Melba's Restaurant

Melba's Restaurant

Southern Food Restaurant and Fried Chicken Joint$$$$
Central Harlem, New York
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8.3/10
300
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  • Stars
  • Stars
    The folks at Food Network and The Corcoran Group like this place. Would you agree?
    • Food Network
    • The Corcoran Group
  • Tips
    Chris V.
    "Also, probably some of the best chicken and waffles ever."(22 Tips)
    Akiko B.
    "Some of the best soul food in Harlem."(11 Tips)
    guillermo a.
    "The waffles (as in fried chicken and eggnog waffles) are AMAZING!"(4 Tips)
    NoniShaney @missversatile
    "The Catfish Diner is amazing...and the side selection is very good."(14 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon127 Tips and reviews
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  • Southern food
  • chicken & waffles
  • soul food
  • collard greens
  • red velvet desserts
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  • ZenFoodster
    ZenFoodsterMay 12, 2018
    S. Fried Ckn+Eggnog Waffles: a Bobby Flay “Throwdown” winner! Also try Spring Rolls, Short ribs, collard greens, pancakes, Shrimp & Grits, homemade Apple sorbet. Sat-Sun brunch 12-3pm. Make a ressie!
  • Siettahheart icon on user image
    SiettahJanuary 25, 2015
    Loved the Fried Chicken and Eggnog waffles! Have a mango mimosa with brunch - not to sweet but not too bubbly. The people are very friendly and the atmosphere is welcoming.
    Upvoted 2 weeks ago
  • __TR3V
    __TR3VJune 5, 2013
    Sunday brunch is pretty good. I had my usual, french toast and an omelet. Nothing special, but definitely good. The white sangria is a MUST try. Popular spot w/ limited seating so get there early
  • Devontaheart icon on user image
    DevontaDecember 25, 2018
    Been here 5+ times
    Melba’s is perfect when you’re craving American Soul Food. The Wine Braised Short Ribs are to die for.
  • Food Network
    Food NetworkAugust 4, 2014
    Her crowd-pleasing Tres Mac and Cheese blends pepper Jack, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses together for a dish that goes hand in hand with comforting classics of collard greens and black-eyed peas. Read more
  • Jason S.heart icon on user image
    Jason SuFebruary 27, 2022
    Amazing chicken and waffles. You need to get the Mac and cheese as a side.
  • Eyal G.
    Eyal GoldwergerApril 10, 2013
    Terrific soul food. The chicken & waffle with strawberry butter is a classic. Tuesday night live band music was incredible R&B, great singer and keyboard. Local crowd, Greta atmosphere, great service!
  • Sarah C.
    Sarah ColvinApril 18, 2012
    The place is small, so make a reservation well in advance. Tuesday nights are awesome for good Soul Food, Live Music (jam session), a Killin DJ, and Dancing over dinner. A top 10 thing to do in NYC!
  • Akiko B.
    Akiko BombitaSeptember 13, 2014
    Some of the best soul food in Harlem. Can get a bit noisy with the acoustics but the food is always a win. Peach cobbler is bomb. Great service and lovely decor.
  • CL B.
    CL BurkeMarch 10, 2013
    Short rib sliders = fantastic. Tilapia, mac and cheese (the best!!!), and garlic mashed - very good. Chicken and waffles - amazing, but want MORE chicken!!! It's that good! Skip the fries.
  • Santia V.
    Santia ValerioOctober 22, 2016
    The waffles were the highlight of the chicken & waffles. And my friends loved the short ribs. The sides dishes were ok. Our waitress was friendly and attentive which was much appreciated!
  • Harlem A.
    Harlem AmbassadorMarch 26, 2013
    Melba has been on Food Network. On Fat Chef. It may be from indulgence in the Egg-Nog Waffles with strawberry butter. Shortribs will knock 'em dead always. Management seems to have their own agenda.
  • The Corcoran Group
    The Corcoran GroupNovember 4, 2011
    It’s kind of a secret, but Melba’s has the best soul food around. This tiny and friendly place serves awesome Chicken & Waffles, Mac n’ Cheese and Candied Yams.
  • Caroline W.
    Caroline WhiteNovember 10, 2012
    Staff is very professional & accommodating. Had one little quirk with my food and they immediately gave me a new plate and took care of my bill. Food and drinks are amazing.
  • Alex R.heart icon on user image
    Alex RobertsonJanuary 18, 2021
    Really really good chicken and sides (mashed potatoes, collared greens)
  • Kerwin P.heart icon on user image
    Kerwin PJuly 5, 2015
    The smothered chicken and waffles is good. But be prepared to wait. The place is incredibly small and gets full in the blink of an eye. Service could use some refresher courses.
  • Abigail S.heart icon on user image
    Abigail StaplesJuly 26, 2014
    Been here 5+ times
    Make sure you get the hot sauce w/ your chicken. Best I've ever had. And the strawberry better is so yummy! I would put it on almost anything.
  • Naomi T.heart icon on user image
    Naomi TolsonDecember 31, 2014
    Chicken n waffles = heaven. Make sure to come early or make a reservation since it's a small space. Worth every penny!
  • DLee
    DLeeAugust 12, 2012
    This might just be the best soul food in Harlem. Went here with a party of 12 and almost everything was amazing. Their candied yams are to die for.
  • Angieheart icon on user image
    AngieMay 21, 2018
    BBQ turkey meatloaf was good (huge portion!), 2 sides: garlic mash & mac & cheese. I loved the mac, the mash was bland. Coconut cake for dessert was too sweet; it tasted like it came from a box.
  • NMarie
    NMarieApril 1, 2016
    Spring rolls are delicious! So were the catfish, tilapia and mac & cheese. Didn't care for the yams or spinach at all :-(
  • George L.
    George LakeApril 1, 2011
    Banging food (i recommend the braised short ribs or catfish), and the music is always on point. Don't want to sound mean but please refrain from bringing infants and their huge accessories.
  • Jarel H.heart icon on user image
    Jarel HillApril 7, 2022
    Lives up to hype. Fried chicken, Mac and fries are awesome!
  • Felicia K.heart icon on user image
    Felicia KimbroughNovember 18, 2017
    The Fried chicken was cooked to perfection and had great taste! Just beware the drinks are strong
  • Jae W.heart icon on user image
    Jae WatkinsDecember 27, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Make a reservation because there's always a wait on weekends. Food is always great once you sit down
  • William H.
    William HAugust 23, 2014
    Just get the chicken and waffles - don't waste your time trying to figure out what magic flavoring is going on in the waffle. It's just going to blow your mind and there's nothing you can do about it.
  • Chris V.
    Chris VierigJune 17, 2014
    Go on Tuesday nights for live music! Also, probably some of the best chicken and waffles ever.
  • Teresa
    TeresaNovember 16, 2010
    Been here 5+ times
    amazing is an understatement. waiters are on their game, hostess is great, bartender is fabulous and the chef is simply divine.
  • Ryan G.heart icon on user image
    Ryan GallagherMay 16, 2017
    Fried Chicken and Waffles are real good. Staff is very friendly. Good Southern Food.
  • Minorita
    MinoritaMay 10, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    Indeed... The catfish is good and also short ribs . But service is really great ! I really love this place :)
  • Erika L.
    Erika Lopez GarciaJune 7, 2014
    Get the wine braised short ribs with the candied yams and mac and cheese. Just do it. You won't regret it.
  • Ricky S.heart icon on user image
    Ricky SherrillOctober 5, 2015
    Everything I had was good. Looking forward to my next trip this way.
  • Natalie L.heart icon on user image
    Natalie LeMossFebruary 9, 2020
    Absolutely amazing food! Went for my bridal shower and the brunch was incredible!
  • Angelaheart icon on user image
    AngelaJanuary 5, 2016
    Been here 5+ times
    Catfish, mac & cheese, sautéed spinach, white sangria ..... basically the entire menu is amazing
  • Lennon E.
    Lennon EnglishDecember 15, 2012
    The fish and chips and the turkey meatloaf were delicious. They make the perfect Sidecar!
  • Laurie D.
    Laurie D.November 6, 2013
    Believe every good word you read about Melba's within these 4sq tips. It's the truth! This place has set the bar pretty high, in my opinion.
  • Ingram L.
    Ingram LeGrandJuly 12, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    The best soul food in NYC!!! You MUST get the Mac & Cheese!
  • Nell
    NellApril 26, 2014
    The chicken wings and waffles are divine!!!! Service is on point and friendly.
  • Alyssa K.
    Alyssa KeeneNovember 5, 2012
    Everything is so good I don't know what to recommend! However, Champ is the best waiter ever :)
  • Calvin C.
    Calvin C.May 30, 2013
    First time eating Chicken/Waffle, now I'm hook. You can get a good meal and drink and feel grown about it.
  • amNewYork
    amNewYorkSeptember 29, 2011
    Melba's opened in 2005 and quickly earned a dedicated following for its rewarding updates of Southern classics served in a pretty and sophisticated room.
  • Chris V.
    Chris VolinskyDecember 9, 2011
    Catfish and collard greens were amazing. But be aware that they did not honor the foursquare 10 bucks off deal.
  • Kat J.
    The chicken & waffles are great and so are the mac & cheese, salmon, & mashed potatoes!
  • Cicely O.
    Cicely OaksJuly 14, 2013
    Good food. Good music. Great atmosphere.
  • Jonheart icon on user image
    JonJanuary 5, 2019
    The eggnog waffles are awesome. Get them with chicken on top.
  • Fadia K.
    Fadia KaderNovember 19, 2012
    truthfully - some of the best soul food , good enough for this southern girl!
  • Eb the Celeb
    Eb the CelebJanuary 22, 2012
    Been here 5+ times
    Pecan encrusted tilapia is everything! And the best appetizer is the spinach empenadas
  • Justin M.
    Justin MashiaJune 19, 2011
    The food is amazing and mix that with a great environment and good music = best dining experience ever!
  • Nikki F.heart icon on user image
    Nikki FosterApril 26, 2019
    Food was amazing! Great service too :)
  • Shamil T.
    Shamil TurnerSeptember 21, 2013
    Been here 5+ times
    HIT, take a few sips, then add some more coke and really mix it up, also despite what the bill holders say, they don't accept Amex.
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