Melba's

4.5
157 reviews
icon/ic_price_rangeCreated with Sketch.
$50 and over
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American

Enjoy Southern comfort food with a twist in a relaxing, casual setting at Melba's. Owner Melba Wilson opened its doors for locals and travelers alike to have a pleasant dining experience with great service. Fried catfish strips, barbecue short rib sliders and spring rolls filled with black-eyed peas and collard greens make delicious appetizers before feasting on the main course. Guests can choose from entrées like Melba's popular Southern fried chicken with eggnog waffles, which was a winner on Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, as well as pan-seared sea bass and the barbecue turkey meatloaf. This restaurant also serves hamburgers, lighter fare and sides such as candied yams.

Melba's offers Saturday and Sunday brunch and caters business luncheons, receptions and more. Reservations are welcome, and takeout is available for guests.

What 157 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.5based on recent ratings
4.5
food
4.4
service
4.4
ambience
4.3
value
Noise · Moderate
94% of people would recommend it to a friend
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OT
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 3food 3service 4ambience 3

Food waS Cold at first then they fixed the issue great staff really nice

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MC
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were warmly greeted and well taken care of. The food was delicious and Melba made us feel at home. We look forward to coming back!

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OT
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 1

Had 12:30 reservations and waited an hour and 30 mins for my food. When the food arrived it was cold. Our server was good but she had an entire section to herself which should've had 2-3 additional servers. This was my 3rd time there and service was horrible. I will not go back there again, there bare many other brunch places in Harlem.

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DR
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was excellent as usual. I've never been disappointed.

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LJ
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

This was my first time eating here after living in Harlem for quite a few years.
Every attempt trying to dine here was met with long waits. I can see why, the food was amazing!!
There was nothing brought to the table that was not mouthwatering.

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DJ
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 2food 3service 2ambience 2

For the most part, Melba's food is good.
Her specialty is the best fried chicken and eggnog waffles.
The Coconut layered cake is delicious and served warm.
Menu is limited.

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RD
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The chicken and waffles were simply amazing! The drinks were great and I couldn't have asked for anything betted from the greeting servics. I will definitely be back!

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JM
1 review
Dined 5 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

It was amazing! Great server and food was impressive.

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DB
1 review
Dined on June 19, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 3

The resturant could be bigger. Handicap friendly, not so much. My family included two 80 year olds with walkers and the host attempted to sit us in the back. OpenTable doesn't have special needs reservations. After we struggled for about 5 minutes, they were nice enough to sit us up front when asked. The food was amazing. The first order of grilled shrimp was slightly raw so they apologized and gave us a new order. The waitress seemed slightly overwhelmed but she did a good job. The restaurant was very crowded. There was a group of young people surrounding the bar that were very loud. The music was very loud. Everyone joined in to sing my 83 y/o grandmother Happy Birthday and the warm cake they gave her was out of this world. Thank you Melba's, I hope you expand.

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EL
1 review
Dined on June 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

excellent spot! i would absolutely go back and recommend this place for friends! easily accessible too from the A/C line.

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PT
1 review
Dined on June 16, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Never disappointed the best greens I’ve ever tasted. Only disappointment was that there was no peach cobbler left! Love this place!

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SS
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great food and staff. One of the best restaurants I've been to in a while. I can't wait to go again.

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ZS
Washington DC
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Fabulous authentic Southern Cuisine. Definitely invokes feelings of family and home.

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DS
1 review
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

We were seated immediately. The food was very good. I had the catfish with waffle. I just wish our waiter was a little more pleasant. He didn’t smile until we asked him to . Will go back again

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c
New York Area
51 reviews
Dined on June 15, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Melba's has great food and portion sizes. The waffles are always light and fluffy inside. The mimosas are a little light, but that makes brunch go longer!

The salmon croquettes were yummy with little filler. The fried chicken and cheese grits were perfect.

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JB
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 2food 2service 3ambience 4

My wife and I were looking foreword to a great southern meal, instead they brought our main course prior to our appetizers and then our main course was room temperature. The restaurant has a good ambiance, but we were not impressed with the food.

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MH
New York Area
1 review
Dined on June 14, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 3

Seated quickly. Brian our server was very pleasant. addressed any of our concerns. No major complaints.

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OT
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

The food was great and the service was exceptional the only problem I had was the flies . Everything else was great I would recommend this restaurant to all my friends and family

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SD
1 review
Dined on June 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time at Melba's and it was great. I will definitely visit again in the near future.

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A
Miami
23 reviews
Dined on June 10, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time here and the food and service was great.
Definitely will come again next time I visit NYC.

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PM
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 2

I didn't need a reservation because we had to wait for the table.It was very crowed and noisy.The presentation of the food was beautiful.The meal was tasty but the fried chicken was too salty.My ankles were swollen the next day because I have high blood pressure.It was a special occasion.I was celebrating my birthday , when I made my reservation, they asked Are you celebrating a special occasion?I told the man who I spoke with that I was celebrating my birthday.He said they would sang happy 🎂. Don't make promises you can't keep.I was really looking forward to that part.I would dine at Melba's again because for the rest of my life I will be supporting African American owned business'.

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M
1 review
Dined on June 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I was looking for a comfortable, warm, intimate place to have my daughter’s baby shower. Melba’s was the perfect spot! We had more guests than anticipated but the staff was very accommodating. They were very attentive before, during and after the event. The food was absolutely amazing! We chose the brunch menu and every one was very pleased! I am looking forward to coming back with friends to try other items on Melba’s menu.

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EC
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great traditional soul food breakfast. Excellent through back!

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IC
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on June 1, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Melba's is your quintessential soul food restaurant right in the middle of Harlem! I treat myself whenever I'm in the area. They're known for their chicken and waffles (which is marvelous btw) but you have to try their other entrees. The fried catfish is perfect every single time I've ordered it. Their mac and cheese and potato salad tastes just like how my grandmother used to make it. I feel at home whenever I step inside. The hosts are always sweet and will go above and beyond to assist you. You have to try this Harlem staple! Who knows... you may even spot Melba herself sitting at the bar ;)

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OT
New York Area
17 reviews
Dined on May 31, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

First time for my husband and I. We thoroughly enjoyed our meals. I had the chicken and egg nog waffle. The waffle had good flavor but I prefer my waffle to have a crispy texture. The chicken was fried hard which is usually how I like my chicken and it also had good flavor, was not greasy. Hubby had the catfish with greens and yams - he liked his food as well. My waitress was excited to know it was our first time there and gave us the rundown and highlighted what they were especially known for. She was very attentive to us but I noticed she was attentive to all her tables. So she was a good waitress and was very knowledgeable. We'll definitely go back again.

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GW
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The service and the food were the best in Harlem. It was a true pleasure for us to have our date night at Melba's this week.

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CA
New York Area
8 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This place never misses when I visit. It was a pleasure to take my husband there for the first time. He really enjoyed everything - especially the drinks. We booked a reservation for when they reopened at 5 pm....there was already a crowd at the door but the host actually yelled out “does anyone have a reservation” and my husband and I were the only ones who did .....sat us immediately. You can’t beat that kind of service.

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j
New York Area
6 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Greeted with a very warm welcome! We were seated immediately which I was a bit nervous about since we made a last minute reservation for their very popular Sunday brunch! The food was deeeelish! I had the Salif special omelet and took bites from both hubby and my daughters plates! Hubby had their unbeatable chicken and waffles and my daughter LOVED her sweet potato pancakes. Looking forward to having another meal at Melba's very soon!

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OT
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on May 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Was probably my third or fourth time at Melba’s. Always great food. Always great service. Definitely recommend.

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LR
1 review
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

The waiter was excellent. The atmosphere was pleasant and comfortable. The food was better than good but not the greatest.

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SJ
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 21, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great location for my graduation dinner with family. Food was amazing, the background music was great. Service was good; the staff was very accommodating. Thank you for making me and my family feel welcome!

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TM
Washington DC
2 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

The bartender Alicia (?) was great, friendly and personal-able and is an asset to the business. The food was just OK. The greens and catfish fingerlings were overcooked. The mac & cheese was good. The Eggnog waffles did not takes like eggnog but the strawberry butter and maple syrup made up for it. The chicken taste a bit greasy but was crispy. The chocolate cake was yuk and dry but the donuts holes good.

The assistants to the waiters were not personable and did not relay requests to the waiter at all although they nodded that they would.

Overall a good experience to support the business but not good enough to go again so I can only recommend to support it just because.

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NO
New Orleans
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 2

Our 1st meal choices were not available (0 for 3). The food received was sub-par at best. Service was disappointing. Will not return or recommend.

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R
1 review
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is amazingly delicious. Not an easy place to get into but worth the wait

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OT
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on May 19, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The catfish was excellent. The pancakes were equally delicious.
Thank you for NOT making the food salty. My go to dining for friends visiting from out of town.

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JL
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

My friend like the oxtails. I had the meatloaf, not too appetizing. Mac and cheese dry and not seasoned. Collards greens were ok, better than the rest. The uptown was waterdown. Love the art on the wall and 90s RnB music.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 18, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Great food at reasonable prices. Great ambiance. Employees were friendly, courteous and professional.

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F
1 review
Dined on May 17, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

All u can say is that Melbas was outstanding. We got there about a half hour early and were able to be seated. Nice crowd but not noisy but comfortable. Appetizers were amazing and ofcoure the entry and the dessert. I dont drink but my friends said the drinks were great. We all are planning to go back. This restaurant was recommended by a coworker who has visited there many occassions.

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SS
New York Area
1 review
Dined on May 12, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

This was my first visit at Melba’s this past Mother’s Day and I must say that it was great!!! From the food to the music selection, everything was on point!!! Granted it was Mother’s Day and our food took a little long but I will definitely be back!!!! All I have to say is, “those eggnog waffles though!!!!! Thank you for a wonderful Mother’s Day!!!! See you soon!!!!

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MO
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Melba’s is the best!
The atmosphere, the food, the people - always positive and good. I strongly recommend Melba’s to everyone.

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