When students arrive at Columbia, eateries on Broadway might seem like the best place to grab a bite. By second semester, though, Milano Market and Chipotle get boring, so people start to venture to Amsterdam for Kitchenette, Max Soha, and Taqueria y Fonda. When even those get old, students can trek across Morningside Park to Frederick Douglass Boulevard for even more exciting spots. In the last half-decade, a handful of new foodie havens have opened along this stretch of street, expanding the food scene in Harlem and Morningside Heights. Four stand-out eateries are featured below, but Zoma (2084 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 113th Street), Melba’s (300 114th St., at Frederick Douglass Boulevard), and Lido (2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 117th Street) are also noteworthy.
This bakery opened in Harlem, which is its third location, in March. The owners live in Harlem and have always felt a connection to the neighborhood. Their Frederick Douglass Boulevard space is also much roomier than their other Manhattan location on 74th Street, which was established 16 years ago. The bakery only makes four kinds of cookies, but they make them well. Each cookie is bigger than a fist and sold hot off a cookie sheet. Although the chocolate chip walnut is the most featured and well known of their cookies, the dark chocolate peanut butter chip is a local favorite.
2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 116th and 117th streets
This restaurant and beer garden opened over the summer and is always packed with customers, even during off hours. As the manager Amanda explained, they serve “glorified pub food”—sandwiches, burgers, mussels, and oysters. The tavern also offers 15 draft beers and another 30 bottled varieties. Each Saturday features a special event where a beer sponsor gives out samples and hosts a raffle. Radeberger sponsored a recent Saturday, and the raffle prize was a beach bike.
2135 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 116th Street
This little café is adorably chic, with exposed brick walls, photography featuring scenes from the Philippines, and large, square communal tables in the center. It is a great spot for students to work and eat—many patrons sip their fair-trade coffee as they sit on wooden benches and click away on laptops. Society, which opened six years ago, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a full coffee and tea menu. Students should go for breakfast to try the red velvet waffles, their signature item, priced at $13 and served with piles of mascarpone.
2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 114th Street
5 & Diamond
Although located at 112th Street, this restaurant’s design creates the feel of a chic Lower East Side restaurant. The cuisine is American but with Spanish-inspired flavors and twists brought by Chef David Martinez. “Ask our customers, and they will tell you that our signature mac ’n’ cheese and the 5 & Diamond burger are hands-down the best,” executive assistant Shaquita Matthews said. Interested students should check out the spot for Mac ’n’ Cheese Monday, when the restaurant offers five varieties of their specialty for $8 to $11 and live music.
2072 Frederick Douglass Blvd., between 112th and 113th streets