Tag Archives: Amy Ruth’s

Brunch In Harlem[3]Amy Ruth’s Famous Chicken and Waffles



Amy Ruth’s where you go if you want REAL soul food

NY’s best Chicken & Waffles!

You should try Amy Ruth’s famous chicken and waffles (The Rev. Al Sharpton) for branch. It comes with a generous piece of really crispy and moist fried chicken and a big waffle. The chicken combined with the flavor of 100% pure maple syrup and waffles is heavenly.

Amy Ruth’s

113 W 116th St

(between 7th Ave & St Nicholas Ave)

New York, NY 10026

(212) 280-8779

Who Invented Chicken & Waffles?

The origin of “Chicken & Waffles” is a bit sketchy and distorted, to say the least. Stories of Thomas Jefferson, the Pennsylvania Dutch and Southern slaves have all contributed to the mystery and lore of the beginnings of chicken & waffles. Although many lay claim to having invented and inspired this combination, there are some facts about the history of chicken & waffles that are undeniable.

Harlem Renaissance

First and foremost, chicken & waffles gained notoriety during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s-40’s. It was during this era that an explosion of artistic creativity was taking place. Harlem, New York became the mecca of music, visual art, dance and most genres of creative forms of expressions. Artists of all types and all walks of life were making their way to Harlem to “make it” and lay claim to their piece of the artistic world at that time.

With the Harlem music scene quickly becoming the place to be, it was not uncommon for the concerts and parties at that time to last until the late hours of the evening and early morning. It was this phenomenon that caused several restaurants in the area to stay open late to accommodate the bands and party-goers after the shows and parties.

Wells Supper Club in Harlem

One restaurant specifically, a family-owned establishment known as Wells Supper Club, began to offer late night food services. Wells was already known for its great Southern-inspired menu and had been a cornerstone of the Harlem food scene from the beginning.

Wells Supper Club offered breakfast, lunch and dinner. With dinner service typically ending around 11pm – 12 am, Wells would often have fried chicken leftover from the dinner service. Seeing an opportunity to boost sales and reduce food waste, Wells started offering a late night/early morning menu featuring their savory fried chicken paired with a deliciously sweet waffle. The combination quickly became a hit and inspired other restaurants to offer the pairing as well. Suffice it to say that THIS was the beginning of the chicken & waffles popularity that we experience to this very day.

Amy Ruth, Godmother of Soul Food


Amy Ruth’s Home Style Southern Cuisine
113 West 116th Street
Harlem, New York 10026 MAP
(212) 280-8779

Amy Ruth, Godmother of Soul Food

People say Amy Ruth’s is the East Coast version of Roscoe’s. Maybe…..

Barbecue Ribs with Mac&Cheese and Collard Green @ Amy Ruth’s

Sylvia’s is Harlem’s best known soul food restaurant, but I prefer Amy Ruth’s for the food and service. It is conveniently located on 116th Street between Lenox Avenue and Seventh Avenue near the 116th street subway station (2 or 3 express). It offers delicious and well prepared homemade comfort food, nice wait staff, and no rush to leave your table. It is not enough to just eat in Harlem, you have to embrace the whole experience which usually moves a couple paces slower than the downtown restaurants.
You receive free cornbread and the dishes are all named after famous African Americans such as The President Barack Obama (fried, smothered, baked, or bar-b-q chicken-$13.95), The Rev. Al Sharpton (fried or smothered chicken and waffles-$10.95), and The Ludacris (fried chicken wings-$13.95). A waffle covered with cinnamon, bananas and pecans is named after Guy Woods, a famous urban fashion designer whom I have known for almost 20 years!

Amy Ruth’s started out as a very small soul food joint in 1998 and has expanded with an extra room next door to accommodate the Sunday church crowd and ever growing number of tourists from all over the world.

If you want to avoid the velvet rope, then definitely avoid the crammed weekend brunch hour.

Warning: Large portions – be prepared to take some food home!