Harlem Neighborhood Review - Manhattan Moving Guide

The quintessential Harlem neighborhood guide. Learn why people are moving to this neighborhood and find exciting places to eat, drink, and average real estate prices.
Harlem Neighborhood
Editors Rating (3 stars out of 5)
6.2 Overall
Average Rent Prices 7
Public transportation 7
Schools 6
Lifestyle 7
Crime 4

Located in the northern section of Manhattan, Harlem spans from the Harlem River on the East side of Manhattan to the Hudson River on the Westside.

This Harlem neighborhood review will look into public transportation, restaurants, average apartment rent, and home sale prices.

It's cradle between the neighborhoods of East Harlem, Morningside Heights, and Washington Heights.

Harlem is divided into two sections - Central and West and includes numerous subdivisions such as Manhattanville, Sugarhill, and Hamilton Heights.

This area was well-known for the "Harlem Renaissance" in the 1920s and 30s, where celebs and artists flocked to the neighborhood to enjoy speakeasy drinking and performances by some of the best jazz musicians and dancers of the day.

A venue still popular today for performances and appearances by famous celebrities, The Apollo Theater is a historic theater that started as a burlesque theater in 1913.

Harlem is a great place to learn about black history, music, and art in New York and America, rich with libraries, museums, and galleries.

It's also great for peaceful views on the Hudson by heading over the Riverbank State Park. Harlem enjoys the presence of three parks within its boundaries and borders Morningside Park and Central Park.

Harlem offers a wealth of housing. Wide streets, fully-renovated century-old brownstones, limestone, and brick townhouses make up most of Harlem's sound architecture.

Co-ops and condominiums are few and far between in this historically-rich neighborhood.

Attending Harlem church has become quite popular. So popular that guests have oftentimes turned away for lack of space.

Morning services are usually less crowded but remember to arrive early to ensure you get a spot!

FUN FACT: The Great Migration was the time from 1910 through 1920 when many African Americans migrated from the South to the North after the Civil War for a better life.

Real Estate in Harlem

Real estate in Harlem, the iconic New York City neighborhood, is an ever-changing and exciting market.

Spanning from 130th Street to 155th Street and running along the Hudson River to Fifth Avenue on the east side, Harlem offers a variety of housing options for those looking to live in one of NYC's most vibrant communities.

From stunning brownstones and multifamily dwellings to modern condos and single-family homes, there is something for everyone in this culturally rich area.

Along with all these choices comes an incredible range of prices - depending on location and condition - that can suit any budget.

When it comes to purchasing or renting a property in Harlem, there are a few things prospective buyers and tenants should know before taking the plunge. First off: availability is limited.

With so much interest from potential investors and newcomers alike, properties in desirable locations can go quickly.

If you find something you're interested in, make sure you act fast, as listings don't often linger long on the market.

In addition to availability issues, pricing varies greatly between locations within Harlem (and even between buildings).

Average Rental Prices in Harlem

1 Bed$2,250
2 Beds$2,600
3 Beds$2,850
4 Beds$3,700
PropertyNest Real Estate Data As of June 2023

Average Sales Prices in Harlem

1 Bed$525,000
2 Beds$799,000
3 Beds$1,250,000
4 Beds$2,995,000
PropertyNest Real Estate Data As of June 2023


Subway lines in neighborhood

  • 1 2 3

    IRT Broadway–Seventh Avenue Line

  • A C

    IND Eighth Avenue Line

  • B D

    IND Sixth Avenue Line

Bus Lines in Harlem
BusM2, M3, M7, M10, M16, M35, M98, M100, M101, M102, M103, M104, M106, M116

Public & Charter Schools

Harlem contains 37 primary and secondary schools. Charter schools are more plentiful here than any other part of NYC and usually outperform other non-charter schools in the neighborhood.

Nonetheless, there is still an ongoing concern that Harlem schools are performing below other schools located in different areas of the city.

Here are some of the top performing schools that stood out:

Local Schools in Harlem
Success Academy Harlem 4 Charter SchoolPublic Charter - K-4 - 633 studentsMember of high-performing Success Charter network despite limited space due to sharing the building with two other schools.
KIPP STAR Charter Middle SchoolCharter - 5-8 - 822 studentsAdvisors follow students through high school and college. Afterschool program is available until 6 pm.
Democracy Prep Harlem Charter High SchoolCharter - 9-12 - 907 students14 to 1 student-teacher ratio. According to state test scores, 95% of students are at least proficient in math and 29% in reading.

Restaurants & Dining in Harlem

The Harlem neighborhood of New York City is a vibrant and exciting place to explore, with plenty of delicious restaurants and dining options.

From cozy cafes offering traditional American fare to renowned seafood spots serving up the freshest catches from the Atlantic Ocean, there's something for everyone in Harlem.

Whether you're looking for a casual bite or an upscale experience, you'll find it here. Many authentic Caribbean restaurants serve classic dishes like jerk chicken and curry goat for those who enjoy exploring local cuisine.

And if you're looking for a night out on the town, there are plenty of bars and clubs offering live music and entertainment.

No matter what your taste buds crave, Harlem has something to offer:

Stop by Sylvia's Restaurant if you're looking to take in more of the local scenes. For soul food, this is the biggest name in the city! They even have gospel brunch with live music every Sunday.

In the mood for Mexican? Stop by Oso, a cute little spot on Amsterdam Ave, for some delicious tacos and margaritas. Or choose anything from their wide-ranging menu, and you won't be disappointed.

Voted #2 best chicken and waffles in the country, Amy Ruth's home-style southern cuisine was inspired by the memory of a loving grandmother. The love does indeed live on through Amy's excellent southern food.

How Safe is the Harlem Neighborhood?

While the Harlem neighborhood has seen a major revival in recent years, with many high-end businesses and luxury apartments popping up all over the area, there are still questions about how safe it is for locals and tourists.

When it comes to safety, there is no definite answer, as Harlem remains an ever-changing neighborhood that experiences its fair share of crime.

The overall crime rate in Harlem tends to be lower than in other parts of the city, but it still faces issues such as theft, vandalism, burglaries, drugs, and prostitution.

However, many of these instances can be attributed to people coming from outside of the neighborhood looking for trouble rather than local residents.

Crime statistics

Crime rate: 6 out of 10
Approximately 23.0721 crimes (felony) per 1000 residents
Low Medium High

In addition to a higher police presence patrolling the area due to these crime issues, several initiatives have been taken by private and public organizations to improve safety in Harlem.

For instance, several youth organizations have been created to provide kids with positive activities that keep them off the streets while teaching them valuable lessons about respect and responsibility.

Organizations like these help discourage delinquency among young people, which helps reduce instances of criminal activity.

Harlem also takes advantage of technology when it comes to safety by installing surveillance cameras at various locations around the neighborhood and implementing community watch groups to keep an eye out for any suspicious or illegal activity.

Local businesses support community programs that actively seek out potential hazards like abandoned buildings or empty lots that could easily become dangerous areas if left neglected or forgotten.

All in all, while Harlem may not be considered one of New York City’s most safe neighborhoods due to its past reputation and current crime rates, much work has been done over the years by both public officials as well as local organizations committed to making sure that everyone who visits or lives within this vibrant community feels secure and protected at all times.

Rachel McCray
About the author

Originally from Florida, Rachel McCray, a writer and content producer, is now based in New York. Rachel offers expertise in New York City neighborhoods relating to real estate and history. Rachel McCray graduated from Florida Atlantic University with a bachelor's degree in Communication and Media Studies.