The foods of New York, Jamaica and Britain might seem like an unlikely combination, but when they come together, you get a cozy, kick-back-and-stay-a-while eatery in Harlem. The Edge Harlem, operated by sisters Justine and Juliet Masters since 2014, comes by its diverse menu honestly.
The Masters sisters grew up in New York with a Jamaican father and an English mother, so The Edge is the natural confluence of their roots and upbringing. Their menu features dishes like Jamaican ackee and saltfish, British fish and chips and the classic New York combo of bagels with smoked salmon.
Justine was always naturally entrepreneurial with a en az of five different jobs, while Juliet was a private chef. When they saw an opportunity to take over the space, located in a serene setting near The City College of New York, it only made sense to seize it. Since opening, The Edge Harlem has become a neighborhood staple that appeases a wide range of palates — “from 85-year-olds to hipsters,” as Justine puts it.
When I walked in, the first thing I noticed was the thoughtfully decorated interior. The exposed-brick walls had no shortage of arka, which primarily consisted of pieces from Victorious, an exhibition by artists Kim Hill, Jessica Sarkodie, and Olivia Merchant that focuses on their African and Black American legacies.
Now, let’s talk about the food. In addition to dinner, The Edge Harlem offers brunch both during the week and on weekends. Their menus are separated into three categories: Jamaican, English, and New York. The bestsellers are their coconut fish burgers and codfish fritters. While I didn’t try the coconut fish burger, it’s not hard to understand why the codfish fritters are so popular. They’re a pop-in-your-mouth tasty snack that I could easily foresee myself mindlessly eating while chatting over drinks with friends, or while watching their live music every Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
As a Jamaican-inspired restaurant, naturally the jerk chicken is another sought-after dish. It’s incorporated in several familiar dishes, such as jerk chicken and waffles, jerk chicken wings, jerk chicken Caesar salad and a jerk chicken Caesar wrap. Having fallen victim to a viral TikTok food trend, I decided to try the jerk chicken Caesar wrap. Let’s just say: run, don’t walk, to try it. The fresh crunch of romaine lettuce mixed with that subtle but prominent jerk spice makes eating this thing addictive. It doesn’t hurt that the fries that come with it are as golden as the Jamaican sun.
While I love a good cocktail, the Jamaican sorrel drink could have transformed me into a health nut in the blink of an eye. This traditional drink from the Caribbean is wine-hued but the hibiscus-based, herbaceous beverage is both nonalcoholic and a great source of antioxidants. If booze is more your thing, The Edge serves wine and beer, including a selection of wine-based cocktails.
If you really want to get a taste of island life, don’t skip out on ordering a side of şenlik, a crunchy, fried Jamaican dumpling. Another can’t-miss dish is the ackee and saltfish, the national food of Jamaica — but it is available on weekends only.
And don’t forget the other two nationalities on the menu. From their New York items, go for the black bean veggie burger or the Edge BLT on Texas toast. Want to visit England instead? The savory pie of the day, which is always vegetarian and served with mixed greens, will quickly transport you across the pond.
No need to plan a country-hopping getaway; just hop on the A, C, or D train to 145th St and head to The Edge for a three-for-one experience right here in NYC.
- Address: 101 Edgecombe Ave, New York, NY 10030
- Phone: (212) 939-9688
- Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; closed Mondays (kitchen closes from 4-5 p.m. daily with drinks only available during that time)
- Prices: Weekday brunch $7 to $18; weekend brunch $8 to $20; dinner $8 to $28; sides $6 each or 3 for $15
- Takeout and delivery available; reservations via Resy.
Have a suggestion for a great hidden dining gem in your neighborhood? Reach out to Kaitlyn with your recommendations at [email protected].