Cascalote Latin Bistro

If you’re craving authentic Mexican cuisine, Cascalote Latin Bistro, located on 2126 2nd Avenue is the place to go. Gothamist referred to it as the best restaurant in Spanish Harlem, where every meal served “feels like the best version of a home-cooked dinner that you could possibly get.”

Its authenticity can be attributed to the fact that the restaurant is a family-run operation, spearheaded by chef/owner Julian Hoyos. It’s a small, inconspicuous spot that offers a range of eats from Enchiladas (with rice and beans) to Tacos Al Pastor.

Patsy’s Pizzeria

Patsy’s Pizzeria on 118th Street and 1st Avenue has been around since 1933, serving up some of New York’s most iconic pizza. While Patsy’s has many locations around the city today, the one in East Harlem remains an institution, with an origin hailing back to the areas Italian roots founded by Italian immigrant newlyweds Pasquale ‘Patsy’ and Carmella Lancieri.

Not long after it opened, the place began attracting big names. Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Tony Bennett would become regulars while its location off the 4-5-6 line made it a quick stop from Yankee Stadium from where Patsy’s welcomed baseball legends like Joe Dimaggio and Yogi Berra, and later in the 1970s would be Francis Ford Coppola late-night haunt.

Perhaps its most well served group of people are the residents of East Harlem. Not only did they serve delicious brick-oven pizza, but Patsy’s would donate food and space to many community groups, while also providing a platform for local politicians to connect with their communities.

This neighborhood landmark continues to stand, despite having to give up a section because of rent increase. You’d be remiss to skip a slice from this historic gem.