We’re never going to make a list of the most charming restaurants in NYC, but if we did, Belle Harlem would be near the top. This place is one tiny room with 12 seats around a counter, and eating here feels almost exactly like attending a dinner party at a friend’s apartment. The menu is small and à la carte, and it consists of upscale, vaguely American things like duck with foie gras gravy and some very good mac and cheese spring rolls with bacon marmalade. It can get a little pricey here (most entreées are in the $40-$50 range), but if you’re looking to have a special night out at an intimate, friendly spot without having to throw a dinner party yourself, it’s worth it.
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Whether you want a small-group hang or a quiet dinner in a backyard, use this guide to plan your ideal outdoor birthday situation for 2020.
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Make My Cake
Make My Cake is a bakery in Harlem where you can pick up custom cakes and plenty of other desserts that will make your friends like you more.
Jacob Restaurant is a buffet in Harlem where you can fill a styrofoam container with some very solid soul food, Caribbean food, or spaghetti.
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Fieldtrip is a counter-service spot in Harlem that specializes in rice bowls, and it’s good for something quick and affordable.
The Uptown Garrison
The Uptown Garrison is an all-day spot in Washington Heights that works for coffee at 8am or cocktails and bar food at midnight.
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Before you start eating at all the trendy new spots in Harlem, filling your belly with soul food at Sylvia’s needs to happen first.
Lido is a neighborhood Italian spot in Harlem that also does a serious bottomless brunch.
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