Explore New York City

New York City Guide: Celebrating East Harlem

Feel the beat of El Barrio when you visit this neighborhood!

If there’s one place that knows how to get the party started in New York City, it’s East Harlem. It’s also known as Spanish Harlem and El Barrio because it’s been a significant hotspot for Hispanic and Latinx cultures over the years. You can feel the rhythm of salsa music as you move down the street, or you can taste some delicious dishes that came from South America. Take a visit to this thriving neighborhood and see what it has in store for you!

Eat

East Harlem is rich with Hispanic and Latinx cultures, and the food is no exception. You’ll find a restaurant offering food from all over Central and South America. One of the newest spots is Contento, a restaurant with bar food and large plates from Peru. When you’re looking for savory tapas, GAUDir is the place to be. If you’re craving something different, stop into CakeBurgers! They’re styled like a retro 1950s diner and serve some of the best burgers in the city.

  • Contento, 88 E.111th St., 646.410.0111
  • CakeBurgers, 400 E. 120th St., 646.799.9507
  • GAUDir, 251 E. 110th St., 212.744.4422  
Tapas From GAUDir New York | WhereTraveler
Tapas (Courtesy GAUDir)

Play

East Harlem loves to celebrate not only the neighborhood’s history but also the entire city’s history. You’ll find several landmarks along its streets that have existed for centuries and helped keep New York City’s legacy alive. Many sites host exhibits and displays of the city’s history long ago, and others are simply beautiful to look at and enjoy. Wherever you go, it’s sure to take your breath away.

South Garden at Central Park Conservatory Garden New York | WhereTraveler
South Garden at Central Park Conservatory Garden (Courtesy Central Park Conservancy)

Drink

The great tastes of East Harlem don’t stop at the food! There’s plenty of bars that offer Latin flavors in their drinks as well. Whether you’re craving a sweet cocktail, a specialty craft drink or a delicious glass of wine, you’ll always be welcome to a seat at the bar. Two of the neighborhood’s newest additions are a small plate bar called Perch and a Brazilian cocktail bar called Bar Goyana. For traditional bar food and classic dishes, visit East Harlem Bottling Co.

Cocktails From Bar Goyana New York | WhereTraveler
Cocktails From Bar Goyana (Photo By @Cocktail.Life.Creative)

Shop

East Harlem adds a personal touch to everything it creates, and that includes the shops. Many of its stores are small, local businesses where everything is handmade. There’s plenty of heart to be found in both the products and the people selling them, and they’ll make sure that what they’re selling is just what you’re looking to find. You can take the neighborhood’s style with you in your clothes, light up your home with a fragrant candle or find some great toys for the kids.

Sweatshirt From Harlem Haberdashery New York | WhereTraveler
Sweatshirt (Courtesy Harlem Haberdashery)