Exciting new food scene represented by eateries such as The Park 112, Vinateria, Harlem Food Bar, Lido and Harlem Tavern
Harlem has emerged as one of the city’s hottest dining scenes in recent years. Now, a new crop of restaurants is upping the game again.
The center of activity is Frederick Douglass Blvd. — Eighth Ave. north of 110th St. — known as Harlem’s Restaurant Row.
Pioneers like 5 and Diamond, Zoma, and Chocolat lead the charge there. But a new wave of hot spots are building on the boom they started — from the wine-focused The Park 112 to Italian restaurant Vinateria to the hip Harlem Food Bar.
The boulevard’s transformation started a decade ago, when New York City rezoned 44 blocks in south-central Harlem. At the time, 40% of the boulevard’s 226 storefronts were vacant.
The resulting condo boom fueled a rush of restaurants as entrepreneurs jumped in to serve a growing population. And the latest eateries on FDB may be the most exciting yet, with a gamut of cuisines and moods to rival any downtown neighborhood.
Here are five of the street’s most happening newcomers, from a hyper-hip wine bar to a sexy trattoria to a one-time gas station that’s become the hood’s coolest watering hole.
The new kid on the block, The Park 112 opened last month with a sumptuous, supper-club interior and an accent on wine. But even with glittering chandeliers and tufted-leather banquettes, there’s a friendly vibe that makes this sophisticated spot cheerful.
“With an average of 25 people moving to Harlem every day, people are looking for a dining experience they get downtown but with a touch of uptown soul,” says owner Lew Tucker.