Fried chicken has made quite the comeback, and now the guru of moist flesh and crackly skin, Charles Gabriel, is making his triumphant return to Harlem with this all-you-can-eat restaurant. In addition to the poultry, there will be barbecued ribs, mac and cheese, yams and other Southern favorites.
Beloved cookbook author, blogger and baking maven Dorie Greenspan and son Josh are behind a pair of cookiecentric bakeshops. Snag Greenspan’s elegant treats: classic French vanilla sablés (shortbread), blueberry jammers topped with streusel, and her signature World Peace Cookies (Valrhona cocoa and extra-bitter chocolate with Guérande fleur de sel).
Columbia students can sate their dumpling cravings at this tiny eatery, whose cherrywood floors and brick walls dress up its cheap-eats mission. The purses come with mostly classic fillings like pork-and-chive, though a few original versions—such as “ugly” dumplings, buns stuffed with veggies and vermicelli—are also available.
This 22-seat outpost of a New Jersey tortilleria dishes out hearty tortas, burritos and quesadillas. Fillings include chicken, steak and marinated pork, but the real draw is the Barbacoa taco special, served up on Saturdays and Sundays. For the dish, goat is slow-cooked in huge copper pots, then heaped generously onto supremely fresh tortillas. The gratis-condiment station offers vats of lively salsas and other toppings. Wash down the spicy grub with the house-made agua frescas in flavors like watermelon, pineapple and cantaloupe.
Former symphony orchestra musicians Aaron Baird and Jeffrey Green—who met at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston—are behind this café, serving java made with Forty Ninth Parallel Coffee Roasters beans. The spot is outfitted with exposed brick, wood floors and tufted leather couches.
The wildly popular Levain Bakery has been drawing the pastry-loving masses since 1995. Its third location—a 3,000-square-foot facility in Harlem—does double duty as a retail shop and the center of its mail-order production. You'll find their massive, chunky cookies in homespun flavors like chocolate chip walnut, oatmeal raisin and dark-chocolate peanut butter chip.
Café Zona Sur
This casual Sunset Park dinette run by a husband-and-wife team serves breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner. For the morning meal, start with a La Colombe espresso ($2.25) along with lemon-ricotta crepes ($7), huevos rancheros ($10) or a pesto focaccia topped with mozzarella and two sunny-side up eggs ($14). Not a fan of brunch? Try something savory from the lunch menu, like the croque monsieur ($10) or Zona Sur burger with gruyere, caramelized onions and roasted tomato on a brioche bun ($14). The dinner options include larger portions like a seafood linguini with mussels, cockles and the catch of the day ($16), pan-seared salmon with kale ($17) or cavatappi mac and cheese ($16). Thirsty? Order a glass of red or white sangria ($7 for a glass, $25 for a liter), or one of the assorted wines and beers. Cafe Zona Sur even offers a few sweet options for dessert fiends, like a chocolate souffle ($7), apple bread pudding ($6) and tiramisu ($6).
Venue says: “SERVING BREAKFAST, EGGS PANCAKES AND CREPES EVERYDAY UNTIL 4PM!!!”