Harlem Eat Up!: Celebrating the Culture, Community, and Flavors of Harlem
I got my whole life this weekend at Harlem Eat Up!, an annual food festival celebrating the beauty and the history that is Harlem’s culinary scene. The festival, in its 5th year, featured Harlem’s best and brightest chefs, mixologists, restaurateurs, artists, and food personalities. Founded by Chef Marcus Samuelsson as a way to strengthen the community and provide support to local organizations, the festival has become a destination for Harlemites and folks looking for a rich, unique culinary experience.
As in years past, the festival began with a multi-night dinner party series, called Dine In Harlem, which featured collaborations from a diverse array of Harlem’s culinary royalty. The dinner series culminated in a two-day outdoor food extravaganza in Morningside Park known as the Harlem Stroll, featuring over 20 of Harlem’s tastiest restaurants and businesses. I attended on Saturday as a special invited guest of Ruby’s Vintage and I ate and drank to my heart’s content in the Citi Cardmember tent. I sampled everything from Island Beef Tacos from Red Rooster to Dinosaur Barbecue’s Beef Brisket Sliders. And I washed it all down with specialty cocktails from Ruby’s Vintage, Yave Tequila, HH Bespoke Spirits, and Martell.
As if the festival wasn’t perfect enough, Mother Nature smiled on us all and blessed NYC with some gorgeous, sunny weather this weekend. The weather was perfect but when the sun got to be too much for me in between bites, I cooled down in the Citi tent with some Bulleit Bourbon cocktails, while listening to the smooth sounds of DJ First Choice from Power 105.1. And because mixing black people and good music always leads to an impromptu dance party, folks were gettin’ down and I was here for it. I had a blast!
After living in NYC for over a decade, I can’t believe this was my first time attending the festival. But trust me... it will not be my last.