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Great Days in Harlem

For years, dining out in Harlem meant soul food at Sylvia's or a meal at Rao's, the fabled East Harlem Italian restaurant. There's still great fried chicken to be had in Harlem, but now there are far more ambitious options—plus some of the best Mexican cuisine this city has ever seen.

Bayou The food may be New Orleans, but the scene is pure Harlem. DINNER FOR TWO $70. 308 LENOX AVE., BTWN 125TH & 126TH STS.; 212/426-3800

Café Largo City University students flock here for the arroz con pollo and poetry readings. DINNER FOR TWO $40. 3387 BROADWAY, BTWN 137TH & 138TH STS.; 212/862-8142

Charles' Southern Style Kitchen Charles Gabriel turns out the best skillet-fried chicken—moist, with a delicately crisp crust—north of the Mason-Dixon. DINNER FOR TWO $24. 2841 FREDERICK DOUGLASS BLVD., BTWN 151ST & 152ND STS.; 212/926-4313

El Paso TaquerI´a Excellent chilaquiles and chorizo huarache (black bean-stuffed corn tortilla with sausage and cotija cheese). LUNCH FOR TWO $20. 1642 LEXINGTON AVE., AT 104TH ST.); 212/831-9831

Jimmy's Uptown Glamorous young Harlem hangs at this stylish bar, restaurant, and nightclub. DINNER FOR TWO $80. 2207 ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JR. BLVD., BTWN 130TH & 131 STS. 212/491-4000

Settepani Leah Abraham's smart-looking Italian bakery serves scones and cappuccinos to tourists and locals alike. BREAKFAST FOR TWO $7. 196 LENOX AVE., AT 120TH ST. 917/492-4806

Tony Merenda's Flash Inn Delicious steaks and chops, and a great place to have cocktails on a quiet Sunday night. DINNER FOR TWO $50. 107 MACOMBS PLACE, BTWN 154TH & 155TH STS. 212/283-8605

Orbit East Harlem Comfort food—both Italian and Puerto Rican—for a crowd of obsessed regulars. DINNER FOR TWO $54. 2257 FIRST AVE., AT 116TH ST. 212/348-7818

Kitchenette Uptown This sunny diner serves breakfast late into the afternoon—even on weekdays. BREAKFAST FOR TWO $30. 1272 AMSTERDAM AVE., BTWN 122ND & 123RD STS. 212/531-7600


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