In case you’ve been sleeping on Harlem, the food scene north of 96th Street is very much worth your time — and May 10 is your day to discover it all on a $5 food crawl.
The sixth annual Food & Drink Boulevard is back on Wednesday, May 10, from 6-10 p.m., with 19 restaurants and bars offering $5 specials with a free wristband from the Frederick Douglass Boulevard Alliance, the nonprofit community group that promotes Harlem’s Restaurant Row between 112th and 124th streets.
"Harlem has quickly emerged as one of New York's important culinary scenes. Our annual festival is a great way of sharing that experience more broadly, while also creating a festive event for the community," says Paimaan Lodhi, co-president of the FDBA.
Since all the venues are along Frederick Douglass Boulevard, the event creates a sort of de facto street party as people walk from venue to venue (there’s also free pedicab service in case you overindulge). Among the participants are modern Italian spot Lido, the overloaded rectangular pie joint Custom Fuel Pizza and Turkish spot Savann beloved for its delicately crafted desserts.
Reserve a wristband — which, it’s worth noting again, is totally free — online or pick one up at Harlem Tavern or Angel of Harlem to get the $5 deals and a link to an online map to guide your way. Loved what you ate? Take a chance on scoring another great deal in the FDBA’s raffle, with the money going to support local women- and minority-owned businesses and community initiatives.
While you’re thinking about food in Harlem, the third annual Harlem EatUp! Festival is coming May 15-21 to showcase the neighborhood at dinners with its best chefs, parties at its most iconic restaurants, and free weekend art and food markets.
Spanish Harlem is also the hot new neighborhood for young homebuyers, with tons of growth expected soon as the community looks to rezone for more mixed-use buildings.
Here’s the full list of participating bars and restaurants:
67 Orange Street
Angel of Harlem
Custom Fuel Pizza
Harlem Burger Co.
Harlem Food Bar
Hop House Harlem
LoLo’s Seafood Shack
W XYZ Bar at Aloft Harlem