Harlem's Foodie Renaissance
by David Kaufman , 07/17/2013
(From left) Courtesy of Harlem Food Bar • Coffee Lenox, photo by Joe Buglewicz
Harlem has undergone a renaissance in recent years; new businesses have been setting up shop in the area, and the real estate market has been on an upswing—it's not unusual now for brownstones to sell for several million dollars. It was only a matter of time before enterprising restaurateurs discovered its charms and sought to bring their unique character and gastronomic obsessions to the neighborhood, making it an epicurean destination anew. Harlem's increasingly world-class culinary scene—with offerings including sushi, classic French food and farm-to-fork fare—serves as a barometer of that transformation. From historic Lenox Avenue in Harlem's heart to buzzy Frederick Douglass Boulevard on its western fringe, chef-driven restaurants, cafés and lounges are debuting at a record pace—often with both downtown-style chefs and decor. These newcomers have found a welcoming local clientele. And drawn by the global menus, friendly service and (relatively) less imposing price tags, hungry diners are heading uptown from across New York City as well.