“The atmosphere is touristy; the food is tasteless, heavy, and rarely made from fresh, natural ingredients; the wait staff is hurried; and the bill of fare comes with the tip already included - even for parties of two.”
“If the red velvet and chocolate cakes are as good as the coconut, I will be quite happy.”
“House special cocktails were superb.”
“rumour. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the food is delicious.”
“Sylvias is a nice place to to go soul food, without paying too much.”
“If not, I plan to return again by myself since I love breakfast food!”
“Loved the food at sylvia's, waiters were very nice.”
“The prices are just too damn ridiculous!”
“The service is a little slow.”
Good food, service needs improvement..
I have lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years, but avoided Sylvia's because of the whole "food prepped for tourist" rumour.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the food is delicious. I order the the same meal- well seasoned and well prepared-every time I eat here. The sides are delicious, except for the yams which I recommend avoiding at all costs.
The service, unlike the food, is awful! The waitresses at the counter-area seem to always be involved in some indepth conversation with their friends and the dining room service is slow and a bit inattentive.
If this restaurant wasn't so centrally located and the food (and lunch specials) weren't so good...I would never come into Sylvia's again.
Another plus, Sylvia is often seated at a table right inside the first dining room. She seems like a pleasant and friendly person!
Low cost soul food..
Low cost soul food. Sylvia's quality is a-ok with me and apparently all the other patrons that line up in front of the place for breakfast.
Great for a quick run in and out type of spot for to go too. The service could be better, but the food more than makes-up for it!
Great Service, Good Food. After hearing so much about Sylvia's, I had to try it while visiting Harlem. I LOVED the potato salad! However, I was disappointed with the cornbread. It tasted like it was cooked a day or two earlier. I also ordered the fried pork chops. Now, they give you 2 big chops, however, they are not seasoned very well...unless you add Sylvia's hot sauce to it. I am not a hot sauce lover, however, I really like Sylvia's hot sauce, which is why I ended up buying a bottle to take home. My husband ordered the liver and onions and enjoyed it. The mac n cheese is good and so are the collard greens. Next time I'll try the chicken, I hear that's it's good.
Avoid. I think Sylvia's is very over rated. I went there with my friend on a mid-day Saturday because the shark bar was not open as yet. We waited for half an hour for a table for two. Needless to say, the food was horrible. The chicken was nasty. I could not eat the food even though I was really hungry. I would not recommend it.
DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE!. I am a Brooklyn Born NYer, now living in North Carolina. Therefore, I have many people from NC ask me where to go in NYC for good soul food. I WOULD NEVER IN MY LIFE SEND THEM TO SYLVIA'S! The food wasn't good five years ago when I lived there and, from what I've heard since her children have taken over, it's even worse now! Although I can't see how it could have gotten any worse, but maybe it's because when folks get a little bit of publicity, they forget the loyal people who frequented their establishment when they were charging $5.00 a plate. Or, perhaps, they get a halfway decent review in a daily newspaper and the ink goes to their heads and they lose control. Whatever the reason, when someone asks me where to get good soul food, I don't even mention Sylvia's. Don't go there, don't tell your friends to go there, don't waste the $2.00 metrocard subway fare -- at least not to eat here. Not only is the food not up to par, the service is bad, rude and uninformed. I pity the fool that tastes Sylvia's "food" and thinks this is what real soul food is - IT'S NOT! And for you posters who gave this place 5 stars, next time you're in Harlem, grab up a local and don't ask them where to simple get a meal -- ASK THEM WHERE YOU CAN GET FED! 9 out of 10 times, they won't mention Sylvia's!
A tourist trap; I'm gonna keep looking for good soul food.
People rave about restaurants today the same way they give standing ovations for every Broadway performance, no matter how ordinary. Ii felt this way at Sylvia's.
First, the positive: We we treated very graciously, plus the coconut cake was marvelous.
But the entrees were dry and tasteless (I had ribs, Mother had chicken). If it weren't for the sauce, my ribs would have had no flavor at all. The meat was dried out, not juicy or tender in the least. The black-eyed peas were bland, and the potato salad tasted like it was commercially produced, not homemade.
I give Ms. Woods and her family credit for keeping the business running for 45 years, but I cannot help but think the place is preying on tourists who are eager to tell people where they've eaten, not people genuinely interested in good food.
I'm glad my 75-year-old mother had a nice time, but I will not be returning or recommending the place, except possibly for dessert. If the red velvet and chocolate cakes are as good as the coconut, I will be quite happy.
AMAAAAAAAAZING DELICIOUS !!!!!!.
TWO SIMPLE WORDS. AMAAAAAAZING DELICIOUS!!
I waited nearly 30 minutes with my then-bf for seats, did not have breakfast and it was extremely late for lunch but as soon as I put that food in my mouth, I couldn't stop! But when my stomach officially gave up, I packed everything, absolutely EVERYTHING off my plate and ate it the very next day! That next day, I craved for more!! Bottom line, sooooooo worth the wait!!! Usually when i'm starving like no tomorrow, i absolutely have no patience to wait, however, the food I had there helped me forgive them easily! :0)
A must try. I loved the food at Sylvia's. Maybe the best or 2nd best soul food I ever had. The waiters were nice and treated me good. They knew I was a tourist and the service was very good. I went in May of 2006. I look forward to going again in June 2007. The chicken and macaroni & cheese was so good. The price is worth it and they gave you plenty of food also. Need more locations in the US.
The Best Soul Food in NYC!!. Great food and great service. What makes it better is that Sylvia is always around. Making sure that every is great. But please dig in to the food go with the chicken....yummy!!
Tasty!. I ate at Sylvia's after seeing The Color Purple two weeks ago and was very pleasantly surprised! I was with a large group, so there was no wait. However, the seating was extremely cramped and we had to then share the private dining room with another party. That is probably the only negative thing I can say about Sylvia's. The ambiance could use some updating as well. The food was great and the service was good as well. I will definitely return!
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