Lunch at Harlem Tavern

Harlem Tavern

By Icare4Harlem

I didn’t go to Harlem Tavern on the opening night as it was just too packed.  After passing by on several occasions, I finally ventured in to enjoy a mid-afternoon lunch.  Well, I couldn’t have picked a better time as the service was great and my meal was cooked to perfection.  When I spoke with the server, it appears that the restaurant has made numerous changes since it opened in early July.  With a condensed menu, the kitchen is now able to concentrate on maintaining consistency and will gradually introduce new dishes.

Restaurants in this neighborhood seem to come and go. Those that remain open have accomplished a challenging task—accommodating the varying palates in this blended community.  My outdoor dining experience with Harlem Tavern was a pleasant surprise and I look forward to returning to an expanded menu.

Harlem Tavern

2153 Frederick Douglass Blvd.

New York, NY

212-866-4500

7 thoughts on “Lunch at Harlem Tavern”

  1. went there last night. first, the people are great–friendly, pleasant, i wish them well. but: they are inept. i went with a friend, we ordered drinks and supper. after not a short wait, the food arrived; no drinks. i asked for ketchup to go with my burger and fries; waitress said sure, and left; didn’t come back. i began to eat anyway; waitress came back, without ketchup, apologized that the drinks weren’t ready (a beer and a glass of wine, nothing you’d have to actually make) but it was happy hour, she was waiting for the crush to go down at the bar. so having urged us to buy drinks because it was happy hour, she was now saying, sorry, it’s happy hour, no drinks. and, no ketchup. meanwhile my friend had ordered fried green tomatoes; 1/8 inch tomato, 1/2 inch batter. and salad? the dressing, the harsh kind straight out of a bottle. more time went by–no waitress–i had to snag her as she was passing by–said, please just forget the drinks, but bring ketchup. which she did; and, to the restaurant’s credit, since we were already halfway through the meal, they did bring drinks and comped us on them–but the drinks weren’t the drinks we had ordered. and so it went.

    i do wish them well, they’re good people; and the restaurant is popular–maybe our service was an aberration. but i’m in no hurry to go back.

  2. I’ve gone there twice. Bottom line is the service is awful (One time they “lost” our order) and the menu is very boring. Good spot for a drink, but I wouldn’t recommend having dinner there.

  3. Hit or Miss is right on the money at Harlem Tavern.
    I’ve been there twice now. The first time was a flawless experience. I ordered the HT burger and it was great and so was the service. I went back about a week later and it seemed like a different place. Slow service and mediocre food. As someone else mentioned, my fries were cold–twice!! Three of us at the table–all ordered fries and they were cold. The server apologetically took them away (I watched her toss them in the trash) and we got new fries–also cold!! That’s pretty bad. I wanted to make the server aware of this (it wasn’t her fault) but I couldn’t find her to tell her. We left money on the table and left.

  4. I’ve been to Harlem Tavern twice and it was horrible. Outside of the space, everything else about the place was bad. The food is mediocre at best and the service is lacking big time. The food is more like bar food fare and no one seems to know what’s going on there. A group of us had 1 drink and it took 45 mins to get our check, we were about to walk out so someone can chase us down with our check. It seems like someone took advantage of a great space and didn’t invest in good staff nor a better chef. And the music they play there is the worst. Sounds like they have a teenager programming the music. They play songs that usually play on wktu or something. Felt like I was at the jersey shore, lol…..

    Such a shame….

  5. We went to Harlem Tavern with a group of five on Monday night for my husbands birthday. The appetizers were very good, however we had issues with our drink order. The Tavern was out of all summer draft beers. Instead of telling us this upfront, the waiter went back and forth to the bar each time we ordered a beer, spending about 5 minutes to deliver the message back that the beer was no longer available. It took 15 minutes for my husband to get a birthday drink! In addition to the poor and slow service we received all night, none of us liked our burgers and our french fries were cold. It was one of the worst restaurant experiences I have had in Harlem (second to Billy’s). I have been to Harlem Taven on two other occasions and recieved good service both times and enjoyed the food. I am hoping this experence was a fluke and we will have better luck next time. If I didn’t live in the neighborhood however I would not come back.

  6. Sadly, I found the “condensed menu” to be utterly boring and no attraction to go there…20 versions of burgers and not much else. I also–at a time when it was half-empty–had endless service problems, including incorrect orders and missing elements. And stale burger buns. From the reviews, this place seems to be so hit-or-miss! I’ll give it another try if/when they add something more interesting to the menu.

  7. I totally also loved Harlem Tavern and its always busy which is wonderful. I hope more and more restaurants and shops keep coming to Harlem… Its a secret part of the City up here..

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