Soul Food Staples at Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem

Soul Food Staples at Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem

There are several people and places synonymous with Harlem. Langston Hughes? Of course. The Apollo Theater? You name it. One place that definitely deserves top ranking is Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem—a mainstay of the neighborhood since 1962. My mom’s originally from Virginia, so growing up I was familiar with Sylvia’s line of canned foods and spices (think soul food staples like black eye peas, collard greens, hot sauce, hush puppy mixes and more). Back in 2004, my mom and I traveled with a tour group to NYC and were able to dine at the namesake restaurant. I even got to meet Sylvia Woods in the flesh, a nice little old lady with the same beaming smile I’d seen for years on her line of packaged products. Sylvia died last year, but I recently spoke with her granddaughter, Tren’ness Woods-Black, who told me that the family-owned restaurant is still going strong. Both domestic and international tour groups still flock to the restaurant to enjoy standout favorites like Sylvia’s Down Home Fried Chicken and Sylvia’s World Famous Talked About Bar-B-Que Ribs. Lighter fare is also available, including salmon, and anything fried can also be baked or grilled. For the complete menu, click here. Definitely head on up to Harlem for some good old comfort food. You can take home the experience with cookbooks, aprons, potholders and pre-packaged foods sold at the restaurant. And, if you find yourself in St. Petersburg, Florida you’re in luck—Sylvia’s is opening a location there November 8. 

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