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Sylvias Also Lounge



Sylvia's Restaurant Presents Sylvia's Also Lounge, Featuring the Hottest DJ's, the Sexiest Clientele and Luscious Drinks that Tantalize the Soul. Open Wednesday - Friday 5PM - Until and Saturday 10PM- Until...

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1582 Reviews

1582 Reviews

Kristen F


I heard about this place on the travel channel, as one of the best spots for southern comfort food in New York. Boy was I disappointed. We went on a Sunday when you're forced to order off of the gospel Sunday menu which gets you an entree two sides, a drink and cornbread for the table (which will run you about $20-25). As a group we ordered the fried chicken and ribs combo, catfish and shrimp combo and the chicken and waffle meal (no sides included with this one and it's about $15). The two combos were decent, the chicken was flavorful and hot (although the skin wasn't crispy). The ribs were just ok. I feel like I could get the same quality of ribs from a chain restaurant, nothing spectacular. The fish and shrimp were decent too, although both tasted a little fishy (usually a sign that it's not the freshest). I received a very thin piece of catfish and 3 shrimp (for $25!!) the mac n cheese and yams were very good. The greens were good, not the best or worst I've tasted. Now the garlic mashed potatos were terrible! They had a weird flavor and tasted like they came from a box and weren't real potatoes. The chicken and waffle meal was probably the most disappointing. The waffle arrived cold, not just room temp, but cold. We sent the waffle back in hopes of getting a hot one. The waiter apologized and said 2 minutes for a fresh waffle. It took about 15 minutes and by the time that one came it was cold too. How do you serve waffles that aren't even hot enough to melt the butter served with it?! Not only was the food way over priced for what you get (even for New York) but they make you order at least one meal per person, there's no sharing allowed. Come on, it's not like this is an all you can eat buffet. On top of all of that the service was terrible. We sat for about 10-15 minutes before getting water and another 10 minutes after that before the waiter even acknowledged that we were there, and when he did it was like we were a nuisance to him (maybe he was having a bad day I don't know). In the end we requested that the waffle meal be taken off as it was inedible. Never once did a manager come to see us. In good business when you have food sent back multiple times you need to see what's going on. I had high hopes after hearing so much about Sylvia's, but this place was definitely not worth the money or the hype.



First time I went, we were treated with good service and the food was quite good. Great atmosphere with a lot of well dressed black customers around, that made us feel in a beautiful and classy place. Second time (2 years later), my plate arrived 40 mn after order (the restaurant was quite empty...), the waitress looked at us with signs of disgust. Not to mention she placed us at the end of the room (almost in another room space). I asked if we could have a seat closer to the entrance in the beautiful part because there was nobody in, she accepter with no smile and an obvious sigh. I felt responsile of all ancestral slavery behind her unfriendly look at us. So, our plates finally arrived, good but average. I have to say their iced tea was the best I ever drank.

Gwendolyn C


I like Sylvia's food; however, it appears as though as the food the courtesy and service is going down. I would hate to see a well-known restaurant cease because employees and management do not know how to handle their business. Living in New York, it was an embarrassment when a church sponsored a trip from GA. I can't complain about what happened before I reached there, but one of your employees stated that the church owed them $100 and the price was misquoted from one of your employees. How does the customer become the bearer of your employees mistake? Basically, in business you eat it. There was a whole thing about my manager is holding them accountable and the idea that you would become so adamant over $100 is despicable. The cost to run the restaurant is not the customer's concern. They should be able to come to your restaurant, enjoy the food and the ambiance, pay their bill and move on. This is also correct when the person who made the reservation was not their to correctly address it. Your employees made a big ordeal over $100 to out of town guest just to here I will never be back. You don't care. But I did state get a copy of the contract, write a letter and whatever needs to be addressed, address it. However, you owe this group an apology.



We arrived about 2 on a Saturday afternoon. The place was moderately busy. Sat outside, which is a pleasant space on the sidewalk there. Rate the wait staff quality a C- just in general competence. It really felt like they weren't quite sure what to do. And the food. We waited one hour for four appetizers and a small plate of fried catfish. It was all mediocre. Also found the cornbread so-so.Not here looking to say bad things, but Sylvia, if she was as good as people say. clearly checked out long ago.

Troy H


Service was horrible.. and food was even worse. Its like the vegetables where fresh out of a can. No seasoning and flavor. I am from the South and heard so much about this restaurant and really was looking for to it.. Very disappointment..

Fred A


We went to Sylvia's Restaurant recently to partake in an annual celebration. As usual we were thoroughly pleased with the service and food at this constantly expanding mecca of soul food. I can't imagine looking elsewhere when a hankering for collard greens, cornbread or roast turkey hits me.

Lassard M


Couldn't believe how bad it was. Clearly it's coasting off of the name recognition and the fact that it's in every tourist guidebook. I asked for waffles and got waffles that were clearly not made on premises. (I can't say for certain, but they looked like Eggos.)

Adam V


One of, if not the best, purveyors of soul food in the city (world?). I cannot rave enough, but there are caveats. This is not a fine dining establishment - some of the food is extremely unhealthy, the decor and atmosphere at times is very 'home-y' meaning plain tablecloths, perhaps loud noises from large groups, very relaxed (but attentive) service staff and greetings, etc. There is sometimes a pretty long wait and unless you hound the host/hostess they may forget about you. But now, on to the good stuff. The drinks are great (rum punch house special) - quite strong, and priced cheap. There are rotating specials, which are by and large not to be missed. And, of course, there are soul food staples (chicken and waffles) cooked any way you like, with house made hot sauce. Really great, really relaxing, probably unhealthy, but not to be missed.

brad k


When ever I have out of town visitors we always go to Sylvia's. I tell them the food is great and the portions are huge. Plan on a take home box and a second meal.

Staff is friendly but they have not quite figured out fast service. The quality of the recipes and the ability of the kitchen staff to prepare them more than compensate. Prices are great when you consider the portion size.

My out of town visitors have always enjoyed the experience. I enjoy it also. Highly recommended for a fabulous leisurely meal.



I live in nyc now but am a southern girl and this is one of the closests to soul food you will get in the city. It has more of a carribbean flavor to it. It's a bit expensive but it is a good tourist spot for its history.

Thomas G


I had heard about this place before Yelp had recommended it to me, (I'm such a hipster ;) but that as just because I knew Bill Clinton ate there after work.

The first thing you notice about the menu is that it's almost all "comfort" food. There was lots of fried and grilled meat/fish and plenty of breakfast options (which were sold until 1pm on Saturdays). One of the sections on the menu was "Chicken & Waffles" which intrigued me because I had never had such a thing.

All the people who served us were really nice and helpful, and they knew lots about the menu, which was important. The free biscuits and butter that they bring to the table are equally nice.

All in all, it was a really home-y restaurant with a relaxed atmosphere and lots of character. But don't be expecting anything particularly healthy, because you won't find it here. My iced tea was almost too sweet to swallow.

Give Sylvia's a chance because you'll be satisfied by everything it serves up.

malik j


Great place but too crowded it's small but it still has good food your best bet is to take out. I'm glad to meet Sylvia before she passed away. rest in peace Sylvia. Happy food hunting.

Mellie D


Delicious corn bread and southern classics like collard greens, okra, fried chicken and salmon croquettes. Slightly pricey for their main menu, but a great lunch menu for under $12. Had the collards (non-veggie) and it was impressive. I definitely plan to come back for lunch.

K. D


I wanted to take the time and write about my wonderful experience at Sylvia's. A group of us was visiting from Baltimore and wanted to try Sylvia's since we heard about it. Whenever I want to try something new I go online to see what others say. I based my decision on the majority rules, most of the reviews I read were pleasant. I rather have my own experience because you just never know the motives behind those who write negative reviews. Anyway my friends and I were very much impressed. With the food, the friendly staff and we met Sylvia's daughters and granddaughter. Such a nice, loving, and supportive family Ms Sylvia would be proud. Our wait was not that long about 15 min. We arrived about 1:30. To me it's worth the wait. It was five in my group,so the wait time isn't as long when you have a smaller party. Reservations are recommend during the busier times. The manager came to our table and ask about how we enjoyed ourselves and if there is anything we need. We asked if they can open a Sylvia's in Baltimore (preferably the Inner Harbor). We will be back, next time I am going to try the chicken & waffles/the shrimp & grits.

She C


Being a girl from the south visiting New York, I was excited about visiting the famous Sylvia's. I was truly disappointed in what Sylvia calls soul food. The potato salad was sweet, very sweet, who eats sweet potato salad! The fish had bones and not southern fried. The worst was the Banana Pudding, what was that!

Andre L


I'd rate it as just under great southern soulfood. I've had better in Charleston SC and my mom's kitchen. Having said that, Sylvias will definitely satisfy your craving for authentic soul food. Miss Sylvia is a sweatheart and a delight to speak with. She has tremendous passion and it shows in her food. The atmosphere is stunning. never know who'll just pop in.

Hans S


In june i Will visit NewYork with my Son and i'm very curieus to eat in your restaurant. We are living in Holland, and it is the second time for me to visit NewYork. Never been in your restaurant, but i heard great things About it. So surprise US!!

Carroll C


It's, worth the trip,from Lansing MI,the menu is great,I grew up on this kind of food,the staff was very friendly,,the price was perfect,& you get a lot for your money. I will return every time I visit Harlem, I Highly Recommend this Restaurant.

Juan G


They cater to the tourists. The food comes from cans, boxes and microwaves .....the servers are slow and somewhat dimwitted ....stay away from this place it brings shame to the southern traditions ....Silvia why are you selling out why are you killing the one simple thing that connects all our brothers and sisters.....I'm a Latin male with a black wife and she's from north Carolina she said in her own words "my families generations would not find these items suitable for even the slaves to consume because they are an embarrassment to the rich delicious heritage." I will not be returning.....also the corn bread was the only ok item and that's not still tastes like a boxed mix red lobster has a better bread roll.

Phoebe C


To be honest, we were a bit disappointed. We had their famous fried chicken and sassy wings. The cake that they gave us as an appetizer was delicious. Also, the service was really good since they are really friendly and responsive. However, a 16.95$ dish has only a bowl of butter corn, macaroni & cheese with one fried chicken is somewhat overpriced. The corn and macaroni & cheese taste like they are served out of can or it has been prepared for a long time ago. The fried chicken was good though. It was juicy and crispy. But if there were more spice to it, it would have been more special. The sassy wings were meaty. I personally like hot sauce, so I added the Sylvia's XXX hot sauce. Disappointingly, it was not spicy at all. If you are curious about why they are famous, you should definitely go yourself and experience it. But for me, I probably won't go there again.

Tiffany S


Visiting from Houston, TX, I loved it! The food was DELICIOUS! Very southern atmosphere. We had Earnest and he was very nice. I had the catfish, greens, and yams and it was GOOD! The cornbread they bring out before the meal was good! My friend had the oxtails and she loved them. If ever in Harlem, visit!

Re U


We come to NY from KY at least 8 times a year. I've heard nothing but great things about Sylvias. I finally made it a must for us to stop there on our way back. We ordered the famous fried chicken and my wife got some sides. The staff was amazingly nice. The restaurant it self was very welcoming and comfortable. However the chicken we ordered was very dry. I'm convinced we jus got a bad batch or something because I fail to accept that everyone I've talked to is crazy. I'm going to make it back and keep trying till I get that famous chicken

ahmed a


i came all the way from Saud Arabia just to try this place and i was with my wife and 9y son and after a long trip and while we riding trains to get to the place my wife was very hungry and complaining why we are going to a place so far just to grab a bite, but after the first taste she said it really worth the trip and it's the food she ever had and of course i felt the same. that was like 20 days ago and we are so happy that we have another chance to eat there again today 😊

Debra D


The staff is fabulous just like the food!! Felt like I was in my my mommas kitchen. Thank you for incredible hospitality and the greatest Sunday Bruce concert ever!!

S. C


A great experience. Food was great; drinks were great. We had fried chicken, waffles, shrimp and mac and cheese and enjoyed every bite. The drinks didn't taste watered down. The staff was really friendly and helpful. This restaurant lives up to it's name.

Mike K


For starters the service is excellent. We got there at 11:45 on a Sunday and had a wait of a little less than 1/2 an hour. Olga our server knew the menu and was very helpful. When I asked how sweet the iced tea was she responded, "Very" and it was. The Gospel Sunday Breakfast which runs from 11-2 is reasonably priced with good quantities. Their waffles along with the fried chicken was a Wow. My wife asked if the Bar-B-Que Ribs & Fried Chicken was available even though the menu said it was not available till 2. Olga said it was so she ordered that. It all was great! The ribs, chicken were a 10. The potato salad was the best ever. The Gospel band was very good and got everyone involved in the music. It truly is a happening that we would certainly go back to.

Zee D


YUCK... They came out the Hempstead LI in front of Stop & Shop for charity $5 plates... I can't believe they even served that dog food. SHAMEFUL you should be ashamed of yourselves!!!! Weather for charity or not to serve and present foor in that manner - my dog wouldn't even eat it, he pushed it away... DISGUSTING!!

Richard L


The place has its charm in history and very courteous staff. Prices are as touristy as they get though. Maybe it was because we were one of the last patrons there, but food was nowhere near the iconic level one would think. Very disappointing sides and even the mainstay chicken & waffles. It wasn't "bad" but I could go to crown fried chicken and get almost equally fresh chicken I feel. Overall it just didn't live up to the hype!

Fabrício M


Very pleasent afternoon here. Sylvia's Special is great! Ribs perfect! Chicken fried beautifully. Great service. Wonderful gospel music! Felt like home (Brazil).

Javier K


I ran into Sylvia's while walking in Harlem looking for a place to try something local. This place seems like a safe choice for someone who, like me, has no experience with comfort food. The service is very friendly, the restaurant is busy, and the portions and prices are reasonable.



A few friends and I were visiting from England, and honestly this is probably the best food I have ever had!! The staff were amazing and the price was no to bad either. Finger licking good bbq ribs.. dammmmmm!!

Michael P


Historical restaurant. Went for its history and stars that have eaten here before. Food was ok and service was meh

owen l


The best part of my dining experience was the fruit punch and the cornbread at the beginning. This restaurant has received mixed reviews. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and most likely will never return. The banana pudding had unripe bananas, it was if I was eating a plantain. The staff was extremely disappointing. I did not get a homely feel as I would expect from a southern restaurant. The staff took about 30 minutes to serve me my plantain pudding. I give Sylvia's a solid 3. Was not worth all the hype and definitely not worth the price. Took 30 minutes to receive my check towards the end.

Bree A


I thought it would be nice for me and my mother to enjoy some nice soul food a few Friday's ago and it was the worst mistake ever... I will never step foot into this restaurant again. I ordered the catfish and my mom ordered the liver, we sat there for AN HOUR waiting on our food. People came and went and we still sat there... I kept asking where our food was and I kept getting told it was coming... When I finally got fed up and asked for a refund, out came our food a whole hour later, oh and they weren't even busy, we were the only person waiting for takeout! Oh whoops, there was a guy that came after us and he was in and out. And there was a hostess there who was just standing around dancing and talking and told us the same thing the other people behind the counter told us. So anyway, after an hour, we finally get our food, was offered nothing complimentary for our gruesome 60 minute wait (I also wasn't feeling good that day so this made it so much better! *sarcastically of course*) we get home, my catfish was mediocre and cold. My mother's liver was burnt scraps, the cornbread was so hard that it would put a rock to shame, did I mention the food was cold? And just to think I was gonna take my mother here for her 50th birthday. Yeah, so never again.

Peter c


Visiting from Australia with my family, highly impressed with authentic food and service. Restaurant was very busy, but isn't that a good sign? Loved cornbread and chicken dishes superb. Thanks guys!

Salvador S


I came to eat here with a couple of my NYDM brothers and the food and service were well worth the $50 tip we left.... I will definitely dine here again. The atmosphere is incredible.

Brandon Z


Great atmosphere and good! The service was amazing. We had to wait a little for a table to hung out and spoke to people on the takeout side. The food came out quickly and the chicken and waffles was great. Everyone else enjoyed their meal. The area has changed a lot around it and there is a lot of shopping and bigger box stores now.

Teddy N


Overrated tourist trap in my honest opinion. The wait for brunch is ridiculous. The food is subpar. Prices are not so bad especially since the portions are good. But there are way better gems to discover in the neighborhood such as Chez Lucienne. This place is only significant for its heritage which is why I'm giving it a three. It should be a landmark, not a restaurant.

Stephen F


Our first experience of soul food, warm welcome after walking three miles to get here (scenic route rather than the subway). Coming from England we wanted to try the famous food and we weren't disappointed. We've fallen in love with corn bread (we don't have that over here) and the food was better than anything similar we had tasted, with very reasonable prices. Thank you to the staff.

Michael A


Was in the neighborhood for amateur night at the Apollo. Stopped here for a bite afterward, expecting it to be a let down, if only because of the hype. Happily, it turned out to be good old fashioned soul food done right. Our bus boy even found us just outside the restaurant as we were leaving to bring us our leftovers that we nearly forgot (and we were SO happy that he did). Will be returning.

Stefano D


Waffle and fried chicken with a soul singer going around the table? Yes, please! I have had an amazing experience on a casual Sunday morning and totally loved it. It's an experience not just about food, but also about music, so full-rounded entertainment at Sylvia's restaurant! Strongly recommended.

Susan R


Fried chicken was good...everything else ehh not that great! The vibe was awesome felt like I was sitting at my grandma's dinner table, music was bumping l!

Demon P


Food was very good, prices not bad compared to other locations in the area (aside from a $10 mimosa). Cozy inside, service very pleasant and polite.

Would recommend.

Only two issues - on the slower side when it comes to wait time (wasn't busy at the time - 11:30am on a Wed) and a bit cramped for space. Fix those and you have a 5 star review next time.

I am still happy with the experience, thanks!

Michelle W


Service horrible



WASTE OF $100.


Wow I'm truly surprised at this response. You had an off day... $100 of my dollars later. And excuse me the young lady with the sweater which was tan and black boots was the MANAGER, and was making drinks because the server and all your second shift staff was late. She took our drink order first excuse me after she plugged up her cell phone. The where on the clock I have no reason to lie. Let's not make excuses for poor service, fyi we did tell the server, but who wants microwave smother chicken gravy then became gummy, unprofessional as hell. Then you type excuses..... oh yeah clean up those dirty ass bathrooms

Betty V


Was at Sylvia's yesterday with a group to see a show at the Dempsey Theatre. Show was awesome. Sylvia's was NOT. The fried chicken was good. The "potato salad" was mashed potatoes with sugar added!! The collards were from a can. The ribs were just boiled in water and sauce added when they were plated. The cornbread is a disgrace - too sweet!! this is NOT a soul food restaurant at all. Stay away and save your money. Jacobs - up the block and across the street is EXCELLENT. I give Sylvia's one star because I have to give it a rating.

Stelis V


First of all, let me say I heard about Sylvia's for years. I've heard nothing but good things. But let me tell you the truth! I went in a little after 12 noon for takeout. The service was horrible! Staff weren't attentive at all. The cashier was in the corner texting, not taking payments, The server look like she didn't want to help you and the food was TERRIBLE!!!. Authentic soul food my Ass! Their secret ingredient is: SALT SALT and more SALT! 2 hours and a gallon of water later and I'm still thirty, Smh. The cornbread was saturated with fat and grease. It felt like I had a dirty dish sponge in my mouth. If you're looking for good soul food????? This is not the place.

Latamela S


It was the worst soul food I ever had and when the owner asked how was our experience we told her the truth about what we experience she was upset! It taste like the cool ard greens came straight out the can! The ABSOLUTE WORST!!!

xiaomin w


"No, you may not have another fork, eat with your own hands..." ::wink::

My friend H- and I came to Sylvia's for an early lunch today. We were originally hesitant to go in because no one sat outside, but upon entering it seemed like we had stepped back to a different time. There was no wait for a table and our charming waitress took our orders with poise and presence.

A small basket of cute, freshly baked biscuits came out first, and H- devoured them with plenty of the provided butter. Our mains followed shortly after: my crispy, juicy Fried Chicken and Eggs were accompanied with thick, savory grits and H-'s Harlem-style Chicken and Waffle were done to perfection. Protip: use the namesake hot sauce! Absolutely delicious and has the right tangy-spicy kick. Drizzled it on everything.

H- dropped his fork halfway through his meal, leading to the exchange above. It's always nice to see service that's playful, just how family would treat each other.

Our meals came out to $18 pp including tax and tip, so the price is very reasonable for quantity and quality. Highly recommend, and hope to come back one day!

porschea m


This place was so nasty this aint no damn soul food everything was nasty besides the cornbread that they give you when you get there we never got refills the whole time we were there and all the sides look and taste like it came out of a can and everything was sweet with sugar added even the greens and they admitted that the greens had sugar non of that food was made from the soul i will never recommend this to no one

Hope J


The service from waiter Keith was awesome. The flavor of the food was awesome but the temperature was off. I like my food piping hot not almost warm. The cornbread was hard as if it had been sitting for a while. I wanted to love it but I could not. I'm willing to go again to see if they were just having a bad day...

Chiung-Yin C


Great place for brunch on a Saturday. At 11 am, it was fairly easy to stroll in and get a table for three just waiting for five minutes. We shared an order of chicken and waffles, and each got a separate entree. All was delicious. The fried chicken had juicy meat and crispy skin. Paired with syrup and the fluffy waffles, it was perfect. My main of corned beef hash and eggs came with grits and was a huge portion. I definitely had trouble finishing this. I have to go back for lunch or dinner to try more soul food.

Felix T


Good plave to have SoulFood in NY. Got seated really fast. The Servers are really friendly and i got my order within minutes! The Home brewed Ice Tea came with a refill and was pretty good. Highly recommended Place!!!

Steve P


I ate there on 1016 2016. Fried Chicken macaroni and cheese and green beans. the Fried Chicken was dried out it obviously was cooked a while ago. But their macaroni and cheese was incredible green beans were incredible. My son had the candied yams that I did not taste, but I'm sure they were really good. Obviously a bad day for fried chicken:-( they were a little slow but it was busy

Adrienne L


Great food indeed! We went on a Saturday and so had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, but unfortunately this is normal for nyc. The service was good and food was timely. The wine was cheap and gave me a true headache so beware lol...

Jackie C


We've hit Sylvia's before when visiting Harlem. We always expect a wait. No big deal. The staff is always friendly and they do their best at making sure the guess get seated as quickly as they can. I must admit being a bit disappointed this time with my food (smothered chicken, collards, & candied yams). While the food was still good, it wasn't as well seasoned or prepared as with my previous visits. Specifically, the candied yams. However, the mac n cheese I didn't order but tasted, was good. So, it depends on what you get. Just don't have huge expectations that's all.

Atonya F


My first time here. The oxtails were flavorful and tender. The traditional greens reminded me of my late grandmother's - very wonderful. The mac'n'cheese was warm and tasty. The cornbread was so good! The fruit punch had an unusual wonderfully not too sweet taste.

Daniel C


Went in for lunch Wednesday, Seated immediately. Service was excellent, very friendly, felt right at home. I had meat loaf from the specials, with Mac and cheese and collard greens.

The chicken delivered to the table next to me looked so good. Would recommend a trip.

Very clean and tidy also.

vanessa c


Maybe, I have high expectations, but I didn't quite understand/experience the hype, especially if I'm going out to spend money at a restaurant. The mac and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, candied yams, and fried chicken were all good. I wouldn't say they were to die for. I must say the customer service was really good compared to many places i've visited but I would've wanted a little more southern flavor in the BBQ Ribs, Catfish, and Shrimp. I just didn't see it, honestly. The decor in this establishment was very pleasant and the hygiene was good. The food does look appetizing, however.

Patricia V


Food was great! We drove almost 2,000 miles to have been blessed enough to eat some good food. My husband ordered fried shrimp, and he says its was seasoned to perfection. Thank you Sylvia's for your hospitality, and great food! Be blessed!

Michael B


Food was really good. Honestly, this has to be one of the few places ive been to in NY and have seen guests and workers know each other to the point it looks like family. Has a really great vibe. Only bad note, I enjoy waiters who communicate and have brief but good conversation and I did not receive that. The food did come in a rather quickly fashion though.

Thomas K


Alone on a business trip, I arrived late on a recent Saturday evening. It was as if I had walked into a big family gathering, and I was a special guest. My waitress, Olga, was warm and friendly, directing me to a combo plate: Fried chicken (with gravy for dipping at my request), ribs, yams, black-eyed peas (a standout), cornbread and Harlem beer, with peach cobbler for dessert. Just incredible -- the food, the atmosphere, the friendliness. Couldn't have asked for more.

Constance S


My mom went here about 10 years ago, and she warned my boyfriend and I to not eat here because she got sick, but we wanted to go for the experience anyway! We were disappointed. For the amount of money we spent at this place, we did not receive great food at all. The black eyed peas and the collard greens were unwelmingly bland, and both the ham and the chicken were salty beyond belief. The service was slow. We're hoping that my moms bad fortune doesn't follow us, and that we don't get sick. But honestly, this was experience we need not have again.

shawn b


My wife and I had lovely anniversary dinner here and it was amazing. The service, wine, food, ambiance, everything was great. I would definitely go back

Kaine H


Sylvia's was my experience with Soul Food, so i don't really have any point of comparison, but the food at Sylvia's is tasty and comes in exceptionally generous servings. Neither i nor my date were able to finish. The fried chicken and pork ribs are to die for.

The service is friendly and prompt, and the staff were happy to help us out with the menu when they found out it was our first time. Highly recommended.



Great environment with big portions. The pork chops and the shrimp were incredible. Highly recommend the mash potatoes. Things did move a little slower inside the restaurant, but it was nice not to be rushed to eat and then get out.

Camille A


Sylvia's is not only a landmark and historical spot, it's the best soul food restaurant in New York. The food is great. Service is fast. Staff is amazing. Bring an appetite and be prepared to take home extras as the portions are quite large.

Randy L


DISAPPOINTING. Very overrated. Service was really slow, took 20 mins just to get our drinks. Food was mediocre at best. Man and cheese was basic. Collard and black eye peas was bland. And worst of all the chicken, which this place is "world famous" for, salty and inedible. Drink was good though. Playlist was on point, but good music can only do so much when your food isn't great.

Genesis B


The food here is amazing! Whenever I am in Harlem I make sure to stop here. Today I had the fried chicken and waffles with a mimosa and everything was delicious! The fried chicken was seasoned to perfection with a crunchy crust and juicy meat inside. The waffle was melt in your mouth delicious and the biscuits that arrived at the table were hot and flaky. The staff was friendly and on point with clearing tables and keeping glasses full. It was a very pleasant experience.

Carmel G


Outstanding! First timer, and glad we stopped by. Service was professional and very courteous. I appreciate a business when the manager and in this case, the "Chef" makes the rounds. Chef was polite and genuine in making sure you were enjoying your meal. Now the food; it was delicious and priced right. Obvious signs of quality ingredients. Highly recommended this place.

Thomas S


They actually stayed open and full service until the time posted on the door and allowed me to order to go even though I was sitting eating. Good food. Great portion size.

shanaique w


Historic gem in Harlem. Once you walk in you feel the connection of family. They take pride in their business and live up to history behide the name. The food is delicious... cooked with soul. If your in the Harlem area and craving sould food stop here... you would be disappointed. But, be ready to wait they are always crowded.

Tracy B


Veggies too sweet. You can tell sugar was added to the greens, ribs, and mac & cheese. Not good for Southern cooking. Fried Chicken was cooked perfectly.

craig w


My wife and I ate there for the first time, and the food, ambiance and employees was great. Chicken and waffles definitely hit the spot. Will return on our next visit to NYC!!

Brian J


Completely delightful. I was there for a catered seminar. The atmosphere was nice. The vegetables were cooked healthy Southern style, not over cooked. And that mac and cheese was just the right comfort food. Corn bread muffins were tasty, but there's never enough. Am I the only one that could eat a bucket of cornbread and one or two sides as a meal?

Sean S


Excellent food, excellent services. Went there today for brunch and had an awesome experience. They took our large parties of medical students and even sang to us to congratulate us on our graduation. The chicken and waffles are a Harlem classic! Will return soon.

Diego G


Historic restaurant in the heart of Harlem for great soul food. I liked their Harlem style fried chicken, but my favorite thing was their corn bread. Sweet and delicious. The staff was friendly. I'll definitively come back.

Fitzroy G


I had the Chicken and Waffles in was awesome. My family members had the Salmon which to my surprise it was a thick cut of fish . They said I was very well season and not dried out. The Pork ribs was succulent and man oh man the cornbread is to die for. We'll be back.

New Y


For the best southern cooking, grits, soul food the only spot i go to is Sylvia's. I believe the restaurant was named after Sean diddy's child. The place has excellent service, great food and the prices are reasonable!

great comfort food. i love dining outside in the Summer. the only reason why i did not give 5 stars cuz my drinks were a little bit on the expensive side. Great comfort food!

Zach H


Party of two, served on a Saturday @ ~5pm. Note that we are Wisconsinites, not Southerners, and therefore the review below may make you say "but that's exactly what I wanted out of a restaurant!" Basically, the food was filled with processed sugar sauces. I had the BBQ ribs and my partner had the BBQ salmon. The sauces on each were incredibly sweet and while the meat below was tasty, it was difficult to finish. We were looking forward to the 'tomato okra' side dish but when it arrived, it looked like okra and corn, swimming in ketchup. Once again, too sickly-sweet to enjoy. The cocktail I had was very strong though, and well-priced for Harlem.

My partner summed it up best - the food reminded us of "church potluck" kind of food. When she said that, it hit the nail on the head for me. If you're looking for that kind of southern-soul-food style, then you're probably going to love this place. If you are used to...not that style of food... this place will probably strike you as a bit hokey and the food, unappealing.

keith b


Flew in from Chicago, parents owned a soul food restaurant for 15 years...I know good food and good service...Sylvia's was all that. It was amazing...i had a can't get a steak at a Soul food restaurant in was seasoned just right. Waitress was getting stressed but never let it show...she stayed cool and kept a smile. I'll be back in October for my birthday😊

Shawn C


Took for ever to get them to take order when they do someone brought some of the best corn beard that I have had in years. Waitress took order then never saw her aging for 12 minutes when she finally brought drinks. Then Couple Minutes Later Got Food & No On Refilled water. Once we finished eating took another 14 minutes for us to waitress back to get check. The food was great chicken and my daughter got waffles. Service is why I rated it so low.

Nadine T


Love this place! Have not been here in over 30 yrs, but I will soon be back. The staff was so very nice and friendly, and the food...DELICIOUS... fried chicken, collards and mac and cheese! So good!

Ashley C


I got the chicken and waffles (dark meat) and a side of mac and cheese. I went there after hearing raving reviews about the food. The food is indeed your classic Southern comforts. The dark meat chicken was seasoned to perfection. Perfectly crispy on the outside and moist and juicy on the inside. You know the fried chicken is good when all of it tastes flavoursome - not just the skin. Sylvia's did not disappoint - that chicken was very well seasoned inside. I barely touched the waffles - not because they tasted bad, I was just getting quite full.

My mac and cheese was a 3.8/5 in my opinion. It didn't wow me as expected but it didn't disappoint either. I'd love to try out their ribs next time I'm there. I highly recommend going to this restaurant. Service was fabulous as well to top it all of! That really added to the experience.

Carlos G


Wanted to like Sylvia's so bad since it's one of Harlem's old school spots but the service was horrendous. We wanted to be seated outside and was told by the hostess that it would be a longer wait time, which we had no issue with. Long story short, we waited an hour more than expected. The hostess and staff took their time clearing tables and getting to us. The manager finally came to talk to us after almost a two hour wait. Hostess kept grinning and seemed to enjoy how upset we were. Unfortunately won't be coming back.

Food was alright. Not worth the wait.



Food was not good at all. Smothered chicken was unrecognizable. The gizzards, liver was not good smothered. They were hard. We had a party of 17. No-one ate all of their food. I was really disappointed they they haven't realized how the food is being put out. Sylvia would roll over if she knew how they were doing her legacy. Someone needs to come.back, see what the cook is actually doing and get him/her.out of their. They better

Frank A


Heavenly sweet cornbread cakes come free to get you started. You could stop with those and be satisfied, but I had the southern fried chicken (leg and thigh) and was not disappointed. The crispy batter coated the tender juicy fabulous meat. The environment and service deserves a shout out too.

Aidy O


Great great vibe! This place is the epitome of the expression “this food took me to church”. The food is that good that you have your money worth. Plus on Sundays, there’s a Gospel Choir that sings! Aye! How neat?! A must visit if you’re in New York!!

Ed P


I've been there twice I've only had the fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, yams, waffles potato salad, fried catfish and cornbread. The cornbread is warm and a little sweet as a starter it's nice, the catfish was okay, macaroni and cheese is okay, the waffles are what waffles are, the yams are excellent but some people do complain that they're too sweet (strong sugar and vanilla) tasting more like a desert but they are tasty, chicken is very delicious just do not get the breast ours happened to be very dry. I would have been fine with the dark meat chicken and waffles and two sides for $15, but I ordered an additional breast after and it cost 10 bucks! And I regretted it. if I was nearby i may stop here for some comfort food, but I would not make a special trip. PS the potato salad would probably be good if they didnt put so much Relish in it.

James B


We arrived with high expectations for the Sunday gospel brunch after reading so many positive reviews, and left thinking ´what was all the hype about?!´ Staff were pleasant but too busy to engage beyond the cursory welcome/thank you. Food was just average, almost canteen quality. The gospel brunch turned out to be one lady singing with a guy on a piano - but she never had the chance to sing an entire song as she was too busy going around the tables asking where people came from. We left feeling that Sylvia´s was probably something special way back at it´s inception, but now it feels like a conveyor belt that caters for tourists. Or perhaps they were just having an average day. There are probably lots of hidden gems in Harlem but you´ll never find them in a tourist guide!!

Sean G


Food that will touch your soul. One of my favorite places when I'm in NYC. Had dinner here years ago. Loved it then. The restaurant didn't disappoint this time either. Staff was very friendly and professional. The meal was delicious. The wait was a little longer than quoted, but that's to be expected with known good food on a weekend night. The only downside was that the red velvet cake was gone by the time we finished eating, but that's on me. I saw it while we waited for seating and assumed everyone else didn't have it on their minds as well. My bad, especially since Whips closed down years ago. If you're somewhere in NYC, get here. And don't walk, run!

Lena W


The very seasoned server was very accommodating as my party of 5 needed to get to a show at the Apollo. She brought our food quickly and affirmed we would be able to leave in time. She made sure that we wouldn't order anything that would take excessive amounts of time to prepare such as the fried tilapia. The fried chicken was tender and well breaded. The restroom is in the basement so it's not wheelchair accessible The restaurant is big so the seating is wheelchair accessible. There's something nostalgic about the bar upon entering the restaurant, and there were many more tables in two more dining rooms to the left.



The staff here is just as amazing as the food. Our waitress was a lovely person who made us feel right at home. My partner was under the weather and we were in town for an event. They brewed him up a special tea to help with his congestion and it parked him right up. We were so grateful. We will definitely be going back!



Came here for lunch on a weekday. There was no wait, which is nice. this place has a very pleasant and fancy feel to it. The server we had was very nice. You get a complimentary basket of cornbread and butter at the table. It was delicious. I can see why the fried chicken is so popular here. It’s literally cooked perfectly. The protein of choice come with 2 sides. Candies yams are deliciously sweet. My bf liked the potato salad.. but I’m not a fan of cold food. The world famous ribs were just alright. Ribs were kind of dried on top, which led me to believe they were probably a day old, maybe. I’m not crazy about the “sassy” sauce either. It tasted too much like tangy ketchup. It didn’t have that smokiness to it either. However, Mac and cheese was good. It’s just plain ole Mac and cheese. And the garlicky mashed potatoes are quite good as well. Very smooth. Overall, I think this is a very nice place for a date or family outing. You’ll definitely feel full from the sides. A little pricy for fried chicken if you ask me though. $40 for the meal without tip or drinks. But if you’re fancy like that, go for it! I definitely recommend.

Thomas Q


Ate at Sylvia's this past Thanksgiving. Customer service was excellente! Got there and was seated immediately. Ordered food and arrived timely; how ever price for the Thanksgiving dinner menu was to excessive, especially for children. Sylvia's charged $15.95 for child's Thanksgiving dinner. That's triple the price of what you normally pay at any restaurant that has a children menus. All restaurant's offer free refills on beverages such as coke products, ice tea and lemonade, but not Sylvia's. Not only that, but you only get a basket of 4 pieces of cornbread. Overall the food was excellent, but felt that the portion size could have been much better for the amount of the bill that I paid. The turkey dinner needed more gravy and cornbread dressing along with cranberry sauce. On another note, the establishment could use a front face lift, the lobby and bar area carpet need replacement with hardwood flooring; in addition to the bathrooms desperately needing a major overhaul. I have been to Sylvia's to dine and its time to bring this Soul Food landmark up to the 21 century.

Gerald W


The cornbread, the cornbread!! One style is the sweet thinner kind, the other a thicker cake style and both delivered with butter to start your experience at this Harlem staple. Our table had pork chops (one grilled, one fried, and one smothered), chicken and waffles, ribs, salmon patties, and all the different sides. The only compliant I have was the waiter took a bit to come to our table to take our order, but honestly the cornbread satisfied us while we waited. I would recommend for anyone needing a bit of soul food while in NYC.

Nat T


Excellent soul food....loved the chicken and waffles, candied yams and peach cobbler! A soul food landmark you must visit. In addition to great food this is almost a museum with a photo history on the wall of African American legends who have dined there. Excellent service too (thanks Olga!).

Shotika C


It was okay, didn't live up to the hype. My husband and I came in Saturday night. The chicken was just like any other soul food place, fried shrimp was good, the macaroni was not hot and we asked for hot macaroni they scraped ours off of our plate and microwaved it only for it to still be not hot. Service was good that night outside of that but food was definitely mediocre. Maybe the place was good back in the day but with all the tourism they can't keep up.

Damola A


I love the history of Sylvia's and I was excited to visit and eat here but the food was mediocre. It wasn't bad food but for a place that prides itself as one of the best in Harlem, well I'm nervous for what the other restaurants in Harlem tastes like. I have lived in the South and I was expecting it to be better or at the very least as good as BB kings in Nashville it wasn't even close! Everything I had, I could do better myself at home and I am not a professional chef. The staff were great and all the history and all the greats that have eaten and been in that same room was magical but if you're going there for the food, you'll be disappointed.

Yolanda L


AMAZING Soul Food Restaurant! Delicious flavorful food! Live entertainment, jazz & r&b! Various food options & countless chocies! Outstanding customer service. This place makes you feel right at home or even better! Great prices! The best soul food experience I have ever had! I will definitely return every time I visit New York!

Llesenis S


I grew up in NYC and had always wanted to eat at Sylvia's. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. My Kids had the chicken and waffles- the chicken was crisp, however, no flavor and high in salt. My kids made it a point to say my waffles were better.

Also had the Chicken and Ribs combo with candied Yams and Mac and Cheese. The yams simply covered in honey-No spices added. The mac and cheese were cheesy, but also high in salt. The ribs were tender but slightly dry and the sauce was a combination of spices and ketchup. Overall, I have had better- and quite frankly coming from my own kitchen. It is also highly overpriced for the quality of food that you get, you are paying for the name and not the food,

Carolyne R


Simply amazing. Best soul food I've tried so far. The homestyle fried chicken is a must try along with their side dishes. The chicken is perfectly crispy while the inside is perfectly juicy. The restaurant makes you feel like home. The service here is also great. Truly iconic place.



Amazing food, service, and atmosphere! What more can you ask for? I completely understand the rave reviews. The food ingredients were fresh and well made, and they have a good variety of comfort foods. I’m not sure if this because I’m used to Canadian portion sizes, but wow we’re the food portions HUGE! Definitely worth the price. I got a slice of the coconut cake and it was absolutely delicious. Would definitely come here again. Worth the wait!

Guillermo F


Harlem’s most iconic Southern soul food doesn't disappoint. Three of us popped by for Sunday lunch with no booking and we didn't have to wait more than 30 mins. The food is humble and very satisfying. Sweet, falling off the bone ribs, crispy fried chicken, BBQ salmon, all the sides, giant slices of pie… all delicious! Great atmosphere too with plenty of locals, friendly staff and no hipsters (thanks God). Barack Obama never fails when picking up places to eat! He is better than the Michelin Star guide. Top place Sylvia's is, long life to that restaurant.

Samuel T


Came here after watching Buzzfeed’s Worth It. Great mix of people and homely ambience.

I ordered the Down Home Fried Chicken. The skin is flavourful and crispy, but the meat is a tad dry for my liking. But that’s just my preference, but overall still an amazing meal. The food here, whilst delicious, leans toward the salty side, so consider getting a drink to go with your food.

Staff were attentive and polite. I came on a mid-afternoon weekday and had to wait half an hour for a table for 2. Natural given the popularity Sylvia’s. Consider arriving early and/or calling to make a reservation

Calvin C


This is a Harlem institution and I came on a Sunday afternoon so there was live music and gospel brunch. The wait was about 20-25 minutes for two people but not bad at all. I ordered the Fried Chicken with Eggs and my girlfriend ordered the Salmon Croqette I believe. The Fried Chicken was pretty amazing and the eggs were on point. We just wished the the potato and grits had more flavor to them. Also the complimentary (?) corn bread was fantastic as well. I didn't have the free flow mimosas that day because I was driving but if it's anything like the individual drinks itself. It's worth ordering.

Alexander B


Now I may be a late 20’s guy from England, but nothing beats good old fried chicken, made with the best

I remember going to New York with my family back in 2002 and visiting Sylvia’s and meeting the lady herself, and the food left a massive impression on me! Simple, fresh and gives your that warm feeling that only real food with love can make you feel.

Fast forward to Jan this year and I was back in New York and the second place I went after my hotel......Sylvia’s of course. I was sad to hear the lady herself was no longer with us but I can honesty say, her legacy lives on!

The service, great! The atmosphere, absolutely spot on, the food.........heaven. Chicken so crisp it cracks, the collared greens are amazing and compliment the chicken so well and the Ribs, I have nothing to say, as I left a full and happy man.

Thanks for the nostalgia and the memories and look forward to coming back when I’m back in the States later this year. From the other side of the Atlantic, I say please keep making us foodies from all places and walks of life happy!

Christina M


While I know that Sylvia's is considered the staple of soul food eateries in Harlem, I really struggle with the food here. I don't know what this place was like back in its heyday, but today it's become a place where good soul food goes to die. I got the fried Carolina catfish and the batter was just bland. I had to dump a lot of hot sauce on there to get some flavor. The mac and cheese was very cheesy and I actually enjoyed that most of all. Although it could have used a little salt. And lastly, the collard greens broke my heart most of all. I'm pretty sure they put sugar in them because the signature savory and smoked taste that traditional southern style collard greens are most known for was sorely lacking. Only a generous helping of hot sauce could somewhat salvage them for me. And to top it all off, we had probably the most inattentive waitress who could not seem to care less whether we had everything we needed. Overall, I give Sylvia's a 3 star rating because it is a pillar in the community and I love to see Black-owned businesses succeed. I just hope that management reviews the menu and remembers its roots as they think through how they choose to represent authentic southern cooking.

Tosin S


This place lives up to its reputation and certainly exceeded my expectations! The chicken is nice and crispy! The corn bread is absolutely delightful! The staff is extra helpful and the restaurant gives off great vibes. The wait time is quite long but it is absolutely worth it! Will definitely be back!

Stanley M


I went here with friends on a quiet Saturday. The atmosphere was nice and the service was very friendly. It was our first time in Harlem and we really wanted to try this restaurant due to the online reviews and I love fried chicken.

We started with the chicken liver and wings appetizers and they were absolutely delicious. I like the flavor of the liver and gravy; the wings was tender and sweet. I thought the fried chicken, however, was disappointing. It was good but it wasn't any better than any other places that I have been to but the spareribs was very good. The ribs was flavorful and melted in my mouth. I would definitely come here again when if I am in the area.

Didi B


Coming here was hands down the best idea I've had in a long time. Ordered the chicken livers as an appetizer. . Amazing. For the entree i had the smothered pork chop with collards and mac n cheese. The bomb dot com. The bartender Cheyenne was ABSOLUTELY incredible. I live in Queens and made the trip to Harlem just for Sylvia's since I've been wanting to go for years. I will make this trip over and over again.

Le D


A nice eatery with historical touch. The food was great in a pleasant atmosphere. We were arriving at noon but did not have to wait long to be seated. Services could be improved a little bit otherwise could be really great. Recommend for anyone who would like to discover Harlem.

Liah J


I can see why this place has such a high rating. It definitely deserves it. My husband and I shared the Home Style Fried Chicken w/Collard Greens & Garlic Mashed Potatoes. The chicken was crispy and juicy. You could literally hear the skin crunch in your mouth. Ugh, so good. They give you complementary cornbread which I hadn't had before this meal and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste and texture. Overall, extremely satisfying meal, and I'd recommend it to anyone willing to make the trip to Harlem.

Estella K


Absolutely delicious! Beef short ribs were fall off the bone tender, and the seasoning on the fried chicken had my eyes crossed. We came when it wasn't crowded, so we had a very attentive waitress. Only issue was she gave me chicken breast instead of the thigh, and the breast was really dry. Luckily, the chicken skin is flavorful enough to distract from that. Just be sure to be clear you like the thigh if you do!!

Michael A


Staff, atmosphere were 4 stars. Amanda was a great hostess to us. That's all I will comment on. It's a landmark. Wish them Much success in trying to prepare tasty food. My rating is low because the cornbread was overcooked and tasted like pumpkins. The greens were salty and heavy on the vinegar. 4 of us dined there and I was the only one who enjoyed my oxtails and the other 3 guest ate the fish. The sides we could not bear to eat. Worst of all I told two people that the men's room soap was dry for quite a while and I saw no one go downstairs to address it. I would feel better if someone told me that the 3rd door down there leads to staff that can refill soap and that my assumptions were wrong.

Erin M


Food is really good. The fried chicken was perfectly seasoned and crispy. The waffles were divine. The cornbread, greens, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and liver and onions were delicious. Perfectly fine sweet tea. It wasn’t as good when I came the last time, but they’re obviously back on track.

samantha v


I had dinner there with my family last night and it was probably the best soul food I will ever have in my life. Everything was absolutely delicious! the only reason I gave four stars was because the drinks and food took forever. Also we had an older waitress that did not visit our table even once after taking our order. I had to ask another server for Sylvia's famous hot sauce, that I was not finishing my food without. We had to flag her down for a soda and the check at the same time. never the less I will definetly go back and be happy to add a star if our server at least ask if we need anything else.

Porshe G


I would have gave this place 5 stars but our waitress did not pay much attention to us at all. As a matter of fact she only came to our table like 3 times after we had to flag her down. The food, however, was absolutely amazing! The food itself deserves an award. I had smothered chicken, greens, and candied yams. Great experience.

Takisha R


The atmosphere reminded me of being in my grandmother's southern kitchen while she was making Sunday soul food. The food appeared fresh. It was a bit heavily seasoned but not overwhelming. The staff was great. The family history runs deep here with several historic photographs of Mrs. Sylvia's journey through this world. She has departed here but her memory lives on through those she has embellished with her soul.

Naquan W


I didn’t realize how impactful Ms. Sylvia was until my partner and I dined here. I was pleased to read about the rich history of the family business. The food here is okay honestly. Our server was absolutely great and wonderful. I definitely recommend visiting Sylvia’s. Especially if you’re visiting NY. They will take care of you!

Richard V


Probably the most overrated place I’ve ever been. This is probably a tourist trap with very good marketing. You can get the same food (probably better tasting as well) in 10,000 other places across the country. Nothing special. Three stars is me being generous. 2.5 would be more accurate.

Server was REALLY great. She was excellent. Food was average at best.



This is one of my favorite restaurants in all of New York. The food is old fashioned down home southern cooking that you just don't see many places anymore. There is a saying that at Sylvia's, nobody eats alone. I nearly always come in by myself, but I have never eaten by myself. I sit at the counter and meet the most interesting people...some of which are eating there too and some of which are working in the restaurant. The food is exceptional. I normally get the special of the day. My favorite is Monday's stewed chicken and dumplings, but they are all so good. My go to breakfast is salmon cakes with eggs and home fries. Before I leave New York for my long journey home, I get a fried chicken meal to eat on the train complete with a piece of the coconut cake. I also make the food at home using the cookbooks that they sell in the restaurant. It's not quite the same, but it tides me over until I can come back to New York. It doesn't matter what color you are, what your religion is, who you fall in love with, or where you are from. Everyone is made to feel welcome at Sylvia's. I was so lucky to meet Sylvia herself on my first visit to the restaurant. She signed my cookbook and gave me a hug...and I've been a "regular" ever since.

Charlie's A


If you want some good chicken and waffles come to Sylvia’s! The food here is so good. The chicken is nice and crispy, the waffles are nice and toasty, the Mac and cheese are nice and cheesy, and the corn bread are delicious! That being said, every place that haves good food also have people waiting. So be prepared for a wait. However, they do serve food in the counter. So if you are a single party or a party of two you can always order food at the counter!

John H


I visited Sylvia's today for lunch with my wife. I hardly ever right a review on my culinary dining experiences but today I must share my experience at Sylvia's. I am a shrimp connoisseur so I decided on the Shrimp and Grits and my wife had the Fried Shrimp Dinner. My wife's dinner was excellent. However, my Shrimp and Grits were lack luster. I've had Shrimp and Grits many times and these were not the best I've had. The biggest issue with the Shrimp and Grits is that they were bland with no butter cream sauce that typically takes my taste buds to my familiar happy place. I pile of grits with shrimp on the side is not what I'm used to. The butter cream sauce needs to be added to this dish if you continue to serve this as an entree or at least cheese in the grits.

danielle w


I was extremely excited about trying Sylvia's but was very disappointed. I am African American, I know what authentic soul food tastes like. The food was not fresh! The candied yams were from a can, not freshly cut and prepared. The collard greens we GLORY greens from a can. The short rib was the worst and cheapest cut of meat I have ever seen in a restaurant. The rib was fill with fat, there was even fat within the meat. I am very disappointed and this food should not be classified as authentic; IT IS NOT!

Bobbi T


I brought my fiance here to celebrate his birthday. The food is LIFE CHANGING. I ordered fried catfish with green beans and mashed potatoes and everything was so full of flavor and cooked to perfection. You definitely will not be disappointed!

Also, we were running a little behind on a Saturday night and needed a table ASAP. The hostesses were very accommodating and were able to seat us within 10 minutes. We will definitely return whenever we are in town.

Belinda C


What an amazing experience!! Stopped by for Gospel Sunday Lunch and it was such a delight. Between the insanely delicious food, the lovely staff and the fun atmosphere, this was an experience worth the wait. Hands down some of the best fried chicken we have ever had! Also the corn bread was total heaven. Wonderful place!

Tonisha K


I've lived in the south for the last 18 years and just moved to New York 4 months ago. Happy to have found a place here that makes soul food that rivals the flavor of southern cooking. So so good. I had the BBQ ribs and they literally melt in your mouth they are so tender. I liked the BBQ sauce although it tasted like it had a bit of hot sauce mixed in which I've never had before. The mac and cheese was also so good, very rich and well-seasoned, although I usually prefer super creamy mac and cheese vs. the baked kind. They make their own hot sauce which, in typical southern fashion, I doused my collard greens in - it was extra spicy and just the right flavor. The waitresses were all super friendly and chatted with us and checked on us the whole time. I haven't been in NY very long, but I'm starting to build a pretty long list of excellent restaurants to take family/friends when they visit. This one will definitely be one of them.

Phillip E


Iconic! The famed restaurant deserves its glory. Sunday Gospel brunch is an event to attend. The food is delicious, the staff is welcoming and accommodating. You should arrive very early ( before 11:30a) or make a reservation because the location fills up quickly. Chicken and waffles = YES. Oh, and for NYC the price is moderate ($20-$30/pp).

Mario M


Heard wonderful reviews of Sylvia's and once I was in the area I knew I needed to try it out. It did not disappoint. Excellent extremely fresh and homemade food. I enjoyed fresh fried chicken with mash potatoes and cornbread. Everything was cooked to perfection and tasted great. Prices were high but for NYC they were reasonable. Service was efficient, helpful and very accurate. Parking was difficult as it always is in NYC. Easy to see from the busy street. Excellent handicap access with no steps.

David F


Although we had to wait a while for a table it was worth the wait. Both the food and the service were excellent. The place was packed and for good reason. We had our Black Male Initiative executive board meeting there tonight, and we had a blast. Kudos to the late Sylvia and her staff.

Joyce C


We went to Sylvia's on the last night of our trip and wondered why we waited so long. The food and service was excellent. The fried chicken and fish were seasoned to perfection and the sweet potatoes, greens, mac and cheese tasted great as well. I decided to try the strawberry bread pudding for dessert and wished I had gotten the peach cobbler instead. Definitely going back on our next trip to Harlem.



We come everytime we're in town. My 5 month old ate more of my black eyed peas than I did... the staff is always so sweet and helpful. Definitely a must try. (But be patient with seating... good things take time!)

Liana A


I really enjoyed Sylvia', the history, pictures on the wall and of course the food. The fried chicken was really good. They give corn bread as a starter too. I especially loved the customer service. I got there early although I had 2pm reservation and they seated me in like 7 mins. I had a lovely time at Sylvia's and I think you will too.

Patricia F


I order the chicken and waffle with mac & cheese as a side order. The chicken was the best I've ever had. The mac & cheese was the way good mac & cheese is supposed to taste (it could have been more, for sure). I love the waffles the taste and amount more than enough. The drink I order was a tease for the price. My Cousin and I chose the right time of day to visit. (Before 12 p.m without a reservation- 15 min. wait) On the way out, though it was crowded with people waiting and coming in. The waitress was attentive and the live music in the background was cool. It was a beautiful visit with my Cousin. I was truly satisfied.

Carlo D


You can really tell the quality of a person by their actions. I went here 5 years ago and have this lasting memory. I had never had chicken and waffles before and I guess the server had overheard me because I was speaking quietly with my friend. When they served me, the lady put the plate down in front of me and said "I picked the biggest piece of chicken since this is your first time having chicken and waffles". Food was great and I would recommend this place to anyone visiting NYC. A staple to Harlem, you have to eat here for a true NYC experience. Hope all is well!



Such high hopes, not met. Ribs were obviously sitting on a steam table until (fairly good) sauce was ladled on them. Sides fresh from the can with no seasoning. I really wanted this place to be the legend, but it was only marginally better than a deli food bar. I feel like it is coasting on reputation - sorry. Pleasant staff, however, and an authentic feel. Just don’t eat dinner.

Jean S


GREAT Service! Thank You Momodu!Plus the food rocks! The cornbread is delicious so try not to fill up on that before your dinner. Looking for a good drink that's not too strong but a great tribute to Harlem? Then be sure to order Harlem Blue. My friend ordered the fried chicken and I had the beef short ribs. We shared our entrees as we both devoured the mac & cheese and garlic mashed potatoes. What can I say but - DAMN! All of it was great! Chicken was light, crispy, not oily and perfectly cooked. The short ribs were not fatty and the sauce has a kick that even my acid reflux prone system could take and love. Also STRONGLY RECOMMEND RESERVATIONS (a week or more in advance)!

Emely C


Horrible service!! We only saw our waitress when we ordered and when we were leaving. We had to ask other waiters for straws, refills, napkins, the check and to go containers. Then our waitress came at the end to collect payment. The food for the most part was good. The fried chicken was crunchy and fresh but too salty for my liking. The ribs were not good and neither was the sauce they put on top of it which was pretty sweet. With the combination came two sides...I got candied yams and Mac & cheese...yummy. I won’t be returning nor recommending anyone to eat here.

Tonja C


The food was good, customer service not. First I attempted to call in my order only to be placed on hold so long that I decided to walk and place my order when I arrived. I ordered the chicken and dumplings only to receive 2 dumplings. Yes ladies and gentlemen 2 dumplings. I inquired about it with the waitress and her response was I should complain to management and request that make more per day so they will be able to ration out more. All I could do was laugh. Normally I would have asked for my money back and left but sometimes I just wanted to leave. The food is good but I feel Sylvia’s is too secure in the fact that they are a staple in Harlem and also a tourist attraction. I can tell by the responses by whomever is managing their social media. I won’t say I will never come back but for the amount of money I spend each time I come, you all are definitely at the bottom I’m the totem pole. Maybe Amy Ruth’s will be more appreciative and willing to put at least 5 dumplings on my plate.

Morghan G


Food was great. The corn tasted like it was from a can with not much dressing up but otherwise I have no complaints about my meal. My friend thoroughly enjoyed his rib and chicken combo however. Relaxing environment, friendly staff. I would eat here again.

Kay R


Honestly the most tasteless cheap food we’ve had in a long time. We ordered 1 soft drink, nachos, 3 street tacos. We spent $25 on nasty cheap food. The meat was tough and tasteless with NO seasoning, the corn uncooked taco shells were so tough I scraped the little bit of tasteless meat on the plate and then had to wait and wait and wait to ask for some salsa....NO one ever checked on us or even offered to refill water or the one coke we had. The salsa for 4 was less than a quarter cup in one small ramekin. We had to wait and wait and finally go find someone to get another quarter cup of salsa. The chip basket for 4 contained about 16 total chip. The food is nasty and the service nonexistent!! Horrible! Go to El Chico’s for a good meal at way better prices.

Emely V


Ok, so I went for the very first time with family a few days ago.

I didn’t think I’d like it much but, it was indeed somewhere my mom has been raving on and on with wanting to go. So, we did. And trust me when I say the visit did not disappoint. Aside from great service and amazing cornbread 🤤

I completely loved my chicken & waffle with sides of mac & cheese and candied yam!

Sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen but it was instead pure sincere joy!!!

Obviously not something to have often. Definitely a once or twice a year kind of visit for me.

But, oh so happy was I when finished.

I will see you again amazing soul food! SOUL food you definitely are!

Jake P


The best Soul Food in Harlem. Being family owned and operated since the restaurant opened this place knows what is doing. From the start of receiving the classic corn bread and butter to closing out the meal with some classic peach cobbler it was everything I hope for and this place exceeded my expectations. I ordered the classic ribs and chicken(dark). The chicken was perfectly cooked and the breading was beyond flavorful. Ribs fell right of the bone and the the BBQ sauce is very unique and delicious. The only bummer about this place is certain sides are only available certain days, but at the end of the day you know its better that way because they focus on making the sides that they have available prepared to perfection. I would recommend reservations at this place because it can get really busy at night. You can always opt for the bar if you don’t want to wait for a table. If you are in NYC make the journey up to Harlem for some classic soul food.

Erica N


I was super excited about going to Sylvia’s. I heard they had the best soul food. I wasn’t in the mood to have anything fried so I ordered the BBQ salmon. Boy was it a mistake. It did not taste even remotely fresh and the barbecue sauce was so so. I enjoyed the sides. The mac-n-chz and greens were pretty good which is why I gave 3 stars. The service was okay when the server actually showed up 30 minutes after we were seated. It was cool to say I went, but I probably would not return unfortunately.



My sisters and I went for her birthday brunch and the waiter William was amazing. He was so sweet, pleasant, had the best personality and a very calm spirit. He was attentive and made sure all of our needs were met. The food was superb (I had the fish and grits). They also had a live singer, and she did an awesome job with the entertainment. Havent been to Sylvia's in years but I will definitely return.

Wandra J


I loved it! The food was so good that I carried my leftovers with me shopping for over 3 hours. When I got back to my hotel, I discovered there was no microwave. I called the front desk and requested one to heat up my oxtails. They were just as good as ever! I wish I had the time to go back. I highly recommend Sylvia's for great eating....breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our waiter was very courteous and accommodating. He and other waiters sang Happy Birthday to my friend with banana pudding...yea! Thank you for a memorable experience.

t r


The whole ambience was great. It felt so good to be surrounded by history. The food was soul food. The pork ribs melted off the bones and the Mac and cheese was loved especially by the kids. The staff was very efficient in keeping the tables cleared. Please leave a tip, the workers deserve it.



The food was good however the service was not. When the server took my beverage order, she forgot what beverage I order and came back to ask me..what drink did I order. We finished the ice tea and diet coke and waited about 10 minutes for a drink refill. The server took a few minutes to bring the refills, but she returned with 2 ice teas. I waited for 5 minutes for the server to return to the table. At one point she talk the the table next to us from far away. I tried to get her attention but she finished talking to the other table and walk away. I had to go up to the counter and request a diet coke. I spent years working in restaurant. Servers, please refill the customers drinks with the correct drinks and give eye contact to your tables when you run by, so you can see if we need anything.

We were going to try the strawberry dessert and banana pudding, but decided not to order after the bad service.

It took about 45-60minutes for our order to arrive.

The fish and smothered potatoes were delicious. I would recommend others to take the food to go.

Carter S


A true culinary treat. The service is outstanding, the cocktails a delight, the food most excellent, and the desserts sinful. The live music and overall atmosphere made everything all that much better. All the pictures that decorate the establishment are a great historical bonus. A most recommended required visit when in Manhattan.

Carlos M


The environment was nice i liked the singing.

When it comes to the service it could use work. The waiter that brought my food didn’t even bother to ask who got what food he just placed it down where ever he felt like. Then the food, i got the ribs and chicken. The chicken skin was crispy and delicious but the ribs although the sauce was tangy the ribs weren’t tender. I got to try 6 side the mac n cheese

Collard green. Black eye peas. Green beans. Mash potatoes and potatoes salad. Overall the side were good not what i had set my expectations to but good.

Gina C


I went for breakfast and I had salmon cakes and grits it was good. The waitress was really nice. It was clean and comfy. My only complaint would be the wait time which was 30 minutes. 30 minutes for grits and 2 salmon cakes and it wasn't crowded wasn't a good thing. I'll try again for dinner in the future and see how it works out.

James N


Excellent service and genuinely traditional vibe. Ribs were some of the best I have ever had. Fried chicken was also solid. Mac and cheese and collard greens were not the best but certainly satisfactory.

A must do in NYC.

Ivan R


Best Fried Chicken I've ever had.

The fried chicken was juicy and favorable. It had a nice crispy buttermilk crunch as the fried skin. The Garlic mash potatoes was also very good. Very favorable with a nice garlic touch. The baked mac and cheese was bland, but everything was good. Loved the cornbread appetizer. Learned about the history of this place. People from Obama to Morgan Freeman have been here. Saw this place on CNN. Great food...

Diane R.



Great food however the services from the one waitress was terrible. She seated us with a cold smile took our order and never came back until it was this and 1427 more

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