How Locals Spend a Sunday

Marcus Samuelsson's Harlem: Fine-Looking Folk, Food, and Family

by Marcus Samuelsson
Don't come to Harlem unless you're wearing your finest and are ready to dance at Ginny's. All photos courtesy of Marcus Samuelsson.

Food, fashion, and family top the agenda for chef Marcus Samuelsson's perfect day in his Harlem neighborhood. 

HARLEM, New York City – It's easy to plan my perfect Sunday in Harlem. I travel so much that a weekend in NYC is the best vacation I can have.

1. Run and Refresh

I start the day with a run in Central Park then pick up ginger juice from my favorite neighborhood cafe, Patisserie des Ambassades, a fantastic Senegalese spot on Frederick Douglass Blvd.

2. Put on Your Sunday Best

After a shower and change, I like to walk around and see the people dressed up for Sunday church. To see the best gears and style in New York City, you've got to check out the fine folk going to and from churches, like First Corinthian Baptist Church. You'll see tourists who have dressed up to come to Harlem as well as the Harlemites that have dressed up for each other.

Marcus in Harlem

Marcus at Community Day in Harlem

3. Hang at the Rooster

I'll always stop by my restaurant, Red Rooster, if I'm in town and check out the gospel brunch upstairs (from 11:30-3:30, no reservations) and see Vy Higginsen's Gospel for Teens downstairs. Of course I'll snag a bite or two of biscuit with gravy and fried chicken.

Marcus in Harlem

4. Accessorize

I like to peruse the goods at Harlem Haberdashery before calling my mom and sisters in Sweden.

5. Eat with People You Love

My wife Maya always makes sure we have dinner together on Sunday, so we'll either grab some ramen at Jin or head up to Washington Heights for Dominican food.

6. Get a Little Action

I love to listen to jazz, so I'll go to L.A. Scat for a nightcap. By the end of the night, it's a little English soccer then off to bed.


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