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“Food is good, but I felt like a sardine”

Sylvia's Restaurant
Ranked #334 of 13,754 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $40
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Families with children, Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Breakfast, Dinner, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Harlem
Baltimore, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Food is good, but I felt like a sardine”
Reviewed October 4, 2012

Went on a bus trip to Sylvia's. The food was served family style and there was plenty of it. We had ribs, fried chicken, rice, potatoe salad, and collard greens. All the food was good except for the ribs, too sweet for me. Service was outstanding. My only complaint was the space. We were packed in like sardines,I was surprised since this was a Tuesday afternoon. I would recommend making this a stop on your trip to Harlem.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sharon v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,483 reviews from our community

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English first
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
“soul food cafeteria”
Reviewed October 3, 2012

why having to produce a buffet like menu when you have kitchen on the premises? people come from afar for a good experience and they feel like
tourists out of the bus.

Thank Mero R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reading, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
“Good Food... Shame About the Service!”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

OK, I have to admit that we went to this restaurant because we saw it on a TV show (Man v Food)! All the food looked great and my husband loves fried chicken, so when we arrived in New York, it was the first place we visited for dinner.

I had made a reservation because I thought the place would be busy, especially on a Friday night, but when we arrived the Hostess wasn't bothered at all that we had booked in advance.

We sat outside, which was OK but nothing special and then waited... for the menus! Yes, not even the Hostess gave us menus and we just sat there twiddling our thumbs. It soon became clear that only two waiters were responsible for over 18 tables, all of which were occupied all of the time.

Finally we were given menus... but then we had another wait to then order. Drinks took forever to arrive and when we did get our food, one of my husbands side orders was wrong. Although the side order was corrected quite quickly.

So, what do we think? Well the food is excellent. My husbands Southern Fried Chicken & Ribs was in his words "brilliant". I tasted the fried chicken myself (not a favourite food of mine) but it did taste wonderful; crispy skin and juicy white meat. I had a Pork Chop (don't order more than one unless you have a HUGE appetite) which was well cooked and succulent and came with a tasty gravy. With most main courses you get to choose two sides - lots of different Southern style dishes including candied yams, collard greens and okra but we both went for garlic mashed potatoes and string beans. The beans were a bit over-cooked but the mash was good although could have been a bit more garlicky for my tastes.

We also ordered dessert - but were a bit dissapointed when they arrived. My husband had banana cream pie, which he quite liked - "well it's different" he said. I wanted peach cobbler but what I got was a sloppy mess in a bowl. No care had been taken when dishing it up and it put me off! Just a note - the Strawberry Bread Pudding is no longer served, even though it's still on the menu!

As for the service - well overall it is pretty dismal. You wait for ages to attract someone's attention and then wait even longer for anything to be served. I can only blamb the waiters so much though, they were completely over-run trying to wait on too many tables all at once. More staff is clearly required for the outside seating; I don't know if it was the same inside the restaurant and therefore won't quote on that. I resent paying a tip for bad service; even though it's still expected in a city like New York. You should only pay for what you get.

Overall my husband and I were disappointed; perhaps the TV show only showed us what we wanted to see and not what we could expect. Do go for the food but don't expect too much from the service.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank SarahEJT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
freeport NY
Level 6 Contributor
264 reviews
94 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 132 helpful votes
“Sylvia's the place of Soul...Food”
Reviewed September 23, 2012

Been uptown to harlem a few times for Sylvia's Southern home cookin' The palce is big now and can get crowded not having an intimate expereince but the food is good and a walk on 118th street, the site oif the famous Appolo theater gives a bit of insite of what this neighborhood once was.

Visited December 2011
Thank popsrocks99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 4 Contributor
26 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Chx n waffles: worth it”
Reviewed September 17, 2012 via mobile

I'm glad we live around the corner so whenever I need some comfort food, I can go to the source. It is not the best I've ever had, waffles not totally crispy, but it's always so busy, that makes sense.

1 Thank mnscratch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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