The Tsion Café in Harlem offers a lot of history, and each item on the menu from dishes to cocktails are inspired by an ensemble of entertaining/historical figures like Nina Simone and Redd Fox.
Recently we went in for a tasting of their signature cocktails & small bites, and was very pleased! The host welcomed us into the cafe and shared a little background on the how the cafe came to be. The cuisine is East African based with an Ethiopian background, and is meant to be experienced in a "wholesome style eating." They believe in eating well in a communal essence, and that the "body should be the first priority." Before COVID, the space was well known throughout the neighborhood as the meeting place of Malcom X and Redd Fox as well as a place for local artists, screenings, and more. Today, with post COVID guidelines, they're welcoming back the neighborhood to enjoy their favorite dishes and drinks. There's outdoor seating in front of the cafe, and a little patio in the backend spaced.
Honey Wine /
don't believe I've ever had honey wine, but this was nice to the palette. Apparently queen sheba used to drink this wine amongst her squad in a leisurely way back in the day.
Sweet Nina (inspired by nina simone)
• vodka, lemon juice, passion fruit, and agave with sugared rim
this was my favorite cocktail, sweet and refreshing...very island like, taste wise.
• tequila, sorrel, ginger, agave, lime juice, and jalapeño
this was nice, of course spicy ... similar to an hibiscus drink.
• vodka, Ethiopian coffee, Amarula, berbere
this was another favorite, think Starbucks coffee with some baileys added :-)
• cachaca, ginger, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup
• fried pastry filled with lentil and/or chicken
loved the chicken, so yummy.
Malawack With Honey
• delicious Yemeni pastry with honey glazed over, and sprinkled with coconuts flakes
OMG, this was so yummy. Highly recommended for dessert... pairs nicely with the sweet nina cocktail.
So there you have it, if you're ever in the area, or just wanna try some tasty Ethiopian cuisine... head uptown to Tsion Café.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
XO•Latain PALMERlifestyle editor | VOLATILE onlinevolatileonline.com+
lifestyle editor |