Silvana is a large café, boutique, shawarma and falafel bar offering live music performances on their downstairs stage, where every night you can hear three or four class musical acts and afterward dance the night away to music played by a local DJ.
Talent comes not only from New York City but also from all over the planet. Performances might include a jazz quartet, a conguera from Cuba, a reggae band with a possible (and likely) impromptu jam session following. Silvana is affiliated with Shrine, another, hotter, club farther uptown, and because of that has an abundant choice of great musical acts to show off.
Meanwhile, as a gathering place for eats and drinks, and a place where you should easily be able to meet local residents (like staffer Latifa, pictured) the Sabich Sandwich is representative of wider menu offerings: fried eggplant, hardboiled egg, hummous, tahini, pickles, fluffy chips and greens in a pita. Healthful, conscientious cooking.
Just west of the SW corner of Frederick Douglass Blvd (8th Ave) and 116th Street, the perfect place to begin, or interrupt a walking or bicycle tour of Harlem below 125th Street. There’s a subway stop right on the corner (B/C Trains) and a CitiBike station on the corner at 117th Street.
Across the street is Lolo’s Seafood Shack, a joint that’s made a name for itself over the last five years.