Sylvia’s Restaurant: Queens of Soul Food in Harlem

Diana Chan January 3, 2018 American, New York, Three Beakers

Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem is know for their classic Soul food and was recently featured in the Worth It series by BuzzFeed. When I knew I was going to New York, I had to add them to the list.

Sylvia’s Restaurant, the “The Queen of Soul Food”, was founded by Sylvia Woods, in 1962. Established in the historic village of Harlem, Sylvia’s is a community favorite, known as the world’s kitchen. Serving authentic soul food for over 55 years, this icon remains a culinary must-visit for foodies.


The space has a good amount of tables for small to large groups, but it is always best to make a reservation if you can. We had reservations later in the evening, but decided to come earlier because we were hungry, so we ended up waiting around 15 minutes for a seat on the weekend for 3 people.


Complimentary Cornbread

As we waited for our meal to arrive, we got a lot of cornbread with butter. It was delicious and we wanted to eat more but we wanted to save our stomachs for the entrees.

Southern Fried Chicken

This was served with 2 sides and we chose traditional collard greens and baked mac & cheese. The chicken was crisp on the outside and moist inside. It did take some time for the meal to arrive at the table.

Sylvia’s World Famous Bar-B-Que Ribs and Fried Chicken

The combo came with 2 pieces of the ribs smothered in Sylvia’s Original Sassy Sauce. I got dark meat for my fried chicken. For my 2 sides, I got Okra & Tomato Gumbo and Traditional Collard Greens. The ribs were pretty mediocre and lean. The chicken was great, but I still have my favourites from other restaurants around the world. The portions were great and it was pretty hard to finish every thing on the plate.

Grandma Julia’s Fruit Punch

The fruit punch was very sugary and M didn’t like it at all.

Home Brewed Iced Tea and Lemonade

The home-brewed iced tea comes sweet, which is essential a Southern sweet tea. My friend got the lemonade to pair with the meal. We both found that all the drinks were too sweet for our liking, so we waited for the ice to melt to dilute it a bit more.

Final Thoughts

Overall, it was ok, but it’s pretty hard to find Soul Food where I come from in Canada, so it’s always a delight eating more soul food on my travels.

We Rate Sylvia’s

328 Malcolm X Blvd, New York


About The Author

Diana started Foodology in 2010 because she just eats out everyday! She started a food blog to share her love of food with the world! She lives in Vancouver, BC and adores the diversity of food around her. She will go crazy for churros and lattes.

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