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Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem

Updated: November 15, 2023

Looking for a great place to eat in Harlem? A popular yet affordable place that’s rich in culture and history?

Why not head up to Sylvia’s Restaurant in the heart of where the Harlem Renaissance took place.  

Sylvia’s is simply a must have to really experience the Harlem culture. And is surprisingly reasonably priced for the entire family.

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Located at 328 Malcolm X Blvd, Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem has been a staple in the community for over 50 years.

Established in 1962 by Sylvia Woods, the late owner and founder who was known as the Queen of Soul Food by the community she served.

Sylvia’s has since expanded (from its original layout) to an adjacent building and can now seat up to 400 guests, with three different dining rooms, and a private backroom for special parties.

For those of us familiar with this wonderful city, you know that space this size is a rarity for most New York restaurants.

Budget Friendly options

Sylvia’s understands that a great meal should not break the bank so be sure to check out their Lunch Specials and Daily Specials.

Did you say Weekend Brunch?

Saturday’s Brunch 11 AM 3PM

Entrees under $20 per person

Sunday Gospel Brunch 11AM-2PM

Where else can you be serenaded by Harlem’s best soulful gospel singers and have Entrees for under $20?  

A must try is the waffles w/ fried smothered chicken for $14.95 per person?  

Not into meat anymore? Well try the veggie, salmon or shrimp options.

There is something for every palette in this place of soul.  Be sure to read our post on where to experience gospel in New York.

Sylvia’s also sells a line of prepared foods, beauty and skin care items, cookbooks, and a children's book written by Woods.

The restaurant attracts a clientele that ranges from Harlem locals to visiting celebrities.

Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela, Caroline Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Magic Johnson and President Barack Obama are among those who have dined there.

So you never know who you might be sitting next to!



All reservations made online require an emailed confirmation. If you do not have an email confirmation, sorry you do not have a reservation. Please feel free to walk-in.

  • No online reservations are available on Saturdays or holidays.
  • Sunday reservations are available from 4pm – 7pm ONLY.

All reservations have a 15 minutes grace period. All guests must be present in order for your reservation to be seated.

Reservations require a 24-hour notice & must have an email confirmation. Reservations made after 4:00 pm for the same day may not be honored. Feel free to walk in.

Hours & Directions

Mondays - Saturdays 8am - 10:30pm
Sunday - 11am - 8pm

328 Malcolm X Blvd
New York, NY 10027
(212) 996-0660

Train Transportation

  • 2, 3 Uptown to 125th St
  • 4, 5, 6 to 125th St

Although the Queen of Soul Food died in 2012 her legacy lives on in each and every soulful bite!

Written by T. Renee’ Mathis

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: November 15th, 2023
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