17. Society Coffee Lounge
2104 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 114th St.; 212-222-3323
Waffles are the signature dish at this popular destination, where, for $8.50, you pick from basic Belgian, dark-chocolate mocha, peach cobbler, or (the best) cinnamon apple. Eat at banquettes lining the wall or at the large, square wooden tables in the center. Macchiatos and lattes are cheaper and better than Starbucks.
18. Fine Fare
2330 First Ave., at 118th St.; 212-410-1640
The only major supermarket in the immediate vicinity has a freezer section so wide it rivals that of a suburban store, and a selection that ranges from guava juice to novena candles.
19. Tribal Spears Gallery & Cafe
2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 117th St.; 212-666-6550
Part gallery, part café, part community living room. You can watch movies on the flat-screen TV, see emerging and established artists such as Tony Nigel and Ousmane Gueye in the basement gallery, and drink coffee brewed solely from African-grown beans in the main-floor café.
20. MCMB Cleaners
2071 Frederick Douglass Blvd., nr. 112th St;. 212-749-1730
If only all dry cleaners could be this friendly. Owner Marcelo Orbe owns a plant nearby, so quick turnarounds are no problem, and he’s discreet, declining to name the celebrities who are said to rely on him.
22. Euro Corner Restaurant
2090 Frederick Douglass Blvd., at 113th St.; 212-222-3540
Divey, just like you want your perfect basic neighborhood coffee shop to be. The menu plays all the greatest hits—eggs, gyros, burgers, shakes, and fries—but the proprietors change things up by serving Ethiopian food, too. Try the beg alecha—tender lamb chunks braised in herbs ($12).
22. Saurin Parke Café
301 W. 110th St., at Frederick Douglass Blvd.; 212-222-0683
Free wi-fi and reliably robust coffee—try the house brand. A small cup of hot chocolate, made from scratch, will warm you up for $3. At 4 p.m., the laid-back vibe switches to happy-hour mode.
23. Harlem Heritage Tourism
104 Lenox Ave., nr. 116th St;. 212-280-7888
Did you know Harlem once was the country’s third-largest Jewish neighborhood? Get schooled on the area’s arcana through one of Harlem Heritage’s walking tours, which start at this spot, usually at 1 p.m. ($25 per person). Reservations recommended.
24. Uptown Renaissance Restaurant
108 W. 116th St., nr. Lenox Ave.; 212-280-2224
The formidable Amy Ruth’s is across the street, but this BYOB restaurant holds its own with its healthy approach to cooking (no MSG, nitrites, or artificial seasonings allowed). Fish, grits, and eggs ($5.95) are an excellent starter. Another bonus: It’s open 24 hours on Fridays and Saturdays.
25. Sokhna Restaurant
225 W. 116th St., nr. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd.; 212-864-0081
Low-key, with seriously delicious Senegalese comfort food. The ceebu (pronounced “chay-boo”) jen—stewed rice served with cassava, cabbage, carrots, and fish ($9)—is outstanding. It’s open until 2 a.m., making it a good stop post-Minton’s.