With hints of springtime in the air, the weather is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll for lunch to a local restaurant. To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, why not visit some female-owned restaurants in or around Morningside Heights? Check out Spectrum’s local guide for a number of women-owned food spots near campus.
Belle Harlem—2363 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.
Owners Darryl and Melissa Burnette strive to make Belle Harlem “feel as though you were in someone’s kitchen.” With the onset of COVID-19, this usually 12-seat à la carte New American restaurant is opening outdoor dining with double its current capacity on March 12. Make sure to reserve a table in advance!
Café du Soleil—2723 Broadway
Strolling down Broadway, you might recognize Café du Soleil. With its outdoor seating bubbles and bustling atmosphere, this French restaurant owned by Alain and Nadine Chevreux is a neighborhood favorite.
Community Food & Juice—2893 Broadway
Community Food & Juice, co-owned by Dede Lahman, is known for its organic and local-focused menu in an American café. While it used to only offer dine-in services, this restaurant has evolved with the pandemic and now provides takeout, curbside, and delivery along with its patio dining.
Lido—2168 Frederick Douglass Blvd.
Owner Susannah Koteen and executive chef Serena Bass are a power duo that makes this Italian restaurant a hit. While Lido is popular for brunch—and bottomless mimosas—you can stop by this Harlem food spot for takeout or outdoor dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
LoLo’s Seafood Shack—303 W. 116th St.
Located across Morningside Park, this Caribbean restaurant is co-owned by Raymond Mohan and Leticia Skai Young. Make sure to check out this seafood eatery, deemed a “Critic’s Pick” by the New York Times, to dine in its heated cabanas, or order delivery or pickup.
Massawa is now open for takeout, delivery, and indoor dining. Co-founded by Almaz Ghebrezgabher and Amanuel Tekeste, this Ethiopian eatery is the oldest African restaurant in New York City. Make sure you call to book a table or check out its website for online ordering.
Melba’s—300 West 114th St.
Melba Wilson is the founder of Melba’s Restaurant. Located in Harlem, Wilson’s commitment to delicious food and customer service results in “a dining destination that patrons come to regard as home.” The menu is inspired by southern comfort food, and you will be sure to find something to try. Be sure to make a reservation first for indoor and outdoor seating, or try takeout!
Ortomare—994 Columbus Ave.
Only about two years old, Ortomare Ristorante Pizzeria is an Italian restaurant in the Morningside Heights neighborhood. Owned by husband and wife duo Alfredo Hila and Rezarta Kola, Ortomare serves “authentic Italian” signatures, including brick oven fired pizza. Grab a friend and enjoy a slice together.
Silver Moon Bakery—2740 Broadway
Silver Moon Bakery is a favorite among locals on the Upper West Side. Founded over 20 years ago by Judith Norell and co-owner Georgia Stamoulis, this traditional artisan bakery has just about anything to satisfy a sweet craving. From freshly baked breads to pastries to cookies and cakes, Norell and her team of bakers make it a priority to provide high-quality baked goods.It is only about a 15-minute walk from Columbia’s main campus, so stop by and indulge yourself with a treat! Currently, the bakery only offers pickup and delivery services.
Seasoned Vegan—55 St. Nicholas Ave.
Searching for vegan or vegetarian options other than what is provided in the dining halls? Check out Seasoned Vegan, owned and operated by chef Brenda Beener alongside her son Aaron Beener. Seasoned Vegan offers a selection of flavorful vegan and vegetarian dishes, including unique twists on classic soul food cuisine. Located in nearby Harlem, try some of its most popular dishes, like Baked Mac & “Cheese,” today! Seasoned Vegan is currently operating through pickup and delivery services at this time.
Tartina—1034 Amsterdam Ave.
A quick 5-minute walk will get you to Tartina. Co-owned by Maria Teresa Valestra and Carlo Di Giulio, Tartina is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, featuring a “contemporary, chef-driven menu of fresh, seasonal rustic Italian cuisine.” The restaurant also serves an all-Italian wine list if you’re 21 or older.
The Edge Harlem—101 Edgecombe Ave.
The Edge reflects the heritage of co-owners and sisters Juliet and Justine Masters. This British-Jamaican restaurant incorporates food and drinks native to both countries and is currently open for outdoor dining, delivery, or takeout.
Tsion Cafe—763 St. Nicholas Ave.
Beejhy Barhany and her co-owner husband Padmore John combine Ethiopian, Israeli, and American food at Tsion Cafe. Stop by this neighborhood spot to explore its wide array of menu items and take advantage of patio seating whenever the weather is nice!
Support International Women’s Day and local businesses in one go by visiting these restaurants next time you want a bite to eat!
Staff writer Tonycia Coe is hopeful to get off campus and support a local restaurant. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deputy editor Ariana Novo is excited to take a break from dining hall food and try some of these local restaurants. She can be contacted at email@example.com.