY, 242.987.8131, https://www.facebook.com/malcolmshabazzharlem

Mac (makeup)

In-person and behind the scenes, they shape trends backstage at over 1,500 fashion shows internationally–translating the latest looks for you with best-in-class products, 202 West 125th Street, Harlem, NY, 212.665.0676, https://stores.maccosmetcs.com/us/ny/new-york/202-w-125th-street.w-125th-street

Bunn (Hats)

Hats By Bunn has been a Harlem favorite for more than 30 years. All hats are custom made to order by master milliner, Bunn, 2283 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd., Unit #1, Harlem, NY, 212.694.3590, https://hatsbybunn.com/

The Original Cake Man Raven

Cake Man Raven does desserts. Ask any fan. On Yelp, Erica from DC said, “Delicious, OMG!!! So Freaking Good!!! The best, most moist Red Velvet Cake I ever ate!“ 201 West 135th Street, Harlem, NY, 917.202.7273, https://www.nyurl.com/4bemv6s2.

Harlem Haberdashery

Certainly one of the places where this town gets its unique style these days, 245 Malcolm X Blvd., Harlem, NY, 646.707.0070, https://www.harlemhaberdashery.com/

NiLu

Friendly store owners are here, showcasing a collection of uniquely beautiful gifts, 191 Malcolm X Blvd (gift shop), 191 Malcolm X Blvd., NY, 646.964.4926, https://shopnilu.com/.

Sade (skincare)

Local women from West Africa prepare natural, organic skincare products from traditional recipes, 1974 Madison Avenue, Harlem, NY, 212.996.6300, https://sadeskincare.com/.


Harlem Insiders Guide

Where To Stay

The New Kid. Aloft Harlem. The hippest hoteliers in Harlem have tuned a once basic motor lounge into the Aloft Harlem, (2296 Frederick Douglass Blvd, Harlem, NY, 212.749.4000, https://tinyurl.com/ybpu7rwz, from $222). The compound includes outdoor fireplaces, poolside yurts, and a darkly cozied atmosphere room with tables dressed in vibrant colors.

For Romance opens its doors for your engagement, wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, family reunion, or sightseeing tour at our luxury Bed & Breakfast experience (210 West 122nd Street, Harlem, NY, 212.866.4411, Google 5 Star, https://tinyurl.com/fjhem47z, from $222). Built-in 1880, turn-of-the-century architecture was restored. This newly-renovated establishment now features waterfall jacuzzies and a state-of-the-art kitchen.

Welcome to the heart of Manhattan. The Landmark Townhouse built in the 1890s sits on a lot, surrounded by historical churches and different historical Brownstone buildings (Google 5 Star, https://tinyurl.com/ybpu7rwz, from $275). When walking into this beautiful, rich mahogany lobby, guests will experience the high ceiling chandeliers and feel safe and secure.

Harlem Style Chez Michelle NYC, it’s two rooms on the second floor of a house built in 2001. The street, in the historic district of Central Harlem, is lined with beautiful 19th-century brownstones. Chez Michelle NYC (118 West 130th Street, 646.373.5239, Google 5 Star, https://chezmichellenyc.com/en, from $100). The neighborhood has many restaurants and supermarkets—Whole Foods is located 5 blocks from Chez Michelle. A few blocks over, 125th Street is great for shopping.


Where To Eat & Drink

Indian Summer Indian Summer serves traditional Indian cuisine in the heart of Harlem, NY. (239 Malcolm X Blvd, 646.952.0300, Google 5 Star, https://indiansummerharlem.site/) Those willing to try something new must visit this restaurant. You won’t regret it.

Melba’s As a young adult working at Sylvia’s, Rosa Mexicano, and Windows on the World restaurants, Melba Wilson became aware that diners have the opportunity to eat wherever they choose.

So, being born, bred, and buttered in Harlem, Melba knew she wanted to provide an exquisite yet comfortable dining experience for the community that raised her. (300 West 114th Street, 212.864.7777, Google 5 Star, https://www.melbasrestaurant.com/).

Vinateria is about neighborhood, community, and bringing people together. Focused on wholesome ingredients, artisan-made goods, and food made with intention, they strive to be the best that we can be every day. (2211 Frederick Douglas Blvd., Harlem, NY, 212.662.8462, https://www.vinaterianyc.com/) As members of the Harlem community, they strive to uphold the values instilled for generations—guests walk through their doors and feel like a longtime friends, welcomed with a glass of wine and a familiar face. Consider Vinateria as an extension of the home.

Taste Harlem Food & Cultural Tours gives insight into often-overlooked gems in Harlem. (212.866.7427, or 646.679.6725, or tour@tasteharlem.com, https://www.tasteharlem.com/) Explore fabulous food, culture, and entertainment. Tours include stops at educational, historical, architectural, and artistic venues.

Sette Pani Harlem is more than just a restaurant, or a bakery, or a bar. (196 Lenox Avenue, 212.678.1940, Google 5 Star, http://www.settepani.com/) It is a community space where people come together, enjoy our food made with organic ingredients and local produce, and shop for everyday high-quality goods.

Sol Cinema Cafe is a culturally vibrant, tech-enabled cinema eatery, offering a new concept in media entertainment. (2031 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd., mpk@imagenation.us, https://www.imagenation.us/) Sol Cinema Cafe is an extension of ImageNation.

What To See & Do

The Apollo Theater is a music hall. (253 West 125th Street Harlem, NY, 212.531.5305, https://www.apollotheaters.org/) Home to the televised Showtime at the Apollo, the theater opened in 1914 as Hurtig & Seamon’s New Burlesque Theater, designed in the neo-classical style.


Harlem Artisans & Makers

Where Artisans & Makers have stands and family-run tasting rooms, instead of the faux chateaux, the word on Northern Manhattan is that it’s what Harlem used to be 30 years ago. The nearby town of Heralds Burg acts as a sophisticated jump-to-point for this rural paradise whose remote location and sleepy vibe are tempered by the buzz surrounding its wines. This is a destination tailor-made for the golden days of Indian Summer.

Harlem Hops

Harlem Hops has opened its doors with you in mind. They created a space to gather, socialize, relax and enjoy the taste of some of the world’s most delicious and hardest to find beers. The concept for this place is years in the making and a dream come true–a product of years of hard work, collaboration, and positive thinking. They hope patrons show support and help keep this dream alive (2268 Adam Powell Blvd., Harlem, NY, 646.998.3444, https://harlemhops.com/ and their non-profit https://www.harlemhopes.org/), the beers are made small-batch, by local, small and family-owned businesses, in some great cases, by people of color. Their mission is to invest in our community, expand access to other great beers made by us and for us, and enjoy good times together in our way.

Harlem Brewing Company

Harlem Brewing Company n Harlem since 2000. Owner Celeste Beaty’s beers are inspired by deep traditions in the cultural and culinary realms. (844-LUV-BEER, https://www.harlembrewing.com/) From the first Harlem home-brew recipe to her flagship Sugar Hill Golden Ale, followed by Renaissance Wheat (Wit) and 125th Street IPA, these beers celebrate heritage with roots in Africa. She also enjoys teaching home brewing and cooking up dishes infused with beer!

YaVe Tequila

Joe Cruz Jr. grew up in East Harlem. After working in the beverage industry for many years, he decided to take a mere $25,000 and create his own “ultrasmooth” tequila right from Harlem. And so in late 2017, YaVe Tequila was born (2268 Adam Powell Blvd., Harlem, NY, 646.998.3444, https://www.yavetequila.com/). Not only has the company garnered culinary headlines (it produces the first-ever mango-favored tequila), but it’s caught the attention of local stakeholders, thanks to Joe’s commitment to working with his East Harlem neighborhood.

So Harlem

Janet Rodriguez is the founder of SoHarlem. SoHarlem’s goal is to sustain a collective of designers by providing a communal space and support services. This platform allows for artistic development and sharing of their expertise, provides a forum for training community members in garment construction, and other apprenticeships in the fashion industry, (2268 Adam Powell Blvd., Harlem, NY, 646.998.3444, https://www.soharlem.org/). Since SoHarlem’s inception, many member-entrepreneurs have explored their creative freedom, and established themselves, exercising the full range of their cultural identity in their respective industry.

Harlem Makers Collectve

Harlem Makers Collective is a seasonal curated event celebrating the artists, makers, creatives, and innovators of Harlem. (harlem.makerscollective.gmail.com, https://harlemmakerscollective.org/). HMC was originally founded by 3 Harlem designers: jewelry designer Maiko Suzuki, milliner Karema Deodato, and fashion designer Heike Jarick who were themselves looking for a luxury platform to feature their collections within their community. The Harlem Makers Collective Pop-Up Boutique has become a place where local businesses can generate a supportive community to grow and showcase their ideas.

Harlem Candle Company

Harlem Candle Company is a luxury home fragrance brand, specializing in scented candles but inspired by the richness of Harlem. (info@harlemcandlecompany.com, 212-457-4014, https://www.harlemcandlecompany.com/). Founded in 2014 by travel and lifestyle expert Teri Johnson, Harlem Candle Company is the manifestation of her love of air with fragrance, jazz, and Harlem.


East Harlem Insiders Guide

Architectural IconThe Park Ave North sits right in the heart of Harlem, one of New York City’s most famous neighborhoods (65 East 129th Street, East Harlem, NY, 646-609-2810, https://www.parkavenorth.com/, from $275). Located in a beautiful 19th-century building, the newly-renovated inn comes with many amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

East Harlem Style

Named after two Boston Terrier doggies, Bubba and Bean Lodges digress from typical New York City accommodations. They offer humble abode travelers can call home when visiting (Lexington Avenue, between 101 and 102 Street, East Harlem, NY, 917.345.7914, info@bblodges.com, Google 4.8 Star, https://www.bblodges.com/, from $275). Guests will never find doggies in the guest areas or units. Rooms are at the adjacent townhome built in the mid-1800s with a private entrance. Guests come first, and the accommodations here reflect the love and respect every visiting guest deserves. It is important to note they do not serve breakfast, as rooms have their kitchenettes.

What To See & Do

El Museo del Barrio was founded more than 50 years ago by artist and educator Raphael Montañez Ortiz and a coalition of Puerto Rican parents, educators, artists, and activists who noted that mainstream museums largely ignored Latino artists. (1230 5th Avenue at 104th Street, East Harlem, NY, 212-831- 7272, Google 4.9 Star, https://www.elmuseo.org/), El Museo’s varied permanent collection of over 8,000 objects, spans more than 800 years of Latin American, the Caribbean, and Latino Art, including pre-Columbian Taíno artifacts, traditional arts, twentieth-century drawings, paintings, sculptures, and installations, as well as prints, photography, documentary films, and video.

East Harlem Murals

East Harlem/ El Barrio is home to a great number of murals that build on a long tradition in Latin American Art, wherein residents may express themselves and tell their stories. (Throughout East Harlem, 212.614.9107, Google 4.9 Star, https://6tocelebrate.org/site/the-spirit-of-east-harlem/),Protecting these significant cultural symbols has become a great challenge, but an important endeavor, in a rapidly changing neighborhood.


Where To Eat & Drink

La Marqueta

Founded in 1936 to provide entrepreneurial opportunities for pushcart vendors, La Marqueta has and continues to be an iconic East Harlem marketplace with food, music, and more. (239 Malcolm X Blvd, East Harlem (212) 534- 4900, Google 5 Star, https://www. facebook.com/lamarquetanyc/) Is a marketplace under the elevated Metro-North railway tracks between 111th Street and 116th Street on Park Avenue in East Harlem in Manhattan, New York City.

Ricardo’s

2004 brought the opening of a new dining classic. Inside the exposed brick walls of this Harlem restaurant, Ricardo’s beautifully blends the traditional downtown steakhouse with the rich culture of Harlem. (2145 2nd Avenue Between 110th & 111th Street, East Harlem, NY, 212-289-5895, Google 5 Star, http://www.ricardosteakhouse.com/), The modern open kitchen displays the chefs’ quality cooking and lining the walls are art pieces from local artists, capturing Harlem’s essence. Low lighting combined with a lively, energetic ambiance assure an experience that will keep you coming back.

CakeBurgers

The owners wanted a business that incorporated 3 of their passions: Cakes, Burgers, and the nostalgic era of the 1950s. (400 East 120th Street, East Harlem, NY, 646.799.9507, Google 4.9 Star, https://www.cakeburgers.com/), CakeBurgers’ interior design, reflects such a time where you will find a working 1950’s Seeburg Juke Box and a rotary payphone to take you back to the sock hop days. The cafe offers the choice to observe cake decorators in action through the front store window or watch the art of cooking as it occurs on the other side of the cafe’s front store windows.

Photo credit: 1) LoLo’s Seafood Shack Harlem Vincent Tull. 2-4) Source.