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“Long Wait to Be Served”

Sylvia's Restaurant
Ranked #816 of 16,018 Restaurants in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $0 - $40
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Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Breakfast, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Neighborhood: Harlem
Reviewed May 30, 2018

There is a lot to like about Sylvia’s but an hour wait to be served...particularly, when you have children with you...is not one of them. Red Rooster wins when I think of my next fried chicken dinner.

Date of visit: May 2018
Thank MadStaS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SylviaWoods, Owner at Sylvia's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2018

Thanks for stopping by and showing your support. Your note about the wait time is totally valid, and we hear you. It's an issue that we're always working to stay on top of, and we hope you'll give us another shot to show you what we're capable of here.

Best wishes,
Sylvia's

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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89 - 93 of 1,874 reviews

Reviewed May 27, 2018

We were fortunate to have, by coincidence, booked an Air BnB just a few blocks away from Sylvia's, which we had seen featured in a story on the Food Network. My husband, our son, his girlfriend and I took the walk on a pleasant evening. We were seated right away but waited quite some time before we were acknowledged in any way. And that is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. The atmosphere is modest and casual and the food is comforting and delicious. The Lemonade was a little on the sweet side for my taste but was still good, the chicken was hot, moist, perfectly friend and delicious. And the yams, oh the yams! They were sweet and delicious just as they should be. We walked away with our belly's full and our palates pleased.

Date of visit: May 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank Cristen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SylviaWoods, Owner at Sylvia's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2018

Sounds like the fried chicken and yams were downright heavenly, Cristen! Thanks for the stellar show of support. We hope you'll be back here in the near future!

Take care,
Sylvia's

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Reviewed May 27, 2018

Managed to get a table for 9 rather last minute as we had heard so much about this place. Group had a mixture of chicken and fish but all in all there was just too much on the plate, it wasnt cooked well and was all just too sweet. Sadly a little offputting. I would give this a miss in favour of red rooster next door.

Date of visit: May 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank sianepeer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SylviaWoods, Owner at Sylvia's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2018

Sorry to hear that your chicken and fish weren't up to par. If you didn't try the fried chicken, we really hope you'll return as that's our specialty. Our classic side dishes are always a hit too. We hope you'll be back.

Best wishes,
Sylvia's

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Reviewed May 26, 2018 via mobile

Loved this place!

Staff were INCREDIBLE! So friendly and chatty. Customer service was 100% I ordered their peach cobbler (which is worth dying for) and a sweet iced tea (which was yummy), but a bad idea as the drink and pie together was just too sweet so I didn’t drink the drink. I didn’t say anything to the staff but they deducted it from my bill when they saw I hadn’t drunk it! So kind!

Loved the southern comfort food feel all in the middle of Harlem! My friend had a starter which was the size of the main, so much chicken with the chicken and waffles meal.

They also sell the recipe packs in the entrance for you to buy, which I did for the peach cobbler.

Cannot recommend enough!

Date of visit: May 2018
Thank erinmurfitt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SylviaWoods, Owner at Sylvia's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2018

Thanks for the recommendation, Erin! We're glad that peach cobbler really hit the spot. See you next time around!

All best,
Sylvia's

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Reviewed May 23, 2018

As a native New Yorker, we love to celebrate everything Harlem, the culture and old school institutions that come with it. Gave this place a try many times, preferring to sit at the casual luncheonette style counter with stools instead of the main restaurant (this review is about that experience).

First, every time we went to the luncheonette style side it was never busy (maybe 2 or 3 patrons out of maybe 15 stools). What's kind of cool is you can see the ladies serving up the dishes for the orders going to the main dining room. So you're watching all this food go out and you're wondering when you will be served.

It took maybe 8 minutes before the lady came over and wiped our counter area and laid down fork/knife and napkin. 5 minutes after before we got the menu. It seems that the luncheonette counter clientele are complete after thoughts compared to who is being served in the dining area. Meanwhile, you see a staff of at least 6 to ten servers whipping up heaping plates of food going to the dining room; the actual kitchen staff are coming in bringing new trays of food. You get to see the servers in their element; working hard but also interacting and having fun with themselves. Meanwhile, we (the paying customer) are watching all this waiting for a little attention and service. One time the entire luncheonette service staff left to sing a "congratulations" song to dining room patrons while we still haven't ordered. It also took some time and signalling just to get our check, pay and leave.

Kindly work on this Sylvia's. You are to renown and loved to be this sloppy.

Lastly, the food is passable southern comfort food and sometimes the prices don't match. $18.95 for a leg and thigh of fried chicken with two sides. The fried chicken is sometimes delish, sometimes hit or miss.

Date of visit: April 2018
    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
Thank localrusticglobal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SylviaWoods, Owner at Sylvia's Restaurant, responded to this reviewResponded May 24, 2018

Thanks for continuing to dine with us! While we're glad you enjoy our atmosphere and history, it's too bad that the counter service you received wasn't up to par on this visit. Your feedback is important to us, and we'll definitely keep these comments in mind moving forward. We want to provide the best experience possible every time you visit us, and we'll keep working to make that happen. Keeping that in mind, we hope you'll be back at some point and can experience the service you are used to.

Warm regards,
Sylvia's

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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