Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Club
2167 Third Avenue at E. 118th Street
If you cannot make it to the Big Easy, a visit to the Creole Restaurant and Music Supper Club may be the next best thing. And it’s not just Creole’s menu, which features bayou delicacies such as gator étouffée and sweet potato beignets, that sets it apart. Every night, the restaurant hosts jazz musicians. What’s even better is that you don’t have to pay a cover fee unless there are special guests, such as the New York City-based R&B/funk dance band Soul Providerz. Sit back, dig into some deliciousness, and let the soulful tunes take you away.
The Graffiti Hall of Fame
E. 106th Street, between Madison and Park avenues
Although graffiti is ubiquitous, it’s hard to get a good look at it as you zip by underground samples when you’re on the subway or while you’re speed-walking on the streets. That’s where the Graffiti Hall of Fame comes in. Located in the courtyard of a Harlem school, the Hall of Fame pays homage to the city’s talented taggers and bombers. You’ll get an up-close and personal look at one of the most colorful aspects of New York’s distinct urban culture.
Admission is free.
Makana Hawaiian and Japanese BBQ
2245 First Avenue
While you could call Makana’s offerings Asian fusion, island fusion would be a more appropriate term for the unique cuisine this restaurant serves. Marrying the best culinary traditions that Hawaii and Japan have to offer, Makana takes typical Pacific fare and shakes it up. Sure, you will find tried-and-true classics like short ribs and California rolls on the menu. But if you’re feeling adventurous, try specialties like the Loco Moco, a dish composed of juicy hamburger patties topped with fried egg and covered with special brown gravy, or the Waikiki roll–crab meat, shrimp, and avocado, topped with kiwi and tropical fruit sauce.
La Tropezienne Bakery
2131 First Avenue at E. 110th Street
La Tropezienne is a neighborhood favorite, known for its fresh French baguettes. You’ll find a variety of items to satisfy your hunger, no matter the time of day. For breakfast, you can indulge in a buttery brioche or dainty Danish. At lunchtime, there are heartier fixes, such as hot grilled paninis, quiches, and soups. If you’re craving something sweet, choose from La Tropezienne’s tantalizing assortment of cakes and cookies. With options ranging from madeleines to éclairs, this bakery’s desserts are hard to resist.
El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street
A visit to East Harlem would not be complete without a stop at El Museo, which features an impressive collection of Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin-American art. “Voces y Visiones: Gran Caribe,” on display until Feb. 24, is the museum’s primary exhibition. The exhibition, which features art ranging from masks to a large painting on handmade paper, investigates spirituality, urban spaces, and abstraction.
Admission is free with a CUID.