El Barrio, East Harlem, SpaHa (Spanish Harlem), my old neighborhood, which I remember best for the people and the food! Within a few months of living here, I’ve gotten to know the area and one of the city’s hidden gems.
I highly recommend listening to “Spanish Harlem” by the Mamas & The Papas as you read the following…..
Firstly here are some of the sights you see along the way:
Where to go for a bite…
[1259 Park Ave]
This place has beer and cheese – to the extent where I’m not sure if they serve water. Although tiny and sometimes known to harbor hipsters, the food is delicious and the beers off the beaten path.
Must have: The Double-Cream Brie…Blackberry Mostarda on Brioche
[1569 Lexington Ave.]
Dear tiny french place of East Harlem, I love you. Chef Yoanne Magris (as seen on Food Network’s Chopped) makes authentic simple & fresh French food. As a native Parisian, I approve of the fresh made flaky pain au chocolats and having a waitstaff that not only remembers their customers but makes a mean cup of coffee is to be treasured.
Must have: Porcini Mushroom Risotto with black truffle essence.
[2018 3rd Ave]
A little pricey but with an ongoing $15 for $30 Groupon, come here if you’re a fan of mojitos & tres leches. Come for the food, stay for the dim-lit atmosphere and impromptu music.
Must have: Ropa Vieja (In basket of woven plantains)
[339 East 108th St.]
Hands down the best and most authentic food in the area. The food is the perfect combination of soft cheese, un-greasy, light and spicy tortas – it is unbelievably well priced. I highly recommend stopping by here if you’re in the area.
Must have: Chorizo Cemita
[170 East 110th St]
This bakery is family owned and tucked away mid-block on 110th street, walk to quickly and you’ll miss it! A cute community meet up – you can always count on them to have quirky offerings. Their walls are decorated with local art and every once in awhile they throw some mini shindigs, I recommend sitting in a vintage baseball seat as you enjoy. I’ve also personally seen the owner hand out leftovers to the homeless after work.
Must have: Chocolate Croissant