Melba's

4.5
146 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 146 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
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
93% of people would recommend it to a friend
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SS
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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 2 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

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

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DS
1 review
Dined 2 days ago
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 2 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 3 days ago
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 6 days ago
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 6 days ago
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
4 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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SB
1 review
Dined on May 11, 2019
Overall 2food 1service 3ambience 3

The service was great, but the food was not great! The collard greens were extremely salty to the point I couldn’t eat them. The Yams tasted as if they came from a can.

The dining experience was shocking seeing as though I’d eaten at the restaurant a year ago and wanted to return.

Sadly I will not come back!

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M
1 review
Dined on May 9, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 4ambience 5

Good to see that she's still in business. Continued success my Sister

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DP
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food is excellent. The ambience is lovely and the service is great. Every time I am in Harlem I must get dinner at Melba’s

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D
1 review
Dined on May 8, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thoroughly happy with my chicken, mac & cheese and greens meal!

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CE
Los Angeles
5 reviews
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Best catfish in New York and the vibes are off the charts.

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AS
1 review
Dined on May 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We came to Melba's to celebrate my Mother's 76th birthday. I made reservations and we were seated promptly. Our waitress Alicia was fantastic! I've been here several times and the food is always delicious. The Manager, Nicholas, is always helpful. My Mom enjoyed her night out and we were able to listen to the live band. It was a great time!

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

Unprecedented service. Everything was perfect literally.

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

I would recommend Melba's to any and everyone. The server was attentive, consistent, sweet, and professional. The food was amazing to say the least. You guys are the absolute best. I am a loss of words. Thank you guys for everything!!!!!

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

We arrived at 12pm, but had a reservation for 12:15. A line was already forming. Brunch was our objective. We were promptly seated. I noticed our table was different than the others. It was slatted vs a flat table top. It seemed like an afterthought. Also, our chairs were not cushioned like the others. Again - possibly an oversight. Neither were overtly uncomfortable - but noticeable.
We ordered cinnamon French toast, southern fried chicken scrambled egg and eggnog waffles with fried chicken with gravy on the side. I don’t like soggy fried chicken. I prefer to dip at my leisure.
Drinks were strong. I mean very strong. This place wants you to turn up. lol
Everything was great! Would I go back - yes!

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K
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a great Birthday dinner and the food was outstanding, especially the fried catfish. The service was fast and the food was great, even though they were crowded. A wonderful evening and we will definitely visit again soon.

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RW
1 review
Dined on May 3, 2019
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

Food was great..noisy but other then that a great place to eat..highly recommended!!

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