Skip to main content

Get to know East Harlem

If you ask someone to name a New York City neighborhood where they can experience Central Park’s sprawling majesty, gaze upon dynamic works of art, and enjoy one of the best meals of their life, East Harlem may not be the first place to cross their lips. To be fair, they may simply not know it’s where the blooming Conservatory Garden awaits, Keith Haring painted an iconic mural, or locally-owned eateries have been wowing diners for decades. However, East Harlem probably prefers it that way. Though far from low-key, the area adoringly called “El Barrio” surely strives to retain the distinct sense of self that entirely sets it apart from the western expanse of Harlem. To live there is to be woven into a tapestry of cultures that have wholly shaped the area.

Nearby Neighborhoods:

East Harlem Commerce & Culture

Keith Haring’s work is far from the only mural found in East Harlem. It’s not uncommon to see outdoor surfaces done up in technicolor, from walls to storefronts to entire sides of buildings that span several stories up. And out of doors isn’t the only place to encounter art: El Museo del Barrio, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Africa Center form the upper reaches of Fifth Avenue’s Museum Mile, showcasing various stellar works plus exhibits and events dedicated to cultural history. While Central Park is the most expansive, other areas populate East Harlem with greenery for the physically active and the terminally relaxed, such as the waterside Thomas Jefferson and Harlem River parks and the inland oasis Marcus Garvey Park. Dining options in East Harlem include a few staples with city-wide clout, but great bites await around every corner at lesser-known, homegrown standouts.