Timing is certainly everything and there is no better way to continue our Harlem Happening History series, and celebrating Harlem’s makers, than the 10th annual Harlem Restaurant Week. It begins on March 1st and runs through the 15th. So, what is new this year? EVERYTHING!

Harlem Restaurant Week kicks off with double…double…the restaurants and great deals from some of West, Central and East Harlem’s top eating spots. Again, a concerted effort between Harlem Park to Park, other Harlem organizations and with support from Empire State Development’s Harlem Community Development Corporation (HCDC) and Division of Tourism/I LOVE NY, this year’s grub fest certainly promises to get you out and about to places you love and those about to steal your heart.  

“We’re excited to see the options and offerings grow to show how rich in quality, variety and innovation our restaurants are as we continue to shine a spotlight on Harlem as a premier culinary destination in Manhattan,” said Nikoa Evans Hendricks, executive director of Harlem Park to Park. “This collaborative effort takes us one step closer by combining our efforts with the backing of the city and state,” she concluded.

In the ten years of Harlem Restaurant Week, the participation has grown eight-fold and far out of its Central Harlem origins. Harlem, the place where a waitress from South Carolina became the owner of a legendary generational restaurant, Sylvia’s, immigrant brothers turned a familial ginger juice recipe into a nationally distributed brand and café concept, Ginjan, and a Harlem-raised chéf manifested his passion for the world of rice, Fieldtrip. “Harlem is a blend of neighborhoods that creates a beautiful mix of culture, history and cuisine, making it a truly unique part of Manhattan,” said Chena Clark, Bradhurst Merchants Association.

I do love a restaurant week experience for its opportunity to try new places previously not on our radar for financial and other reasons. These weeks give chéfs the opportunity to put their best foot forward and host us in their home-away-from-home.

Look for me at Teranga in the Africa Center for chef Pierre Thiem’s exceptional food, back in the newly reopened Chaiwali, up at the recently awarded Michelin Bib Gourmand, Oso, and in East Harlem to get my life again at Mountainbird and Gaudir. Also, these weeks include $10 and less deals from retailers like Harlem’s premier gift shop NiLu’s curated list of makers and products.

For more information and to see the regularly updated list of participants and actives of the 2020 Harlem Restaurant Week, visit www.harlemrestaurantweek.com. See you around the ‘hood!

Happy eating and thanks for reading!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com. Questions? Comments? Requests? Feedback?  Invitations!  Email AmNewsFOOD at AmNewsFOOD@SCHOPnyc.com. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @NYAmNewsFOOD and tag us with #SoAmNewsFOOD with your food finds!