A Restaurant Guide to East Harlem | Eater NY

By Robert Sietsema

Photo: Robert Sietsema

Photo: Robert Sietsema

Before 1900, East Harlem was largely German. But by the First World War, southern European immigrants had come to dominate, so that the area became known as Italian Harlem. Its most famous resident was Fiorello LaGuardia. Within 40 years or so, the Italians had been largely supplanted by Puerto Ricans, and then Dominicans, both groups that are still well-represented along East 116th Street, the region’s main drag.

Since the Second World War, the neighborhood has been known as El Barrio. Mexicans have been in the ascendance since 1990 or so. The colorful scene on the streets is unrivaled in the city with plenty to see and do, and some great idiosyncratic shopping, including a long-running Mexican western-wear store, El Rancho, where you can buy pink leather cowboy boots for your kid.

And lucky for us, all the major groups who have inhabited the area for the last century are still well-represented in gustatory fashion. In advance of this weekend’s Panorama music, art, and technology festival, for which Eater helped curate the food — including three worthwhile East Harlem places, Uptown Roasters, serving hot and iced drinks; Crepe Cafe, serving sweet and savory crepes; and El Paso, serving everything from tacos to Mexican brisket — here’s a list of our favorite eating establishments.

Read more: A Restaurant Guide to East Harlem | Eater NY


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