Charming and historic, East Harlem
is one of the city’s most multi-cultural neighborhoods, with Hispanic, African, and Italian influences. Here are the top 10 watering holes in East Harlem’s bar scene.
Bar, Food Kiosk, Restaurant, Mediterranean, Moroccan, $$$
The Kiosk is your go-to for a relaxed Moroccan and Mediterranean-inspired atmosphere. The signature cocktail is the Moroccan mojito, made fresh with all-natural ingredients. Appetizers and entrees include a feta-and-spinach triangle, garlic shrimp, salmon, and a lamb kabob served over brown rice. The food is well-priced and the vibe is laid-back, so head over for a fun, casual evening.
The Kiosk, 80 East 116th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 996 1242.
Camaradas El Barrio
Camaradas El Barrio was established in 2004, and due to the buzz surrounding their featured live music, has grown into a neighborhood staple. Half of the regular crowd comes from outside the East Harlem neighborhood, while the other half consists of welcoming locals. A Caribbean and Puerto Rican-influenced menu ranges from the Barrio Burger to traditional mofongo. Come for Karaoke Tuesdays and Way-Back-When Wednesdays for hip-hop and your favorite 1970s, 80s and 90s hits.
Camaradas El Barrio, 2241 1st Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 348 2703.
Shell’s Bistro/Harlem on Fifth
Harlem on Fifth offers your favorite southern comfort food, cocktails, live music, and hookah, all in one convenient location. The interior boasts stylish exposed brick walls with dark wood and modern accents. Somewhere between the bacon mac-and-cheese and the live jazz band, Shell’s Bistro conjures the spirit of a 1930s Harlem Renaissance-era venue.
Harlem on Fifth, 2150 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 234 5600.
Bar, Pub, Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, American, Irish, $$$
Genesis Bar is a neighborhood staple, and a visit to this Irish pub is a great way to acquaint yourself with locals. The interior features plasma TVs and cherry wood accents, and the menu offers a list of the usual suspects, from burgers and fries to steaks and sandwiches. Come to Genesis for a sense of community, cheap margaritas, and a great happy hour that runs from Monday through Friday, 11am until 7pm. During the summer, guests can sit out on the sidewalk or stay indoors.
Genesis Bar, 1708 2nd Avenue #1, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 348 5500.
Manny’s on Second
Bar, Pub Grub, $$$
Manny’s on Second
Manny’s on Second is a sports bar with a private party room. Known for ‘Manny’s wings’ and live game nights, Manny’s is supposed to be your home away from home. With 24 beers on tap, the bar is quiet by day and packed with sports fans and wing lovers by night, with pick-up and delivery service on offer.
Manny’s on Second, 1770 2nd Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 410 3300.
Earl’s Beer and Cheese
The ideal spot of local beer aficionados, Earl’s Beer and Cheese offers a relaxed atmosphere with rustic decor. Try the Cuban Reuben with beer cheese mustard, alongside an order of regular or jumbo beer cheese, made of New York State cheddar spread and served with toasted bread. Delicious food and great ambiance will turn you into a repeat customer.
Earl’s Beer and Cheese, 1259 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 289 1581.
The Lexington Social
Bar, Cafe, Cocktail Bar, Wine Bar, Tapas, $$$
The Lexington Social
The Lexington Social is a chic wine bar offering Mediterranean-style tapas. Although they specialize in wine and cocktails, they also have a short list of beers on the menu. With a winery-meets-sophisticated-cafe vibe, The Lexington Social is a little bit pricier than some other bars, but the king crab croquetas and extensive wine selection make it worthwhile.
The Lexington Social, 1634 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 646 820 7013.
The Guthrie Inn
This hipster-esque, intimate, slightly avant-garde space is designed for smaller groups of speakeasy enthusiasts. The Guthrie collaborates with fellow bars Beer and Cheese and ABV. The laid-back interior design turns this watering hole into an unassuming and inviting nook, perfect for a quiet weekday drink.
The Guthrie Inn, 1259 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 449 8767.
Bar, Restaurant, American, $$$
Sapito’s proudly showcases East Harlem’s Afro-Latin roots. Self-dubbed ‘New York’s number one Latin sports bar’, Sapito’s is on the pricey side. However, the food menu is extensive and the cocktails steal the spotlight. The kitchen is open until 2am, so come sit at the bar or in the lounge.
Sapito’s NYC, 172 East 106th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 722 9222.
Bar, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
For the exclusive crowd, Rao’s is an intimate bar known for its occasional celebrity sightings. Entry into Rao’s can be predicated upon who you know. If you’re lucky enough to gain entry, the food is delicious and the atmosphere is charming. This bar lives up to its reputation as an Italian icon in East Harlem.
Rao’s 455 East 114th Street, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 722 6709.