Any adequate food tour of Harlem includes both the classics and the recent additions and focuses on the neighborhood’s impressive diversity of genres. Everything from French to barbecue to Ethiopian has a shining example here and restaurants (Rao’s notwithstanding) often lack the packed crowds of their downtown and Brooklyn brethren.
Sylvia’s is a Soul Food institution and while it might no longer be the epicenter of Harlem society that it once was, the food is as good as ever. Though the franchise is officially based in Syracuse, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que’s first Manhattan location is the considered by many the city’s best barbecue. If you’re looking for trendy, Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster is Harlem’s trendiest and, as an added bonus, patrons (and Samuelsson himself) showcase some of the most adventurous fashion you're likely to see all year.