Destination: Harlem – El Museo del Barrio

by Staff

About El Museo del Barrio:El Museo del Barrio—located on Fifth Avenue's Museum Mile in East Harlem—specializes in Puerto Rican, Caribbean and Latin American art, the only museum in New York City with these cultures at its core. In addition to its extensive fine-arts collection, El Museo del Barrio hosts a series of cultural festivities, youth and educational programming, and literary discussions. The institution underwent an award-winning redesign in 2009 (in honor of its 40th anniversary) that modernized its galleries and added a sparkling glass facade, spacious courtyard, Pan-Latin café and expanded shop.

While you're in the neighborhood: If you're in the mood to visit a restaurant whose menu features nearly every imaginable traditional Italian dish, simply walk north on Fifth Avenue until you reach Gran Piatto d'Oro. The typical flavors of El Barrio (Spanish Harlem), though, are Latin ones—and they can be found throughout the area. Amor Cubano dishes up Cuban classics (say, ropa vieja) and a wide array of mojitos to go with regular live music events. The popular La Fonda Boricua, meanwhile, is home to as-authentic-as-it-gets Puerto Rican fare. A few years back, chef Bobby Flay attempted to top the spot's famous arroz con pollo on his show Throwdown! with Bobby Flay—he failed. Even the steak houses in Spanish Harlem boast a bit of Latin flair. Case in point: Ricardo Steak House, where you can order a New York strip and accompany it with avocado salad, beef empanadas or sweet plantains.