Eat, Play, Latte: One Man’s Search for Everything Across Sugar Hill, Hamilton Heights and Central Harlem
By Bohemia Agent Shaun Crossman
Sugar Hill is not just a delicious blonde ale made by Harlem Brewery, its also a beautiful and historic neighborhood between Central Harlem and Hamilton Heights. I was first introduced to the Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill area back in 2006 when I was searching for my 1st true NYC apartment. It was a large apartment with the grocery store and laundromat nearby! But the major seller was the A/D Express trains, they blew my mind, I couldn’t believe I could be in Times Square in only 14 mins. Sure there wasn’t much food or nightlife choices at the time, but I could go downtown for such adventures. Over the past several years, going downtown has become a thing of the past for me. There are so many new cafes, bars and restaurants- I’m still in the process of trying them all. Feeling Hamilton Heights-Sugar Hill curious? Well dear reader, I have made it my mission as a Sugar Hill resident to go local and support these new businesses. I have worked countless hours to bring back my report and here are a few of my favorites!
The Handpulled Noodle
@ 3600 Broadway Btwn 148th/149th
My favorite new addition to the neighborhood is The Handpulled Noodle. Talk about flavor, the cuisine is described as northwestern Chinese cuisine… I describe it as delicious. My go-to is Ding Ding aka chopped noodles, I pair it with veggies and chicken. I’ve never had fresh noodles made to order before Handpulled but the difference is unreal. They have lots of combinations to try and even vegetarian options. Beyond noodles their dumplings are out of this world and bring me into comfort food heaven. Get thee to Hamilton Heights and try out this winner. I must confess, I like my noodle pulled.
@ 126 Hamilton Pl Btwn 142nd/143rd
35 craft beers with 20 on tap, Bloody Mary’s made w/Bacon Vodka and a perfectly made Old-Fashioned for yours truly. I find it impressive when a bartender can make a true old fashioned…muddling sugar, adding the right amount of bitters/bourbon and finishing it off with the pyrotechnics of flaming orange zest. Yes, my cocktail was perfect, but what you must run to try is their Pig and Dip Sandwich. One evening I tried a bite of my friends Pig and Dip, it was amazing. Pulled Pork, Fennel Onion Marmalade, Pork Belly, Gruyere and just to drive you over the edge Pork Au Jus. I dreamed about it all the next day, my boyfriend and I went back 12 hrs later to get our own. #SorryNotSorry
The Grange Bar and Eatery
@ 1635 Amsterdam Btwn 140th/141st
Located near City College, the Grange is a charming farm to table restaurant with a friendly staff and an epic brunch. I’ve never been let down by the Grange, all of their food is top notch. With a new spring menu I’m excited to explore some new options and revisit some old favorites. Sunday can be an all day event at the Grange with brunch in the morning and Live Jazz in the evening. P.S. The Grange is my mom’s favorite spot when she visits from Ohio. #MomApproved
Harlem Public & At The Wallace @3612 Broadway Btwn 149th/148th
Since 2012 Harlem Public has been serving Hamilton Heights delicious food and creative cocktails. My Favorite? The Adalyn. It has Brooklyn Gin, muddled cucumber, lemon and rosemary. During the summer months the cocktail herbs are grown just around the corner at the community garden. Now that the weather is finally warming up, outside seating has returned at Harlem Public and its sister bar At The Wallace. At The Wallace is a dive bar that joined the party uptown last year. With reasonable priced drinks, a giant Jenga game and newly debuted grilled cheese menu its a perfect place to unwind and have a few drinks after work.
The Edge @ 101 Edgecombe Btwn 139th/140th
The Edge is a local eatery and cafe in Harlem that planted its feet late last year. The interior is filled with exposed brick, Edison bulbs and a chill vibe that is perfect for a meal with friends or a romantic evening. Its offerings are a blend of Jamaica meets England with a twist of New York Realness. Drop by for brunch any day of the week or spend the evening trying our different bites with a glass of wine or beer. You'll be on The Edge of Glory..sorry I couldn’t help myself.
Eat…Play…and now Latte.
I have a hard time with this because I love coffee and each new independent coffee shop is solid and has its charms. My first love will always be The Chipped Cup @ 3610 Broadway Btwn 148th/149th. It has the perfect setting for catching up with friends, surfing the web with their free wifi or falling into a good book. It has rare outside seating in the back which is absolute bliss in the upcoming warmer weather. Chipped Cup’s lattes are delicious and put Starbucks to shame, also be sure to check out their facebook page for upcoming music events and guided meditations. But depending on where your headed you have options. Sugar Hill Cafe @410 W 145th St Btwn St. Nick and Convent is perfect for those on the way to the ABCD trains and want some great coffee but are sick of the standard bodega, Starbucks and Dunkin fair. This cafe hit the scene just a few weeks ago but has started adding sandwiches and “soap box” nights offering spoken word and music. For those located more towards Central Harlem, Manhattanville Coffee 142 Edgecombe Btwn 141st/142nd is a gem…Delicious lattes, coffee and teas with a warm setting. There are plenty of plugins and wifi for your laptops and phones. Be sure to check out their tip jars each day. Tip your friendly baristas by voting for the question of the day and selecting your answer via tip between the 2 jars. East Coast or West Coast? Favorite Tom Hanks movie, Big or Forest Gump? Cats or Dogs?
I have much more work to do exploring all of the new places in my neighborhood. I hope my treasure map proves helpful and you leap to Eat, Play, Latte your way through the one and only Hamilton Heights/Sugar Hill.
Check out these places for yourself!
At The Wallace
The Chipped Cup
Sugar Hill Cafe