[NYC - Harlem] Silvana - Middle Eastern Food, Cozy Atmosphere

I found Silvana a few years ago because I needed a cute cafe to study and work in near Columbia.

It's my go-to spot for cheap Middle Eastern food with table service, cafe drinks, and a relaxed, cozy atmosphere uptown in Morningside/Harlem.

It's also a pretty decent study spot for you Columbia or City College students. I kind of want to not tell anyone about it because I also want to be able to find a seat.

They have changed in the 4 years I was away...and the cafe is now table service, so they will come and take your order. So, make sure you tip accordingly!

One of the great things about Silvana is that local artists are able to sell their products in the store. It means that this is a great place to buy some unique gifts! My friend and I are quite fond of the card selection...for example, check out that "I'm not old, I'm just dehydrated" card. It's still my favorite.

There are seats for about 40-50? There are plenty of outlets, too. There are two very large communal tables in the middle of the room. Then about four tables along the side and then a bar sort of area in the back with four extra seats. That area is good if you are there solo, so you don't take up too much table space.

There is free wifi, but like don't be a butt and camp out there the entire day without buying multiple stuff.

NOTE: It does kind of turn into a live music/club at night. There's a basement area where they serve adult beverages, hookah, and have free live shows, mainly jazz, but sometimes there's others (check out the schedule at http://www.silvana-nyc.com). So, if you're there studying, make sure you realize that this is going to happen...I remember being surprised one time at like 4 or 5 pm on a weekday...)

What I ordered:

I was kind of eating like crap for the few days prior to my last visit, so I opted for the Tabouleh Salad and the Passionflower and Lavender tea.

The Tabouleh Salad was a good light lunch, like it was slightly more food than a snack, but wasn't enough to really be my lunch lunch on an active day. The dressing was quite light, which I appreciated, and the almonds added a nice crunch.

Let me tell you, though...the passionflower and lavender tea was NOTHING like I had imagined. I've been kind of obsessed with flower teas/food/cocktails/etc recently, but this was not floral. It was very minty, so I even went up and checked that my order didn't get mixed up. The barista brought out the loose tea bag and checked for me...it's billed as a "relaxation and calming" tea, so it has peppermint in it.

Moral of the story: check with the server if you go with one of their loose teas because there may be hidden ingredients.

That being said, I got 2 refills...so, I was obviously not too fazed by it.

My friend got the Falafel Sandwich in a whole wheat pita...it's her go-to, but she also recommends the Chicken Shawarma. I was considering both of those, too, and also the Sabich Sandwich (but, I didn't want to deal with the egg), but I wanted something lighter.

Ooooh, and one last thing! My friend and I talked at length about this, but their cups are double walled, so they keep your hot drinks hot FOREVER and your iced drinks nice and icy FOREVER. (Don't worry, you can also buy the cups there if you want to take this magic home).

The menus are below. The prices are quite good! I apologize for the glare on the coffee side of the drinks menu.

The drinks that are kind of hidden under the glare are
Macchiato, Americano, Espresso con Panna, Mocha Latte, Red Eye

Location: 300 W 116th Street
Right next to the B,C 116 exit.

*FTC Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through the links provided and make a purchase.*