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  • Writer's picturelatain | LALOVE blog

Tsion Café | 4 Cocktails & Small Bites To Try in Harlem

Updated: Jan 19, 2021

**tsion café collaboration

The Tsion Cafe 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.

Recently I went in for a tasting of their signature cocktails + small bites, and I was very pleased. The host welcomed us (myself and another editor from VOLATILE) into the cafe, and shared a little background on the how the cafe came to be. The cuisine is 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 to curate 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 the cafe, and a little patio in back spaced for social distancing.

The Cocktails

Honey Wine

I 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.

Redd Foxx

• tequila, sorrel, ginger, agave, lime juice, and jalapeño

this was nice, of course spicy... similar to an hibiscus drink.

Kafa Martini

• vodka, Ethiopian coffee, Amarula, berbere

this was another favorite, think Starbucks coffee with some baileys added :-)


• cachaca, ginger, lime juice, mint, and simple syrup

this was my least favorite, it tasted too if too much lime juice was poured. Also could have been a little sweeter.

The Bites


• fried pastry filled with lentil and/or chicken, loved the chicken.


• traditional breads made into chips via air dry, gluten free grain...

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 neighborhood or just wanna try some tasty Ethiopian cuisine, head uptown to Tsion Café.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



lifestyle editor

Photos and designs by Latain Palmer

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