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10 Things To Do And See In East Harlem

10 Things To Do And See In East Harlem

Picture of Julia Goicochea
Updated: 9 February 2017
Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood, or El Barrio as it’s referred to by locals, boasts some of the city’s most vibrant and varied art, restaurant, and culture scenes. Emphasizing the importance of community, East Harlem welcomes visitors and locals alike, making it a great place to explore and experience new things. Here are ten of our favorite destinations in one of New York’s most inviting areas.

Graffiti Hall of Fame

An excellent source of free entertainment, Harlem’s Graffiti Hall of Fame has been a premier street art destination for over thirty years. Located in a children’s school playground, this outdoor art gallery exposes visitors to the artwork and attitude of talented local artists. Great for art buffs and adventurists, this landmark mural embodies the neighborhood’s creative spirit and history.

Graffiti Hall of Fame, Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA

Cascalote Latin Bistro

One of many Latin restaurants in Manhattan’s El Barrio neighborhood, Cascalote Latin Bistro stands out for its creative interpretation of classic Latin flavor. With inventive dishes such as tres leches pancakes, chorizo brunch tacos, and mango ceviche, this welcoming neighborhood spot attracts a mixed crowd of locals, Latinos, and lovers of flavorful food.

Cascalote Latin Bistro, 2126 Second Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 351 6574

La Tropezienne Bakery

Indulge in authentic French treats at La Tropezienne Bakery, an unassuming spot serving up freshly baked baguettes, pastries, and sweets. With enticing options such as fresh fruit tarts, chocolate-covered strawberries, and hand-painted cookies, this coffee shop-cum-bakery is a great place to start your day or satisfy your sweet tooth.

La Tropezienne Bakery, 2131 First Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 860 5324

El Museo Del Barrio

Immerse yourself in Latino culture at El Museo Del Barrio, a multicultural establishment aiming to preserve Caribbean and Latin American art. Hosting an array of interactive events such as art-making workshops, guided walking tours, and storytelling sessions, the museum encourages visitors to engage with Latino culture. Also offering an extensive catalog of exhibitions, series, and permanent collections, El Museo Del Barrio demonstrates a passionate commitment to education, celebration, and inclusion.

El Museo Del Barrio, 1230 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 831 7272

La Shuk

With its authentic French-Moroccan fare, newly opened restaurant La Shuk is quickly winning the favor and business of its East Harlem neighbors. Admire the restaurant’s artistic décor as you sample authentic Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus, green shakshuka, and rave-worthy lamb kebabs. La Shuk’s affordable prices, exceptional service, and chic atmosphere make it a credit to the area, with a bright future ahead.

La Shuk, 1569 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 289 0089

Earl’s Beer and Cheese

The namesake ingredients at Earl’s Beer and Cheese feature prominently on its menu, yielding exciting concoctions such as pork belly and kimchi grilled cheese, goat cheese pasta, and the popular beer cheese, a lager-infused cheddar spread served with fresh garlic and toast. The restaurant’s newly expanded space makes it a great spot for foodies, friends, and fans of craft beer to spend a casual evening.

Earl’s Beer and Cheese, 1259 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 289 1581

Camaradas El Barrio

Part pub and part cultural center, Camaradas El Barrio invites you to celebrate the city’s Latino community. Offering live Latin and Caribbean music, art installations by local talents, and traditional Puerto Rican fare, this neighborhood hot spot dedicates itself to preserving Harlem’s rich cultural diversity.

Camaradas El Barrio, 2241 First Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 348 2703

Conservatory Garden

Visit the Conservatory Garden, an elegant six-acre space located in Central Park. The garden’s shady benches and quiet tree-lined paths make it the perfect place for a solitary stroll, while its sun-soaked lawns and sprawling fields welcome group picnics and playtime. A picturesque haven from the city’s bustling avenues, the Conservatory Garden provides a much-appreciated escape for Upper East Siders.

The Conservatory Garden, East 104 Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 310 6600

The Museum of the City of New York

Get to know New York at the Museum of the City of New York, an institution dedicated to sharing the city’s unique history and culture with its inhabitants. From New York’s activist history to its iconic folk music scene, the museum’s multi-media exhibitions explore the many varied facets of the city’s inspiring narrative. Both educating as well as entertaining, a visit to Manhattan’s most personal museum will make you proud to be a New Yorker.

Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 534 1672


At East Harlem’s trendiest wine bar, you can expect to find a lively late-night crowd of drink enthusiasts and foodies. Exciting menu items such as the hand-rolled gnocchi, bacon-corn pudding, and house made potato chips with caviar dip pair well with the bar’s impressive selection of craft beers and imported wines. With its tapas-style dishes and warm atmosphere, ABV is an excellent date night destination for local lovebirds.

ABV, 1504 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 722 8959

By Julia Goicochea